This technology brief is the first document in a four-part series on technologies to support the monitoring and supervision of individuals on pre-trial release, probation, and parole; it highlights technologies used to enhance supervision of individuals in the community, including location tracking, detecting drug and alcohol use, and leveraging smartphone applications.
This document is part of a four-part series covering technologies that support the monitoring and supervision of people on pre-trial release, probation, and parole (i.e., community supervision). The series goals are to offer foundational insights from use cases, examine the challenges of community supervision, highlight example products, and discuss the future of select technologies and their implications for community supervision. This brief focuses on technologies used to enhance supervision of individuals in the community, including location tracking, detecting drug and alcohol use, and leveraging smartphone applications. The document addresses challenges faced by community supervision agencies in monitoring and supporting individuals who are on community supervisions; challenges include resource limitations, high-volume caseloads, and staff capacity, as well as complexities associated with Covid-19 pandemic responses. This brief provides relevant context and trends within community supervision, followed by community insights for three supervision technologies: location tracking systems (LTS), alcohol and drug monitoring solutions, and smartphone applications. It concludes with implementation considerations intended to support court and supervision agency decisions. Key takeaways include: social and technological factors are fueling the increased use technologies, however many challenges remain for their implementation, including agency resource constraints and high officer workloads; implementing supervision technologies should align with evidence-based practices; equitable implementation of new technologies must consider efficacy, burden, access, and costs for both supervision agencies and the individuals on community supervision; new technologies do not necessarily create improved outcomes, and each supervision technology comes with advantages and limitations.
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