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The Department of State, which facilitates the rehabilitation and reintegration of incarcerated individuals into the community, currently has the most budget amendment proposals (BCPs) of any state entity registered with the California Department of Finance (DOF) – and several technology centers.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) now has a total of 45 BCPs on file with the DOF. PCAs generally reflect funding requirements or reductions for new programs or for changes to existing programs or activities authorized by the Legislative Assembly. Of CDCR’s PCAs, four include requests for funding to support IT platforms, projects, service changes or cybersecurity needs:
- CDCR is seeking $19.5 million in general funds and 10 positions in fiscal year 2022-23, and $1.4 million in fiscal year 2023-24 and ongoing to “develop a platform form of eDiscovery” and increase staffing for the “Centralized Video Storage and Editorial Unit. Specifically, this includes “one-time funding” to procure and implement a platform to aggregate and reduce redundancy of electronically stored information, and improve rapid response to discovery requests, in partnership with the California Department of Technology. (CDT), plus time to “understand the exact nature of the ongoing funding associated with the solution.” The 10 permanent positions will support CDCR’s “editorial and platform support functions”. Adding a new “centralized storage and case management platform,” CDCR said in BCP, “will improve the integrity” of eDiscovery as a whole.
- The department is seeking 22 positions and $3.1 million from the General Fund in fiscal year 2022-23 and ongoing for “additional mental health reporting duties”; and a new data validation initiative following a class action lawsuit filed in 1990, in response to an increase in reporting demands from stakeholders. CDCR started the data validation project in October 2020, with the aim of validating the quality improvement data. The events surrounding the court case have permanently changed how CDCR is to “collect, process and measure data”; new processes created make it essential for the ministry to “refine some indicators, develop new indicators, and validate and maintain all mental health indicators and reports on an ongoing basis to ensure that all the data is as accurate as possible”. There is a growing need for resources in the “research dataset”, according to the BCP – in part due to the “additional requirements of court-ordered data analysis, which have created a burden increased and continuous work”.
- CDCR requests $11.5 million from the General Fund in fiscal year 2022-23, $16.1 million in fiscal year 2023-24, and $17.5 million in fiscal year 2024-2025 and ongoing “to cover the increased cost of transitioning to a statewide Microsoft End-Use License Agreement” (MELA). This request is the result of the “ statewide standardization for a shared messaging solution,” according to the BCP, a concept first mandated by the legislature in 2010, leading departments to move to shared messaging supported by The new MELA means costs for CDCR and California Correctional Health Services will increase due to “negotiated annual per-user licensing costs.” The department needs a continued increase in funding, it said. he stated, “to cover additional costs associated with license fees under the new statewide MELA contract.” Microsoft software and applications are “completely integrated with user productivity at all levels of the service,” with networks and servers provided by or interfaced with Microsoft operating systems, end-user devices using Microsoft Windows – and prisoners using Microsoft solutions to “interact”. family, attend parole board hearings and participate in a learning environment.
- The department is requesting nine positions and $4.4 million from the general fund in fiscal year 2022-23 and $5.2 million from the general fund in fiscal year 2023-24 and ongoing “to combat information security and cybersecurity vulnerability”. It would spend $1.8 million in fiscal year 2022-23 and $2.6 million ongoing to “support endpoint protection software for the 37,000 thin-client laptops” to be deployed “at ‘system-wide’ for incarcerated people to use with educational programs consistent with an earlier technology-centric BCP for inmates participating in academic programs. The CDCR, which manages thousands of sensitive and confidential data, is “susceptible to breaches that could result in additional costs in the form of lost data, productivity and reputation” according to the BCP. This request would align software with CDT’s Cal-Secure 2021 Information Security Maturity Roadmap, with the requested positions focusing on various aspects of cybersecurity needs.