DeKalb County's Jail Services Recognized
September 30, 2019 by
How Connecting Justice Partners Earned a County Top Honors
Disparate systems in DeKalb County’s Jail Services Division in Decatur, Georgia, were creating challenges. The jail, an adult pre-trial detention center, books and releases an average of 33,000 people each year with stays ranging from 30 days to 24 months. Old, siloed technology made it difficult to operate efficiently. Paper-based processes created duplicate data entry tasks for staff. Time-consuming, manual intake took an average of five to eight hours, and the staff used paper logs to track all jail activity, including inmate movements, package deliveries, and any incidents.
With paper logs came storage issues – at any given time, the jail was managing thousands of inmate files and dispositions and storing up to 800 boxes of paper. This made it difficult to provide complete, accurate, and timely information to decision-makers and partners at the DeKalb County Superior Court.
When the county implemented an integrated justice information and jail management system to overcome these challenges, the State of Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) took note, giving DeKalb the only top honor for a county in the Georgia Technology Innovation Showcase. A committee evaluated showcase projects based on:
- Level of innovation in addressing a specific business problem
- Significance to improving business processes and operating efficiency
- Significance to financial savings or cost avoidance
- Significance to enhancing service delivery to external or internal customers
The awards were celebrated at GTA’s September 23 and 24 Digital Government Summit.
Efficiencies Across the Board
DeKalb’s integration and modernization project provides the county with one fully integrated and unified system that serves as a single point of entry for all the county’s justice agencies. The system's different modules, including Tyler Corrections, Odyssey, eFileGA, and other Tyler solutions, record all judicial case information from the time a plaintiff files a civil case, or, in criminal matters, from the time of arrest through sentencing, efficiently sharing information among all relevant agencies.
“With Tyler Corrections, staff could easily see what went on in court – like the sentence or the disposition – all in real time,” said LaMarion Green-Hughey, director of fiscal management, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. “Instead of couriering documents, staff could immediately access information, start working on a disposition hours earlier, and have inmates ready to release to the free world much sooner.” Indeed, the old release processing time of five to eight hours has been reduced to just two to four.
The system automates the existing workflow processes of the justice agencies and provides the agencies with a configured interface to perform their respective functions. Access is restricted based on user roles, permissions, and case status.
Specific benefits include:
- Paperless intake process
- Document scanning to eliminate the need for paper storage
- Inmate scanning with hand-held scanners for tracking movement
- Electronic jail log accessible for stakeholders to search and run reports
- Biometric verification for quicker booking
- Jail systems consolidation that linked the commissary, medical information, victim notifications, and other features
Data accuracy is an added benefit. “Tyler Corrections provided more accountability for the data of record entered,” noted Major LoRandy Akies, chief jail division commander. “Instead of verbal exchanges, or worrying about issues of officers’ penmanship, we’re able to make sure that accurate data follows the entire judicial process."
Want to learn more about how these tools could help your agency?
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