Maine Department of Corrections to Implement a New Offender Phone System
By Dave Packard, OIT Corrections
The Maine Department of Corrections CORIS system (Corrections Information System) has been in production since November 2003, and helps the Department manage four key areas of operations. The first is offender profile - personal information, photos, alerts, and sentences. The second area is prison management - offender security classification, housing, movements, jobs, schedules, and financial management. Thirdly, CORIS handles community-based corrections - investigations, risk assessment, treatment plans, and caseload management. Finally, the solution supports all central administrative functions - offender tracking, security and management reporting.
To address concerns surrounding phone security and the high cost of calls, offender call control will soon be integrated into CORIS. During the first quarter of 2007, a CORIS Phone System module will be implemented for all eight of the Department’s facilities state-wide. The phone system is intended to provide a more efficient, secure and cost-effective telephone service. Currently, all calls initiated by offenders to their families and friends must be completed via expensive collect calling. The CORIS module will enable secure calls at reduced prices by taking advantage of the following: Prepaid minutes (as opposed to collect calls), internal Voice over IP (VoIP), Voice Verification, Voice Recording and call control integration with CORIS and the offender’s CORIS Financials phone account.
The following is an abbreviated description of the call control process:
When the handset of a specialized facility phone is lifted, the offender will be prompted to enter their PIN number. CORIS then confirms the PIN legitimacy and whether it belongs to an offender residing in the pod in which the phone is physically located. If both are confirmed the offender is prompted to verbalize their full name and date of birth. CORIS uses voice verification technology to verify that the captured voice print belongs to the PIN entered. If verified, the caller is prompted to dial the number he or she wishes to call. Further, if the phone number dialed is on the offender’s pre-approved list, a message will convey the total available minutes remaining on their account for the number dialed.
Upon connection, the called party will hear a message that they have received a call from an offender at a Maine Correctional Facility which is subject to monitoring and/or recording and will be asked if they wish to accept the call. Depending on the phone number dialed, the above message can be heard in either English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tai and Somali. Additionally, if proper authorization has been granted due to suspicion of wrong doing, the system can be set to monitor and/or record specific conversations.
When the call is terminated, CORIS calculates the call time in rounded-up minutes multiplied by the price per minute (the price per minute will be the same for any number called in the continental United States), and immediately subtracts the calculated amount from the offender’s phone account.
All equipment and software is in place and being tested. All eight facilities have one or more dedicated T1 lines to carry VoIP traffic from the facility to either the Central Maine Commerce Center (CMCC) or the AMHI complex where central servers are located to handle all PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) call connections, CORIS integration, Voice Verification and Voice recording. If either one of these central sites goes down, the other site is capable of handling the additional load.