SA inks new deal to overhaul 30-year-old offender management system

Fujitsu SA Offender Platform

South Australia’s Department for Correctional Services (DCS) has enlisted Fujitsu Australia in a multi-year deal to overhaul its more than three-decade-old offender information management system.

Dubbed iSAFE, the new platform will house sensitive data on registered offenders across the state.

Law enforcement agencies from SA and across Australia will be able to access the system for relevant operations, “to prevent further crimes and reduce reoffending”, the SA Government noted in its project brief.

The SA Government first proposed the project back in 2019, at the time committing $15 million to overhauling its legacy offender information management system.

Fujitsu will work alongside Syscon Justice Systems, a Software-as-a-Service provider. The developer praised its partner Syscon for its “strong track record in servicing state corrections agencies in Australia and abroad”.

The iSAFE system is expected to be fully operational by 2023.

Vincent Tarzia, SA’s Minister for the Department for Correctional Services noted that Fujitsu will design, test, implement the iSAFE solution and provide five years of ongoing support and maintenance. The contract also includes an option to extend the program.

iSAFE will effectively overhaul the DCS’s more than 30-year-old Justice Information System (JIS), which the Department said would help it “better meet the growing complexity of its population”.

“A new and contemporary ICT solution will support the highest level of safety and security to community, victims, staff and offenders by improving information and intelligence, decision making, ensuring collaboration across justice agencies and reducing operational and system risk,” the DCS wrote in its project brief.

This also includes a general overhaul of the Department’s case management practices “to support a more integrated, holistic and personalised approach to end-to-end case management that manages risk, promotes rehabilitation and reduces reoffending”.

The Government noted that, aside from case management, the new iSAFE system will serve to remove paper-based processes, as well as offer enhanced cybersecurity and real-time access to case data.

Annette McKee, executive director, iSAFE and end-to-end case management at the DCS, said the new system will “[offer] an exciting opportunity for more streamlined and digitised business operations that will support DCS decision making and more end-to-end case management across corrections from entry to exit”.

At the time of the initial announcement of the overhaul back in 2019, then Minister for Correction Services, Corey Wingard, noted that the new system would offer “critical intel for [police] operations” across the country, and “could play a large role in preventing further crimes and potential territory attacks”.

The overhaul program was triggered after an inquiry into the 2014 Lindt Café siege in Sydney, which advised law enforcement agencies to create a new system that would “enable the speedy transfer of data from one agency to other relevant agencies that might assist in the response to an act of terrorism”.