New technology comes to Cache County Jail

Matthew K. Jensen

The Cache County Sheriff's Office is beta testing a new version of a jail management program that is so sophisticated it can remember when an inmate doesn't eat breakfast.

Spillman Technology Inc., a Salt Lake company with hundreds of national clients, has selected the Cache sheriff's jail complex to evaluate and trouble shoot a new version of a corrections facility administration program.

The sheriff's office is the first public safety organization in the country to exercise the new Sentryx 6.0 software.

Spillman and Cache County are not new friends, however. The company was founded by a Utah State University graduate in 1978 and was headquartered in Logan until 2005. The Company moved its 150-employee operation to Salt Lake to enhance its exposure in the market place.

The company's founder, Richard Spillman, designed a data management program for his senior computer science course at USU that evolved into a marketable product that made the Cache County Sheriff's Office and Spillman business partners by 1983.

“What's different about this release,” said Sarah Huizingh, Spillman's marketing manager, “is we've moved into an entirely new architecture. The screens have a clean, fresh and modern look and we made the interface much more user friendly.”

Cache County Sheriff's Lt. Matt Bilodeau and computer specialist Jean DeGasser took the Herald Journal on a tour of the jail complex to see the new software in action at various workstations throughout the building.

“This program does two things,” Bilodeau said. “It makes the booking process much simpler and allows us to easily interface other software with this system.”

Bilodeau explained how previous Spillman versions and competitor's versions are more rigid and allow only the addition of proprietary software that sometimes doesn't communicate well with the other systems.

Sentryx 6.0, Bilodeau said, allows for easy interfacing of fingerprinting, photographic imaging and other database programs.

“The screens are now Windows-based whereas the previous versions had more of a DOS look to them. Now I can do in one screen what before took five,” DeGasser said.

The software's user interface has tabs for booking, medical, allergies, inmate property and everything that has to be documented before an inmate comes in or goes out.

Jail staff say they too are liking the program. Sheriff's Sgt. Pam Anderson said the screens are very user friendly and streamlines the booking process.

Huizingh said Spillman greatly values the time and energy that Cache County Sheriff's Office is investing to work out the kinks on Sentryx.

Bilodeau said he anticipates Spillman to offer the Cache Sheriff's Office a discounted license for the software after its trial run.