Arkansas / MAPPS

Project
For the past 15 years, the Arkansas Community Corrections Department has been using eOMIS™ Community Supervision to monitor and supervise its 55,0000 felony offenders. To save time and increase productivity, Arkansas Community Corrections purchased the Mobile Application for Parole and Probation Supervision (MAPPS), a mobile app that enables smartphones to work directly with eOMIS™ making it safer and easier than ever for parole and probation officers in the field.

Goal
Officers needed the capability to record instant updates while with the offender in the field to ensure accuracy. Additionally, correctional staff wanted a software that could operate offline and easily sync with eOMIS™ once the officer returns to their computer. With this in mind, we developed the following goals:

  1. Decrease officers’ time on administrative tasks and other ancillary duties thereby freeing up to focus on maximum-risk offenders and difficult cases
  2. Promote and develop safety measures for the officer while they are in rural areas or conducting home visits without heavy cost to the departments
  3. Serve as an expanded repository of offender information

Challenge
Arkansas’s expansive network of over 40 Parole and Probation offices grappled with internet access difficulties in their efforts reduce recidivism in offenders across the state. With stationary computers deemed impractical and the need for offline access in the field, Arkansas’s Community Corrections Department was looking for an agile software that focused on community supervision without being fully reliant on a network connection.

Solution
MAPPS can be used both offline and online depending on the connections available in and out of the parole and probation offices. If there is no access to Wifi in the office, an officer can plug their phone into their computer and use the Tunnel to sync when they are prepping for field work.

In the field, officers can update their caseload while being offline if there is no connectivity, and are able to go back to the office and sync their phone using either Wifi or plugging their phone directly into their computer using the Tunnel created by Marquis.

MAPPS is CJIS compliant, guarantees data integrity, and allows all users to access reliable information in a highly secure environment whether the officer is offline or online while using the app.

Progress
MAPPS was first piloted to 12 officers in one parole and probation office. This successful pilot resulted in a full deployment to all 40+ offices and is currently being used by over half of the officers in rural and urban Arkansas. Arkansas Community Corrections and its officers have expressed that MAPPS has been revolutionary, saving them time in the field and in the office and therefore increasing the time they have to better supervise their offenders. MAPPS has minimized prep time for field visits and is saving mileage due to officers having all the information they need at their fingertips, eliminating trips back and forth to their assigned office.

Benefits
MAPPS has changed the way officers conduct their field work by improving efficiency and fostering a safer work environment. The reported increases in productivity have primarily come from “Best Route Mapping,” the ability to document home visits while still in the field, and capability to look up and review offenders’ information at all hours of the day.

Previously, it would take officers anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour to locate an offender’s address and find best route. The “Fastest Route” feature of MAPPS allows for an officer in the field to create a list of hand-selected offenders and receive the quickest route to their residences. This feature works in tandem with “Selective Mapping” by allowing officers to select an area on a map that they want to visit then displaying a list of offenders in that area for which officers can then develop a Fastest Route for.

Prior to MAPPS, officers would take mental or handwritten notes during offender visits that had to be physically documented when they went into the office. With MAPPS, correctional authorities can now prepare for a visit in less than 5 minutes. Notes from home visits are documented directly into MAPPS without officers ever having to leave the field, saving both time and money.

MAPPS allows officers to bring their caseload with them allowing authorities to easily review a file and immediately address a situation upon receiving a call from a Police or Sheriff’s Department regarding an offender they supervise. Additionally, MAPPS’ security and recordkeeping features allow officers to carry crucial sensitive information to court without the hassle of putting together a file or the worry that it could be lost or stolen.

The ability to look up offenders and their information after hours allows officers to make decisions on the spot with offenders instead of having to wait until they are back in the office. MAPPS provides the flexibility the officers need to help keep offenders on schedule and meet their requirements, ultimately reducing recidivism.

“MAPPS has streamlined my ability to conduct home visits… I feel safer in the field with the check in option.”
– Officer Chelsea Kennedy, Arkansas Parole and Probation

Project Milestones Met:

  • • January 2017 – Wi-Fi installed in the pilot site – North Little Rock Parole Office. MAPPS pilot deployed to 12 officers at pilot site. 5 officers used Android and 7 officers with iPhones.
  • • February 2017 – Feedback from pilot users leads to error fixes and enhanced features.
  • • April 2017 – ACC’s desire to eliminate need for wifi syncing leads to MAPPS Tunnel programming project.
  • • June 2017 – MAPPS tunnel completed and installed to pilot users.
  • • August 2017 – MAPPS pilot expanded to 25 officers at pilot site.
  • • December 2017 – MAPPS Pilot expands to all officers at the North Little Rock Parole office.
  • • January 2018 – Feedback from pilot leads to enhancements to capture photos and vehicle data in the field.
  • • February 2018 – MAPPS Tunnel pushed to computers from ACC IT staff.
  • • February 2018 – Began three-survey study to show the effectiveness of MAPPS: 1) pre-survey, 2) survey after two weeks of use, and 3) survey after 8 weeks of use.
  • • March 2018 – Went live throughout the State of Arkansas in over 40 offices with over 250 officers utilizing MAPPS.
  • • April 2018 – Formalized a list of 19 enhancement to MAPPS.
  • • June 2018 – Completion of effectiveness study.
  • • July 2018 – Completion of 19 enhancements.

Quotes:

“I had the opportunity to use [the app]…when I was contacted by a sheriff department. It was a life saver and saved me having to drive 10 plus miles back to the office to contact an offender. With the app I was able to look up his phone numbers make contact with him to determine that the guy that were filing a missing person report on was not my offender.”
– Parole and Probation Officer, Mountain View Arkansas Community Corrections

“MAPPS has streamlined my ability to conduct home visits with a partner. I don’t have to spend 30+ minutes coordinating addresses and finding the best route through a mapping website. The prep time is legitimately between 3 and 5 minutes to sync and create a working list and hit the door. I feel safer in the field with the check in option. The ability to document the home visits while still in the field is nothing short of revolutionary. Before MAPPS, the prep time and documenting time afterwards ate up so much of the available time to do field work.”
– Officer Chelsea Kennedy, Arkansas Parole and Probation

“This tool is a huge benefit for us in rural areas.  The fastest route is probably my favorite thing about the app.  It saved us TONS of time this week conducting home visits.”
– Parole and Probation Officer

“I have worked for the agency for over 10 years and this is one of the best improvements I have seen since starting here.”
– Parole and Probation Officer

“The ability to look up offenders and their information after hours is outstanding.  This feature has allowed me to make decisions on the spot with offenders instead of having to wait until I’m back at the office, allowing me more flexibility and keeping offenders on schedule to meet their requirements.  This is a great tool.”
– Parole and Probation Officer