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Recommendations for a National Mass Patient and Evacuee Movement, Regulating, and Tracking System

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Corrections: Prisons & Jails

Baseline Corrections Resource Inventories

Each correctional jurisdiction (county, State, Federal Bureau of Prisons) knows how many cells/bunks are in its facilities.  Privatized prison systems have this information as well.  New jails and prisons come "on line" throughout the year and occasionally a facility may be decommissioned.  All of this information is maintained at the jurisdictional level.  That is, there is no centralized database, within a State or at the Federal level, indicating the location of every jail and prison, and it's maximum capacity.

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Real-time Corrections Availability Systems

Every prison and jail knows exactly how many inmates are incarcerated in their facility and how many empty cells/bunks are available.  This information may be available electronically but this cannot be assumed; small jails probably count and report open spaces manually.  The information about available cells/bunks are aggregated up to the responsible correctional jurisdiction.  For example, county jails report open spaces to the county, but in most cases not to State or Federal entities. 

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has an administrative database that records the location of each inmate, how many are in each facility, and how many open cells/bunks are in each facility and within the entire system.  These data are available electronically and very close to real-time.

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Other Mixed Asset Systems

Hospital diversion systems can also be embedded in more complex resource tracking and communications systems.

Citywide  Asset and Logistics Management System (CALMS).  Another example of a local resource inventory system is New York City's CALMS, which was "designed to capture information on resources commonly used in disaster response and recovery. It includes modules for identifying facilities, fleet, heavy equipment, and emergency supplies from City agencies to fulfill critical needs during emergency and routine operations. CALMS also captures information about City personnel that enables emergency managers to quickly identify workers with special skill sets when additional assistance is requested."82 

Area Resource File.  HRSA's Area Resource File, which contains over 6,000 health-related variables for each county in the U.S., is updated annually.83  

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Local Crisis Management Resource Availability Systems

A final type of system includes crisis management information systems (CIMS).  Like the activated resource availability systems discussed above, CIMS are also activated systems.  CIMS are designed for both medical and non-medical emergencies.

According to a 2002 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) evaluation of these systems, "CIMS, the software found in emergency management operation centers, supports the management of crisis information and the corresponding response by public safety agencies."84   CIMS combine resource availability tracking and assignment of resources into a single package, and add features for real-time communications and management.  The principles of the incident command system are typically embedded in these systems.  Incidents may or may not involve emergency medical systems and personnel.  As such, the types of resources CIMS are desired to handle are much broader that the systems described earlier in this section. 

There are a number of commercial CIMS packages available, some of which can be tailored to meet specific needs. 


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