JANUARY / ENERO 2019 JUSTICE TRENDS //  1 0 1 Context With the recent passing of the First Step Act, in the United States, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing incarcerated populations and focusing greater resources on recidivism reduction, the pressure on community corrections agencies has increased significantly. The new legislation rewards offenders for good behaviour by providing increased opportunities for early release and allows them to serve a greater portion of their sentence in the community. It is a positive development in the ongoing effort to successfully reintegrate offenders back into society. Problem This shift in correctional priorities has a direct and immediate impact on community corrections operations, particularly in terms of officer caseload. For the new legislation to achieve desired long-term results, community- based offenders will require more frequent and more consistent contact with community corrections’ officers as they complete the community portion of their sentence. While the First StepAct will come with some funding to support the States, including greater community corrections staffing budgets, the increased caseload for every officer demands a reconsideration of current caseload management practices. The old approach of managing countless paper files and logging long hours behind an office-based computer screen will simply not deliver efficiency. This challenge recalls one that we have helped address more than three years ago. The customer, a large agency in the Eastern US, had introduced policies to enable a greater number of qualified offenders to serve a longer portion of their sentence in the community. The operational impacts were broad and reflected directly on the information systems that form the digital foundation of the prison service. In late 2014, on the heels of modernising its offender management system (OMS), the Agency’s CIO knew he had to align his team’s focus with changing operational priorities. Not only was it essential that the OMS adapted to sentencing rules, he needed to support more than 1,300 community corrections officers across more than 40 offices and administration centres as their caseload expanded dramatically. “The challenge was obvious,” said this experienced CIO. “We had just completed a multi-phased project to modernise our OMS across all institutional and community operations. A critical driver in that investment was the strategic need to centralise all data into a single, integrated environment to drive efficiency and aid decision-making. The shift towards managing more offenders in the community represented the first test for us. We needed to maintain alignment between our information strategy and operational priorities, but we could not introduce a stand-alone system to help community corrections officers manage an expanded workload.” Simultaneously, with a younger generation of community corrections officers entering into service, the CIO faced daily requests for a mobile phone-based application that would enable access to the OMS. Officers cited their expanded caseload and said they needed something that would help them manage it from the field. They wanted easy access to information about their clients, an ability to receive up-to-date alerts, record and upload pictures on the spot, record notes from client meetings, and use GPS mapping to help manage routing. The CIO realised it was possible for a mobile app to address the workload efficiency question. Yet from a financial and IT management perspective, it wasn’t feasible to supply phones to every officer. Likewise, having seen rudimentary phone apps, he knew they wouldn’t meet the security or OMS integration imperatives of the Agency. Contexto Con la reciente aprobación de la Ley Primer Paso en los Estados Unidos, un proyecto de ley bipartidista con el fin de reducir la población encarcelada y destinar mayores recursos a la reducción de la reincidencia, la presión sobre las agencias correccionales comunitarias ha aumentado significativamente. La nueva legislación recompensa a los infractores por su buen comportamiento, proporcionándoles mayores oportunidades para su liberación temprana y permitiéndoles cumplir una mayor parte de su condena en la comunidad. Es un avance positivo en el esfuerzo continuo por reintegrar con éxito a los delincuentes en la sociedad. Problema Este cambio en las prioridades correccionales tiene un impacto directo e inmediato en el funcionamiento de los servicios de penas en la comunidad, particularmente desde el punto de vista de la carga de trabajo para los funcionarios. Para que la nueva legislación logre los resultados deseados a largo plazo, los delincuentes que viven en la comunidad requerirán de un contacto más frecuente y consistente con los funcionarios a medida que completan parte de su sentencia en la comunidad. Si bien la Ley Primer Paso aportará fondos para los distintos estados, incluido un aumento de los presupuestos para contratar a empleados en los correccionales comunitarios, la mayor carga de trabajo para cada funcionario exige una reconsideración de las prácticas actuales en la administración de casos. El antiguo enfoque, administrar innumerables archivos en papel y pasar largas horas detrás de una pantalla de ordenador en la oficina, no resultará lo suficientemente eficiente. Este desafío recuerda uno que hemos ayudado a abordar hace más de tres años. El cliente, una gran agencia en el este de los EE. UU., introdujo políticas en los primeros años de esta década para permitir que un mayor número de delincuentes cualificados cumpliesen una parte más larga de su sentencia en la comunidad. Los impactos operativos fueron amplios y tuvieron repercusión directa sobre los sistemas de información que forman la base digital del servicio penitenciario. A finales de 2014, tras la modernización del sistema de gestión de delincuentes de la agencia (OMS, por sus siglas en inglés), el DSI (Director de Sistemas de Información) sabía que tenía que alinear el enfoque de su equipo con las cambiantes prioridades operativas. No solo era esencial que el OMS se adaptara a las reglas de sentencias, sino que también tenía que respaldar a más de 1300 funcionarios del servicio de penas y medidas en TECH CASE CASO TECNOLOGÍA Offender Management Systems Sistemas de gestión penitenciaria Community corrections officers can manage their entire caseload within the easy-to-use CORIS MobileApp | Los agentes de penas y medidas en la comunidad pueden gestionar todo su rabajo con la aplicación móvil CORIS Embracing mobility improves efficiency for community corrections officers La movilidad mejora la eficiencia de los funcionarios de penas y medidas en la comunidad