Skip to Content
Case Studies


Under the direction of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS) project consolidated existing databases and records to provide a fully automated system and replace manual paper processes.

The Marquis eOMIS® system…has transformed our offender management practices.

Russ Nichols, Director
Enterprise Information Services, CDCR


Under the direction of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS) project consolidated existing databases and records to provide a fully automated system and replace manual paper processes. The SOMS system replaced a number of aging legacy systems with a single solution supporting more than 50,000 users.

The SOMS project upgraded and standardized the adult inmate and parole data and population management practices enterprise-wide to further enhance staff, offender and public safety. For the first time in CDCR’s history, the agency began operating from a centralized, web-based application that integrated all of its offender operational functions together; movement, housing, R/N assessment, work/programs, discipline, custody, offender time comp, STG, custody, visitation, grievance, PREA, case management, supervision contacts, case notes, incident reporting, etc.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)

The CDCR manages over 115,000 inmates in thirty-five correctional facilities, twelve community correctional facilities, forty camps, and various other facilities. In addition, from nearly 100 locations throughout California, parole agents supervise over 50,000 adult parolees.


The CDCR operates one of the largest corrections system in the U.S. supported by over 50,000 staff. In the early 2000’s, CDCR leadership realized that the agency mission was threatened by many hurdles, including:

Organizational Turbulence

  • Separate Adult and Juvenile systems operating within the same agency
  • Incarcerated & Parole Supervised offenders did not share a common data system
  • Health Care managed under Federal Receivership

Paper Based Processes

  • The Inmate File (C-File) & Parole File (P-File) was the single source of truth
  • Manual movement of paper with inmates
  • Workflows depended on paper & orphan docs floated throughout the system

Technology Challenges

  • The CDCR had Aging, Decentralized, Legacy Systems
  • There were Islands of Technology
  • Significant Maintenance Challenges
  • Responsiveness of IT not able to keep pace

Lack of Visibility for Leadership

  • Metrics and measures not consistent
  • Information not available or delayed

In response to these challenges, the operations leadership envisioned a “Strategy for Business Transformation” enabled by a “Technology Uplift”:

  1. The implementation was to be for an “Enterprise-wide Offender Management Solution”
  2. The solution had to retire and replace all major legacy systems and site-based data stores to truly be transformative
  3. The procurement was to be “Solution Based” and not “Requirements Driven”– RFI, RFP, Concepts, Discussions, Demos, & Award


The primary objective of the SOMS Project is to upgrade and replace the legacy application systems and paper files with one integrated offender management information system.

To accomplish its objectives, the SOMS Project Team was challenged to:

  • extract, clean & convert data from 40+ legacy databases to the new OMS
  • upgrade the agency’s entire network infrastructure
  • deploy a hardware upgrade enterprise-wide to enable the business shift
  • retire over 25 legacy applications without loss of existing functionality
  • deploy a new OMS while maintaining legacy functionality not yet replaced
  • implement a COTS solution balanced with appropriate customization
  • convert thousands of existing offender paper files to digital images
  • support a business transformation while undergoing an OMS conversion



Planning the SOMS project initially began under Secretary James Tilton and the contract was awarded in 2009 under Secretary Matthew Cate. During planning, the SOMS Project leveraged several key concepts that contributed to its success:

  1. The project was to be “Business Driven” with the Undersecretary of Operations as the Executive Sponsor
  2. The contracted “Multi-Company Team” would combine with the “Multi-CDCR Division Team” Under one “SOMS Project Team” banner
  3. The scope of the OMS would encompass (at a minimum) the 16 Core Functions of an OMS as defined by the ASCA & CTA

In April 2009, the CDCR awarded the SOMS contract to HP, who had partnered with Marquis Software to deliver the Marquis electronic Offender Management Information System (eOMIS®), an enterprise wide, offender management solution.

SOMS was implemented as a multi-year project, to be delivered in three major phases, providing Java architecture and a centralized Oracle Data Base to guarantee data integrity and provide users access to reliable information in a highly secure environment. Included in the project:

  • conversion of years of accumulated legacy data
  • upgrading desktops and networks across 33 prisons, 100’s of Parole Offices, and numerous satellite facilities and offices throughout California
  • development of multiple interfaces
  • digitizing hundreds of thousands of paper files (inmate & parolee)
  • standing up the host data center operated by HP
  • implementing domain security
  • deploying an integrated and enhanced BI suite and dashboards
  • implementing a system-wide, phased deployment of eOMIS modules

In March of 2011, CDCR deployed the first modules of the new Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS) application to the 3 adult female institutions in California. On the heels of that successful implementation, in October of 2011, CDCR deployed the new SOMS application to the final 30 adult male institutions across California.

With these releases of the SOMS application, over 33,000 users were trained to utilize SOMS for Intake, Movements and Counts functionality and provisioned with user security. This allowed CDCR to start decommissioning antiquated stand- alone legacy systems. Upon completion of these releases, all 33 institutions and administrative locations were able to share offender data real-time.

Beginning in April 2012, the following is some but not all of the eOMIS® functionality deployed:

  • Holds/Warrants/Detainers
  • Caseload Assignment
  • Visitation
  • Sentence Calculation
  • Offender Grievances and Appeals
  • Inmate Classification & Assessment
  • Inmate Jobs and Programs Tracking
  • Security Threat Group (STG)
  • Inmate Discipline
  • Automated Count System
  • Incident Reporting
  • Scheduling and Appointments
  • Parole Operations

As with any multi-year business transformation project the size, scope and complexity of the SOMS project, it has faced its challenges:

  • recession generated budget reductions
  • new legislation requiring software revisions, delaying new module deployment
  • changes in agency leadership and project directors

However, the project is healthy, fully funded, has proven its value to the agency, and continues to deliver functionality via modules not yet deployed, requested enhancements, new technology and eOMIS® upgrades.

Ultimately – The SOMS Project provided:

  • An integrated Offender Management System with a single lifetime offender ID, centralized database, proven scalability, superior functionality
  • A technology framework that enables stability, enterprise access and robust external data exchanges
  • A migration from paper documents to electronic images and digital workflow
  • Training and Change Management to enable successful, enterprise-wide, business transformation

Allowing the CDCR to Achieve:

  • Increased staff, public & offender safety by critical information being available, accessible, timely and accurate
  • Improved efficiency from paperless processes and expanded accessibility
  • Enhanced effectiveness of programs and assessments through standardized, performance-based measures
  • Refined visibility and more data accessible in dashboards, reports (leadership) and ad hoc reports (operations)
  • Reduced risks through a phased implementation and performance testing