Image of Page 3 of the March 1982 issue of NYC DOC's Inside Out tabloid-size newsletter.

Page 3 of the March 1982 issue of the NYC Department of Correction Inside Out newsletter [See image of Page 3 at right] featured a story on creation of the DOC inmate information system.

Entitled "Analysis Unit Puts DOC 'On Line,'" the article detailed how terminals were installed in each facility, how selected staffers were trained in their use, and how various categories of information were combined into a computer program for monitoring and managing operations involving the inmate population and the individual inmate.

The staff of Inside Out included Errol D. Toulon, then a C.O. who served as its photographer. In due course, he would rise through the ranks to become Correction Academy Deputy Warden during the 1990s.

In the summer of 2010, Toulon, a Monroe College professor, made available to this website a copy of the March 1982 issue of Inside Out.

From that issue copy, the NYCHS webmaster has created this eight-page web presentation of extracted images and texts. This web page's images and texts were extracted from that newsletter issue's Page 3.

“It was frustration,” said Barbara Dunkel, Assistant Commissioner for Planning Research and Management Analysis, “But this is what I felt when I began working with the department in 1980. We had no way of finding out how long an inmate stayed in the system , we did not know how many people went in and out, the average length of stay or the time between conviction and actual sentencing. When we discussed new borough facilities, we were hindered because these kinds of facts are vital to determining programmatic needs for our future.

DEPUTY WARDEN James Larkin, rear, is cited in recent Departmental ceremony on Rikers Island for efforts in founding Employee Assistance Program. Warden Thomas Murray reads citation.
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Late last year, Deputy Warden James J. Larkin left the Employee Assistance Program, which he'd hel to start 19 months before, to become Deputy Warden for Security at the Brooklyn House of Detention for Men. This is Larkin’s summary of the program’s work during his tenure:

Traditionally, the Correction Department has adopted a reactive stance in the face of personal adjustment problems. In the past, work-related hazards, whether physical or psychological, were addressed only after they had extracted a toll of significantly reduced productivity, emotional difficulty, and/or physical breakdown.

Recognizing this fact, Commissioner Benjamin Ward established the Employee Assistance Program in April of 1980 to address the physical and emotional needs of its members. In short, the Employee Assistance Program came into existence because it met a need. The mandate of the E.A.P., has been to restore problem employees to a position where they are reliable and well motivated.

In April 1980, with the guidance and cooperation of the Executive Staff, a policy statement was developed. Next, we sought an autonomous and neutral setting for the operation. We chose a location which was in close proximity to the Medical Unit. This was done for several reasons: 1) the Medical Unit was and is viewed as a positive and helpful unit by members of the Department and we wanted to be seen in the same light; 2) we could summon people to the Medical Unit for interview, without revealing the nature of the visit, thereby enhancing confidentiality and fostering trust in the potential client; 3) we put ourselves into position to receive direct referrals from the M.M.U.; 4) we received the additional benefit of professional medical expertise, and; 5) by aligning ourselves with the M.M.U., we afforded ourselves an ally in enlisting the assistance of outside resources.

Finding appropriate treatment resources was an immediate concern. Several factors had to be taken into consideration before a decision on use of facilities could be made: 1) the quality and effectiveness of the treatment team and type of setting and whether the environment and program were therapeutic. In short, did they care and did the program reflect their concern and commitment; 2) the proximity of the treatment facility to the Correction Department and, 3) the cost to the employee. Since third party coverage only covers five days hospital stay, alternative approaches had to be developed.

The support of the line organizations was and is considered essential; because of this, many meetings were held with them to explain program policy information and to keep lines of communication open. In addition, we have attempted to garner their aid in providing money for rehabilitation of Officers in financial need. We are also trying to get twenty- eight (28) day Blue cross coverage. We do have union support in this endeavor. ACHIEVEMENTS
We developed treatment and rehabilitation resource, counseling and other appropriate aids for the troubled employee.

We developed and conduct on-site training programs for supervisors.

We developed and maintain a counseling capacity, including assessment, both of which are tailored for Correctional employees.

We developed and maintain a records system and evaluation component; and a tracking system that is responsible both to aid the employee and to protect the department.

We ensure confidentiality of all records and information.

We established and maintain liaison with outside agencies like Police, Fire, Sanitation, Transit and Housing Police.

We motivated a total of 63 employees to seek in-patient treatment by professional motivation techniques.

We developed a self-help group for employees who had been through the program. This group meets weekly NOT on company time.

We provided a guide for Superior Officers. BENEFITS
The E.A.P. offers many distinct benefits:

it provides early identification and treatment

it offers a wider range of options other than traditional intervention techniques

it provides a stimulas br self-referral as well as supervisory referral

it protects the Department’s investment in the individual

it fosters morale

it increases productivity

it reduces on-the-job and off-the-job injuries

Employees who recover through the E.A.P., return to work and become positive role models, sometimes they influence their former drinking buddies to seek help outside the Department. Instances like this multiply, as the program reaches more and more employees. In addition other benefits are developed like improved community relations; better union relations, but the biggest return of all; the one which never appears in any report is that LIVES ARE SAVED.

The Employee Assistance Program has provided an alternative way for management to deal with problem em- ployees and to motivate them to take responsibility for their own behavior. Employees are being helped to become aware of the stresses and strains that correctional work can produce and it provides them with positive tools to combat the problems of working in a jail setting. The E.A.P. helps to correct poor job performance before the problem becomes so bad, it requires disciplinary action. The E.A.P. is both prevention and rehabilitation. The prevention component is focused on making employees more knowledgeable about self defeating behavior. The rehabilitation aspect is designed to reinforce the newly acquired skills and to aid the employees in maintaining them.

The payoffs of the E.A.P., include reduced sick leave, reduction of on-the-job and off-the-job accidents, better performance, boosted morale, and enhanced communication. Problem employees feel more at ease seeking help for their problems.

“And,” she added, “we are over- burdened and overcrowded and there was no way to determine which inmates were state ready or state reimbursable such as a parole violator. It would take days to go through institutional cards and records to gather enough information to generate a single report.”

This is no longer the case. Commissioner Dunkel and her small but mighty staff have put the department “On Line.” Today, each jail has a terminal. In a flash, information is available on inmates, cell locations, next court date, court appearances for the following day as well as the availability of empty cells.

In addition, Dunkel’s unit puts out a Population Management Analysis which plays a key part in determining the impact long-term detainees have on our system and a print-out that enables the Transportation Division to deliver inmates to courts in the five boroughs in a more efficient than expedient way. Day by day, the institutions seem to become more aware that the use of their terminals will be, in the long run, less time consuming in accumulating information and data, and will relieve the officers and officer personnel of the mundane tasks of putting this kind of information in the files manually.

The programs were designed facility by facility by Robert Munz determining the individual needs of each institution. A staff from each jail was trained by Roz Russealem. After three days, staff could be classified as “users.” Information is available to all users as soon as it is entered into the computer. However, to maintain a high level of accuracy, all new information must be put into the system shift by shift. Updating is essential to the system’s success.

With a slight smile of satisfaction, Dunkel talks about other functions the system performs. “I am able to supply the Commissioner with a report called the Top 100 Inmates. These are individuals who have been in the system nine months or longer. The District Attorney for any borough can be contacted and we can find out why the inmate is simply sitting in detention, with little movement on his or her case. Another thing we can do from here is send out messages to each facility through the system’s message screen. Each user is told to use the message function when they begin their shift for information. For instance,” she pointed out, “Last October during a short blackout, we took the system down to prevent problems and through the message screen, the facilities were quickly notified of the emergency in the city.”

The latest addition to the system is a Bail Screen, the brain child of Peter Bosco, a Programmer Analyst. This screen will give out bail information on every inmate in the system.

The UDIS-Unified Defendant Information System is something Commissioner Dunkel looks forward to. This will be a joint project between the Criminal Justice Agency and the Department of Correction. There would be a shared data base and the CJA would track defendants from the time of arrest. This information would be valuable to our Classification System of inmates and there would be a linkage of the two systems.

“I would like to see us make better use of the qualified people we have working throughout the department,” Dunkel said. “Correction Officers should not do menial paperwork. We look forward to training more people and perhaps eventually every single function the department has to perform will be On Line.”

Inmates, who are now “computerized on Department files, will soon have computers of their own—to learn on.

The New York City Correctional Institution for Women is in the process of having two new housing modulars built to house adolescent males who attend school there.

As a portion of the services to be provided to this population, $40,000 was allocated for additional educational activities from February 1 through June 30 School space that is not used in the evenings by John Jay, a total of four classrooms, will be used. The 60 students will have rotating shifts, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“Because of the scarcity of classroom space,” explained Robert Alper, the department’s Educational Coordinator, “There was $20,000 left after the teachers salaries were paid. We purchased 20 Commodore PET desktop computers They will be used to create a computerized classroom setting.”

All of the students will be taught basic computer skills, and because the key boards are the same as a typewriter keyboard, they will serve a dual purpose. Students, therefore, can be taught about word processing.

“The software, which will be 10 programs will be advanced as the students begin to advance,” Alper said, “So eventually we can even create our own programs.”

The program was made possible through Marvin Weinbaum, Director of the Educational Consortium, Deputy Warden Betty Edwards and Mrs Fifi Rogers, Principal of P.S. 233 in CIFW

“You know,” Alper said, “this will open brand new opportunities for our students in both educational and vocational fields. After all, computers are definitely here to stay.”

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This is Page 3 of the New York Correction History Society's web presentation of images and texts extracted from NYC DOC's Inside Out issue of March 1982. Links to all 8 pages of the presentation -- each based on its corresponding page in the printed newsletter -- are listed below:

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