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Running an Intelligent Jail: A Guide to the Development and Use of a Jail Information System

This is a must read for anyone involved in working with a jail information system (JIS). “With the increasing focus on cost efficiency and the avoidance of wasteful spending, jail administrators must understand the importance of the potential data at their disposal and strategically plan for faster and more effective forms of data collection, storage, and analysis. [This guide] encourages jail administrators to consider the design and implementation of a jail management information system (MIS) that is tailored to the specific needs of their institutions, is more cost-effective, and is easier to use. The data they are able to collect, store, analyze, and apply to the correctional setting translates to more effective jail management, more realistic short- and long-term goals, the ability to track trends, a more systematic way to measure performance outcomes for the institution and its staff, and pertinent information on the offender population” (p. v). Chapters comprising this manual are: why jails need to become intelligent; measurement of jail performance and key correctional policies; data that most jails are required to collect; data uses in policy analysis and organizational management; required skills for jail information systems; planning and developing information systems; implementing information systems; and requesting proposals for information system development and selecting vendors. Appendixes cover: what drives information needs; sample of a data dashboard; overcoming the hurdles of jail information systems; case example-Contra Costa Jail, Martinez, CA; case example-- Kent County Jail, Grand Rapids, MI; evaluating your JMS system support and usability features; and “Measuring What Matters”-Kent County Correctional Facility Annual Statistical Report (