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Using Open-Source Technology to Enhance Post-Release Supervision Systems

Award Information

Award #
2007-IJ-CX-K021
Location
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2007
Total funding (to date)
$360,446

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $170,000)

This award will provide funding for The Providence Plan, which will work with The Urban Institute to develop a geospatial application designed to help corrections, public safety, and social service agencies better supervise and assist returning prisoners. The web-based application, which will utilize Google Maps, will enable users to conduct specialized queries of the locations of release prisoners, map the results, and overlay results with other spatially-enabled datasets. The Urban Institute will oversee the evaluation, process documentation, and dissemination activities.

ca/ncf

This award will provide the 2nd year of funding for The Providence Plan, working with The Urban Institute to develop a geospatial application designed to help corrections, public safety, and social service agencies better supervise and assist returning prisoners. The web-based application, which will utilize Google Maps, will enable users to conduct specialized queries of the locations of release prisoners, map the results, and overlay results with other spatially-enabled datasets. There is an evaluation within this project (See Evaluation section for details.)

nca/ncf

The Providence Plan and The Urban Institute originally received funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to develop a geospatial application designed to help corrections, public safety, and social service agencies better supervise and assist returning prisoners. The Providence Plan proposed to design a Web-based tool that enabled users to conduct specialized queries of the locations of released prisoners, map those results at the address level, and then overlay the results with additional spatially-enabled datasets, such as support services for former prisoners. The Urban Institute oversaw the evaluation, process documentation, and dissemination activities.

By using open-source software - MySQL, Ruby on Rails, and Google Maps ' The Providence Plan proposed to build a tool that can be replicated by other communities with minimal start-up costs and no need for an ongoing GIS technical support. As a Web-based application with a familiar architecture (Google Maps), the proposed tool will have a more user-friendly interface and lower bandwidth requirements than typical GIS applications.
These attributes ' along with an easy-to-use dropdown menus - will bring state-of-the-art mapping technology to nontraditional users operating at a variety of workstations ' desktop computers, laptops, and handhelds.

The policy and practice implications for this project include a demonstrated improvement in the quality of parole and probation supervision through more efficient and effective caseload management; greater collaboration and problem solving between correctional and law enforcement agencies; and stronger and more intentional efforts to connect former prisoners to service providers that offer targeted support in the areas of housing, employment, substance abuse and other services.

The Providence Plan is in the final stages of the project and has requested continuation funding to be able to complete the aforementioned research.

ca/ncf

Date Created: September 11, 2007