Thursday, November 18, 1999

FACTS ABOUT YEAR 2000 READINESS Mission Critical Systems Top Priority

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) is on target for Y2K readiness.

CDC has made Y2K remediation and readiness a top priority. This includes all its mission critical information technology (IT), desktop and embedded systems, as well as continuity planning for business. The state Department of Information Technology has determined that CDC’s mission critical systems are 100 percent remediated as of November 15, 1999. In addition, all Y2K readiness training and testing have been completed.

The safety and security of California communities near correctional institutions operated by the California Department of Corrections will not be jeopardized in any way due to possible Year 2000 issues.

Many of California’s prisons were built before the computer age and even those that have been built within the last decade still rely on human judgement and manual manipulation. While many cell doors use power or simple electric components, they are not opened and closed by computers. If power or the electric component in a cell door failed, the doors would remain closed without manual intervention. Manual backups and workarounds exist for equipment that is vulnerable to failure. Backup generators are in place in each institution to ensure continued power for essential operations. In addition, provisions and supplies have been stored to ensure staff and inmates will be provided for in the event that other utilities or vendor deliveries are temporarily disrupted. Finally, inmates will be locked in their cells by 6 p.m. on December 31, 1999, allowing staff on duty to focus attention on resolving any potential Y2K disruption without concern over inmate movement. Additional staff will be scheduled to work that night and continue for as long as necesssary to ensure that any Y2K-related issue is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The California Department of Corrections has planned for mission critical business operations in the event of any Y2K-related disruptions.
Each major functional unit in CDC has developed detailed plans for the continuity of critical business functions. This means that every working unit within the Department with mission critical systems and high priority business activities has drafted a Y2K contingency plan to provide a roadmap on how they will operate critical business functions in the event of a Y2K-related problem. In addition, all institutions within the Department have developed Y2K specific emergency operations plans. Staff training and plan testing has been conducted for each of these institutions across the state.

The California Department of Corrections’ embedded systems have been identified and remediation is ongoing in a phased effort that focuses on mission critical systems first.

CDC has over 19,000 devices or systems in its database of embedded systems. To date, almost 18,000 of these have been determined to be Y2K compliant or not affected by the millennium bug. Slightly more than 400 of these devices or systems were found to be non-compliant, and their remediation is now in final stages of completion. Any critical systems not remediated by the year’s end will have backup or workaround systems in place. The remaining items are of low priority, such as office equipment. They are not critical to Department operations and will be addressed as time permits.

The California Department of Corrections’ distributed desktop system has undergone remediation in preparation for Y2K.

CDC has approximately 16,500 personal computers that comprise the basis of its distributed desktop system. This systemThese personal computers were was slated for remediation in two phases. First, all personal computers tied to mission critical systems received focused attention and their were remediated by September 26, 1999. ion will be completed by year’s end. Once that has been accomplished, CDC staff are now focused will focus on remediation of locally developed spreadsheets and databases, along with the remediation/replacement of personal computers deemed to be non-mission critical.

The California Department of Corrections’ Y2K readiness initiative has effectively remediated its vast IT systems.

These are a few of CDC’s huge mainframe mission critical systems that house its large databases, including the following:that have completed their remediation and testing efforts for Year 2000:

  • OBIS (Offender Based Information System) – CDC’s longest-lived primary offender data management system that serves as the Department’s official source of offender information to external entities. OBIS is the only system that houses information on offenders throughout their time in the correctional system from commitment to final discharge.
  • DDPS (Distributed Data Processing System) – Hewlett Packard minicomputers form this system, which connects all 33 state prisons and central office functions using applications that track inmate movements and housing, inmate classification levels, monies and restitution fines, tuberculosis test results, visitors and inmate visits and canteen and inventory sales.
  • Interim Parolee Tracking System (IPTS) – This multi-user system captures, stores and manages information relating to inmates paroled from state prison.
  • Parole Revocation Hearing Tracking System (RTS) – This system provides information on all parolees (1) while under a CDC hold or (2) a discovery of the violation and a hold was not placed until a revocation decision by the Board of Prison Terms was finalized. A record is created for each CDC parolee arrested and is maintained and updated in the RTS active database until the board decision is finalized, at which time the record is transferred and stored.
  • Parolee at Large Recovery Tracking System (PALRTS) – This system provides an efficient method of capturing and reporting data including the identification, location and activities leading to the apprehension of parolees at large.
The California Department of Corrections has plans to monitor activities beginning at 6 p.m. on December 31, 1999 to track and respond to any Y2K related problems that may arise. This monitoring will continue for 72 hours or until all Y2K-related issues have been resolved.

CDC will establish its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for its headquarters operation, where it will monitor activities throughout the state. Each of the Department’s correctional institutions will operate emergency operations centers that will link with the Department’s EOC. Each institution will report in to the Department’s EOC on its Y2K status. The Department’s EOC will link with the state’s master Emergency Operations Center operated by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.