Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services


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TITLE: Use Of Computer Equipment

Following are the computer policy and guidelines set out by the Fifth Judicial District Board of Directors which apply to all staff (professional, management, clerical, maintenance, cooks). Failure to abide by the following policy and guidelines may result in disciplinary action by the Department.


The Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services DOCS is electronically linked to the State of Iowa’s networks and mainframes, the Judicial Branch, and several counties. The Department has both a Local Area Network (LAN) and a Wide Area Network (WAN). The Department will continue to expand these linkages. In order to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism, it is necessary to implement some rules and regulations regarding the use of State computer equipment, both hardware and software, and associated network and Internet accounts.


Use of Computer Equipment and Software
Computer equipment and software is provided to employees and treatment providers of the Department to support the processing and communication of information, and other job related work. All users shall be personally responsible for using their issued computer/work station for legitimate and authorized instructional, research, and public service purposes. Computer equipment, software, or any communication access it provides, is for Department related activities and not for personal use. Access to information, productivity software, and computer equipment itself is a revocable privilege. Department staff shall maintain and enforce this policy and accompanying procedures.


Users of computer equipment and software are expected to:

  1. Review this policy, and if in doubt, inquire as to acceptable and unacceptable uses prior to use.
  2. Respect the privacy of others.
  3. Respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
  4. Respect the privileges of other users.
  5. Respect the integrity of any and all systems connected to our network or on the Internet.
  6. Know and generally follow accepted etiquette in all E-mail or Internet use. Use only civil forms of communication.
  7. Avoid uses of computer equipment or software that reflect poorly on the Department.


  1. Use of computer equipment, software, or communications for any purpose which violates an U.S. or State of Iowa law.
  2. Use for any purpose not related to the employee’s job duties or Department business.
  3. Use or access to and distribution of indecent or obscene materials, or child pornography.
  4. Use or access to and distribution of computer games. Game playing is considered a misuse of computer privileges and shall be subject to disciplinary action. If an individual user has games on his/her system, it is required that the Systems Administrator be contacted to delete said files from that individual’s system.
  5. Use that interferes with or disrupts network users, services, or equipment, such as sabotage of hardware or data, or purposely causing degradation of the performance of a system or server.
  6. Use for intentionally seeking out information on, obtaining copies of, or modifying files and other data that belongs to others or is private, confidential, or not open to public inspection or release (as set forth by the Code of Iowa or Iowa Administrative Rules), unless:
  7. Specifically authorized to do so once the legal conditions for release are satisfied.
  8. Use for intentionally making copies of any software, electronic file, program or data using Department provided equipment, resources, or services without a prior, good faith determination that such copying is, in fact, permissible. Any efforts to obtain permission must be adequately documented. Documentation is to be provided to and maintained by the Systems Administrator.
  9. Seeking passwords of others or exchanging of passwords is specifically prohibited. Some specific cases may occur where the sharing of a password is necessary. In these cases written permission must be requested from and approved by the Systems Administrator to document the exception and allow staff to proceed without fear of violating this policy. Documentation is to be provided to and maintained by the Systems Administrator.
  10. Users intentionally representing themselves electronically as others while using Department supplied computer equipment, software, or communications devices is prohibited unless specifically authorized to do so by those other users (in cases of emergency need or new staff who have not been assigned a user ID.). Users shall not circumvent established policies defining eligibility for access to information or systems.
  11. Use for intentionally developing programs/tools/etc. to harass other users or to infiltrate a computer or computing systems and/or damage or alter software components of same is prohibited.


  1. Any software obtained from outside the Department shall be checked for viruses by the Systems Administrator prior to use or installation.
  2. Knowingly exposing Department computers to a virus is prohibited, unless done by the Systems Administrator for diagnostic purposes.


  1. Software provided with Department computer equipment by the Systems Administrator is licensed. Any copying of this software is prohibited.
  2. Users shall be expected to regard all copyrighted information which may become available as confidential, unless the individual user obtains from the copyright holder permission to copy, modify, or otherwise use any part of such material.
  3. Any software products or file that a staff member wishes to install on any Department equipment shall be fully licensed for the Department equipment. If there is only one license, the software cannot be installed on a Department computer and a staff’s home computer. The Department considers any license for the software product or file to be the copy for the Department equipment. Any other copy will not have a valid license.
  4. Only the Systems Administrator or Data Processing staff shall install software on any Department equipment.
  5. The Systems Administrator shall maintain a file of the original licenses for all of the Department’s software.


  1. Any software developed by staff as part of their work tasks while employed by or volunteering for the Department shall be the sole possession of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.
  2. No copies of software developed by staff as part of their work tasks while employed by the Department shall be supplied to any outside source, nor shall any employee be allowed to take copies of this software with them when they are no longer employed or volunteering for the Department, without written permission of the Director. Documentation shall be provided to and maintained by the Systems Administrator.


The integrity of our WAN is of utmost importance for maintenance of internal security of proprietary data and programs. Unauthorized use of the Internet can be a potential security risk.

  1. No executable files, or executable files contained in compressed or archived files such as .zip, .arc, .arj are to be downloaded from the Internet. Executable files are those files that will run a program, be it a game or some useful utility. The downloading of executable files can result in the spread of computer viruses or a Trojan horse; programs which can lead to damage to the users' computer and to the entire network. If a user comes across a utility that could be of benefit to the District, bring it to the attention of the Systems Administrator. The Systems Administrator shall be responsible for downloading such information from the Internet.
  2. It shall be a violation of this policy to download games or any other executable file from the Internet.
  3. Staff shall be prohibited from use of the Internet that may incur unauthorized charges or expense to the District.
  4. Staff shall not damage, disable, or otherwise interfere with the operation of computers, computer systems, software or related equipment through physical action or by electronic means (euphemistically referred to as hacking).
  5. No unauthorized software shall be used on State equipment.
  6. Staff shall not utilize the Internet to obtain, view, download, send, print, display, or otherwise gain access to or transmit materials that are unlawful, obscene, or pornographic. Refer to Chapter 728.1 of the Code of Iowa for definition of obscenity and refer again to 728.4 for inclusive definition of pornography. The Code of Iowa is available on the computer via the CD Net.


Users need to be cognizant that the e-mail and Internet functions are provided for business uses and not for personal use. Many people are under the mistaken impression that they can say or do anything on the Internet without liability or other repercussions, which is simply not true. A user issuing a threat or making a slanderous comment via the Internet can be held liable. This feeling of invisibility is negated by the fact that the Department’s name accompanies all e-mail messages sent and the mail can be tracked by sites on the Internet.

Electronic mail (e-mail) should be used for Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services business only. Do not under any circumstance e-mail executable programs either from the network or the Internet to other users on the WAN. Employees need to be aware that the employer has the right to inspect any and all electronic mail sent or received on its system.


  1. For purposes of security and to protect the confidential nature of the data entered into the computer, individual computers shall be taken back to the log on screen (password) if the computer is to be left unattended for an extended period of time, e.g., lunch breaks, meetings, etc.
  2. All individual computers shall be turned off at the end of the workday.
  3. If unauthorized or unknown individuals are observed using a computer terminal, such action shall be challenged and reported immediately to a supervisor.
  4. Information generated by a computer system and forwarded to other agencies shall be considered confidential.
  5. Confidential information transmitted through the Department’s FAX machines shall be under cover of the Department’s FAX cover sheet.
  6. Back up of internal data shall be done each weekday by Systems Administrator or Data Processing staff.
    1. Copies of all back up tapes shall be stored off-site daily.
    2. Copies of all programs shall be stored off-site.
    3. Master Programs shall be stored in fireproof files.
  7. Emergency situations or any problems occurring with computer hardware or software shall be reported to the Systems Administrator, Data Processing staff, the Administrative Officer, or District Director.
  8. Consumption of food and/or beverages in or around the space occupied by computer equipment is strongly discouraged. Any damage to computer equipment from food and/or beverages may be assessed against the staff.
  9. File transfers shall be allowed from office to home to facilitate those who finish work on their personal computers. Users need to be cognizant of pre-existing rules regarding confidential or proprietary data, so that such files are not unwittingly transferred to a personal computer.


The managers and supervisors of each office are responsible for their employees’ compliance with the provisions of this policy and for investigating non-compliance. The Systems Administrator shall be available to help provide technical assistance and consultation as necessary. When an instance of noncompliance with this policy is discovered or suspected, the Department shall proceed in accord with existing personnel policies. Suspension of service to users may occur when deemed necessary to maintain the operation and integrity of the Department’s, the State of Iowa’s, the Judicial Branch, and counties’ networks. User accounts and password access may be withdrawn without notice if a user knowingly violates the acceptable use policy. Discipline may be appropriate in some cases of noncompliance with this policy. Criminal or civil action against users may be appropriate where laws are violated.

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