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PRESS RELEASE: Washington Department of Corrections Releases Statement on Software Contracts with Assessments.com

June 15, 2016

By Jeremy Barclay

DOC Communications

TUMWATER – Secretary Richard Morgan today announced the Washington Department of Corrections will not renew a contract with Assessments.com, the information technology vendor that was developing software for the agency’s Advance Corrections Initiative. Secretary Morgan issued the following statement on the contract details and decision:

“The Department of Corrections’ Advance Corrections Initiative includes work to create and implement a fourth generation Risk Need Responsivity offender assessment tool. At completion, the Advance Corrections Initiative will include the assessment tool and a comprehensive case management system. The system consists of a single, continuous and individualized offender case plan and various process and system efficiencies.

“The development of the risk assessment tool has been a collaborative effort between DOC, Washington State University (WSU) and a private, contracted software vendor, Assessments.com. DOC has decided not to renew the Assessments.com contract for development of the new tool. The current contract was set for review at the end of the 2016 fiscal year (June 30, 2016). DOC will proceed with final development and implementation of the risk assessment tool using the agency’s own information technology resources. DOC hopes to continue its relationship with Assessments.com to maintain the current tool and its functionality.

“While the contracted vendor will no longer be involved in the creation of the software portion of the new assessment tool, it will still be finalized and implemented by DOC as part of Advance Corrections Initiative’s overall scope of work. The algorithm used in the new tool was developed by Washington State University and has been identified by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy as providing the highest predictive accuracy of criminal recidivism specific to Washington’s inmate population.

“By bringing this development in-house and within our own information technology division, our agency is able to account for more precise timetables on deliverables, have increased accountability on the accurate functionality of the new tool in a way that demonstrates our commitment to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

“DOC owns the designs and documentation of the risk assessment tool prototype and because the contract was up for review June 30, this was a natural time to assess the project overview and take the opportunity to use the knowledgeable and professional information technology staff that we have in our agency to see it to completion.”

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