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News

Award for law enforcement data management system

SAS : 20 May, 2008  (Technical Article)
Recognition gained for innovative offender management and risk assessment system at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency
The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) is a federal executive branch agency responsible for supervising over 15,000 parolees, supervised releases and probationers in the District of Columbia. The agency is using technology to turn its data into assets, and has created a highly sophisticated offender risk assessment application to meet its public safety mission more effectively. In honour of CSOSA's innovative use of data, the agency was awarded the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Award for Government at today's SAS Executive Conference for Government.

"Technology is vital to our mission and to our ability to protect the public," said CSOSA Director Paul Quander. "A good decision means having access to the right data at the right time.'

Since the agency's inception in 1997, an information system was considered critical to identify opportunities for interventions that have a positive effect for a safer community. CSOSA's current system, named SMART, pulls data from local, state and federal data sources to match offenders with the proper treatments or interventions. Such sources include court hearings, dispositions and sentences, nightly police booking reports, prison release schedules, disciplinary actions, drug testing and treatment participation, DNA, and other disparate data sources.

One particularly effective data source is geographic information on the offenders who are tracked using global positioning devices. The technology has been used to solve several violent crimes in the DC area, including the arrest of a convicted robber for sexually assaulting a teenage girl and kidnapping another earlier this year.

"SMART allows us to manage the data. It's our life blood. It allows us to delve into every aspect of this organization," said Quander.

Results of the data analysis are delivered to the desktop through the agency's SMART-STAT system. The system provides information to case officers and their supervisors, as well as executive management, to aid in offender reintegration, rehabilitation and public safety efforts.

SMART-STAT serves as a risk assessment, as well as performance management, tool. The system alerts case officers to potential offender recidivism and recommends appropriate interventions. It also allows CSOSA management to monitor the performance of officers based on successful outcomes.

"Everything that we do is information-driven, whether it's the accountability side or the treatment side. You can't have one without the other, and they're both dependent upon good use of data to make intelligent, well-informed decisions," said Quander.

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