The Idaho Department of Correction budget is divided into seven divisions: Management Services; State Prisons; County & Out of State Placement; Correctional Alternative Placement; Community Corrections; Community-Based Substance Abuse Treatment; and Medical Services. There’s also the Commission for Pardons & Parole, which will have its budget hearing this morning at the conclusion of IDOC’s. This morning’s JFAC hearing is starting off with the Management Services division, which in the governor’s proposed budget shows a large increase, 35.1% in state general funds, largely due to the inclusion of phase 3 of the new Offender Management System, at $4.5 million. Corrections Director Josh Tewalt said nearly all of that is one-time spending; once the system is in place, it’s expected to cost $400,000 a year for licensing and maintenance.

The old offender management system was made up of two different legacy systems that IDOC relied on for tracking and recording offender data regarding all aspects of incarceration and community supervision, from admission to release. That includes everything from case management and risk classification to commissary; sentence tracking; incident reporting; and victim notification. The antiquated management systems have been posing major problems for the department, according to state budget documents.

“I think we’re excited about the progress we’ve been able to experience,” Tewalt told lawmakers. “We look forward to getting this program operational and implemented on schedule.”

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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