Paperwork is one of the most cumbersome parts of managing a jail. Fortunately, there has been a trend over recent years to digitize paperwork and many jails now have Jail Management Systems (JMS) for keeping this digital library organized. But without the right software to support this new medium and processes, many jail systems can quickly become overwhelmed. We took a moment to document the top criteria you need to consider when choosing new or evaluating your existing JMS.
- Easy Inmate Booking. Booking inmates can be time-consuming, affecting throughput and safety. Be sure your JMS is specifically programmed to collect the exact information needed at the right time. This is especially useful when moving inmates through the booking process simultaneously
- Fast and Intuitive Interfaces. Learning new programs can be a significant hurdle for staff. With a simple JMS that puts the user experience before the technicalities, adoption is more successful, frustration is reduced, and time is saved. We’re advocates of these basic usability principles: a simple interface, consistent use of interface elements, purposeful page layout that only shows you what you need at that moment, strategic use of color, typography to indicate information hierarchy, actions or animation that communicates what’s happening.
- Report Generation. Report writing is a time-consuming part of jail management. Some of the things that make it difficult, is compiling information, filling in incomplete information, and generating a report that relays the information you intend to communicate. Look for a JMS that has a built-in report generator and controls on the front end to make sure data needs little, if any manipulation.
- Effective Search Tools. Need to find an inmate’s information? Need a specific form to fill out? Looking for information on a past prisoner? What if you need to quickly find medication information for a recent inmate? Your JMS should organize all this information and make it easily accessible. Even with organized information, a search tool is vital. Be sure your JMS can search by more than just name—you should be able to find info by demographic, dates, offenses, even a unique physical feature like a tattoo.
- Phenomenal Customer Service. No matter what software is used, users have questions and have moments where they need the vendor to help troubleshoot an issue. Choosing a JMSthat comes with excellent customer service adds value to your business, ensures you’re getting maximum value out of your investment and will keep staff happy.
- Credible Reviews. Every company is going to say that they have the best software but testimonials from actual customers speak volumes. Trust the opinions of day-to-day users.If you are looking for a better way to manage your jail, we recommend checking out EFORCE’s jail management solution. Download a free product brochure that outlines its features. We also encourage you to write EFORCE’s customer service department with specific questions.