Thursday, September 6, 2012

LBS for community corrections

For the past couple of years, I have been very excited about the technology known as location-based services.  CrimeView NEARme (formerly known as P3i), invented here in Lincoln, is my best example of the value LBS has in policing.  Location-based services, however, have potential value in government far beyond this application, and so far, the surface is only being scratched.

Very early on, I thought that an LBS application could be very valuable for people who work in community corrections, such as parole officers. Here in Lincoln, we have offenders supervised on parole, probation, furlough, drug court, house arrest, work release, and pre-trial release. We also have over 600 registered sex offenders, whose addresses are subject to verification.  The total number of clients is about 3,700 at any given time, but has been growing as more offenders are released from incarceration.  Employees of the State Department of Correctional Services Parole Administration, Lancaster County Alternatives to Incarceration, and the State Probation Administration are all responsible for clients in these various community supervision programs.

It seems to me that an application like this would be very helpful to, for example, a parole officer with a case load of clients with home, school, and work addresses, around the community. When in the field, the officer would see these addresses presented on a moving map, not only improving routing to scheduled visits, but providing opportunities for other unscheduled visits to addresses that happen to be nearby.

Maximizing contacts with parolees, probationers, drug court clients, could improve the utilization of limited field supervision resources.  More contacts also are helpful to clients, encouraging their compliance with the conditions of their release, and reducing the chance of their relapse into unlawful conduct. Our research here in Lincoln has clearly demonstrated that the technology results in more contacts and attempted contacts with wanted persons by police officers, and there is no reason to doubt that the same impact would not occur if this technology was available to community corrections.


Anonymous said...

I became interested in this technology several years ago when an Omaha company, iSecureTrac, was developing this technology. I invested a few shekels and then cashed out after a couple years when the company seemed to be floundering. I still believe the technology is a great idea.

Comparing locations of those wearing the ankle bracelets against crimes committed in certain areas would be a big aid in solving crimes I would think. My question is: Have the courts (ACLU) fought this?
Gun Nut

Steve said...

Sounds to me like it would be simpler and cheaper to just keep those scofflaws in jail. I guess if you're going to let them roam the streets, the technology will help keep track of them.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I like this better than ankle monitors.

Anonymous said...

ARRRRG: That's a GREAT idea!