juvenile detention supply chain

An article in the Chicago Tribune had OR written all over it. Apparently, there is a shortage of electronic monitoring bracelets in Cook County’s juvenile detention center. As a result, juveniles awaiting trial can’t be sent home and have to stay in the detention center longer. They may be alleged criminals, but they’re still kids, and there are many social reasons to keep these kids out of the detention centers.

The bracelets permit those accused of less serious crimes to go home rather than be confined in the center as they await resolution of their cases. Reducing the number of teens at the facility allows officials to concentrate on youths who require intensive supervision or who are a danger to the community.

There is a shortage because of “county budget shortfalls” and the “bureaucratic purchasing process,” which creates barriers to purchasing bracelets even when they are available. Last year, Cook County received grant money to buy more bracelets, which eliminated one cause of the shortage but worsened the other cause.

[U]sing a grant to buy supplies slows down the purchasing process even more than the usual county bureaucracy because several more steps are required.

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One response to “juvenile detention supply chain

  • Dawen Peng

    Hi Laura,

    I really like the information on your blog.

    I am a masters student of operations research with a computer science background in the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver Canada.

    Your blog was recommended to me by one of the alumni in Centre for Operations Research, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia (long name…it’s the administrative body of my masters program).

    I was quite intrigued by your blog, as I just started running a blog about OR at ThinkOR.org . My idea is to put more info out there about operations research, because as you said in your site, OR is very powerful, and unfortunately not enough people know about it. That’s exactly how I feel and I’d love to popularize OR. I happen to be the communications officer for our local INFORMS student chapter at UBC. This is one of my main goals as the communications officer of the chapter.

    The examples listed on your site are very interesting. I thought I’d drop you a line and introduce myself.

    Thanks for all the info!

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