The primary goals and objectives of prison systems are to maintain the care, custody, and control of inmates in order to prevent escapes, in addition to ensuring both the safety of both prison staff and inmates. The primary goal of prison management is to incapacitate inmates while providing rehabilitation and programs; however the goal of maintaining control within the prison system takes precedence over rehabilitation and treatment (Craig 2004, 92S). Prison management not only has the responsibility of monitoring inmate behavior, but must also monitor employee behavior and abuses. Prison staff is responsible for the care, custody, and control of inmates, and can only carry out the mission, goals, and objectives of the prison facility through effective and efficient management and leadership. Every prison system is structured around a model which distinguishes security level. Most prison systems are identified as super-max prisons, maximum-security prisons, close security prisons, medium security prisons, minimum security prisons, and specialized prisons. Prior to placement, prison personnel initiate a classification review of the inmate. The classification review evaluates the needs and risk of the offender to determine the best placement within the prison system. The evaluation process assesses the prisoner’s level of danger, length of sentence, gang affiliation, physical and/or mental health needs, and available treatment programs (Lab et al. 2004, 121). In recent times, computers are being applied to prison management and this has given rise to automated prison management systems. An automated system for prison management is a computerized software system that aids the capturing and management of prisoners information such that it can be easily updated and retrieved when needed.
When considering prison automation, it is important to understand that prison is the “hub” of the local criminal justice system. As such, the prisons’ information needs (both inmate-specific and facility operations), and the needs of the local criminal justice system are dependent upon the adequacy of the automated jail management system. In order to address many of the problems facing jail management and local criminal justice systems and to more effectively and efficiently manage and plan local corrections, you must first understand and quantify the problem(s) i.e. jail crowding, trends in population characteristics, lack of adequate staffing, increased budget, etc.
There are several commercial software solutions which do a decent job of providing for the line-level user’s daily processing needs. However, few of these software solutions have been designed to adequately provide for the manager, administrator, or planner’s needs. In addition, with the automation technologies available today, it is imperative that the automated prison management system have the capacity to easily interface (communicate/share information) with other criminal justice management systems. Generally in the past, any interfacing of local criminal justice management systems require sole-source contracting with a single provider offering an integrated criminal justice management solution, i.e. prisons, courts, probation, prosecutor, records management, etc. This requires comprehensive, reliable and accessible data.
1.1 Theoretical background
Prison is an institution designed to securely house people who have been convicted of crimes. These individuals, known as prisoners or inmates, are kept in continuous custody on a long-term basis. Individuals who commit the most serious crimes are sent to prison for one or more years; the more serious the offense, the longer the prison term imposed. For certain crimes, such as murder, offenders may be sentenced to prison for the remainder of their lifetime. When individuals are accused of violating criminal law, they are tried in a court and either convicted (found guilty) or acquitted (found not guilty). A person who is convicted is then sentenced—that is, assigned a specific punishment. The sentence may involve fines, probation (supervised release), or incarceration (confinement). Judges may sentence first-time offenders to probation instead of incarceration. Offenders convicted of more serious crimes and those who have prior criminal records may be sentenced to incarceration in either a jail or a prison, depending on the nature of the crime.
With the rise in the application of information and communication technology, there are commercial and privatized software solutions that can be adopted to manage prison information so that it is secured, easily stored and retrieved. A prison management system guarantees efficient management of prison data/information as against the paper based or flat file organization commonly in use. This has given rise to the concept of prison management systems.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Problems facing local criminal justice systems today include: Criminal Justice System Overload, Overcrowded Jails, Increased Competition for Limited State and Local Funds, Inefficient Operations, Lack of Inter-Agency Coordination – Fragmentation, Inadequate or Non-Existent automated management Systems, Lack of “Informed” Data Based Decision Making, Poor Planning – Tendency to go for “Quick Fix”, Increased Liability, Much of this information can, and should be, available through a well-designed, well developed automated prison management system and the data it collects and manipulates. However, prisons have not adopted computerized prison management system to help manage the information flow that drives the administration of the prison daily. It is in view of these problems that this study is conducted.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The following are the objectives of the study:
1.4 Scope of the study
This study covers the design and implementation of automated system for prison management.
1.5 Significance of the study
The significance of the study is that it will provide a possible solution to the problem of managing prisoner information when needed without waste of time. It will also foster the effective administrative management of prisons. The study will also serve as a useful reference material for other researchers carrying out a related study.
1.6 Organization of the Research
This research work is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.
Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.
Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation. The choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.
Chapter five focuses on the summary, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Prison: A secure place where somebody is confined as punishment for a crime or while waiting to stand trial
Justice: the legal system, or the act of applying or upholding the law
Crime; illegal act: an action prohibited by law or a failure to act as required by law
Criminal: somebody who has committed a crime
Prosecute: take legal action against somebody: to have somebody tried in a court of law for a civil or criminal offense
Management: the organizing and controlling of the affairs of a business or a sector of a business
System: an assembly of computer hardware, software, and peripherals functioning together.DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AUTOMATED SYSTEM FOR PRISON MANAGEMENT