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Procedure Properties

Title: Computers - Offender Access to In-Cell Computers
Category: Offender Management
Version: 03
Implement Date: 3 March 2009
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

Procedures

Local Procedures

Performance Measures

  • Annual hours curriculum
  • Program completions

Procedure - Computers - Offender Access to In-Cell Computers


Purpose
1.Process
2.Approval for in-cell rental computers
2.1Offender's ability to fund rental computer
3.Issue of in-cell rental computer and software
4.Security inspection of in-cell rental computer and software
5.Possession of in-cell computer equipment
5.1Prohibited in-cell computer equipment
5.2Data disks
6.Purchase of approved software by offender
7.Software copyright
8.Damage to rental computer
9.Records
10.Compliance access to in-cell computer equipment
11.Return of in-cell computer equipment
12.Transfer between corrective services facilities
13.Personal in-cell computer equipment - Transitional arrangements

Purpose

To ensure that offender access to an in-cell computer does not compromise the security of a corrective services facility or the safety of any person and is for approved Educational or Vocational study purposes only.

1. Process

An offender may access an in-cell computer only for an approved educational or vocational program identified in the offender's management plan. In-cell computers must not be approved for legal purposes or recreational use or offenders who are accommodated at a Work Camp.

An offender must not access or use a computer or peripheral device that stores official or offender information.

Example-

An offender working in a store, reception or trade area of a corrective services facility must not be permitted to access or use a computer that stores official or offender information.

An in-cell computer may only be used for the approved purpose and must not contain any stored inappropriate or pornographic information or material.

Refer appendix - Administration and Handling of Rental Computer Equipment

2. Approval for in-cell rental computers

To seek approval for use of in-cell rental computer equipment or additional software an offender must complete and submit administrative form - Request for Rental Computer Equipment and/or Request for Computer Software to the Education Officer.

The offender must have demonstrated a commitment to an approved course of Educational or Vocational study by successfully completing one term or semester of an approved educational or vocational course.

If approval is not granted, the offender must be informed of the reason in writing.

If approval is granted, the completed administrative form/s must be forwarded to the facility's Education Officers, or other nominated officer, for processing. The offender must then complete the administrative form - In-Cell Rental Computer Contract. The offender must be informed that additional costs may be incurred, at the offender's expense, when purchasing additional software. Specific approval is required for any additional software and an offender must complete administrative form - Request for Computer Software.

Ongoing approval for an offender's use of an in-cell computer is subject to the offender continuing to meet the eligibility criteria of initial issue which must be checked at a minimum of six monthly intervals. The relevant manager may grant ongoing approvals.

If an offender, who has approval for an in-cell computer, ceases to meet the eligibility criteria for continued approval (eg. withdraws from the study program)-

  1. the in-cell computer must be removed immediately;
  2. the rental contract must be terminated;
  3. any software (except data disks) must be placed into the offender's property and held in storage; and
  4. approval for an in-cell computer withdrawn.

There must be no further approvals or rental contracts granted to the offender until a decision regarding the return of the computer / rental computer and future approval is made in consultation between the General Manager of the offender's corrective services facility and the Executive Director, Custodial Operations.

A designated officer must record a waiting list of offenders who meet the eligibility criteria for an in-cell rental computer. Upon return of an in-cell rental computer, the next eligible offender is to be offered the computer for rental.

2.1 Offender's ability to fund rental computer

An offender must have sufficient funds in his/her trust account and demonstrated future funding in his/her trust account to cover the costs of weekly rental of an in-cell rental computer.

If, at any time during the rental period, an offender has insufficient funds in his/her trust account to cover the costs of weekly rental of an in-cell rental computer administrative form - Notification of Insufficient funds must be completed to advise the offender that-

  1. there are insufficient funds in his/her trust account to cover the required costs;
  2. he/she has seven working days to make funds available to cover the required costs; and
  3. failure to cover the required costs will result in cancellation of the rental contract and removal of the computer.

3. Issue of in-cell rental computer and software

When approval for an in-cell rental computer is granted and administrative form - In-Cell Rental Computer Contract is completed, the offender will be supplied with a computer as soon as practicable.

4. Security inspection of in-cell rental computer and software

All Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) In-Cell Rental Computers have been configured with password protection on the bios and installed with a program that prohibits changes to the operating system files. Two types of access have been created:

  1. IncellPC for offender use; and
  2. QCSIT for administrator access.

As a result, the ability to upload programs and alter the computer setup is controlled. A regular check of files stored on the laptop may be done by the Education Officers or nominated person when performing a file download for printing purposes. For long-term rentals, a re-image process should be undertaken each calendar year using the re-image software supplied to the Education Officer.

If identified that inappropriate use of the In-Cell Rental computer may have occurred, the General Manager of the facility, or their delegate, may authorise and organise a security inspection of the laptop. Checking of files and data stored on the In-Cell Rental computer may be conducted at any time by the facility's General Manager or their delegate.

An approved and suitably qualified person or organisation may conduct the security inspection of the In-Cell Rental computer equipment and software which must ensure that-

  1. no prohibited item is fitted to the computer;
  2. no pornographic images or other unsuitable material is contained in any fixed or other recording device; and
  3. any installed, additional software has been approved.

Should any prohibited item, pornographic image or other unsuitable material be located, the in-cell computer must be removed immediately, the rental contract suspended (if applicable) and approval for an in-cell computer withdrawn while an investigation is undertaken. There will be no further approvals or rental contracts (if applicable) granted to the offender until a decision regarding the return of the computer and future approval is made in consultation between the general manager of the facility and the Executive Director, Custodial Operations.

5. Possession of in-cell computer equipment

5.1 Prohibited in-cell computer equipment

An offender must not be in possession of, or have access to-

  1. equipment that would enable an in-cell rental computer to be linked to another computer;
  2. a modem, facsimile card, or other device that may enable direct contact with an outside source;
  3. a printer;
  4. a scanner;
  5. a read/write CD-ROM drive (a read only CD-ROM drive is available with the in-cell rental computer);
  6. a rewriteable CD/DVD or portable storage device, for example, a USB or SD card;
  7. equipment that would enable reception or transmission of radio/telephone frequencies;
  8. software or other computer-based equipment that is capable of recording sound except a sound board or voice recognition software necessary due to a personal disability of the offender;
  9. a video camera or video capture card; or
  10. a joystick, game pad or other game control device unless required for approved educational purposes.

5.2 Data disks

In this section, "data disks" and "CD-ROM" refers to a disk or CD-ROM that contains working files (for example, word processor files, spreadsheet files, database files) and does not refer to a disk or CD-ROM that contains approved software.

Data disks and CD-ROMs for use by an offender must be purchased using local facility arrangements, except if provided for education, program or other approved activities.

An offender may have possession of a maximum of 10 writeable disks or 10 CD-ROMs, or a combination of both, in his/her in cell. Any discs or CD-ROMs in excess of 10 must be transferred to the offender's property store (refer procedure - Property of Offenders; appendix - Offender's Authorised Cell Property). Disks and CD-ROMs must be-

  1. marked in a manner that clearly identifies the offender; and
  2. entered onto the offender's property record.

Unauthorised data disks or CD-ROMs must be seized. Refer Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) ss 138 - 141.

6. Purchase of approved software by offender

If approved that additional software is required by the offender, a designated officer must-

  1. confirm the requirement of the software with the educational/vocational program provider;
  2. obtain quotes from preferred suppliers; and
  3. advise the offender of the availability and cost of the software. The general manager in consultation with the Director, Information Management Branch may nominate preferred suppliers.

An offender may nominate a preferred supplier however the general manager is not obliged to approve a purchase from that supplier (for example, if issues of reliability, location or reputation of supplier are in doubt). Computer software for an offender received from outside educational sources including other facilities may be accepted subject to-

  1. the general manager of the receiving facility granting approval for the software; and
  2. unless seal packed by the manufacturer/supplier and delivered direct from the vendor-being security checked before issue to the offender.

At the time of approval for an in-cell rental computer, any approved additional software required by an offender must be installed by a QCS Adult Education, Vocational Education and Training (AEVET) designated officer before the offender receives the computer. Any approved additional software required after an offender receives a computer will be installed by the designated officer at the corrective services facility.

Once installed on a hard drive, software disks or CD-ROMs must be stored in an offender's property except if a particular program requires a disk or CD-ROM in order to operate. (Refer CSA s 317)

7. Software copyright

All software, unless explicitly stated by the manufacturer to the contrary, is covered by copyright. Refer Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) ss 21(5), 132. Infringing software must not be stored, installed or used by any person within a corrective services facility. In most cases this will be proof of purchase however, in some instances, copyright does not cover resale and proof of sale may not be proof that the software conforms to copyright conditions.

If it is suspected that copyright laws have been breached through the use of unauthorised or illegally copied software or the use of software, approval for use of an in-cell computer must be withdrawn and the computer removed, unless proof of ownership/purchase or non-infringement of copyright can be established.

8. Damage to rental computer

In-cell computer equiptment must be inspected prior to issue and again on return from rental. Any damage such as dents, scratches, scrapes must be recorded on the relevant sections of the administrative form - In-Cell Rental Computer Equiptment Issue/Return.

If an offender damages an in-cell rental computer, the power cable, or any of the software components that are not owned by the offender, the cost of repairs, other than for fair wear and tear, will be deducted from the offender's trust account (refer CSA s 314; Corrective Services Regulation s 44). The computer must be removed immediately while an investigation is undertaken. There must be no further approvals or rental contracts granted to the offender until a decision regarding the return of the rental computer and future approval is made in consultation between the general manager of the facility and the Executive Director, Custodial Operations.

If after the investigation, an offender is found to have wilfully damaged the components mentioned above, the rental contract must be terminated and approval for an in-cell rental computer withdrawn. There must be no further approvals or rental contracts granted to the offender.

9. Records

The general manager of a corrective services facility or nominee must maintain up to date records of all offenders who have approval for in-cell rental computer equipment. These records must include-

  1. the name and ID number of offender;
  2. the date of approval;
  3. any conditions of approval;
  4. the serial number and description of the approved computer equipment;
  5. the date of review and possible renewal of rental contract;
  6. when a rental is completed the -

    1. date of completion/return;
    2. condition of laptop on return; and
    3. name of the person the laptop was returned to.

  7. when approval is withdrawn the -

    1. date of removal; and
    2. reason/s for withdrawal.

10. Compliance access to in-cell computer equipment

The content of offender in-cell computers and software may be subject to examination at any time without notice. An examination must be conducted by a suitably qualified or authorised person or organisation at QCS expense (refer CSA s 317).

Access to an in-cell computer operating system, file or application must not be protected by password. If an offender protects a file and refuses to remove the protection the computer must be removed immediately, the rental contract suspended (if applicable) and approval for an in-cell computer withdrawn while an investigation is undertaken. There must be no further approvals or rental contracts (if applicable) granted to the offender until a decision regarding the return of the computer and future approval is made in consultation between the general manager of the facility and the Executive Director, Custodial Operations.

11. Return of in-cell computer equipment

At the completion of a rental agreement, the in-cell rental computer must undergo a re-image process to remove all previous data and replace the initial settings of the laptop as specified by IMB. This process must be conducted by the Education Officers, or other nominated officer, and must utilise the re-image software provided by Information Management Branch (IMB).

The date of return and condition of the laptop on return must be recorded and the Trust Accounts officer notified to cease rental deductions from the offender's account.

12. Transfer between corrective services facilities

The in-cell rental computers remain the property of the corrective services facility to which they were issued and will not be transferred with an offender.

If an offender is renting an in-cell computer as part of an education program and is considered for transfer to another facility, consideration of the offender's education plan and current program enrolment must be taken into account, refer procedure - Education of Offenders. Conformity with recommendations and continuity of program enrolment should be observed wherever possible.

If an offender is transferred, every effort should be made for the offender to continue use of an in-cell rental computer at the placement facility. The offender must submit administrative forms - Request for Rental Computer Equipment; In-Cell Rental Computer Contract. If approved, the offender will receive the next available in-cell rental computer (Note: if an in-cell rental computer is not available immediately following the transfer, the offender will be placed on a waiting list to receive a computer when it becomes available).

Prior to transfer, all information contained on the offender's in-cell computer will be removed and stored on a data disk/s or CD-ROM/s clearly marked with the offender's details and kept in the offender's property. if the offender is re-issued with an in-cell computer following the transfer, the information contained on the data disk/s or CD-ROM/s will be transferred to the in-cell computer.

13. Personal in-cell computer equipment - Transitional arrangements

Refer CSA s 317

An offender with equipment, including computers and software, purchased and issued before December 2006 may retain the equipment until advised by the general manager. In these circumstances the following conditions apply-

  1. if the computer use does not comply with sections 1 and 2 of this procedure, the previous approval is cancelled and the computer must be handed out (eg. stored in the offender's property or collected by a family member if the computer will exceed storage limits, refer CSR s 45; administrative form - Offender Property Hand Out);
  2. the computer will not be re-issued if the offender transfers to another facility. The offender must hand the computer out prior to transfer;
  3. if a repair, upgrade or maintenance is required, the computer must be handed out;
  4. the offender must not be permitted to transfer ownership of the computer to another offender; and
  5. within six months of 7th March 2007, the computer must be handed out, unless approval to retain the computer is granted by the general manager.

No personal in-cell computer equipment is to remain in a corrective service facility after 31 December 2009.





KELVIN ANDERSON
Director-General





Version History

03/03/2009 Version 03 - 18/06/2007 Version 02 - 06/03/2007 Version 01