Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

New Hampshire Prisoners Suspected of Breaching Prison Computer System

New Hampshire officials are investigating a suspected “breach” of the Department of Corrections (DOC) computer system at the State Prison for Men in Concord. The investigation began when a staff member noticed a cable linking a computer used by prisoners to a staff computer with access to the DOC’s data system.

“I’m told an inmate, or inmates, were able to hack into the CORIS system,” said Mark Jordan, a former president of the guards’ union. “Once they are in there, they could have access to parole dates, sentencing information, programming schedules for inmates, staff information. And they could change any of that. They could delete [detainer] information from other states.”

The Corrections Information System (CORIS) was installed in 2008 by Abilis New England. “CORIS connects relevant stakeholders through a single electronic offender record and centralized database, thereby providing a holistic view of the offender’s status, history, and risk profile,” a news release stated when CORIS was installed.

When the cable was noticed on August 24, 2012, the DOC called the State Police to assist in the investigation. “It’s a really complex investigation,” said DOC spokesman Jeffrey Lyons. “We don’t know whether any data was compromised. Maybe none was.”

Officials did not have many details about the breach. “We don’t know for certain when it occurred. We don’t know how long ago it may have occurred,” Lyons said. “We don’t know how it occurred.”

He added, “CORIS is password protected and only certain staff have the ability to add to or otherwise change the data that is maintained there. Most other data on the DOC network is password protected and anyone who attempted to access that would be blocked unless they had the appropriate password. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken when all of the facts are gathered at the conclusion of the investigation.”
The breach occurred in an area of the Correctional Industries program, which employs about 200 prisoners in a furniture-making shop, printing shop, license plate shop, woodworking shop and sign-making shop. Prisoner workers in the industries program use about two dozen computers in a closed network to track contracts and billing.

The investigation includes a forensic computer crimes investigator. According to DOC spokesman Lyons, contacted by PLN on March 4, 2014, “This is still an ongoing investigation that is being handled by the NH State Police Major Crimes Unit.”

Sources: Associated Press, New Hampshire Union Leader

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login