County Approves Computer Software For New Jail

Wednesday, November 3rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The jail's computer system is partly to blame for several recent mistaken releases. The company that was supposed to supply the computer software backed out of the contract. The Tulsa County Criminal Justice Authority voted Wednesday to let Corrections Corporation of America, the company that runs the jail, provide the necessary software.

After more than an hour of discussion between C-C-A's warden, the county’s justice authority and the county's internal computer representative, the decision was made to give C-C-A the chance to provide the jail’s computer system. Whether C-C-A will supply the software depends upon their price and time frame. C-C-A says they just want a new system installed as quickly as possible. "What is being used right now creates difficulties,” said C-C-A’s Marvin Branham. “It's a very cumbersome system that's much more prone to human error."

C-C-A is using the mainframe system used in the old Tulsa County jail. Branham says this makes booking and tracking inmates much more difficult. Bob Dick, chairman of the authority, says the new system will provide bracelets to track inmates and more. "There will also be a computerized classification system,” he
said. “When a prisoner is booked into the jail, they will be classified through a series of questions. The computer will tell jail personnel which jail pod they should be assigned to, thus reducing the risk of violence."

If C-C-A does provide the software, it will simply install the system they a use in other facilities around the country, and then modify it to meet the county's standards. The process would take about five months to complete. "I think that it will work out best for the people that depend upon the jail for public safety," said Branham. He also says getting the system in place faster will cut down on human error, which makes for a safer community.

C-C-A is expected to have a proposal ready for the county justice authority at its next meeting November 19th.