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Probation Offices Look to Technology to Offset Budgets, Staffing Reductions
May 03, 2012
Budget problems are affecting everyone in the federal judiciary, but chief probation officers across the nation are harnessing technology and imaginative teamwork to cope.
For example, Chief Probation Officer Eileen Kelly in the Eastern District of New York found a solution via cooperation with her office’s counterpart in the District of Arizona.
“My (budget) projections were in the red. I had to figure out how to keep my office running without laying people off and devastating the department,” she said. At the same time, Kelly knew the District of Arizona, with a rising caseload, couldn’t find enough well-qualified officers to do presentence reports.
Kelly contacted Arizona Chief Probation Officer Mario Moreno with a possible solution for both districts: videoconferencing.
“If our officers can videoconference presentence interviews with prisons here in New York state to avoid officers traveling, why can’t we do the same work for another district,” she said.
Learn more about how probation offices are making do in the April issue of The Third Branch newsletter.