Eliminating fighting in a correctional facility is nearly impossible, but there are ways it can be reduced.
The Jerome Combs Detention Facility in Kankakee, Illinois is no stranger to inmate fights. However, corrections officers working at this facility utilize their corrections software to help reduce the number of fights on the grounds.
According to corrections officer Justin LeSage, this software helps to make sure that certain inmates are never housed together.
"We get inmates in here who are purposely looking to start a fight with other inmates," LeSage said. "It can be retribution or retaliation or at random. But with our corrections software, we are able to make sure that inmates with known associates or affiliations are not given the opportunity to get into trouble with another inmate."
LeSage said he faced one incident where an inmate in the Jerome Combs Detention Facility was awaiting sentencing for the murder of a woman.
The murdered woman's boyfriend committed a crime and declined to post bond so that he could enter the jail to kill his girlfriend's killer. Once brought to the detention facility, the man wanted to be housed in the same area as his girlfriend's killer.
What the man didn't know was that the corrections software classification and records keeping system prevented that from happening because his known associates were already listed.
"If we didn't have this software and inmates were housed together when they shouldn't be, who knows what could happen," LeSage said.
With this information, jail managers and corrections officers are able to manage jail populations, track inmates and prevent incidences from occurring.
Watch Sheriff Michael Downey discuss how the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office used software to identify a body.
When cutbacks in 2015 resulted in a reduction of officers on patrol throughout Kankakee County, the county experienced a rash of burglaries.
For three weeks, burglars ransacked homes in search of guns, jewelry, electronics, cash and anything else of value.
"It got to the point where you were either a victim of the burglaries, neighbors with someone who had been a victim or afraid of becoming a victim," according to Becky Powell, Investigation's Officer Manager for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office.
The burglaries took place in Kankakee's neighboring counties as well, and all information from those incidences were entered into Kankakee's records system.
This collection of shared data along with tips that were called in helped generate documents in the records system so that law enforcement officials and other individuals involved in solving the case had instant, accessible information.
"The criminals involved in the burglaries knew that we had a reduction in force," Trent Bukowski, IT Director for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office said. "They took advantage of the lighter patrol that was going on throughout the county."
A break in the case came when the burglars were caught on a security camera stealing from a Walmart store in Kankakee. The surveillance footage provided a description of the offenders and the two vehicles they were driving.
What was especially notable about this footage was that one of the burglars was seen wearing a Chicago Bulls t-shirt in the video. This helped investigators tie the individual to a residential burglary that took place later in which that same shirt was found at the scene.
These descriptions were entered into Kankakee's records system and alerts were put out so that all officers in the county and surrounding areas knew what the suspects looked like and what cars they were driving.
Once officers were aware of this vital intelligence, they arrested the individuals as they left the scene of a burglary. The individuals were caught with items stolen from houses and items with tags on them from Walmart, which were purchased with stolen credit cards.
With the information sharing and data integration capabilities of the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office's computer aided dispatch, records, mobile, field reporting and corrections public safety software solutions, these criminals were able to be brought to justice.
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