The Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) needed two types of websites.
- The DOC needed a new, attractive web site to communicate to the public - a site that could be quickly updated by non-technical DOC personnel.
- The DOC needed an internal communications portal to allow employees across the state to share information.
During their preliminary research, DOC IT personnel discovered and focused on Drupal for their development platform. It provided the flexibility, performance, security and ongoing support required for both sites. With all of the available plug-in modules, the DOC could get much more functionality within a limited budget. As an open source project, the fact that Drupal is free didn't hurt.
Of course, security is paramount at the DOC. The two sites are separated by an inviolate firewall and cannot communicate. Internally, only designated personnel may update selected content. Much of the development work on the site had to be conducted on-site. Finally, the amount of detail that we can share here about the intranet site will be very limited.
Monarch Digital redesigned the new public DOC site from scratch. Although the site will always be content packed, the site needed many more graphic elements to retain visitors' interest and to make the site more usable.
Monarch was able to build in many functions and features never previously available on the Colorado DOC site:
- Leadership at individual facilities can post alerts on individual facility pages. These alerts might involve full or partial closure of facilities to the public. These alerts appear at the top of the home page sidebar.
- Families can subscribe to facility alerts via Twitter, so if a facility is closed over a weekend, the family does not make a useless trip.
- Media and the public can subscribe to a Twitter news feed.
- The executive team and many staff members can be contacted by the public without revealing their email addresses.
- Many downloadable pdf forms were replaced with online forms that can easily be kept up to date by non-technical DOC personnel.
- Although administrative regulations must be provided in pdf format to retain signatures, they are indexed and searchable on the site.
- An expandable sidebar menu system helps to organize the extensive content within main menu areas.
- The new site interfaces to the legacy inmate search system.
- An extensive job posting system is included, allowing potential applicants easily find positions and self-qualify themselves.
- A dynamic news posting capability allows the DOC to more easily communicate with anyone on the web.
- Login uses LDAP through existing login credentials.
The DOC intranet site provides an attractive portal to a wide variety of internal systems from HR policies to inmate support applications. The DOC IT staff used the Monarch design to create consistent interfaces to legacy systems throughout the intranet. Instead of traditional web pages, most pages contain php code that accesses, selects and formats data from other legacy systems.