integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

Tag: sex offender

Sex Offender Notifications

October 6th, 2015

Easy alertsOver the past few years, we have continued to update Oklahoma’s Sex Offender Registry. We have worked to ensure the system is current and easy to access. We believe it not only keeps the community informed, but also provides people peace of mind.

One of the features we’re particularly proud of is the email alerts. Users can go to Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry, and sign up to be alerted when a sex offender registers their residence address in the radius of your specified address.

For example, you could enter your home address and set the radius for one mile. After entering an email address for the alerts to be sent to, you will receive notification if a sex offender registers an address in that radius. We recommend you register your children’s school too.

The feature also allows you to set multiple physical addresses for one email address. So, you may want alerts for a radius around your home, family member’s home or other location you frequent.

Benefits of the Alert

The alert feature allows you to receive notification in real time. As soon as an offender registers an address and a law enforcement agency adds it to the registry, the system automatically sends out alerts if the address is within the radius of a location you selected.

The ease of use is another benefit of the feature. You simply enter a physical address, a radius of 1, 3 or 5 miles, your email, and first and last name. There are no passwords to set up or remember. You simply need your email address to maintain your monitored locations.

Finally, when you are notified by email of an alert in your selected area, a link is sent with the email. You simply click on the link and are taken to the system. From there, you can search and learn more about the offender.

Our Commitment

At LSG Solutions, we are committed to the continued development and improvement of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry. We believe a registry with current, easy-to-find information is essential in keeping the community informed. We believe this feature will benefit law enforcement agencies and communities alike.

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New features of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry

August 18th, 2015

Sex offenders mapYou may remember that LSG Solutions has been involved in improving the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry. In order to provide more security and timely accurate information to the public, the site now offers improved features.

Changes in sex offender registration laws are reflected in the information on the site. Also, new features allow law enforcement officers to update sex offender’s information in a timely manner.

For law enforcement officers and personnel, new account approval has been streamlined. Instead of having to call and get approval over the phone, law enforcement personnel can now apply for an account on the website.

A self-service feature also allows law enforcement and correctional facilities to change the status of an offender. For example, if an offender has been released from prison, an officer can change his/her status to show they are now active (upon record approval by the Department of Corrections Sex Offender Unit). This feature gives the public much more timely, up-to-date information.

The biggest overhaul to the system has come as a result of a 2013 court case, Starkey V. Oklahoma Department of Corrections. In that decision, the court said a sex offender’s registration period could not be extended retroactively. Sex offender’s registration period should be consistent with any registration that was required at the time of their conviction.

Since the decision, Oklahoma Department of Corrections began the process of auditing all sex offender files and making corrections where needed. This is an ongoing process, as new sex offenders are added to the registry, and offenders without a lifelong registry requirement are removed.

Also, in the legislative session of 2013, Senate Bill 889 was passed. Now, if an offender does not verify their address within 45 days, the offender will be subjected to additional time on the registry. This closes a major loophole of non-compliant sex offenders considering their neglect previously had no impact on their registration end-date.

All of these changes and upgrades mean more accurate and timely information for the public. Added security means users can search the website from any device and know their information is protected. LSG Solutions is proud to partner on this project with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to provide factual and vital information to the public.

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How we help the public sector

July 15th, 2014

2-publicEven though they face many of the same problems as private institutions, government agencies are often ignored by technology companies. Where the needs are different, commercial products often don't fit – leaving the public sector in a tough spot.

Seeing how much the public sector was under-served, we made a commitment to helping local and state governments get the solutions and attention they need. We're happy to fill the gap and help public agencies make full use of technology.

There are a few areas we specifically focus on to set public agencies up for success.

  1. Even though the public sector is our focus, we pay close attention to the commercial sector and our commercial customers to provide state and local governments with commercial best practice benefits.
  2. We recognize our role as citizens and want government to run as efficiently as possible – providing a high taxpayer return on investment and helping agencies deliver effective social benefits.
  3. Public entities have unique needs. They are often faced with pressure to deliver commercial-quality services with less funding, less time to innovate, and the ever-changing demands from new legislation.
  4. The benefits we provide to public agencies shouldn't stop at the agency's doorstep. Our goal is to benefit both the organization and their customers – the citizens of the state and local community.

For example, we've helped Oklahoma agencies make it easier for citizens and businesses to:

  • Identify criminals and sexual predators living in their neighborhoods.
  • Immunize their children.
  • Register their business in Oklahoma.
  • Purchase worker's comp insurance.
  • Apply for oil, gas and water well drilling permits.
  • Apply or renew for Pharmacy licenses and permits.
  • Apply or renew Agriculture-related licenses and permits.

Those are just a few of the projects we've been involved in and we're always excited when opportunities to improve our state and local community come up.

If you work for an agency that's been struggling to deliver technology-based services that meet both your internal needs and the needs of your citizen customers, please give us a call to see if we're the right company to help you.

You've got a tough set of problems facing you and we'd love the opportunity to help.

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Why the Oklahoma Violent Offender Registry Needs Your Help

October 15th, 2013

The public reaction to the updated Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry (OSOR) has been overwhelmingly positive but one question keeps coming up across social media and the web:

“So there’s a registry for sex offenders. Why isn’t there one for murderers?”

Actually, there is. Violent offender registries haven’t received support at the federal level, but the State of Oklahoma operates a violent offender registry that can be used to look up offenders in your community.

As part of our work to update OSOR, we had to separate out violent offender data into its own system. A side benefit of that project is that the violent offender registry now uses much of the same technology and received many of same benefits of the updates to OSOR. It’s faster, more reliable, and more user-friendly.

Unfortunately, the federal funding that paid for the OSOR updates didn’t cover updates to the violent offender registry, so there’s still some room for improvement.

Map searches and location-based notifications aren’t currently available for violent offenders, but they could be easily added if the program receives more funding.

Without the federal mandate that oversees sex offender registries, the violent offender registry will need a champion here in Oklahoma to bring it up to the same level of functionality and refinement.

So if you’re a fan of the work that’s been done on OSOR and think it’s made our state a safer place to live, please contact your state representative and ask them about updating the violent offender registry. If you’re not sure who your representative is, the OK State Legislature site has an easy tool to find out.

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Keeping Up With the Industry: LSG Solutions Visits the Oklahoma CIO Symposium

October 1st, 2013

In August, our team attended the Oklahoma CIO Symposium in Tulsa, OK, a yearly event put together by Information Systems Leadership of Oklahoma (ISLOK) and Tulsa CIO Forum to offer Oklahoma IT leaders a chance to get together and learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.

It was a big honor to be asked to sponsor the CIO Symposium and we were happy to join a small collection of Oklahoma companies who shared the bill with big names in IT such as Oracle, Hitachi, and Adobe.

We were equally delighted to be able to co-present a success story with one of our clients, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The presentation (available here) covered our use of rapid application development and Oracle’s APEX solution to rescue the Department of Corrections’ Sex Offender Registry from costly non-compliance penalties.

It was a rewarding experience and we were happy to share what we learned during the process with the audience.

This year’s Symposium was larger that last year’s, with more attendees present and sessions available. The opening keynote, presented by Robert Tipton, was a great message about managing change, something all IT organizations struggle with.

Other sessions were split between deep-dive technical presentations and higher-level management advice. Overall, it was a good mix and those in attendance seemed engaged and happy to be there.

The vendor tables were active and the tone of both vendors and attendees was more energetic than it’s been in the past, possibly due to an improving economy. It was exciting to meet Oklahoma’s IT leadership as well as our peers on the vendor side.

If you’re a CIO, CTO, IT Manager, or just someone interested in pushing Oklahoma’s enterprise IT forward, we’d strongly recommend attending next year’s CIO Symposium. It’s a great opportunity to learn, network, and share what you know about the IT challenges unique to Oklahoma.

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Improving the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry

August 6th, 2013

Last year, LSG Solutions was contracted by the State of Oklahoma to update the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry (OSOR). In Phase One of the project we rebuilt OSOR using modern technology and gave law enforcement and the public better, more dependable access to this important tool.

The new OSOR has been a great success and now we've been contracted to continue those improvements and make it even better.

Beginning Phase Two

Phase One of the OSOR project was largely focused on technology. The application being used was outdated and difficult to use. Many features were broken and hindered law enforcement agencies' abilities to keep offender registrations up-to-date. In Phase One, LSG rebuilt OSOR from scratch and gave the State of Oklahoma a solid, modern foundation to build on.

In comparison, Phase Two is all about people. Now that OSOR has strong footing, we went to work improving processes and refining the application. Users had adapted their workflow to the quirks and limitations of the old system. Now we had the opportunity to ask them, "How do you want the application to work?"

Creating Priority

One of the first improvements we are working on is giving users a better view of important information. Users are spending a huge amount of time sifting through updates originating from local law enforcement because everything needing approval is being categorized into a few large non-prioritized buckets.

Critical updates about 3rd-tier sex offenders had the same appearance as minor notes and demographic updates. Because every new note in the system looked the same, everything had the same priority.

So we're using the context of the information that's already in the OSOR to highlight important updates and notes so Department of Corrections OSOR staff can be more efficient and deal with higher priority work sooner.

Refining the System

We're working closely with law enforcement officials and users at the State to tweak and refine all areas of the workflow to speed up offender processing and help officers spend more time on enforcement and less on paperwork and fighting against system limitations and downtime.

All remnants of the old application are being brought offline and the new OSOR is being migrated to a single, modern database that will be easier and more cost effective to update and maintain.

On the public front, we're improving notifications so that public users have more control over the locations they want to monitor and timely, informative updates when sex offenders move to their area.

As we make these changes, users are beginning to see the power and opportunities that the new OSOR provides and have begun to make requests for even more changes that give them new capabilities and make their jobs easier.

Phase Two has just started and there's already a huge level of excitement around it as we work together with the State of Oklahoma to make Oklahoma a safer place to live and work.

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LSG Revamps the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry

November 13th, 2012

Earlier this year, LSG Solutions was contracted by the State of Oklahoma to update the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry web application site. Originally built back in the early 2000's, the original system was very informative, but had become out of date. While several similarities are in place, we also added several new features for the Oklahoma tax-payer and Oklahoma local law enforcement.

In addition, the specific technologies we used allowed us to hit a very tight federal grant deadline.

The Public Interface

Two of the primary benefits will be strongly appreciated by the Oklahoma citizen. First is the ability to see the location of sex offenders via a Google maps interface. Second is the ability to sign up for notifications when a sex offender moves into your specified area.

While the previous system simply listed out the names and address, the new Google maps interface gives the public the ability to easily visualize the location of a sex offender's residence. The mapping technology wasn't there when the system was originally launched in the early 2000's. Instead, you had to search by zip code and rely on a text-based list of addresses.

The new mapping capabilities bring the system up to date with what people currently expect in web-based location databases. It lets you search by address and specify how many miles around that address you want to search, then shows the results on a Google maps interface.

With the email notifications, you can enter one email address and up to five physical addresses to have monitored. Whenever there is any sex offender movement within your specified radius of each of those addresses, you'll receive an email notification.

The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Improvements

Regarding other improvements, the old system relied on an older web browser, Internet Explorer 6. Because that web browser was from 2001, most of the law enforcement officers were unable to update the database themselves. All those updates were passed to the Sex Offenders and Violent Offenders Unit, who were frequently backlogged as a result.

Now, with the new system more officers have access to update the data, which means more reliable, up to date information in the system.

Why LSG Solutions Was a Good Fit

In 2006 the Adam Walsh Act, aka SORNA, passed. The Act defined standards across all states. The work LSG Solutions recently completed was Phase One of the project, which brought the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry into compliance with the Act. As part of those upgrades, it added new features for the public interface and more modern compatibility for Oklahoma Law Enforcement.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections became aware of a grant that was available if they complied with the Adam Walsh Act before the end of August 2012. The work had to be done under a very specific deadline. The Oklahoma DOC didn't know if any company would be able to complete the project on time.

Fortunately, LSG was able to recommend and utilize specific rapid software development technologies that allowed for a much quicker turnaround than other companies. Phase one of the project began in May 2012, and ended in August 2012. The new system went live the final weekend in August, and hit the hard deadline required by the granting authority. Citizens are increasingly signing-up for notifications. Their online feedback has been very motivating. Now Law Enforcement can perform their activities while taking back the unusual burden placed on the Sex Offender Administration Unit. Both parties now can appreciate the features Google Maps brings for visual safety monitoring and locating the registered sex offender in the public.

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