Recognizing the inefficiencies and environmental impact of paper, the San Bernardino County Public Defender (SBCPD) has entered the digital era. The SBCPD's offices, which have 110 lawyers handling over 60,000 cases a year serving eight locations, are separated by 228 miles of desert, a distance equal to that separating Boston from Manhattan. Through the introduction of digital files, the department became more efficient in its operation. No more piles of paper, no driving files across the desert, no more lost files, no additional storage costs, and no injuries from lifting boxes of files.
Using iPads, a cloud service, and desktop computers, the department implemented the project in January 2011. Within a year, the department moved into a digital environment. Employees now create digital files that are encrypted and password protected. Staff can view and access files from anywhere, anytime.