Leveraging Technology to Enhance Community Supervision

Key Findings

Technology solutions could improve officer safety and skills

  • Technology can be leveraged to train officers more effectively on basic skills and evidence-based interventions, assess whether they are implementing that training with fidelity, and facilitate a timely feedback loop. Given an increasing emphasis on providing supervision services in the communities where offenders live and work, technology should be leveraged to enhance officers' ability to work in the field. One key aspect is safety; advanced emergency duress systems should be developed and evaluated to determine their impact on lone-worker safety.
  • Technology can assist in the delivery of evidence-based interventions known to reduce recidivism. Automated tools are needed to help officers identify the most criminogenic needs to target with a particular offender. As agencies consider transitioning to community-based supervision, research is needed to evaluate the impact of a more mobile workforce. Best practices also are needed to guide agencies as they implement mobility strategies.

Technology can help maintain accountability and facilitate positive behavioral change

  • The use of location-monitoring technologies is increasing, and there are significant associated costs in terms of equipment and officer workload. Research is needed to guide implementation of these technologies to achieve desired outcomes. Evaluations are needed to determine the most effective technology-based approaches to supervising lower-risk offenders.

Technology can help agencies improve their operations

  • The group identified multiple opportunities to improve operational or administrative efficiencies, which would allow for better use of scarce resources. For example, the group participants argued that cost-effective, web-based approaches for victim notification are needed. Furthermore, using modern communication methods (e.g., text) should be explored as a way to maintain contact among officers and offenders between in-person interactions.