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Correctional Data Analysis Systems

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1980
The purpose of the Correctional Data Analysis Systems (CDAS) project was to identify current and future demand information requests and to identify analytic technologies which would assist correctional agencies in satisfying these requests.

The CDAS Project sought to identify the frequency, source, and content of these requests; determine the requests' impact on correctional resources; examine the procedures used by various correctional agencies in processing the requests; and identify those procedures which could be easily transferred to other correctional agencies. An extensive analysis of case law was conducted in which hundreds of cases were categorized on the basis of common jurisprudential elements. Twenty areas of correctional case law were described, and abstracts of the courts' rulings were prepared. Analysis of these case law summaries led to the development of trend statements suggesting the likely direction of future court decisions. An information requirements analysis was then conducted to determine the specific data elements that should be included in any correctional information system to assist the agency in defending itself in civil litigation or to show compliance with existing court orders. In addition, the project staff telephoned every State correctional system in the country plus the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Washington, D.C., Department of Corrections to determine how they receive, process, and respond to requests. From these telephone interviews, 17 agencies with successful elements of demand information processing were selected for site visits. These visits suggested many ways that correctional institutions might improve their demand information processing and also indicated the types of technologies currently used by some agencies that could be transferred to others. As an aid to correctional agencies that anticipate the transfer of a process or product from another agency, a critique of transfer technology was included which identified the key issues to be considered. Checklists of critical issues and questions were developed for such key elements in the transfer decision as hardware, software, documentation, performance, and user concerns. In addition, the CDAS report includes an extensive analysis of these packages using criteria relevant to the correctional environment. Chapter references, figures, tables, and a 14-item bibliography are supplied. Appendixes contain topics covered in the onsite visits, a case law compendium, and frequency distribution of institutional characteristics. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1980