Abstract: In this paper we discuss interim findings from an ongoing comparative case study of the Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS) in San Diego, CA. Significant attention had been given to the need to integrate information systems across organizational boundaries in the criminal justice domain. We employ a social informatics lens in this research that views the technological artifact as embedded in cultural and institutional context. In our examination of ARJIS we have found that the adoption of a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) as a governance structure has impacted system design and organizational practices significantly. Specifically, the JPA facilitates participation by member agencies and, allows the ARJIS management team autonomy and flexibility in developing and managing the ARJIS information system.