Schema and Database Design for Prison Farms

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Department of Agriculture

The Agriculture Department of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) must maintain over 130,000 acres of agriculture lands. These lands are used for the production of food and fiber for inmates housed in the various TDCJ prison units. The farms are operated much like private farms in that they must manage the land to maximize production. To accomplish this, TDCJ must manage equipment, plant and fertilize crops, control pests and weeds, and perform any other functions that a private farmer would be required to do. Managing individual fields, groups of fields, farms, and groups of farms outline just a few of the ways TDCJ must monitor food production data. Moreover, TDCJ Department of Agriculture is also responsible for the physical upkeep of each farm. This involves tracking roads, drainages, fences, buildings, equipment, and generating reports regarding their conditions.

A large portion of the tasks discussed above focus on mapping. TDCJ maintains maps of the farms and databases relating to production on the farms. However, they need a method of merging these databases into one accessible system. Because most of the data regarding the farms is spatially referenced, the Geographical Information System (GIS) is the logical system to provide this integration.