During an afternoon press conference today, Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens unveiled a new jail management software system. During a demonstration by Jail Supervisor Sissy Wilson, it was quite apparent the new system is user-friendly.
Stephens said the software is proudly named “SIMS.”
The acronym stands for “Simple Input Management System” in honor of the late Chief Deputy Jeff Sims. The sheriff said Sims was always looking for efficient ways to improve the Independence County Sheriff’s Office and his career.
On March 17, 2018, Sims passed away with 20-plus years of dedicated service to the sheriff’s department.
The software features a memorial section dedicated to fallen law enforcement officers.
The first page (pictured below) features two recently fallen officers, Sims (left) and Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford of Newport.
Stephens said county jails across the state have an enormous responsibility in meeting state guidelines, budgets, and personnel discrepancies in an effective and efficient manner as well as processing, transporting and housing inmates.
With Chief Deputy Sim’s spirit in mind, and no single jail management system that did exactly what the jail management needed it to do, Stephens and Wilson reached out locally to Keystone Solutions. Together they have built an innovative jail management system.
The base cost, compared to the old system they were using, is less than a third, and there is no service charge after that. So the county only paid $6,000 for the software base. You can compare that to the $20,000 for the “old” system, plus that software’s $3,200 a year service charge.
The CEO of Keystone Solutions, Mark Nelson, said his company donated $10,000 for the startup. He said it was an honor to give back to the community and help the department save money in the operation of the jail. Keystone Solutions has done a lot of work for the Association of Arkansas Counties and won the Governor’s Award for Innovation for “My Justice Bridge” software.
And there is good news for other sheriff departments in the state. In dedication of fallen officers Weatherford and Sims, the joint venture between the Independence County Sheriff’s Department and Keystone Solutions will be allowing any county in the state of Arkansas to have free access to the base version, and provide the ability to securely share information across county lines throughout the entire state.
With as many inmates as the Independence County Jail staff deals with on a daily basis (109 inmates today), the new SIMS software provides access in one place for an inmate’s general information, aliases, alerts, address, contacts, photos/files, needed medications, and more. And to update, just click on the icon and the task is done.
Another plus is the software’s ability to provide information and video for a “big screen” monitor. It gives jail management the ability to view any part of the jail complex with real-time cameras.
It should be noted that during his campaign for sheriff, Stephens promised there would be progress made at the jail so the daily operation would be improved. The new SIMS software is another step of a promise kept.
Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens
Independence County Jail Supervisor Sissy Wilson
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