What once took days to access can now be retrieved in seconds, thanks to an award-winning innovative digital record-keeping system implemented by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The system continues to garner recognition across the country.

The Strategic Offender Management System, known as SOMS, has won the “internal” category in the 2014 Digital Government & Education Achievement Awards.

CDCR will be recognized along with governmental agencies from around the nation during an Oct. 23 awards ceremony in San Francisco.

The award is the latest honor for SOMS and its staff.

CDCR recognized Russ Nichols as Administrator of the Year during the 2014 Medal of Valor ceremony on Sept. 18. He received the honor due to his efforts heading the SOMS project.

As reported in August, SOMS was also recently selected as a winner for the Government Computer Network (GCN) magazine award for Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government.

According to Joe Panora, Director of Enterprise Information Systems, “With SOMS, CDCR has the ability to capture and share vital inmate data statewide and in real time. This supports CDCR’s mission of enhanced safety of institution staff, inmates and the public.”

SOMS has recorded several significant achievements recently.

In April 2014, CDCR successfully completed scanning 170,000 paper inmate files, comprising more than 200 million pages, and converting them into electronic files. The scanning was started in February 2013.

All the records are now instantaneously and widely available, throughout the CDCR system. The department projects cost savings and increased efficiency.

Previously, it took as long as two weeks for staff to access the inmates files. Because the information existed only in the paper files, CDCR personnel could only review the files one person at a time. File reviews were complicated by the fact CDCR has more than 34 institutions and offices scattered across California.

The new digital files are viewable in the SOMS Electronic Records Management System.

SOMS also recently successfully implemented the eOMIS modules.

The eOMIS system supports over 53,000 users and is processing an average of 84,800 visitors, 116,500 external movements, 27,500 reception center intakes, 99,400 bed assignments, 1,255 master count transactions and 325,000 scheduling appointments on a monthly basis.

In May 2014, the Enhanced Credit for Second-Striker Sentence Calculation update to SOMS was launched.

This update adjusts the good time credit earning rate for non-violent/non-sex offender second-strikers, according to new legislation. The unplanned effort resulted from a Feb. 10 court order from the Three Judge Panel.

This update relieves Division of Adult Institutions case records from having to manually perform calculations for the second-strikers eligible for the enhanced credit.

The SOMS Classification and Programs tool was launched Aug. 25. This means SOMS is now used in place of much of the manual paperwork and legacy system input performed by counselors, educators and other institutional staff regarding classification of inmates, rehabilitative and educational programs.

The rollout is streamlining processes and integrating classification actions with other business processes and functions already existing in SOMS. Together they drive housing and job placement decisions, and also track inmate job and program participation and attendance, according to officials.

To learn more about the 2014 Digital Government & Education Achievement Awards, go to www.govtech.com/dgeaa2014.

To learn more about SOMS, visit https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/SOMS/index.html