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NCJ Number: 51742 Find in a Library
Title: HOW TO AVOID PITFALLS IN AN OBSCIS (OFFENDER-BASED STATE CORRECTIONS INFORMATION SYSTEM) DEVELOPMENT - LESSONS FROM HISTORY (FROM OBSCIS COMPENDIUM - PROCEEDINGS FROM THE OBSCIS SEMINAR, 1978, BY A H LAMMERS - SEE NCJ-51740)
Author(s): J BEACH
Corporate Author: SEARCH Group Inc.
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: SEARCH Group Inc.
Sacramento, CA 95831
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: STRATEGIES FOR AVOIDING CONFLICTS WITH MANAGEMENT AND USERS, FUNDING PROBLEMS, AND OTHER OBSTACLES TO THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OR UPGRADING OF AUTOMATED DATA SYSTEMS IN STATE CORRECTIONS AGENCIES ARE SUGGESTED.
Abstract: THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTION'S UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO IMPLEMENT A THREE-PART AUTOMATED OFFENDER-BASED STATE CORRECTIONS INFORMATION SYSTEM (OBSCIS) IN THE EARLY 1970'S UNDERSCORED SEVERAL PROBLEMS RELATED TO MANAGEMENT AND USER INVOLVEMENT IN SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT, ESTIMATING COMPUTER COSTS, FEDERAL FUNDING, STAFFING, THE USE OF CONSULTANTS, SYSTEM MODIFICATIONS, THE RELIABILITY AND CREDIBILITY OF THE SYSTEM, AND DECISIONS ABOUT THE SYSTEM'S PRIMARY PURPOSE (MANAGEMENT OR RESEARCH). IN DEVELOPING AN AUTOMATED SYSTEM, DATA-PROCESSING PERSONNEL MUST BE CAREFUL TO INVOLVE TOP-LEVEL AGENCY ADMINISTRATORS IN ESTABLISHING PRIORITIES AND MAKING DECISIONS, TO INVOLVE CLERKS AND ALL OTHER INSTITUTIONAL USERS IN THE DESIGN OF SYSTEM ELEMENTS THAT WILL AFFECT THEIR JOBS, AND TO INVOLVE ADMINISTRATORS OF THE CENTRALIZED COMPUTER FACILITY (IF SUCH A FACILITY IS BEING USED) IN THE INITIAL CONCEPTUAL DESIGN OF THE SYSTEM, SO THAT FIRM COMMITMENTS FOR SERVICES AND COSTS CAN BE OBTAINED. DATA-PROCESSING STAFF SHOULD BECOME FAMILIAR WITH INSTITUTIONAL OPERATIONS AND PROCEDURES IN ORDER TO ANTICIPATE AND APPRECIATE USERS' PROBLEMS. TREATMENT STAFF AND NONINSTITUTIONAL STAFF (PAROLE BOARD, PROBATION OFFICERS, ETC.) SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SYSTEM COMPONENTS RELEVANT TO THEIR DUTIES. MECHANISMS FOR EXCHANGING DATA AND INFORMATION WITH OTHER CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCIES SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED, AND CONTACTS WITH STATE-LEVEL EXECUTIVES AND LEGISLATORS SHOULD BE MAINTAINED IN ORDER TO ASSURE CONTINUED FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT FOR THE SYSTEM. A STEERING COMMITTEE OR TASK FORCE, COMPOSED OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM TOP-LEVEL ADMINISTRATION, INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT, AND STATE-LEVEL FINANCE, PERSONNEL, RESEARCH, AND DATA-PROCESSING DIVISIONS, IS AN EFFECTIVE MEANS OF GUIDING THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN AUTOMATED SYSTEM. TO ESTABLISH A DEPENDABLE SYSTEM, IT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO INVOLVE THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE POLICY AND THOSE WHO USE THE SYSTEM, TO DESIGN A FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM, TO ESTABLISH AND ADHERE TO REALISTIC TARGET AND COMPLETION DATES, TO PRODUCE USABLE REPORTS, AND TO CARRY OUT IMPLEMENTATION ECONOMICALLY. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Automation; Correctional information systems; Information processing; Management Information Systems; Ohio
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