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Accountability for corrections

In part because of its accountability to taxpayers, the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) has implemented new software to streamline its information management process and provide a foundation for sharing knowledge throughout the corrections system. The data management solution helps ensure that the department--always under the watchful eye of voters, legislators and other public officials--can show where tax dollars are being spent.

The data warehousing software from SAS enables the department to improve system efficiency through better collection and sharing of inmate data, as well as analysis of the effectiveness of various prison programs, according to a recent press release.

"SAS provides us with the scalability and flexibility we need to not only address the success criteria defined by our Legislature, but also to implement programs that we can prove benefit community safety by changing offender behavior," says Laura Buring, database analyst with the ODOC. "Prison programs are expensive, which is why we need the software to help determine which ones are working and which ones are not. The new system helps us evaluate how well we are achieving our goal of breaking the cycle of criminality."

Buring continues, "After evaluating a number of other options, we selected SAS because it allows us to do everything we need to do--from gathering and housing data to analyzing it for measurable results. In a short amount of time, we have seen productivity gains above 25% in our Research and Evaluation unit, as well as increased accuracy in our reporting capabilities ...

"The data warehousing software has enabled us to access data from anywhere and bring it all together in one cohesive system. Doing so gives us the ability to evaluate offender information and also look internally at administrative issues and plan accordingly. Now we are able to achieve a more well-rounded view of the corrections system than ever before."

Jeff Babcock, SAS VP of U.S. Public Sector sales, says, "The Department of Corrections' success illustrates the ability to implement a solution in a fraction of the time normally required. This time savings is extremely important because it allows the government to focus on improving mission performance and delivering efficient and effective services."

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