Monday, December 27, 1999

Year 2000 Readiness Reached At California Department of Corrections

The California Department of Corrections is remediated for Year 2000 readiness, including all mission critical systems and essential business services.

“We have made Y2K a top priority for the past two years in our efforts to ensure a smooth transition to the new millennium and those efforts have paid off,” says CDC Director C.A. “Cal” Terhune.

CDC has worked closely with the state Department of Information Technology (DOIT) throughout its remediation and readiness process, and DOIT recently determined that the Department was 100 percent complete in its identification, remediation and preparedness of mission critical systems and essential business services.

This process included testing and remediation, if necessary, of the following systems:

  • Distributed desktop system comprised of 16,500 personal computers;
  • Vast information technology systems that store and track offender and business databases and process reports; and
  • Embedded systems comprised of over 19,000 devices or systems.
In addition, CDC has completed a process that resulted in the development of a detailed plan for continuity of critical business functions for each functional unit within the Department. Each institution has developed an emergency operations plan and has tested these plans in exercise drills.

Because safety and security of the community, staff and inmates are the Department’s mission, the highest priority has been given to ensuring that all systems within the state’s 33 prisons are Y2K ready.

“Prison cell doors will not pop open due to a computer glitch,” says Terhune. “While some state prisons are more ‘electronic’ than others, the electric switch is still operated by a human being.” Terhune added that all inmates in the state’s correctional system will be locked in their cells on December 31, beginning at 3 p.m., and continuing until the next morning to limit inmate movement and allow staff greater flexibility in dealing with any Y2K-related issues that may arise.

As part of the Department’s preparedness effort, it will monitor its operations during the rollover period through its headquarters staff in Sacramento, beginning at 6 p.m. on December 31, 1999 for 72 hours or until all Y2K related issues have been resolved. These emergency operations centers will be monitored by a main emergency operations center operated by CDC headquarters and linked to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and DOIT.