Affiliated Organization

Pennsylvania State University, USA


We focus contrasting a social informatics approach with socio-political and techno-centricdesign approaches, using data from a study of e-government activity in criminal justice as theempirical basis. By social informatics we mean ‘the interdisciplinary study of the design(s),uses, and consequences of information technology that takes into account their interactionwith institutional and cultural context’.” The empirical material comes from our ongoingstudies of integrated criminal justice efforts in the United States. By integrated criminaljustice we mean both the technological infrastructure and the institutional circuitry. Here wefocus on San Diego, California’s Automated Regional Justice Information Sharing system(ARJIS, see the comparison of approaches to engaging ARJIS we focus attention to differences in howhuman actions, the ICT, and their interactions are represented,. And, in doing this wehighlight the alternative findings and interpretations that often arise from these differentapproaches to engaging e-government. We conclude our comparative analysis by returning tosocial informatics and engaging issues with improving the conceptual and methodologicaltool suites available, and with the importance of engaging the situated, social, and materialelements of any ICT-based system.