As a Sales Engineer covering State and Local Government (SLG) agencies in the Central US (13 states in total) I’ve had the opportunity to see trends within government verticals that hold true across state, county and city lines. Using these trends, I’ve decided to create a series of SLG Case Studies that looks at what agencies are currently accomplishing with Citrix; with the ultimate goal of allowing other government agencies to use these examples as a template for how they can take a similar approach in solving their current challenges.

For a look at the other case studies, please visit here.

For this Case Study, I will be discussing how Department of Corrections agencies support our prison systems today.

When speaking with Department of Corrections agencies, the most common use case they are looking to address is delivery of specific applications to prisons throughout the state. While I am no expert in the regulations that surround this, there is a requirement to provide inmates access to legal documents and educational classes. As these inmates do not have their own laptops (imagine that BYOD policy…), DOC agencies set up computer labs and classrooms with devices for their use where they can access resources such as law libraries and GED courses.

The scenario I described above is a common scenario I’ve seen with several states, and is the perfect use case for virtualization of applications such as the electronic law library from LexisNexis and Pearson VUE for GED testing. Using Citrix XenApp, these apps can be delivered to thin clients in prisons’ computer labs/classrooms across the state. Thin clients are a great fit here because they are low cost and easy to replace if (or when?) broken.

Prior to taking this approach, one specific DOC agency I work with had over 30 decentralized and individually ran computer labs in prisons across the state. Each prison managed their own law library with hardbound books that needed to be updated on an annual basis. After the decision was made to centralize all prison-related IT systems, they chose to implement Citrix XenApp and were able to centrally manage and deliver a standardized set of applications to all 30+ computer labs across the state. Initial cost savings were in excess of $200k per year for the law libraries alone.

It’s important to note that these Citrix sessions can be completely locked down via Citrix and Microsoft policies to prevent inmates from breaking out of the session and communicating with the outside world. On the Citrix side of the house, this is done via our Desktop Lock policy, which runs the application or desktop session in full-screen mode and prevents users from accessing other resources on that device (which are already minimized through the use of a thin client). Policies can be applied to block access to search tools, command prompt, registry settings, etc. which could be used in an attempt to “hack out” of the session.

Citrix use case: Delivery of applications to computer labs for inmates

  • Delivery of applications via XenApp such as LexisNexis electronic law library and Pearson VUE for GED testing.
  • Other potential applications include Microsoft Digital Literacy (computer skills training), TypingAce (typing courses), WinWay Resume Deluxe (creating resumes), KeyTrain (career readiness), and even free courses from local colleges
  • Use of low cost thin clients as end point devices that are easy to lock down and can be quickly replaced if broken
  • Use of NetScaler to secure and optimize traffic

Feel free to contact me or leave a comment below if you have any questions. Additionally, if you’re interested in a case study focused on your specific government vertical, please leave a comment and we can add it to the list!

Thanks for reading,