Supervision Technologies Shape Communities
October 10, 2019 by
The Clark County, Nevada, Department of Juvenile Justice Services had a lofty goal of lower recidivism and a safer community. But staff faced challenges with antiquated technology. A legacy database not only required maintenance along with hardware and software updates, it could neither communicate nor share data with other county systems. “We were paying for numerous systems that operated in vacuums,” said Jack Martin, the department’s director. “And after the last guy who knew how to write the system code retired, we resorted to doing nothing.”
Martin and his team implemented Tyler Supervision™, which not only increased efficiency, it transformed business operations. He was on hand at the American Probation and Parole Association’s (APPA), 44th Annual Training Institute to talk about the benefits of an integrated criminal justice system, including his county’s successes in sharing real-time data between law enforcement and the courts and the significant improvements to officer and public safety.
To increase the mobility of Clark County officers, Martin explained how the new system integrates solutions, including GPS software. Customized dashboards allow individual users to personalize their experiences. These user-friendly interfaces showcase the data collected in visually relevant ways. Behind this functionality is enhanced case management for the field as well as in correctional institutions.
“In the field, it was imperative that our officers know at a glance an offender’s whereabouts and geo fence violations in real time,” said Martin. The software also gives officers critical insight into an offender or suspect’s mental health and interventions history, medications, and suicide concerns.
Institutionally, risk assessments are built right into the software. An individual’s comprehensive data is easily accessible so that it can be used as the basis for a complete case plan. The booking process is integrated with the fingerprint and mugshot hardware and software, so information is transferred seamlessly between police stations, courts, and jails. The software then actively tracks suicidal clients within housing units. “In Nevada, we have a law that mandates that we report isolation on a quarterly basis,” Martin explained. “Random check hardware is integrated into our new software, so the use of isolation is automatically tracked for us, making compliance with state reporting easy.”
Insight from Analytics
Centralized data allows supervisors to track caseloads and officer productivity from executive data dashboards. These dashboards have caseload notifications and calendar features to give managers better insight into their operations and inform smarter decisions.
Useful trend analysis shows population trends year-over-year, trends in caseloads, and disproportionality reports. “Through examining trends, we’ve been able to track overall system performance, for example officer or intervention efficacy,” Martin noted. “We’re also able to compile quarterly, year-to-date, or annual reports for stakeholders.”
Of particular interest to all stakeholders are reports that detail violation of probation and re-arrest reports. This gets to the heart of recidivism. “Connecting court documents, probation terms, school-based behaviors, and assessment predictors can provide officers with information to develop meaningful case plans to target problematic behaviors,” Martin noted. The ability to ascertain data form a multitude of sources allows data analytics to occur across multiple platforms. This leads to offender profiles that can be helpful in predicting – and perhaps even stemming – future criminal behavior. “It’s a more focused approach when you can base your actions on numerous outside and validated predictors,” said Martin.
In addition to reducing recidivism – one of Clark County’s key performance indicators – Martin is also looking at overall programmatic successes and staff effectiveness at various levels.
Connecting for the Future
The data isn’t just used internally. Clark County also has robust transparency with respect to sharing data with the public. The county’s websites offer a number of reports that are also linked to from social media for easy access. Because the data can be used with multiple data analytics software types, external stakeholders and innovators can dive deep and conduct their own analysis, which opens the door to potential partnerships and new solutions.
“The future of juvenile justice supervision is mobile, real-time, and cloud-based,” Martin said. When actionable insight is easily surfaced and shared, real solutions to juvenile crime can move beyond discussion and into implementation. The connections made by modern software can, in this way, benefit families and communities in tangible ways.