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“SIMUL8 takes no prisoners!”

There is no doubt that the justice process is a complicated system, from a 911 call, a court case and through to prison or parole there are many different paths that can be taken. John Speir managing partner of Applied Research Services, Inc. (ARS), and SIMUL8 power user knows and understands this well. The staff at ARS, a national consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia work on various criminal justice related projects and John is very enthusiastic about how simulation helps with decision making in justice departments across the United States.

In a call last week John Speir managing partner said “SIMUL8 takes no prisoners”. He said this because of SIMUL8’s ability to give you results with a high level of accuracy, and if a scenario has less than favourable results SIMUL8 will show you this. SIMUL8 has been used by John and his colleagues to simulate many justice scenarios; they find it useful as it can test very specific statutory changes due to the level of detail that can be inputted. This means that they have an entirely new dimension of decision-support to prison population projections and policy analysis.

This has proven true in all the justice cases that ARS have used SIMUL8 on, Saving the Texas Legislative Budget Board $250 million of tax payer money and allowing Alabama make informed decisions knowing the error rate of their simulation was less than 2%. John sees the potential for Simulation to be used much more widely within the justice sector and believes that justice departments should use SIMUL8 to help with planning. John highlights jails as being the perfect case for simulation as there are various processes prisoners have to go through before being admitted and these all need to be carefully organised, ensuring there are enough resources to get them through efficiently

The US is not the only country using simulation to help in justice departments. The Scottish government have used SIMUL8 to create a high level model of their justice processes and Cheshire police have used it to manage resources for prioritising 911 calls. SIMUL8 can be used in all areas of justice.