Probation and parole departments throughout California are experiencing enormous demands, with ever-increasing caseloads, case complexity, and expectations for overall improved customer services from citizens who want to feel safe. At the same time, to address state prison overcrowding, a recent bill allowed some 2,000 low-level prison offenders to be supervised by probation officers in one of California’s 58 counties, including San Diego.
With the increasing demands on probation officers to ensure citizen safety, in 2015, the Probation Utility Mobile Application, or PUMA, was developed for use in the field by probation officers in the County of San Diego in collaboration with DXC Technology. With PUMA, probation officers have the ability to use their smartphone to search for offenders and enter field contacts in the County’s case management system. Probation officers utilize the voice-to-text feature to quickly enter contacts directly in the field. Officers also use PUMA and other smartphone technologies to review their case files, conduct follow-up office visits, map their daily routes, take evidence photos, and have access to their email, calendar, contacts, and texting.
When the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) heard about the success of the PUMA mobile offender management solution, they decided to enter an agreement to leverage PUMA code for their own pilot. The county showed the CDCR the mobile app and made the source code available to them. The CDCR worked with the county and DXC to essentially “reskin” the mobile app and produce a fully functional pilot in three months for 45 state parole agents. They called the app Virtual Integrated Mobile Office (VIMO).
VIMO, like PUMA, allows parole agents to manage their caseloads and add contact notes in the field. Version 2.0 of VIMO will be rolled out to the remaining 1,000 parole agents soon.
READ MORE about this innovative solution for ensuring citizen safety while saving costs here.