Most of us dread the annual planning process. The spreadsheets. The reports. The meetings. Fighting for every last dollar. Never getting nearly enough.
The one thing that makes these conversations infinitely easier is data. The data you start collecting now pays off later when you’re budgeting, allocating resources, requesting funding, and making staffing decisions. That’s why now is the best time to start the annual planning process – get your data collection in place, and then when you need it, all you have to do is run a report.
Here are some key questions to ask as you start thinking about 2022 and beyond:
- What goals did you set for 2021? Is your measurement strategy for demonstrating progress (or lack thereof) working? Are there mid-year shifts you could make in data collection to put your facility in a more defensible position at year-end?
- Is your staffing strategy working? How do you know? What additional information would help you make a case for additional resources?
- What resources are you using or not using? What inmate programming are you using regularly? How prevalent have inmate medical and mental health needs been? How often are people being directed to alternatives to incarceration?
- What are your housing patterns? How frequently are housing decisions being informed by inmates’ mental health, safety concerns, or suicide risk? Where are you seeing heavier or lighter placements? How often are you intentionally separating people?
- Where are your safety hotspots? Where in your facility are you seeing incident trends rising? Which parts of your processes have the greatest number of safety issues arise?
- What is leading to reduced recidivism and increased public safety? Which programs and processes are paying off? Which ones aren’t showing positive results? What additional data would you need to be able to demonstrate your impact on public safety?
Having the right data at your fingertips all comes down to case and facility management. If you don’t have a custody management system that’s informing your decision-making all year long, then any one of the questions above may be completely overwhelming, not to mention unanswerable.
If you’re going to be prepared to make a case for the resources you need once annual planning time comes around, your data collection needs to start now. Contact us today for more information about Northpointe Custody Management and how to set yourself up for successful budget conversations. We’re here to support you.