|Issue 7: Efficient and Effective Use of Technology to Improve Timeliness and Accuracy in Department Administration|
GOAL: To efficiently utilize existing information technology and employ new, innovative uses of technology to support department operations and processes.
The continuation of the department's leadership role in correctional technology requires the integration of innovative and proven technologies. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) takes great pride in supporting innovation while maintaining critical operations. We successfully addressed each of the opportunities described in the Agency Strategic Plan for 1997-2002, in cooperation with our users. Technological achievements depend on funding and the availability of experienced staff. The problems endemic to the recruitment and retention of technical staff create barriers to the use of technology. A few technical staff members were provided to the Regions but staffing was not funded to support the rapid growth of technology.
Efforts to develop applications vital to safe and efficient operations were very productive. In partnership with departmental leaders, the analysis of the feasibility of a large innovative electronic medical record system was initiated, a large system to analyze the risks and classification of inmates for proper placement was implemented and many analytic reports were developed to support management. To ensure functionality in the year 2000, the use of dates in every computer, software package, program and physical plant system is being corrected.
The expansion of automation is vital to continue the department's leadership in cost avoidance. A system to automate security staff utilization ensures experienced staff are available when needed while imaging is helping to streamline record-keeping. Laptop computers are being pilot-tested to enable probation officers to collect data in the field and upload it to the department's mainframe. Technology has enabled the expansion of distance learning by implementation of satellite downlinks and multi-point video conferencing.
The capability to retrieve timely information was augmented by upgrading mainframe capacity to accommodate an increase in processing and by installing new technology to triple our storage capacity. Access was improved by replacing old computers, developing a single integrated network, updating local area networks and installing new client-server technology.
By September 1998, increase the department's capability to retrieve timely information critical to public safety as determined by desired retrieval times measured in sub-seconds on an average inquiry.
By October 1998, increase the department's capability to manage data critical to public safety and agency efficiency beyond baseline levels established by October 1997.
By July 1999, accomplish application support system projects described in strategies.
By July 1999, implement IRC approved automation expansion projects that contribute to cost avoidance in state government.
By July 1999, contribute to improved administration of criminal justice by implementing all Information Resource Commission (IRC) approved innovative technology projects.
By July 1998, obtain the technology support staff levels, create an organization structure and implement policies and procedures that will produce a measurable increase in effectiveness.
By December 31, 1999, implement all needed hardware and software changes to successfully move into the year 2000 and the new millennium.
By December 1997, increase by 50% the number of General Equivalent Diplomas (GED) received and the percentage change in literacy attributable to distance learning via the department's CDLN network.