The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 2, 2013
California IT snapshot: The prison management system

California's far-flung prison and parole agency for decades has used dozens of separate computer and paper systems to do business, from tracking inmates to keeping records.

An overview of the new Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's computer system to streamline its operations:

Name: Strategic Offender Management System
Department: Corrections and Rehabilitation
Estimated total cost: $416 million
Amount spent to date: $243 million
Percent of project complete: 76.12 percent
Estimated time frame: 2007-2008 to 2012-2013 (5.7 years)

What is it? An electronic prison population management system that replaces multiple old electronic and paper database systems.

The official line:"The California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) proposes to replace or integrate almost all existing manual or automated offender management systems and extend system availability to 9,400 new users. The new consolidated system will provide one source for reliable and instant data to the CDCR staff who require it to manage the inmate population."

Current red flags reported: None

The Department expects incremental project schedule changes will be approved by the state in its latest report.

This is the fifth in a series of daily posts looking at California's 10 most-expensive state computer projects as listed on the Department of Technology's website.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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