The Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) is in the process of retiring the 40-year-old system its more than 500 correctional employees use to manage detainees and is replacing it with one that will provide a smoother, more efficient workflow process from booking to release. The department has more than 41 applications that help to manage the various processes throughout the organization. A key deliverable of the new system will be to eliminate as many of these applications as possible.
The new Jail Management System (JMS) will simplify many of the processes of over 30,000 bookings per year, meal disbursements, and the relocation and release of inmates, to name a few.
Nearing his three months with King County, DAJD Senior Business Analyst Allan Browning is leading the business process analyses with the support of five Subject Matter Experts representing knowledge bases across all five department divisions. The project is a collaborative effort with KCIT and is led by Latasha Battle who is the over-all Project Manager from KCIT. The project team is also working closely with all of DAJD’s partner agencies.
In order to provide a preview of what is currently possible within a modern JMS, in late May, the JMS team invited three vendors, Caliber Justice, Tribridge and Black Creek, to demonstrate their JMS solutions. Some of the features they were asked to showcase included Intake and Booking, Mugshot History, Alerts, Risk and Needs Assessments, Inmate Classification, Inmate Programs, Incidents, Visitation, Grievances.
“When compared to the systems demonstrated, it is clear that the current outdated systems, many of which were created as early as 1974, do not provide support for many key functions needed in today’s work environment,” Allan stated.
After conducting a thorough walk-through of the day-to-day interactions at the different facilities, Allan and his team came away with the reinforced understanding that re-engineering the current system, which is comprised of 57 separate subsystems, is no longer an option.
“One area that will see significant improvement with the new JMS is Management Information and Reporting. The new system will provide improved systems for tracking a variety of management information on inmates, community corrections participants, juvenile offenders and staff,” Allan said.
Juvenile Detention alone still uses 132 – and counting – paper forms and at least six paper forms are used to book a newly arriving detainee.
“From the very beginning of the tour, it became apparent to the team that basically every process performed at the Juvenile Detention Center is literally being performed on paper forms,” Allan said. “Comments from the JMS team heard from staff clearly demonstrates their eagerness for the new Jail Management System project to be completed successfully and as soon as possible.”
Currently the new JMS Project team is finalizing documentation of all processes and system requirements in order to complete the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to purchase a modern, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) JMS solution to address workflow and safety needs.
“Working in an environment where situational awareness is vital makes it imperative that processes be optimized and create as little distraction as possible,” Allan said. “The JMS team is determined to ensure the new JMS meets all of the needs of DAJD.”
The project could take up to three years to complete the transition from old-to-new JMS. DAJD Director Willie Hayes, the project sponsor, is thankful for everyone’s patience and participation as the project advances.
“I know many of you have heard the old adage, ‘Good things come to those with patience.’ In this case, it’s a really good thing that is coming, and boy have we been patient,” Hayes said.
The next phase is final requirements, which is planned to finish soon so that an RFP can be written and let the end of October or early November 2017.
“While the project seems to be daunting and overwhelming here at the beginning,” Allan said, “I am confident with the upbeat and open attitude of the entire DAJD staff, that the project will be successful.”