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Select Application Controls Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons's Sentry Database System
Report No. 03-25
Office of the Inspector General
The Inmate Population Monitoring module - tracks inmate movement in every BOP facility, or while an inmate is in transit, regardless of location or time of day. It also provides immediate access to the current population of any institution, region, or community facility. The module encompasses admission processing; admission or release status; custody, quarters, unit, caseworker, and work assignments; inmate count monitoring; special inmate monitoring; education, court, and hospital callouts; inmate facility designations; release and transfer processing; program treatment monitoring; and social and education data reporting. A number of preformatted reports are available to assist institutions in managing day-to-day operations.
Sentence Monitoring module - calculates and tracks all aspects of an inmate's sentence. It ensures that inmates' release dates are accurate and that sentence calculations comply with statutory requirements and the BOP regulations. As federal statutes regarding inmates' sentences have become increasingly complex, the module must now track inmates' education and disciplinary records, as well as participation in drug or boot camp programs, and include factors based on these records into the sentence. As lawsuits by inmates routinely challenge sentence calculations, the consistency and accuracy offered by the Sentence Monitoring module enables the BOP to successfully defend itself.
Designations module - is the means by which all inmates are assigned to specific facilities. Using criteria identified in the BOP's inmate classification system - severity of offense, history of violence, type of detainer, etc. - and public safety factors where appropriate, the module calculates a total security score and inmate security level, factors in specific inmate requirements (e.g., drug abuse program, medical condition, judicial recommendation), and displays a list of appropriate facilities for the Inmate Designator to choose from, in order of distance from the inmate' s residence. If any of these facilities houses other inmates that the inmate needs to be separated from, SENTRY displays a warning. It records the Designator's choice of facility, creates a log entry to advise the facility that the inmate was designated there, and updates the running total of inmates on their way to that facility. This module also helps the BOP's Office of Capacity Planning determine security level requirements for future institutions.
Central Inmate Monitoring module (CIM) - identifies inmates who the court has determined need special evaluation (e.g. review of mental status). The need to separate inmates who have threatened each other was the initial reason for developing this module. It tracks inmates' "separatees" and allows the BOP staff to designate them to institutions where they will be safe. If an inmate is admitted to a facility where separation from others is warranted, the institution is notified and may take appropriate action. According to the BOP, it has not had an injured inmate as a result of the BOP's failure to separate as considered necessary.
In addition, the system records inmates' participation in disruptive groups and street gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood (AB),20 the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF),21 and the Latin Kings.22 Managing the distribution of these gangs throughout the BOP's facilities lessens the likelihood of gang-on-gang violence.
The final function of CIM is the protection of Government witnesses. These inmates' identities and locations are shrouded from all SENTRY resources other than those in protective custody units and a limited number of management users in Regional and Central offices. If an unauthorized user attempts to retrieve information about these inmates, no indication is given that they even exist.
Administrative Remedy System module - reports and tracks the responses of the BOP's inmates' complaints and the procedure for doing so. This module replaced the labor-intensive process of disseminating a variety of documents to the inmates. Each Administrative Remedy is logged electronically. An automated tracking capability helps track cases in process and monitor critical due dates.
Inmate Discipline module - tracks every report of a breach of institution rule filed against an inmate from beginning of the process to the end to ensure compliance with policy. For example, the module ensures the appropriate regulations are imposed according to the seriousness of the act committed. This module is integrated into the inmate population monitoring module's generalized retrieval program to allow the addition of discipline information when searching for groups of inmates. It also interacts with modules used by the Office of Research to provide statistics on inmate assaults against staff members and other inmates.
Inmate Financial Responsibility Program module (IFRP) - records, manages, and monitors court-ordered financial obligations imposed on inmates. IFRP payments are deducted from institution earnings and applied to an inmate's financial obligations. These funds are automatically transmitted to the appropriate organization for disbursement to the Crime Victims Fund and other recipients.
State Billing module - tracks and reports amounts owed to different states for an inmate serving a state sentence in a BOP facility. Per diem rates are entered into SENTRY in accordance to the length of time served in a BOP facility. SENTRY accounts for the various rate computations and reports, to each jurisdiction, the inmate's name, length of time spent, per diem rate, and total dollar amount involved. Summary and management reports are distributed indicating the time an inmate spends in any BOP facility in any given year.
Property Management System module - keeps track of the BOP's accountable property and automatically computes the depreciation of capitalized property.