Paperless Intake Improves Jail Operations

July 29, 2020 by Meredith Trimble

Paperless Intake Improves Jail Operations

When jail services technology systems are older, paper-based processes can remain the norm. In addition, systems with limited capabilities prevent jails from benefiting from true integrations with other justice partners such as courts.

In DeKalb County, Georgia, the Jail Services Division experienced pain points around cumbersome, manual processes and siloed operations. The sheriff’s office intake process, in particular, took a time-consuming average of up to eight hours per inmate to complete. Officers and staff filled out paper jail tickets for each inmate, which created congestion and delays around the 33,000 individuals booked and released each year.

Chief Deputy LoRandy Akies sought a modern jail management technology solution to move away from paper for this intake process and also to streamline workflows, improve communication, and increase collaboration.

A new jail management system, Tyler Corrections, created efficiencies across the board, beginning with paperless intake. Arresting agencies now enter inmate information directly into a system online, beginning the booking process right from patrol cars. Not only does this decrease wait times by 50% once at the jail, but it also ensures quicker mugshots and accelerated intake. Document scanning helps the agency store all case information including hearing details, bonding paperwork, warrants, and jail tickets electronically, which eliminated the need to store nearly 800 file boxes. The freed-up office space is now used by jail staff.

Because the integrated system consolidates data in a centralized location for all justice partners, the documents can be accessed by the county courts, alleviating the need to physically transport, courier, or fax paper in response to requests. With all warrant information automatically visible to both court and jail staff, stakeholders can easily obtain information they need to expedite their jobs without duplicate entry into multiple systems. Employees and decision-makers can rely on accurate warrant counts at any given time. And, with real-time information, implementing staff begin disposition work hours earlier, which speeds inmates’ release.

Tracking inmate activity became easier as well, with handheld scanners that track inmate movement in or out of the facility for court hearings or medical appointments. The information is automatically stored in the jail management system, creating a searchable electronic jail log. Other important inmate information such as biometric verification, medical information, victim notifications, and commissary details is also up to date and available electronically.

This integrated solution not only facilitates data flow between partner agencies, but it also uniquely leverages technology in patrol cars, providing relevant information and early booking capabilities to officers. These successful innovations earned the DeKalb County Jail Services Division a 2020 Tyler Excellence Award. View other 2020 Courts and Justice award winners.

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