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Community Supervision

The Chicago Tribune posted an article highlighting how a lack of ankle monitors is keeping defendants behind bars. Because of the shortage, many people who were up for parole are stuck in Cook County Jail. Their original release date has been pushed back and they are unable to do anything about it because the corrections facilities have run out of equipment. Amid COVID-19, there was a massive push to reduce jail populations in the hopes of reducing the risk of it spreading in facilities. Because of this, many inmates were released and placed on parole. This helped reduce the population behind bars drastically to help mitigate COVID-19. However, this has put more stress on the already limited supply of monitors available. With having to keep people in jail, this could cause a slow in the progress jails and prisons have made when it comes to stopping the spread.

Supplies are being replenished each week but very slowly with only 12 new monitors coming in to the facility to be used. Cook County Jail said they are expecting a shipment of 50 alternative devices and 26 defendants will have their electronic monitoring orders returned to be viewed by a judge. COVID-19 has created a lot of chaos when it comes to supply shortages in jails and prisons. It was not foreseen that this many people would be released on electronic monitoring devices to reduce prison populations. As more monitors come in, people who are stuck in jail are being released to serve their jail term or parole at home.

TRACKtech, LLC is a company working hard to provide companies and facilities with electronic monitoring devices. Our platform is user friendly and monitors all program members efficiently and in a timely manner. TRACKphone is a device that allows officers to check in with their program members regularly through biometric identification and allows them to monitor the program members location with customized geofencing applications. TRACKphone also provides extensive resources for program members to use to rehabilitate better into society. Our extensive platforms aim to reduce recidivism and can help get people stuck in jail out. The platform helps officers manage their caseloads more efficiently while still monitoring each one closely. During this crisis, TRACKtech, LLC has continued to improve their products and hopes to be able to do their part during these uncertain times by providing an electronic monitoring system during the shortage of them.

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Community Supervision

Community Supervision is slowly evolving back to the rehabilitative concept it initially started with, according to an article published by The Crime Report. Today, there are 4.5 million Americans under probation or parole, with 2.3 million individuals each year failing to complete their supervision requirements and returning to prison. With the “revolving-door justice” and justice reform happening across the world, people are calling for a radically different approach when it comes to parole and probation and the methods used for it. This initiative commends abandoning punitive aspects of the system and instead focusing on rehabilitative methods. At the moment, community supervision is focused heavily on fines, penalties and jail time for minor non-criminal infractions. By approaching community supervision differently, it will help people transition better back into society and stop punishing them for a crime they have done the time for. It provides a supportive fresh start to those who need it. 

To reduce the number of people under community supervision and to make it less punitive and more equitable, restorative and hopeful, a new EXiT (Executives Transforming Probation and Parole) Strategy has been created.  The reforms of this strategy focus on reducing the number of technical violations, eliminating incarceration for those violations, prioritizing services and support over surveillance and supervision, establishing reasonable probation and parole terms and supporting probation and parole staff with training and resources. Many states, including New York, Michigan, South Dakota and Pennsylvania, have started to follow suit in justice reform by focusing more on rehabilitation versus punishment.

TRACKtech, LLC supports these changes and evolution in community supervision. Our platform is designed to provide rehabilitative resources and support to program members to integrate them successfully into society. Probation and parole officers can monitor program members easily and check in with them through biometric identification and video conferencing. Punitive ways are ineffective when it comes to reducing recidivism rates. Rehabilitative and justice reform movements in community supervision are more helpful and provide results for people re-entering society.

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Community Supervision

Electronic supervision of individuals on probation and parole has been a very widespread and acceptable form of monitoring. With COVID-19 running rampant, facilities are scrambling for ways to reduce jail and prison overcrowding to keep inmates and staff members safe. There are now twice as many people under community supervision than are incarcerated in the U.S.

An article was published highlighting the difficulties of resources allocated for probation and parole. Many individuals are given probation sentences or being released on parole to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These two forms of release serve as alternatives to prison sentences with over 4.5 million people in the U.S. being supervised in the community, compared to 2.2 million being incarcerated in 2016. The numbers have only continued to rise since then. However, with this many people being supervised and probation and parole officers being limited, the extent of time spent with individuals is slim and can lead to re-incarceration. Recidivism is high for individuals who do not feel supported or given access to imperative resources when rehabilitating and entering society again. Probation and parole officers do their best to meet the needs of each individual they are in charge of but are stripped for time and resources when it comes to treating them with the same amount of support and focus.

TRACKtech understands the difficulty officers face when it comes to having too many caseloads to handle. That is why we have designed a fully integrated community supervision platform that allows officers to have more time within their large caseloads but also provides them with more resources and support to give individuals. Our TRACKphone allows supervision officers the ability to remotely check in with program members through biometric identification and videoconferencing. Geofencing capabilities are built into the phone and alerts are sent to officers when individuals are non-compliant or in violation of geoparameters. TRACKphone also has built in resources and programs for members to take advantage of and feel supported. This ultimately reduces recidivism and provides officers with more time to check in with program members to make sure they are able to rehabilitate into society.

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Community Supervision, Jail Overcrowding

Bristol Herald Courier recently highlighted how Sullivan County’s pretrial release program looks promising. Pretrial release is becoming a new norm as jails shift from having people just sitting in jail to being on house arrest or electronic supervision. So far, Sullivan County has had success in their pretrial release program as individuals have been compliant and friendly according to Officer Brandon Ferrell. The program was created the prior year in an effort to help reduce overcrowding, as Sullivan County jail was ranked the most overcrowded large jail in the state in 2019. The program is managed by two teams, with five officers working out of the office at the jail determining who can be released and preparing them for it and then the other team works in the community checking in on the released individuals.


With COVID-19 continuing to influence jail populations, more and more individuals have been selected for the program, with 91 being released in March, totaling 165 individuals released since January. Judges have been more inclined to release individuals during these times knowing the program is in place and has showed positive results. They are pushing to release individuals to reduce overcrowding in facilities and to keep facilities compliant with safety protocols in place for COVID-19. In one way, the pandemic has instigated positive change in the jail because it has pushed judges to trust the program and not hesitate on releasing individuals into supervision.


“Once you get in the [criminal justice] system, it’s so hard to get out,” Officer Ferrell said. “We’ve got to do something to help people that can’t seem to get back on track.” 


TRACKtech was created to do just this. It is imperative that individuals in the criminal justice system receive more support to get back on their feet and stay out of the system, as it is very hard to do. Rehabilitative measures need to be taken instead of punitive as they are proving to be more successful. TRACKphone provides this support through rehabilitative programs and resources on the phone. TRACKcase provides officers the ability to check in with individuals remotely through biometric identification and video conferencing, as well as has real time location monitoring and geofencing capabilities so officers can easily check on them. The phone also has calendar and appointment reminder capabilities, so individuals are less likely to miss appointments or court dates because they forgot about them. TRACKtech provides an alternative solution to individuals being in jail and taking up resources, time and risking exposure to COVID-19, all while allowing officers to monitor them efficiently and safely.

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Community Supervision

With COVID-19 still being rampant in the United States, release of individuals from prisons and jails has been a solution to overcrowding. A recent article highlights how Tuolumne County Court won funds for a pilot pretrial release program. Tuolumne County Court Executive Officer Hector Gonzalez shared a new pretrial pilot program under a two-year grant to improve pretrial release practices, which began on June 30th. The program was created to address jail overcrowding, reduce failures to appear, prioritize community safety and reduce discrimination based on wealth and race. Tuolumne was chosen with 17 other counties to participate in the pretrial release program. It was awarded $632,000 by the Judicial Council of California (JCC) to work on pretrial release.

Many jails have been releasing individuals before trials, as there is no space in jails to keep them. Overcrowding has become an even more pressing issue during COVID-19 as it puts inmates and staff at risk. The pretrial program is working to keep people safe while providing an alternative to keeping individuals in jail while awaiting trial.

TRACKtech is a platform designed to help officers with pretrial individuals as well as those on probation and parole. With the TRACKphone, officers are able to remotely check-in with individuals via bio-metric identification and video conferencing. This allows for them to monitor an individual’s location and make sure they are compliant. Individuals also are sent calendar reminders for court dates, to help ensure they show up. This reduces technical violations and helps keep the individual responsible for appearing in court, while remaining out of prison. Pretrial release is a prevalent issue that TRACKtech can help solve by allowing officers and courts to be in contact with the individual and still monitor their location. Our products provide an alternative to people being out on release while awaiting trial, instead of overpopulating jails.

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Community Supervision, Public Safety

Like you, TRACKtech is closely monitoring the constantly evolving situation, both internally and externally, as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Though there is significant uncertainty, we remain committed to supporting the industry we serve by providing solutions that focus on the health and safety of the corrections agencies, staff, clients and public. We understand that our ability to assist you in facing these challenges, is critical and we stand ready to step in with that assistance wherever we are needed.

 

With the recent quarantines and lockdowns, exploring innovative community supervision is more important than ever. Officers need tools to effectively supervise their clients and to provide them with access to rehabilitative resources and support in a socially responsible manner.

 

Thankfully, leveraging technology, officers can adapt to the speed of rapidly changing circumstances, and safely connect with clients to keep them on track with remote meetings, check-ins, and other online services. And with partners such as Cisco, rapid deployment is available to implement remote communication.



Take a look at how technology is moving forward to continue making a difference in individuals’ lives during a crisis like this.
CLICK HERE FOR OUR SOLUTION

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Community Supervision

While awaiting trial in Arizona, defendants are being forced to choose between paying hundreds of dollars to live at home on a GPS monitoring system or wait for their trial in a jail cell. The Arizona Central published an article about defendants fighting back against the lack of affordable monitoring technology. One defendant, Robert Hiskett, could not afford the private company that supplied the GPS monitoring and with his bail set by the judge at $100,000, he was sent to jail until his trial. This has become an increasing problem for many people convicted in the state of Arizona. So much so that the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona is challenging the state law that allows this practice and arguing that it is unconstitutional to convicted people. Because of this challenge to the law, Hiskett did not have to pay for the monitoring services but others are still unable to afford the monitoring services or bail, causing overcrowding in jails while they await trial. 

Hiskett and others have been told that the GPS monitoring services provided by the court cost around $400 a month and if trials are scheduled months out, the money adds up quickly. People have asked that their electronic monitoring services be covered by public funds but because the cost of the services is expensive, they have been denied. With being unable to afford bail and monitoring services, the defendants sit in jail because judges and communities do not feel safe having them on the streets without any supervision. 

Probation departments are in need of monitoring technology solutions that are affordable for the department and for people awaiting trial, on probation or parole. TRACKtech, LLC is an electronic monitoring platform that allows for supervising officers to monitor the location of their convicted program members with the abilities to check-in remotely with them through text-message and video conferencing. TRACKtech is dedicated to working with courts to create an affordable price to provide those awaiting trial the option, if possible, to not spend their pretrial months in jail. 

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Community Supervision

An article published by The Mercury News talks about how Contra Costa County might temporarily stop collecting certain court fees from people facing criminal charges or getting out of jail. Justice reform advocates argue it is an unfair burden for the poor as they cannot afford the fees and struggle to pay them. The Board of Supervisors met two weeks ago to consider suspending the fees until the end of the year and possibly permanently eliminate them. The fees in consideration of suspension are probation report fees, public defenders’ fees and fees for alternative custody programs, including electronic monitoring and work alternatives to jail time. To make it fair for all people, the fees would be waived for everyone in court, not just those who cannot afford them. 

The fees can add up to thousands of dollars, adding additional stress to those who are transitioning out of the criminal justice system and back into society, as many do not have a job or support system to help them pay the fees. However, eliminating these fees runs the risk of losing around $1.8 million spent on court programs and operations. This would cause the courts to decide which programs to reduce or eliminate and how to deal with this loss of revenue each year. The court system is willing to work on finding the money elsewhere as the fees create huge barriers to people re-integrating into society successfully and debt free. 

The move to eliminate these fees for people has moved in the right direction and has support from district supervisors and governmental officials. Since 2017, California has been moving in the direction of not collecting fees from families and focusing on helping people rehabilitate and become functioning members of society again. Contra Costa County is hopeful they will be able to help people coming out of jail by not having to pay the fees and saving them thousands of dollars that can be put to good use for themselves and their families. 

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Community Supervision

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an article about the First Step Act that went into effect end of July 2019. Within hours, 3,100 inmates qualified for release from long federal prison sentences that at the time of sentencing were imposed as a punitive measure. The First Step Act was enacted to try a more constructive approach to rehabilitation and justice reform. This new act changed the way justice is served by allowing judges to no longer abide by the “three strikes” rule of imposing life sentences when previously incarcerated felons commit a third crime, as well as nonviolent drug offenders no longer facing harsh minimum-sentencing rules. The new focus of the act is reducing recidivism and rewarding prisoners who participate in anti-recidivism programs by cutting their prison terms. 

Focusing on recidivism programs and allowing people in prison to have a chance to better themselves will improve their rehabilitation. The next step for the inmates is to focus on working through the programs and changing their behavior. They will be monitored with the hopes of reducing their prison sentences and proving punishment is not the answer to lowering recidivism. The bill has reverted the old ways to new ones that focus on rehabilitation and not punitive ways, as this is ineffective in reducing recidivism.

TRACKtech, LLC was created to reduce recidivism through rehabilitating inmates once they are released from prison. The TRACKphone platform is designed to provide program members with rehabilitative and life resources, as well as allow supervisors to monitor them with biometric identification and remote check-ins. TRACKtech works to provide program members with resources they need to become a functioning member of society, in the hopes of reducing recidivism and keeping them out of prison. 

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Community Supervision

The Marshall Project recently published an article that touches on a bill passed by the Illinois legislature requiring community corrections officials to maintain and publish data on electronic monitoring of former prisoners, including racial makeup and rates of recidivism. The bill was passed due to a hearing in which “advocates and legislators criticized the misuse of electronic monitoring, as an independent report showed how little data the Prisoner Review Board and Department of Corrections kept on those they placed on tracking devices.” Because of this, it is now required that the board and department produce an annual report of those who are electronically monitored and for what reason. It was a necessary step to take as community corrections officials admit they have little evidence to support that the ankle bracelets are being used to show the location of former inmates and protecting public safety. Considering the state of Illinois does not have a parole system and instead requires a period of supervised release for those who have finished their sentence, it is important that they have a functioning and secure system to monitor former prisoners with. With many companies not tracking their clients and using the data collected to improve services, TRACKtech has taken the initiative to provide a better solution to monitor clients.

TRACKtech,LLC provides community supervisors the ability to monitor the location of its program members through real-time check-ins and store the data to provide supervisors access to it when they need. Supervisors can monitor the program member’s pattern of life and at risk behavior through video conferencing and behavioral health assessments. Dynamic geo-fencing helps keep program members in or away from specific locations at appropriate times, notifying the supervisor if a location violation has occurred. Community supervisors have easy access to their entire caseload in TRACKcase, allowing them to monitor and track all program members. Ultimately, the ease of TRACKtech technology avoids misuse of monitoring and helps rehabilitate those under supervision. TRACKtech strives to provide solutions to better manage and improve success of program members while increasing public safety.

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