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Data Analysis Has Potential to Improve Community Supervision

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2016
2 pages
This article presents information from an NIJ funded study on using GPS-based electronic monitoring systems in tracking the locations of individuals under community supervision, and the application of data analytic software that can increase monitoring efficiency.
GPS-based electronic monitoring systems are widely used to track the locations of individuals under community supervision. These systems produce a wealth of data, some of it relevant, much of it not. That data-glut can overwhelm the supervising officer. Data analytic software can increase monitoring efficiency by winnowing through the data and organizing it so that the officer is only presented relevant information when they need it. Data analytic software can also increase monitoring effectiveness. It can provide insights into the individual's habits and social networks, and potential future actions. Those insights can enable the supervising officer to better understand the individual's risks, criminogenic needs, the effectiveness of the programs and services provided to address those needs, as well as the degree to which the individual is utilizing them. Despite the potential for data analytic software to improve community supervision, a new study undertaken for NIJ finds that agencies that use these systems do not always factor the analytic capabilities of the firms that they contract with, nor of their products, into procurement decisions. The information contained in this study may benefit agencies considering implementing such systems.

Date Published: October 1, 2016