• November 22, 2016

Bridging Field and Files: Probation Officer Productivity

How HPE helped mobilize caseloads in San Diego County.

Increasing productivity is one of the most coveted goals of technological innovation. For probation officers in San Diego County, the need to mobilize caseloads was paramount, particularly when officers were in the field. Was there a better way to access their caseloads, track case history, and enter contact notes in the field? Could officers one day access actual court meeting minutes and upload evidence photo and new probationer images in the field? The County of San Diego and Hewlett Packard Enterprise partnered to find out by developing the Probation Utility and Mobile Applications (PUMA) Contact Log in spring 2015.

With PUMA, San Diego County would be the first in the industry to mobilize probation officer caseloads.

PUMA Pounces With Success

After a successful 2015 pilot program, the San Diego County Probation Department released PUMA to 320 officers. Additionally in July 2016, the National Association of Counties, an organization focused on policies and ideas to benefit America’s 3,069 counties, honored PUMA with the prestigious “Best in Category” achievement award.

The key to PUMA’s success was that it provided a solution that bridged the field and files, enabling the probation officers to manage their offender contacts in the field and enter case notes on the job to save time, ensure accuracy, and increase consistency.

PUMA’s Future and VIMO

As word of PUMA spread, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) contacted HPE and San Diego County to enter an agreement to leverage PUMA code for its own pilot with state parole agents. Working with CDCR, the HPE account teams at the California Strategic Offender Management System (SOMS) and San Diego County produced a fully functional pilot in three months called the Virtual Integrated Mobile Office (VIMO). VIMO, like PUMA, allows parole agents to manage their caseloads and add contact notes in the field. Since October 2016, 45 parole agents have logged more than 4,000 field contacts. The pilot success has amazed CDCR officials, who are now planning to release Version 2.0 of VIMO by December 2016 to all GPS/Sex Offender Agents. The remaining 1,000 parole agents are scheduled to receive VIMO in the second quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, HPE and the County are working on application enhancements to PUMA that will include the ability to retrieve court meeting minutes from Judicial Systems and upload images. There are two other proof of concepts in the works: the ability to leverage facial recognition technology via the San Diego County Sheriff facial recognition system, and the integration of PUMA with Android Wear smartwatches to provide officers a hands-free experience in the field.

With more than 3 million citizens and 16,000 employees, the County of San Diego is the fifth-largest county in the U.S. Becoming the first to mobilize officer caseloads not only enables employee productivity, it creates a blueprint for other districts to follow.

Read more about HPE’s work with state and local partners at gov.hpe-enterpriseforward.com.