The Government of Afghanistan (GOA) recognizes prison overcrowding as a major problem facing its justice system. To mitigate this issue, the GOA occasionally issues pardon decrees to release those who have committed minor infractions. These decrees enable the Afghan prison system to reduce overcrowding and focus its resources on major offenders.

Through the Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP), funded by the U.S. Department of State, Tetra Tech developed a Case Management System (CMS) that allows the GOA to easily monitor and review prison records. The data entered into this system is regularly reviewed by CMS operators and court employees for accuracy, as the GOA uses the CMS data to address prison overcrowding. The CMS database allows the GOA to quickly and efficiently determine which individuals have committed minor crimes and which have committed more serious offenses.

To address issues with inaccurate case information in the CMS, Tetra Tech’s JSSP team immediately implemented a large-scale data cleaning and re-training program and doubled efforts to ensure accuracy of future case data. We also developed a data validation plan using CMS-generated reports, which includes the case number and court for each case to identify missing court data. JSSP advisors and GOA database operators use these reports to locate paper court files, extract the required information, and enter missing data into the CMS database. In March 2018 our team, alongside local operators, updated and validated more than 1,000 cases in the CMS database.

Tetra Tech also is working with the Supreme Court of Afghanistan to obtain a new mandatory directive for all courts in Afghanistan to ensure the timely and accurate entry of CMS data. This is part of Tetra Tech’s work to transition the CMS to the GOA to support sustainable and effective ownership of the domestic justice system.