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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


For Immediate Release
April 4, 2003
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Florida Department of Corrections Recognized by Computerworld for Efforts in Data Collection

Enhancing the Safety of Florida Citizens case study to be included in the 2003 Global Archive of the Computerworld Honors Collection

Tallahassee, FL -- Department of Corrections Secretary James V. Crosby, Jr. said the department is honored to be recognized this week by Computerworld for inclusion into the Computerworld Honors Collection for efforts in data collection.

Using SAS technology, the department was able to consolidate billions of records of information about 1.2 million criminal offenders and 2.3 million court sentences, providing officials and managers with the insight needed for both immediate and long-term management decisions, lowering costs and increasing productivity.

"The Computerworld Honors Medal of Achievement is presented annually to men and women around the world who have made outstanding progress for society through the visionary use of information technology," said Patrick J. McGovern, Chairman of the Computerworld Honors Chairmen's Committee and the founder of International Data Group.

The department designed the SAS data warehouse to capture and analyze relevant correctional data from both department sources and other state agencies. The department also developed specialized data sets that combine files, allowing the agency to look at patterns across disparate sources. These data sets can be updated from the original sources on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, depending on reporting needs. The information in the data sets is used in everything from lawsuits to public records to internal departmental needs. The department was recommended by SAS Technologies for this award.

"We can run almost any problem with the data sets available to us," said Bill Bales, director of the Bureau of Research & Data Analysis. "Because of the power of SAS, we can find answers to more complicated requests, thereby giving managers the information with quantitative reliability."

The Florida Department of Corrections is responsible for more than 75,000 inmates in 134 prison facilities and more than 150,000 offenders on community supervision through 160 probation and parole officers throughout the state. SAS technology allows the department to maintain and organize mainframe-based data and other data sources in an easily accessible, modifiable and verifiable data warehouse. The data warehouse stores information on every inmate and offender on community supervision in the state, plus death and unemployment records, demographic and educational data and juvenile justice information.

The 2003 Collection, which will now be archived in libraries, museums and academic and research institutions around the world, will serve as primary source material for scholars and as a resource for individuals who hope to use information technology to build solutions that benefit society.

Case studies from the 2003 Computerworld Honors Collection will be available at www.cwheroes.org, the official internet site of the Computerworld Honors Program, where the entire Collection is available to scholars, researchers and the general public worldwide. In addition, the Collection is distributed annually to the Honors Program's Archival Partners around the world. These partners include some of the world's finest research and scholarly institutions, each of which has generously agreed to include the Collection in its archives.