Technology is having a major impact on the way we all work, live, play and learn. Now, thanks to an innovative mobile solution by Cisco and our partner TRACKtech, it’s even helping community supervision agencies better serve those involved in reentry and drug addiction. And it’s all powered by real-time community supervision support services that can help lower recidivism, relapse and homelessness among formerly incarcerated individuals.
As a former homeless Veteran, recovering alcoholic and addict (with 31+ years in recovery), I speak from experience. But I also see technology through the prism of a former mayor and chairman of a state commission of correction. During that time, I had the chance to sit down with incarcerated individuals in our jails and prisons. The conversation always started with “how’d you get here”. The response was often eye opening and saddening. But those experiences gave me a deeper understanding of how we could truly create better outcomes not only for the inmate, but for the corrections teams and their community as well.
How to reduce recidivism
Many agencies have provided reentry support and post release services in their planning. Unfortunately the great majority do not (and their recidivism rates show it). So there’s a clear need to address the underlying issues of addiction and mental health as these transitioning populations impact healthcare, homelessness and substance abuse relapse rates in our communities.
That’s why I’m excited Cisco is actively helping the public sector bridge the pitfalls of post-incarceration. Together with our partner TRACKtech, we’ve created an innovative new tool for communities to help formerly incarcerated persons successfully renter society (more info in our new eBook here).
New tool to lower relapse and homelessness
Our approach uses a mobile platform and offers real-time capabilities like Cisco Webex for video conferencing as well as app based rehabilitation elements. This enables community corrections/supervision officers to stay in closer contact with clients through real-time check-ins to make sure their clients are staying on track, to inspect living conditions and to share valuable resources for rehabilitation. All via smartphone. Plus, it helps reduce climate impacts by reducing the need for travel.
A mobile solution empowers communities with a more effective way to reduce the high economic and social costs of reentry failure in public safety and public health. It does this by helping them shift away from punishment and towards rehabilitation. Such a shift requires greater support for awareness, access and interaction using an array of community-based rehabilitative resources. By combining the proven power of Cisco collaboration solutions with TRACKtech’s advanced supervision and integrable case management software, this can be achieved.
Mobile technology as long term resource for community corrections/supervision
Technology is already a useful tool for government in our correctional facilities in offering college courses, GED’s and other opportunities for improvement to the incarcerated. This is the first step in rehabilitation. But the next step is just as critical to turning the tide; successfully reentering society.
Before they are released, we as a community need to make sure those with addictions or other issues find a support network that can help guide them to success in the real-world. We also need to make sure their participation goes smoothly and doesn’t add to the already overburdened resources and workloads in the supervision community. Plus we need to remember that with recent drives for bail and sentencing reforms across the country (which are good initiatives when implemented smartly) there has been added stress to the system. So some communities may be near crisis levels in their ability to handle the situation. But leveraging mobile technologies can help improve the situation and reduce recidivism.
At Cisco, we’re helping agencies like yours deliver services to citizens more efficiently and with better outcomes, through technology. The result is a better use of tax dollars and higher return on investment (ROI). We’re also helping communities leverage all the data collected to better understand the needs of citizens. And in the end, enabling government to make decisions that improve the quality of life for everyone, including those reentering society.
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