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Running an Intelligent Jail: A Guide to the Development and Use of a Jail Information System

NCJ Number
Tim Brennan, Ph.D.; Dave Wells; John Carr
Date Published
August 2013
124 pages

This guide provides information on the development and use of a jail information system.


This guide, produced by the National Institute of Corrections, provides information on the development and use of a jail information system. The guide is intended for use by jail administrators to consider the design and implementation of a jail management information system (MIS) that can be 1) tailored to the specific needs of their facilities; 2) is cost-effective; and 3) is easy to use. The database created by the MIS can be used as an important resource by jail administrators and should be optimized by officials who must make decisions at all levels of the agency. One of the benefits of a well-developed MIS is the ability to design reports that can present data tailored to each jail manager's information needs, as well as provide important information to politicians and the general public. This guide has eight chapters that cover the following topics: 1) Why Do Jails Need To Become Intelligent?; 2) Measurement of Jail Performance and Key Correctional Policies; 3) Data That Most Jails Are Required to Collect; 4) Data Uses in Policy Analysis and Organizational Management; 5) Required Skills for Jail Information Systems; 6) Planning and Developing Information Systems; 7) Implementing Information Systems; and 8) Requesting Proposals for Information System Development and Selecting Vendors. References and appendixes