Automation Converts Paper Files to Digital Files
Initially, the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office considered bringing on data entry staff to key the information into a central system, but it realized that hiring people to fill those roles would be a considerable undertaking.
“When we did the math, we found it would take an average of 24 minutes per case to input relevant information from a police report,” Al Rawi says. “We receive documents from 99 arresting agencies. It’s a massive county; we have 10 million residents. We would have needed to place dozens of data entry staff at over 30 locations across the county.”
The public defender’s office instead began to examine tech-based alternatives that would enable it to convert paper to digital files.
After speaking with several vendors and conducting a proof-of-concept pilot with Amazon Web Services, Al Rawi says, it decided to use three of the company’s solutions: Amazon Textract for document intake; Amazon Comprehend, a natural language processing service that can identify insights and relationships within text via machine learning; and Amazon S3, AWS's cloud object storage service.
Together, the solutions have helped the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office process the large volume of documents and reports from multiple agencies, says Kim Majerus, AWS vice president for U.S. public sector education, and state and local government. Attorneys can now quickly access digitized case-related information instead of having to lug reams of paper to court.
“In government, specifically, we see a lot of legacy systems,” Majerus says. “The leadership at the public defender’s office really saw the opportunity to streamline and be more efficient. It does provide the defender — the actual employee of LA County — with a more agile environment; instead of looking for something, it’s right at their fingertips. It’s easier to extract the information so they can best support each case.”