Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS)

SOMS project earns national award

A project by CDCR’s Enterprise Information Services has garnered national recognition. The Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS) project has been chosen as one of the 10 Government Computer News Magazine’s 2014 Award Winners for “Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government” in 2014.
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Executive Overview

Under the direction of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS) project consolidated existing databases and records to provide a fully automated system and replaced multiple manual paper processes. This project has upgraded and standardized adult data and population management practices enterprise-wide to further enhance staff, offender and public safety.

The goal of the SOMS project was to replace CDCR's disparate legacy application systems and the array of paper files with an electronic offender management information system (emit) and electronic records management system (ERMS).

The SOMS project completed a significant and major milestone in April, 2014. The conversion of men’s inmate CFiles from paper to individual viewable images was completed. This monumental task migrated more than 170 thousand paper C-Files comprised of over 200 million images viewable through the SOMS Electronic Records Management System (ERMS). Each file was scanned and quality checked for visual clarity and completeness. Prior to ERMS, staff had to either travel to a case records office where the inmate is housed to obtain an offender’s C-File or have the files transported to their location which could take up to two weeks. ERMS now allows all authorized staff to view C-File documents for all inmates in real time across the state. The scanning began in February 2013 and took a little over a year to complete./p>

As the largest Offender Management System implemented in the nation, the state is now able to provide CDCR staff real-time offender data improving the safety of staff and inmates along with better care of inmates. Since going live, institution and administrative location staff have been able to benefit from the use of SOMS components. ERMS currently supports over 32,000 end users that are accessing inmate’s C-Files on a real-time basis. eOMIS currently supports over 53,000 users and is processing an average of 84,800 visitors, 116,500 external movements, 27,500 reception center intakes, 99,400 bed assignments, 1,255 master count transactions, and 325,000 scheduling appointments on a monthly basis. SOMS replaces over 40 legacy CDCR systems. The two primary systems that have been replaced are the Distributed Data Processing System (DDPS) and the Offender Based Information System (OBIS). These two legacy systems were deployed as long as 38 years ago (OBIS 1976 and DDPS 1985). As part of the decommissioning process, data was converted from both OBIS and DDPS and migrated to eOMIS. This included over 1.1 million offender and 2.4 million visitor records. CDCR is now more aligned with the State’s goal of standardizing business practices through the use of Information Technology with its implementation of SOMS.

The SOMS project is not strictly technological in nature. A significant portion of the effort in upgrading and standardizing data management has involved business process optimization. SOMS has improved offender management through the innovative use of technology and streamlined processes. All components of the SOMS solution were implemented over a five year timeframe.


We support CDCR's mission of enhancing public safety through the safe and secure incarceration, supervision, and rehabilitation of adult and juvenile offenders by providing the timely and reliable delivery of accurate offender information to CDCR executives, staff, and partners.


Improving offender management through the innovative use of technology and streamlined processes.


  • Create a unified offender case management system that allows for tracking of an offender anywhere, anytime throughout their life with CDCR.
  • Allow CDCR Institutions and Parole staff to access complete offender information 100% of the time within one business day.
  • Improve staff efficiencies by reducing the use of paper files, the need for printed forms, transporting information between CDCR locations, and the costs associated with staff having to travel to specific locations to review paper files.
  • Reduce offender violence by using up to date, accurate information to make critical determinations on classifications, movements, parole monitoring, and gang management.
  • Allow CDCR to identify the costs of administering offender programs and to monitor, manage and determine the outcome of offender participation in programs.
  • Provide the ability to analyze and report on statewide operational data and trends.