Technology and Teamwork Improve Custody Transport RatePosted on Dec 2, 2014 in News Releases
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
DAVID Y. IGE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 2, 2014
Technology Brings Parties Together to Improve Custody Transportation Rate
On-Time Court Appearances Increase
HONOLULU – A collaborative project reaching across executive and judicial branches of state government is succeeding in improving timely transportation to and from First Circuit Court.
The Custody Transport Process Improvement Project, a public-private partnership involving the Hawaii State Department of Public Safety (including the Sheriff and Corrections Divisions), Hawaii State Judiciary, and the nonprofit Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) examined the challenges with communication and processes that impacted the safe, secure and timely transportation of individuals in custody. The Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) provided support for implementation.
Four key objectives were identified:
- Improve the interface of the transportation schedule.
- Communicate location of the people in custody en route to the court and other appropriate parties.
- Create new ways of communicating custody status in the cellblock.
- Communicate and/or track pick-ups of people in custody from cellblock to OCCC.
“We wanted employees to tell us what they needed in order to streamline the process and make their jobs easier,” said Public Safety Director Ted Sakai. “Representatives from Sheriffs and Corrections staff who work in the transport sections met with program developers over the past year to identify areas that could be improved. Their ideas and suggestions transformed the custody transport process into the efficient web-based system we have today.”
A new web-based application was developed to improve the interface, communicate custody status, and track pick-ups. This application provides customized views for OCCC corrections officers, Sheriff’s in the cellblock, and Judiciary staff. Each view provides the pertinent information for that staff person based on their role and permissions.
The process started in fall 2013 with a series of stakeholder meetings, site visits and interviews to develop an overview of the entire process involved in moving an individual in custody –
from the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC), to the First Circuit Court cellblock, to the person’s court hearing – and then either releasing the person or returning the person back to OCCC. Additionally, some individuals were placed into custody at the cellblock rather than originating from OCCC.
This initial meeting was the first time people from the different departments met to discuss all the steps in the process rather than focusing on their own portion.
“In this case, technology helped to bring the parties together,” said State Chief Information Officer Keone Kali. “The result is a model that we can replicate and expand elsewhere in government. This is critical as we head into the implementation phase of our state’s 12-year technology transformation plan. We are beginning to see more projects like this with direct, tangible benefits to state employees, the general public and our state’s bottom line.”
During these meetings, it was found that the custody transport process involved manually created lists and ledgers that required entry of the same data multiple times by multiple people. Sheriffs, OCCC corrections officers, and Judiciary staff also dealt with processing a large amount of information and paperwork without being provided a view of the entire process and how their work impacted others.
Since implementation of the web application and the addition of new transport vans and radios, the rate of on-time court appearances has improved and calls to PSD about missed court appointments has stopped. Furthermore, the amount of staff time spent answering questions on location of custodies decreased, coordination between PSD’s Sheriff and Corrections Divisions and Hawaii State Judiciary improved, and overall communication allowed further opportunities for continued improvement to be identified. Collaboration and demonstrated progress has also boosted moral, improved attitudes, and encouraged staff to voice opinions and suggestions.
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