Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, WA) —
Today the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) and Microsoft Corp. announced the successful implementation of the Offender-360 project, a cloud-based criminal justice information system built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The solution directly supports legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn that aims to improve Illinois public safety and criminal justice for the future.
“This cutting-edge technology will give Illinois one of the most advanced criminal justice information systems in the country,” Quinn said. “It will save Illinois’ taxpayers millions of dollars while increasing public safety throughout the state.”
In 2010, the state evaluated its technology landscape for managing its 49,000 inmates and 28,000 parolees with the goal of transforming the Illinois DOC by improving efficiency, reducing costs and ensuring unwavering corrections operations. As a result of the evaluation, Illinois charted a course toward replacing a large 1980s mainframe system and 41 disparate offender management applications that had become outdated and costly to use and maintain.
After evaluating 20 possible solutions — including an option that would have cost taxpayers upward of $100 million — Illinois DOC selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage its statewide criminal justice population as a modern case management solution that will transform DOC business and extend the mission of citizen safety. Illinois DOC is undergoing a phased rollout, anticipating 5,500 users of Offender-360 by the summer of 2013. The solution centralizes all information and intelligence on offenders to help staff make more effective and informed decisions regarding placement, rehabilitation and release.
“The open architecture in Microsoft Dynamics lets us create a solution that enables analysis to more effectively serve our offender population,” said Steven Matthews, chief information officer, Illinois DOC. “Because of budget constraints and a shortfall of infrastructure and personnel resources to support this enterprise-level application, we launched the state’s first cloud initiative. This allows us to cut costs while continuing to achieve the mission with a security-enhanced solution.”
With guidance from Tribridge, 2012 Microsoft Dynamics State and Local Government Partner of the Year, the Illinois DOC was able to configure, develop and deploy the robust and flexible architecture of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online through trained and certified union members, significantly reducing the Offender-360 solution cost and deployment timeframe. The use of union workers helped Illinois avoid hiring contractors, gave union employees advancement opportunities and drove revenue back to the state by using an Illinois-based union workforce.
“Illinois is leading the nation in adopting a statewide, cloud-based solution that will effectively manage the offender population and ultimately better protect its citizens,” said Amir Capriles, general manager, U.S. Public Sector Dynamics at Microsoft. “Illinois is a leader among its peers, demonstrating that criminal justice programs across the country can be transformed by modernizing legacy systems with cloud-based solutions while supporting necessary security, business processes and legislation.”
Faced with fiscal challenges and resource constraints, federal agencies, state governments, localities and education institutions throughout the U.S. are looking for alternatives to high-cost legacy systems. The Illinois DOC cited the Microsoft Dynamics CRM offering as an application platform that can support modernization initiatives and still achieve impactful, low-cost results.
Adopting a next-generation enterprise-ready application platform is becoming increasingly common among criminal justice agencies seeking to transform and modernize their operations. The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania is following the example of Illinois DOC with a similar modernization approach on behalf of that state’s 67 counties, while INTERPOL Washington is more effectively investigating fugitives, financial fraud, drug violations, terrorism and violent crimes.
Cover photo from Flickr / Creative Commons here.