The penitentiary system in Bolivia is one of the most challenging in the world: overcrowding is at more than 350% (https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/bolivia), the large majority of prisoners are in pre-trial detention, thousands for longer than the 3 years legal maximum, and some prisoners even appear to not even have a case file within the judiciary branch.
So when in 2016 the director of the Penitentiary System in Bolivia approached Tutator to develop a case management system for all the prisons in the country we were both excited about the possibility of helping improve the conditions for the detainees, but also apprehensive about the possibility that such a tool might be used for reinforcing an already bad system rather than improving it. After consulting with a number of international organizations (UNODC, ICRC) we decided that this was an opportunity for Tutator to get their foot in the door of the Bolivian prison system, working from the bottom up to try to improve the system and the conditions of the detainees.
The first version of the SIPENBOL software was delivered to the penitentiary authority in 2018 and consisted of the first two modules: prisoner registration (entry and release) and legal case information. Tutator provided training for the users of the system and it was deployed in the central area of the country in a pilot program (La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz – an area covering 75 to 80% of the country population).
Following the success of the deployment of the first version, Tutator was contracted by the Bolivian government to expand the functionality of the system. Today the software is in its third version and the recent modules include:
- Psychological, social, medical and dental profile
- Integration into the judicial branch case management system
- External visits registration
- Integration into Ministry of Interior OpenID system (single log on ID across all Ministry systems)
- Integration into the central identification system (ID Card, photo, fingerprint, etc).
As of 2020 the plan for the Ministry of Interior is to expand the use of the system to cover 100% of the prisons in all the country.
- 2016 Dialogue starts
- 2017 Requirements gathering
- 2017 First system version development .
- 2017 Trainer’s training SIPENBOL V. 1
- 2017 System implementation in 3 departments.
- 2018 Requirements gathering for the second version of SIPENBOL
- 2018 Second system version development.
- 2018 Testing SIPENBOL V.2.
- 2019 SIPENBOL V.2 installation.
- 2019 Requirements gathering for the interoperability of the system with other institutions.
- 2019 Components development.
- 2019 SIPENBOL V. 2.5 installation.
One of the biggest weaknesses of the Bolivian State was the lack of up-to-date information on people deprived of liberty. SIPENBOL addresses this problem and with the implementation of the system in almost the entire country, the State has real data that allows it to make better decisions and formulate public policies aimed at improving the conditions of these people.
Likewise, with the second version of SIPENBOL, the interdisciplinary teams are included so that, through the system, they can carry out more specialized follow-up of the cases they attend and ensure continuity in assistance, even if there is a change of staff. This will have a positive impact on the work carried out with each person deprived of liberty and a more effective service will be provided.