The Strategic Importance of Technology to the Department's Public Safety and Recidivism Prevention Efforts.
Given the size and scope of the Department of Corrections, information technology becomes "mission critical" and requires a viable, highly dependable technical capability. The efficient and appropriate use of technology impacts the primary priority issue of public safety. This is because accurate, timely processing of offender release dates, revocation rates and disciplinary records is necessary for informed policy decisions to be made. The department is charged by statute to collect statutory and court ordered costs and restitution from offenders under supervision and incarcerated. The department is also required by statute to notify victims and law enforcement authorities when an offender is released from prison. Additionally, the Department is charged by statute with providing the Parole Commission with a shared offender information system, programming and systems analysis support. Thus, both the Secretary of the department and the Chair of the Parole Commission depend on the department's technology section to support missions of their agencies. Added to these responsibilities, the department's Office of Information Technology (OIT) aids in developing security enhancing systems that supplement the other security methods used to maintain custody of inmates and community supervision of offenders.
The Offender Based Information System (OBIS), the department's bread and butter offender data base system, supports the basic statewide operation of both major institutions and the probation and parole offices. The Department's growth projections indicate the need for an additional capacity upgrade in the near future. A shortage of programmer and analyst staff has resulted in a heavy backlog of pending maintenance and enhancement requests. The backlog of requested changes, if accommodated, could improve a good system and make it even more responsive to department staff.
The backlog of OBIS change requests is just one indication of a technology support function that is still grossly understaffed when compared with other state agencies of like size and scope. Adequate numbers of technical staff, plus the ability to recruit, train and retain quality personnel is critical to the department's ability to provide high quality information systems.
The following technology dependent strategies have been integrated into the strategic goals and objectives contained in Critical Issues 1 and 2 of the Agency Strategic Plan.
|Issue 1: Public Safety|
|Implement digital fingerprint scanning at the five reception centers for identity checks with FDLE's fingerprint records. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services, Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management|
|Develop and implement a computerized Probation & Parole Intake and Case Supervision system. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services, Other Org. Units: Community Corrections; Regions|
|Develop and implement in the major institutions a computer assisted security staff post assignment utilization system (roster management). Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services, Other Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management|
|Implement offender check-in and check-out systems in each of the community facilities and work camps. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management; Regions|
|Design and implement a system to monitor electronically the movement and location of inmates through the compound. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management, Other Org. Units: Executive Services; Regions|
|Issue 2: Recidivism Prevention|
|Establish inmate law libraries, literacy centers and youthful offender projects using personal computers and CD-ROM technology to minimize storage requirements. Lead Org. Units: Education and Job Training, Executive Services|
|Develop and implement, in the major institutions, a prototype system to electronically record inmate medical, mental health and dental records. Lead Org. Units: Health Services, Executive Services|
|Implement a new pharmacy system based on LAN technology in the reception centers and major institutions. Lead Org. Units: Regions, Regional Health Services|