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Expanding Supervision Capabilities in Probation and Pretrial Services

The Probation and Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System continued to expand its mobile capabilities.

The Probation and Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System continued to expand its mobile capabilities.

PACTS Mobile Expanded

For the past five years, the AO has supported (Probation and Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System) PACTS Mobile for BlackBerry devices, allowing officers' on-demand access to case information while working in the community. At the peak, PACTS Mobile supported over 5,000 BlackBerrys used by probation and pretrial staff. With the recent introduction of tablet devices, demand for business-friendly applications ("apps") has increased as well.

Probation and pretrial services officers are using tablet devices during court hearings, for interviews with defendants and offenders, and to access documents in the field. Several apps have been identified that demonstrably increase productivity.

Responding to user demand, the AO’s Mobile Technology Working Group suggested expanding the PACTS Mobile application to operate under Apple's iOS platform, for iPad and iPhone devices. This led to the development of iPACTS. The first production version, released in September 2012, allows for the display of case documents filed in PDF format. Additionally, officers are able to download and view another officer's caseload in the event out-of-office coverage is needed. Future enhancements will improve mapping capabilities, allow interview form completion and itinerary planning, identify offenders residing nearby, and integrate with ATLAS (Access to Law Enforcement System). With iPACTS, officers are able to sync their iPads with the PACTS case management system to obtain current data, eliminating the need for traditional field books, making officers more efficient. A version of iPACTS will be available for the iPhone in calendar year 2013.

Probation and Pretrial Services Tool Puts Clients on the Map

A software application introduced in 2012 gives probation and pretrial services officers a clearer and more meaningful display of information about their clients—criminal defendants and offenders. The Probation and Pretrial Services Clients Mapping Application can, for example, highlight on a map which offenders have been convicted of certain types of offenses, which clients are subject to a given type of supervision condition, and display offenders by the degree of risk they present for recidivism. Supervisors use the map when assigning new cases and take into account both the nature of the case and the location of the officer's existing cases. District and county lines as well as police departments and schools can be highlighted on the map, with offenders' locations superimposed.

Training Programs for Probation and Pretrial Services Officers