Automated Probation Check-In

May 28, 2020 by Chris DuPree

Automated Probation Check-In

During this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, social distancing orders to stay at home and/or limit gatherings brought lots of person-to-person contact to a halt. Not only did this factor lead to temporary closures of many non-essential businesses, but it also altered the way many essential businesses, including government offices, operated.

One of those offices was the Inyo County Probation Department in Bishop, California, which needed to alter the way it managed its supervision cases and interacted with the clients they were working with, especially when it came to clients checking in with their supervision officer.

“Check-ins are an essential part of our process. With the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place, we needed to find a way to make sure that our officers could continue to work their caseloads while also making sure everyone stayed safe in the process,” said Jeff Thomson, chief probation officer for Inyo County.

The department worked with Tyler Technologies to implement a new automated check-in feature that uses interactive voice technologies to enable clients to complete their check-ins over the phone. Leveraging voiceprint, biometric technology that has 99% accuracy, this new check-in feature let officers do their jobs while avoiding traveling and making person-to-person contact in the midst of the pandemic.

Understanding that it needed to innovate quickly to make sure its officers could maintain their client management, Inyo County Probation was able to get the automated check-in feature activated, go through staff training, and start enrolling supervision clients in the span of about four days. Not only did this minimize any downtime in their processes, but the new check-in also helped streamline case management with automated reminder and reporting features.

“We were able to start using this feature in just a few days, and our officers were off and running, working cases and handling check-ins with their clients,” added Thomson. “Our focus was to avoid any kind of stoppage or case backlog and continue business as usual as much as we could during this time. Adding this feature has helped us achieve that goal.”

The Inyo County Probation Department enrolled more than 20 of their supervision clients in the system over the first couple of days to use the automated check-in system, with the intent of signing up to 200 clients to use this new system. Several clients have already completed check-ins with officers being notified remotely of issues needing verification/follow-up.

“The weekly check-in feature has been an excellent tool to keep our higher risk clients accountable during this pandemic,” said Thomson. “Even after the public health emergency is over, this will be a great new tool for the Inyo County Probation Department to use for our pretrial program and banked caseload.”

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