Lubbock County and City of Paris Earn Annual Statewide Technology Awards
The Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers, TAGITM, is an information system's professional organization that provides a forum for generating ideas, sharing problems, and developing solutions. The association's main objective is to enable cities, counties, schools and appraisal districts within Texas to realize the full potential of automation benefits. The association currently has over 200 cities, counties, appraisal districts and school districts as part of their membership program.
During the annual conference in May 2011, the association selected Lubbock County to receive the "TAGITM Excellence Award” for their project: Video Visitation. The City of Paris was selected to receive the "TAGITM Website Award” for the city website, http://www.paristexas.gov/.
TAGITM Excellence Award
In July 2010 Lubbock County completed a new 400,000 square foot detention center located approximately 6 miles from the downtown Lubbock County Courthouse and adjacent former Jail site. A key functional concept for this new detention facility was the use of video visitation and magistration to minimize or eliminate inmate movements. Standard face-to-face visitation cost in the jail design was projected to be over $5.5 M and have heavy ongoing operational costs. Video visitation costs were estimated at less than half of that with less operational costs and greater flexibility. When Lubbock County issued an RFP, the responses were for older analog systems with a tremendous initial cost. Lubbock County chose to perform the Video Visitation engineering and implementation in-house.
The County Jail Transition team along with Ki Corp, who manages the Lubbock County IT, assumed project management for the Video Visitation system. The in-house team consisted of the Jail transition team, Lubbock County IT, county maintenance department, and Ki Corp. The visitation booths were contracted for and built locally, the wiring and installation was done by the Maintenance staff, the systems analysis and programming was done by Ki Corp, the hardware and networking was done by the county IT staff.
There are currently 100 public visitation booths, 140 booths in the cell pods, 6 secure attorney booths at the jail, 10 secure attorney booths at the Courthouse, and a portable booth. There have been over 100,000 video visits made from August 2010 through April 2011. The total project cost came in approximately $1M under originally budgeted costs for the least expensive proposed analog system.