N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--March 1997


North Carolina prison administrative staff will long remember February 1, 1997, the day computerized inmate banking arrived.

It was a day filled with the frustrations met in bringing new computer programs on-line, but the final result was a computerized inmate banking system that will provide more controls and reduce the number of banking transactions.

Unlike other parts of the OPUS system that were put in place for users, administrative staff at each prison had to enter their inmate account data into the inmate banking system. System snags slowed the all-day process, but by 11 PM there had been 35,000 entries providing accounts for 25,127 inmates.

Ninety individual checking accounts for the Inmate Trust Funds that required ninety individual balance reconciliations were eliminated. In its place, the Controller's Office established a Cash Concentration System to consolidate the funds into one account. This will eliminate writing checks to move inmate funds from prison to prison after every inmate transfer.

The banking system mirrors the movement of funds with the movement of the inmate. The inmates' funds are available when the facility enters that the inmate was received in OPUS.

The new system works with the work release and inmate job and programs modules in OPUS calculating and dispersing funds automatically.

The new system will allow the department's accounting office to quickly and accurately report on the status of the inmate fund.

The new system replaces the stand alone inmate trust funds maintained on personal computers at each prison.

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