Friday, May 22, 1998

Taxpayers Benefit From Settlement

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) and TRW settled legal issues concerning development of a comprehensive electronic inmate records and movement monitoring system. The Correctional Management Information System (CMIS) will replace two older systems which lack the capacity for CDC's future increasing inmate population and information needs.

"This settlement protects the taxpayers’ interest," said Tom Maddock, Undersecretary of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency. "Corrections will receive a total of $18 million dollars within 30 days. But just as important, in future procurements, the Agency’s departments will be able to make use of the valuable work products that were developed by TRW," he said.

In 1995, CDC entered into a $40 million contract with TRW to build the CMIS project. After the state paid $2 million for part of the project, a contract dispute arose and the project stalled. This settlement facilitates the state’s ability to enter into a new contract for the system, and covers the state’s legal fees in resolving this contract dispute.

In addition, TRW will provide another 100 hours of consulting services over the next 18 months at no charge.

"A modern management information system is still a critical goal for CDC in terms of improving efficiency, reducing costs and supporting the Department’s mission of public safety," said Maddock.

The goals of the CMIS project are to fully automate: 1) the tracking of prison inmate movements between prison facilities, county jails, and courts; 2) the intake and classification of inmates housed by CDC; and 3) the collection and monitoring of individual inmate parole dates as mandated by various laws.

CORRECTIONS AND TRW INC. REACH AGREEMENT ON CONTRACT

The Youth and Adult Correctional Agency and TRW Inc. today announced that they have reached an agreement for finalizing TRW's work on the Agency's Correctional Management Information System. TRW's work focused on the analysis phase for designing and building an electronic inmate records system.
The agreement provides for the allocation of final costs and the intellectual property rights in the product developed by TRW, and for future consulting services to be provided by TRW to the Department. From a financial standpoint, the agreement provides that CDC will retain the $10 million letter of credit posted in connection with the contract. TRW will also contribute $8 million to resolve all remaining issues.

The pending lawsuit between TRW Inc. and CDC will be dismissed as a result of the agreement, and CDC will move forward with a request for proposal for the remaining phases of the computer project.

Tuesday, May 5, 1998

INMATES TESTED FOR TB

In just three days, the California Department of Corrections tested about 110,000 inmates for tuberculosis (TB) and then read the results. Medical staff began the tests Saturday, April 25 and read the results Monday, April 27.

Between that time, inmate movement into and out of all state prisons was halted. Most inmates in the system were given a TB skin test using PPD (purified protein derivative). Only those who were previously documented as testing positive or those who had been tested within the last 30 days were excluded.

"California is widely recognized as a leader in correctional health care," said C.A. Terhune, Director of Corrections. "Nowhere is it more evident than in our aggressive program to identify and treat tuberculosis."

During the annual TB screening, all inmates are evaluated for signs and symptoms of the disease. Any inmate exhibiting symptoms is placed in respiratory isolation for further evaluation. Typically a chest x-ray and/or sputum sample is taken to determine if those newly testing positive are infectious. Even if active infection is not present, they may receive medications to prevent development of the disease.

Test results are then entered into the Department’s Inmate TB Alert System, an automated system that tracks the TB status of every inmate. This system keeps up-to-date records of every inmate in the Department of Corrections. Re-tests are required if an inmate transfers between institutions, goes out to court, comes in contact with known TB, is paroled, or if medically indicated.

"This extensive testing and tracking system allows us to quickly identify, treat, and contain the spread of TB infection in California state prisons," said Director Terhune.

CALIFORNIA INMATES DO HARD TIME

Hard labor returned to California prisons this month when the Department of Corrections launched a pilot project to see if physically demanding manual labor will discourage parolees from committing crimes.

The goal is to enhance public safety by slamming shut the revolving prison door.

"Repeat offenders are hereby put on notice," said California Department of Corrections Director C.A. Terhune. "If you return to prison, you’ll face some very strenuous consequences for your criminal lifestyle."

The new program, known as Structured Punishment Work Detail (SPWD), targets parole violators who are returned to custody for two or more separate violations. If they are sent to one of three institutions participating in the pilot project, they must be placed in the SPWD program.

State prisons at Folsom (Sacramento County), Calipatria (Imperial County), and Pleasant Valley (Fresno County) were selected for the pilot projects. Inmates assigned to the programs will participate in intense manual labor. Only hand tools will be allowed.

Minimum custody Folsom inmates, for example, will create a bike trail around the perimeter of the prison and connect it to the Natomas bike trail. In preparation, they are hard at work replacing the fence along the road leading to the prison.

Inside work crews will clean up the prison’s old sewer site, breaking up the granite and concrete, leveling the area by hand, and moving out the concrete footing slabs. The cleared area will be used for a vocational landscaping program.

Crews at the other two prisons will be assigned to similar manual labor projects including dust control, irrigation, fencing, rock removal, and brick-making.

"Whenever possible, the inmates’ labor will benefit the community," said Terhune.

SPWD inmates earn no pay and their privileges are limited. For example, they get less yard time, can spend less in the canteen, get no family visits or packages from home, and can use the telephone only for emergencies. If they parole and return again, they automatically are reassigned to the SPWD program.

Restrictions are even greater for inmates who refuse to work. They get no personal visits and only 10 hours of yard time per week.

Corrections staff will be tracking all inmates who participate in the SPWD program to evaluate whether it is effectively reducing recidivism.