Maricopa County To Update 'Dated' Jail Software

Published: Friday, March 24, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Friday, March 24, 2017 - 5:10am
(Photo by Jimmy Jenkins - KJZZ)
A cell in the Lower Buckeye Jail.


On any given day there are about 7,800 inmates in Maricopa County jails. 

A data system keeps track of each inmate’s booking, transportation, court documents and canteen money.

The system, called a jail-management system, was built in-house in 1995.

“The technology kind of as a result is really dated,” said Chief Shelly Bun, who oversees technology at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. 

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved an $11.1 million contract to install and run a new system for the next 10 years.

Offender360 is a cloud-based software system used by institutions including the Cook County Jail and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. 

The current system’s green-screen interface isn’t user friendly, and the database isn’t relational, which makes it difficult to make connections between different sets of information. 

“Each of those individual data types is a separate table, so it’s really hard to get a complete picture say of an inmate from their entire booking record off of the existing system,” Bunn said. 

Bunn said the new system will be more user friendly and allow the office to better analyze inmate data.

The contract estimates it will take about two years to get the new system up and running in Maricopa County.  All data must be transferred, and hundreds of correctional employees will need training to use the software.

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