By Becky Killian
Knox County is closer to resuming its use of the corrections management system known as JailTracker.
During Wednesday’s Knox County Fiscal Court meeting, Jailer Mary Hammons said the company that offers JailTracker is installing a firewall that will prevent the unauthorized alteration of the county’s bookkeeping data that will be stored on the program.
Once the firewall is installed and county officials determine how long information on inmates will be posted on the program, the county’s JailTracker will be relaunched.
Knox ended its use of the program in October 2011 because of concerns that photos of those booked into the jail would remain even for those people found innocent of the initial charges they faced, Hammons said.
Hammons said she was told by people booked but not convicted of charges that the JailTracker information had kept them from getting jobs. She also said she worried school children might use JailTracker information to bully their schoolmates whose parents might have been at the jail.
The county’s new version of the program will also shield certain inmate information, such as Social Security numbers, to prevent identity theft, Hammons said.
In addition to allowing the public to view information about inmates at Knox County’s jail, JailTracker also provides jail management with a system for tracking other bookkeeping concerns such as inmates’ commissary money. Hammons said this aspect of the program is helpful for her staff.
“It’s wonderful for me,” Hammons said.
The cost for JailTracker is paid by inmate commissary fees, so Hammons said no taxpayer money is used.