FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AG TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1996 (202) 616-2777 TDD (202) 514-1888 ATTORNEY GENERAL PRESENTS HAMMER AWARDS AT DOJ "LAB DAY" WASHINGTON, DC -- Attorney General Janet Reno presented Hammer Awards to three employee working groups from Justice Department components as part of the Department's "Justice Performance Review Lab Day," an event showcasing the achievements of the Department's 16 reinvention labs. The Hammer Award is Vice President Gore's special recognition to teams of employees which made significant contributions in support of the President's National Performance Review (NPR) principles of improving customer service, cutting red tape, empowering employees, and getting back to basics. "By accepting the challenge to re-invent government, these employees are making government more efficient and improving the way we perform our public responsibilities," Reno said during the Lab Day event in the Justice Department's Great Hall. Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who also attended, noted that the employees "have taken the concept of creating a government that works better and costs less and have made it a reality." The three Justice Department teams receiving the award are: * The SENTRI Reinvention Lab, for developing a secure, high-tech, automated border inspection system at Otay Mesa, California; * The Joint Automated Booking System (JABS) Lab, a multi- component effort which has significantly improved the prisoner booking process; * The Justice Prisoner Alien Transportation System (JPATS), which combines the resources of several DOJ components to schedule and transport prisoners more quickly, safely, and economically. Additional information on the awardees is attached. 96-523 ### JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAMMER AWARD WINNERS OCTOBER 22, 1996 The SENTRI Award The multi-agency DOJ reinvention laboratory known as SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection) reinvented a two-century-old method for inspecting border crossers. Designing the system for use by pre-screened, low-risk international travelers who frequently cross the border, the SENTRI team was led by the INS and Customs, and drew membership from the FBI, DEA, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. Several other Federal agencies, the State of California, and several governments in Mexico assisted in the effort. As crossers who have been approved for participation in the SENTRI Project approach the border, they enter a "zone of control" created by an assortment of bollards, iron posts, electric gauges, and tire shredders which assure physical control of traffic entering the U.S. In-ground inductive loops, free- standing light curtains, and other kinds of technology sense the vehicle and activate an automatic vehicle identification system, which checks data bases and matches digital photographs to validate the intending crosser. The system provides the Government with more information and more security than ever before. Yet, the system is speedy. Before SENTRI, waiting times at the Otay Mesa, California, test site averaged 45 minutes. Now, wait times in the SENTRI lane never exceeds three minutes. In addition, siphoning off low-risk travelers has cut the wait in conventional inspection lanes to less than 20 minutes. With SENTRI, INS and Customs are able to concentrate their limited resources on high-risk travelers. The JABS Award The Joint Automated Booking Station, or JABS, Lab reinvented offender processing procedures that had not changed significantly in over half a century. A joint undertaking of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, INS, FBI, and DEA, the JABS Lab set out to streamline booking procedures through automation, to reduce duplication of effort among the agencies involved, and to provide a uniform data base which could be used to improve investigations and identify repeat offenders. Before JABS, offenders moving through the criminal justice system were booked by each agency they encountered. For a single arrest, this often resulted in numerous bookings involving photographing, fingerprinting, and recording biographical information, procedures which were all done manually. Through collaboration and prototyping, the JABS Lab automated and streamlined this tedious process. The Joint Automated Booking System has delivered three clear benefits: increased speed, the elimination of duplication, and greater access to more reliable data. An automated booking can be completed in one quarter of the time required for the manual booking process. By eliminating duplication, 305 separate data elements compiled under the old system have been reduced to 61, five photographs have been reduced to one, and 15 sets of paper fingerprints have been reduced to one set of highly reliable electronic prints. Finally, JABS creates a single comprehensive electronic record of data the first time it is collected; this record can be accessed by other law enforcement agencies for investigative or tracking purposes. The JPATS Award The Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), an innovative partnership among the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, carries prisoners and detainees under federal jurisdiction more safely and efficiently. Before JPATS, the movement of detained aliens - for transfer between institutions, for deportation and removal from the country, and for relocation to lower-cost detention - was managed solely by the INS, while the transportation of other federal prisoners was the responsibility of the USMS. As the prison population grew over the last decade, and as enforcement priorities changed, both the number of prisoners and their destinations rose dramatically. It became evident that the collective resources of the Department needed to be fully employed, that regular schedules needed to be established, and that planes needed to be filled to capacity to best employ limited resources. JPATS was the solution. By combining the equipment and personnel resources of the USMS and INS, and by combining the movement of alien prisoners with other kinds of prisoners, flights were filled. These changes resulted in lower per- passenger costs, faster completion of prisoner movements, and more efficient use of valuable prison bed space. Moreover, agreements were executed with military, state, and local law enforcement entities to carry prisoners under their jurisdictions on a space-available basis, reducing their costs while ensuring maximum capacity loads on the Government's planes. The JPATS now serves over 40 cities nationwide. It carried 180,000 passengers in its first year of operation, a 20 per cent increase in productivity. It currently averages 400-500 "reservations" every day of the year.