Massivedynamic.co
Community Supervision

Almost every pretrial, probation and/or parole supervisor are overwhelmed with overloaded caseloads, some of which are assigned upwards of 150-200 cases. Administrative tasks, commuting, and check-ins take up straining amounts of time and often leads to unattended caseloads of low-risk and high-risk individuals. New technology is being developed to help with these inefficiencies and allowing supervisors to allocate their time and resources appropriately and timely. Technology is the new paper when it comes to keeping organized, case management and enhancing resource allocation, caseload optimization and operational efficiency. 

TRACKtech has created and developed an evidence-based, data-driven, mobile platform that offers comprehensive rehabilitation and compliance monitoring capabilities. Our solution enhances communication, monitors risks and provides an approach to enhance recovery and support reentry requirements within the criminal justice industry. Addressing a wide range of supervised individuals’ needs, from healthcare to those of the justice-involved, the platform integrates community-based resources to enable successful rehabilitation, reentry, and increased public safety.

TRACKcase has been proven to increase officer workload efficiency and capacity. Officers can see their entire caseload on one dashboard, highlighting which clients/program members are in compliance and which ones are not. This simple notification helps the officer know where their attention is needed most at the time. Officers can meet with three times as many clients in any given day by leveraging teleconferencing verses travelling to each individual’s home or having those clients/program members report in person.  Mass check-ins allow an officer to request a check-in from each client/program member on their caseload simultaneously. Out of compliance check-ins will result in a notification to the officer, without the officer having to sort through their entire caseload providing an operational efficiency. In addition, virtual meetings eliminate the wait times for clients in the probation office and reduce the likelihood of them interacting with non-associates or the introduction to new negative influences or peers. For officers, another benefit to video teleconferencing is the increase of safety and a decrease in the potential COVID-19 exposure.

TRACKtech’s platform, includes a broad spectrum of data and workflow automation, enables officers and agencies to implement individualized and responsive case plans, connecting clients/program members to prosocial, community-based resources, meeting criminogenic needs and reducing the likelihood of recidivism. We can overlay Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) principles and determine through assessments what an offender’s risk is and meet their needs based on behavioral health supports.  Our platform was built in consultation with behavioral health professionals to enable whole-person rehabilitative support while providing compliance assessment services for individuals in the process of re-entering society.  In addition, we equip re-entry teams with numerous tools to more effectively monitor and verify an individual’s progress. Rehabilitation and community-based resources are crucial when it comes to a person feeling supported and reintegrating into society. Technology is proving to be useful and helpful to both supervisors and clients, as it provides resources, rehabilitation, efficiency and caseload optimization for all involved.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Being under community supervision takes a toll on individuals, as many need more assistance in creating a stable and supporting lifestyle once released. In the previous blog, we talked about how the use of cognitive behavioral therapy is making positive differences in lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. CBT is used to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs. By addressing these issues, constructive ways of thinking can be developed to produce healthier behaviors and attitudes on life and goals. 

CBT allows for the ability to get to the root of a problem and identify why one might behave or act the way they do. Our behavioral health specialist, Lacey Berumen PhD, MNM, LAC, MAC, ADS, has over 20 years of behavioral health experience. She has provided an example of one of countless scenarios where CBT can be deployed to benefit supervisors helping their clients and their clients themselves: 

CBT can be used with clients simply by asking them to think through the situation to the end and decide whether this will be a positive outcome or if this will have negative connotations. For instance, Joe arrives to his office late and frustrated as the bus schedule at his nearby stop has changed. This situation has resulted in his boss being mad at him. Joe is told to think through the situation and how he is feeling by asking some questions. Is it reasonable that a boss would be upset if an employee was late to work? If so, how might Joe turn this into a positive outcome? Upon finding out the bus schedule has changed, Joe could call the employer and let him know he will be late. Joe could look at other bus schedules that will get him to work another way and on time. Joe may be new to riding the bus so he may need assistance from his supervisor to solve this dilemma.

TRACKtech has extensive capabilities that allow for an individual to access necessary, helpful, and local resources. If Joe was using a TRACKphone, he could have the regional bus website or app quickly available to him. TRACKphone allows the client to have access to useful resources and programs to overcome situations and reach out for help to their supervisors. TRACKcase allows supervisors to have easier contact with clients and provides the ability to check in with them, helping solve crisis through video conferencing, messaging and deploying the use of CBT. This can help alleviate and solve stressful situations that impact clients lives. TRACKtech solutions offer comprehensive rehabilitation and compliance monitoring capabilities to enhance communication, monitor risks and provide an approach to enhance recovery and support reentry requirements. Getting to the root of the problem and keeping people on track is possible with the right tools, including the use of CBT.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Many individuals struggle with mental health issues, whether they are minor or major. During times like COVID-19, many struggle even more so than usual as they are isolated in their homes and from family and friends. As a probation and parole officer, staying in touch with clients and providing resources for them to overcome these obstacles can prove to be challenging, while helping to maintain stable mental health.

One approach that has seen positive change is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. CBT is used to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs. By addressing these issues, constructive ways of thinking can be developed to produce healthier behaviors and attitudes on life and goals. The American Psychological Association highlights that CBT is based on core principles of psychological problems involving faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking, learned patterns or unhelpful behavior, and those suffering to learn better ways of coping with them, relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives. 

There are a variety of CBT treatments that involve different strategies. One is learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking, which is creating problems, and then to reevaluate them to change these distortions. Others are gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others, using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations and learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s own abilities. CBT is about changing behavioral patterns and helping your client recognize them and the factors that drive their criminogenic needs. 

More therapists and supervisors are supporting that cognitive behavioral therapy is proving to make a difference in the lives of those being supervised by helping establish what factors might be behind their need to commit crimes. Studies of CBT have shown it to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental illnesses and to keep individuals on their path to rehabilitation into society. 

TRACKtech has created and developed an evidence-based, data-driven, mobile platform that offers comprehensive rehabilitation and compliance monitoring capabilities. Our solution enhances communication, monitors risks and provides an approach to enhance recovery and support reentry requirements within the criminal justice industry. Behavioral health assessments and resources are available for those being supervised through TRACKphone and TRACKphoneLite. They allow supervisors to be in contact with clients through check ins and video conferencing to establish a connection and support system. With the assessment results, CBT can be deployed through video conferencing to help the client with life problems and help get to the root cause of their criminogenic needs.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) put together a presentation on the use of Behavioral Health Applications. It is estimated that there are currently over 10,000 mental health related applications that people can download and make use of. However, not all are reliable or trustworthy when it comes to supporting people. Many lack guidance from the FDA and are not HIPAA compliant. Because of this, a high percentage of the applications expose or sell personal health data that they receive through the app’s users. This data is taken with or without the consent of users and sold to third parties. In an analysis study done by Patsakis C. Security and Privacy, only 50% of apps shared data securely and 80% shared health-related data to third parties. As well as sharing private data, many applications are not tightly regulated and make false claims about their effectiveness. This affects all people relying on them to have resources and a network to turn to when struggling with mental health stability, especially during these  pandemic winter months.

NAMI provided assessment criteria that we at TRACKtech find compelling and informative when seeking a behavioral health application. The top five priorities to keep in mind when looking for behavioral health applications are security, privacy, effectiveness, usability and data sharing with external parties related to you such as physicians or family members. We also personally recommend that the application is user friendly and easy to navigate. This allows for you to browse and customize all resources to best suit you, as well as ensuring the application is engaging and providing for your necessities. Additionally, make sure it is HIPAA compliant and stores data securely to avoid using one that is seeking to make a profit by selling user data.

An additional resource funded by the Argosy Foundation is https://apps.digitalpsych.org/, which provides a customizable search engine for applications related to behavioral health. Individual preferences and your values are important when looking for an application to trust and use every day. We trust this resource to provide engaging and effective mental health resources for people to use every day. Remember – you are not alone.

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Public Safety

An article published by the Prison Policy Initiative suggests that the long-time stigma of releasing those awaiting trial does not harm public safety. There were no corresponding waves in increased crime in states, cities and counties. “We found four states, as well as nine cities and counties, where there is existing data on public safety from before and after the adoption of pretrial reforms.” All but one of these saw decreases or negligible increases in crime after implementing the pretrial reforms. This is a game changer, as COVID-19 has made jails even more dangerous and vulnerable for incarcerated individuals to become sick. By having pretrial release programs, individuals are staying safer and helping mitigate outside contact to those already behind bars.

In the past criminal justice reformers have long supported pretrial measures and programs but were opposed by district attorneys, police departments, the commercial bail industry and the public saying that releasing individuals puts community safety at risk. However, new studies are finding this to be untrue and that releasing non-violent individuals into community supervision decreases the risk of spreading COVID-19 and prison overcrowding. “About 75% of people held by jails are legally innocent and awaiting trial, often because they are too poor to make bail.” Jail populations can decrease significantly if more individuals are released into pretrial programs and supervision.

TRACKtech is working to keep communities safe, as well as reduce recidivism and stigma’s surrounding community supervision. Our solutions provide whole-person rehabilitation support and compliance monitoring services to those under any type of community supervision, such as pretrial, probation and parole. TRACKphone Lite allows courts to maintain communication and any necessary monitoring with pretrial individuals  as well as send them calendar reminders for upcoming court appearances. Rehabilitative support and additional resources are available through the app for individuals. Utilizing TRACKtech solutions provides a way to check in and communicate with pretrial individuals in a COVID-19 safe protocol prior to their court dates while also keeping the community safe.

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Justice Reform

The Crime Report published an article about juvenile probation and how originally it was designed to keep young people out of jail but has recently been a driver for youth incarceration. “There are far more young people in the justice system under the supervision of probation departments than there are in any other aspect of the system,” says David Muhammad, a former deputy probation commissioner in New York City who is now executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform. Youth arrests have dropped from 2 million a year in the early 2000s to around 700,000 annually and many facilities are closing juvenile detention facilities. This has led to an increase in youth being on probation and parole. However, most struggle to get out of the system and rehabilitate successfully back into society.

On average, about two-thirds of youth are placed on probation by juvenile courts, leading to a reduced incarceration rate of about 60% compared to 10 or 15 years ago. However, this leads to youth becoming trapped in a cycle of recidivating and being on probation several times. It also opens the likelihood of them having technical violations resulting in detention or being sent back to jail. While the reduced incarceration rate is a positive move forward, the support for youth community supervision needs to also continue reforming with the criminal justice system changing from punitive to a rehabilitative focus.

TRACKtech is changing the way that probation and parole officers and supervisors can provide supportive and vital resources for individuals to break the cycle of being stuck in the system.  TRACKphone provides officers and clients the ability to be in constant contact and communicate via video conferencing, two-way messaging and through biometric identification check-ins. TRACKcase provides officers with the ability to geofence and monitor the location of youth, as well as check in with them. Behavioral health resources,  homeless shelters, and life skills resources, are available through the TRACKphone for clients.

Additionally, check-in eForms can be created by supervisors for clients to fill out, checking on them and to see where they can help the most. TRACKtech is working to change the way individuals, including youth, are rehabilitated back into society in the hopes of reducing recidivism and providing necessary resources for people to be successful when integrating back into society.   

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Many jail populations increase due to drug offenses, a common felony that is seen to also cause recidivism. According to an article published by WMUR 9, The Valley Street Jail in Manchester, New Hampshire has seen a decrease in drug offenses due to a new treatment program being implemented in the facility. They are trying to help people struggling with addiction problems in the hopes of keeping them out of jail and sober. Many people who have substance abuse disorders go to jail or prison, often more than once. Because of this, the Hillsborough County Department of Corrections is teaching people how to stay sober in the hopes of giving them a second chance and not returning to jail.

This program started two years ago. Over a period of 60 days, inmates go through a treatment program that is five days a week and runs all day. They have the opportunity to be in a learning environment where they are taught about recovery and given messages of hope. The program strives to reintegrate the inmates back into society and reestablish a stable and safe environment for them, by helping them find employment and insurance. Once inmates complete the program, they are placed on an electronic monitoring device to ensure that they stay sober and on track once they are back in society. The program has seen promising results as only 32% are repeat offenders and are involved in recidivism. However, every year they have reported recidivism rates decreasing. The program hopes to reduce and break the cycle of addiction to help inmates start over.

TRACKtech, LLC was created to reduce recidivism rates by reintegrating inmates back into society through a network of support from their supervisors and outside resources. The TRACKphone provides access to outside resources and allows for supervisors to check in remotely with their program members through biometric identification and video conferencing, as well as be in constant communication. The supervisor and program member can establish a relationship in which the program member feels supported and has the tools to become a functioning member of society again, all while staying sober.

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Community Supervision

TRACKtech is proud to announce our partnership as Cisco’s first and only mobile technology solution partner connecting organizations serving the needs of at-risk populations with other agencies, departments, and clients they serve.  As a Cisco Solutions Plus Partner, TRACKtech utilizes Cisco’s Webex Teams and Meetings platforms to virtually connect probation and parole officers with their clients, as well as better manage their caseloads through providing a constant means of communication.

Cisco’s Connected Justice solution is the first standards-based video solution to deliver comprehensive, connected professional services to the entire justice system; public safety departments, courts, correctional facilities and community corrections agencies. Covid-19 made delivering critical services without physical contact essential. TRACKtech is proud to be a part of Cisco’s Connected Justice solution along with other partners, TeleSpace and Cloverhound

“I am delighted to partner with Cisco for our Connected Justice Solution,” said TRACKtech CEO, Michael Hirschman. “This partnership is an essential step towards improving public safety and modernizing the criminal justice system.”

TRACKtech has recently joined Cisco’s Toronto Innovation Center, where solutions for real-world business challenges are brought to reality. As a key touchpoint within Cisco’s global network of partners, researchers and subject matter experts, the Toronto Innovation Center allows TRACKtech to make a greater impact in connected justice.

TRACKtech’s platform can help agencies meet new challenges propelled by the COVID crisis and offers the solution for post-pandemic community supervision and the delivery of rehabilitative tele-services. TRACKtech, a proud Cisco Solutions Plus Partner, works tirelessly with government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide mobile solutions to enable successful client outcomes. Learn more through Cisco’s collaboration blog and press release

About
TRACKtech is a technology company focused on providing modern day solutions to social issues including probation, parole, homelessness, addiction, and other overlooked, at-risk groups in our communities. Our software combines cognitive behavioral therapy and secure, fully customizable technology to support seamless “Entry to Re-entry” supervision and rehabilitation. As both an evidence-based and evidence-generating platform, TRACKtech provides cutting-edge solutions to help individuals follow the right track to make better choices and receive timely and targeted resources for their rehabilitation. For more information, please visit https://tracktechllc.com/.

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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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Public Safety

Community supervision has become the new norm for officers to monitor individuals out on bail, during pretrial, or serving probation and parole time. However, it is difficult to monitor those who have committed low level offenses or are registered sex offenders, as they are not closely monitored through tracking devices. In an article posted by the Crime Report, it is estimated that 25,000 convicted sex offenders and predators across the U.S. are unaccounted for. This is due to them registering their addresses as homeless shelters or from them moving and never being located concluding that their whereabouts are unknown to law enforcement.

There is a concerning issue at hand for how to monitor these individuals on the limited budgets and time of officers. This shortcoming predates the pandemic and has only increased the problem as space in jails and prisons is limited, so many have been released. Although steps have been taken to try to protect victims and those harmed by these individuals, it is not always conclusive. State registries often have many errors, including wrong addresses, names of individuals that have passed away, and some that have not verified their whereabouts in years. A new way of addressing the issue and protecting the community is vital.

TRACKtech is committed to problem solving, especially when it comes to monitoring individuals and keeping the public safe. TRACKphone allows officers to monitor the location of their program member without having to visually see them, as they can promptly request check-ins that require biometric identification. Officers can also set up geofencing and parameters that alert them when offenders are violating designated locations. Behavioral and mental health resources and programs are available on the phone for program members to access to help rehabilitate them, instead of punishing them. With the pandemic in full swing and more individuals being released, TRACKtech can provide solutions to urgent matters.

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