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Proposal: Data retention standards

Although retention periods were once necessitated by physical storage constraints, electronic storage of records has made destruction of criminal justice information largely unnecessary. Thus, whether to retain a piece of information indefinitely is now a matter of policy that should take into consideration the justice system's need for the information as well as the public's reasonable expectations of privacy in the data.

This proposal contains recommendations concerning the retention of information in an integrated justice information system. Specifically, it presents a set of factors that agencies can use to establish their own retention periods. Although it was drafted with Illinois law in mind, it is hoped that these factors can be used to explain why a particular piece of information is retained in a computer system for a certain period of time.