BI Incorporated GPS tracking devices helping to monitor sex offenders in Arizona

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BI ExacuTrack OneTechnology provided by BI Incorporated is helping officials in northern Arizona keep track of probationers convicted of sex crimes, as well as anyone else ordered to be tracked by the court.

The probationers are tracked by two men who work for the Yavapai County Adult Probation Office who are in charge of monitoring seven counties in northern Arizona in all. As The Daily Courier notes, each GPS ankle bracelet sends a signal to a satellite geosynchronous Earth orbit and that information is then fed to computers that store each probationer’s movement parameters.

The officers monitor these movements by tracking them on a computer map display that is programmed to know where sex offenders are prohibited from being near, like schools and parks. Once an offender moves into an unauthorized area, their movements appear as red on the map display and the officers receive an alert.

Though the officers monitor seven days a week, BI supports the probation office when officers are off-duty.

The analysts said the probationers know they are being watched, so most of the alerts are for the wearer failing to charge the bracelet. If a wearer attempts to disconnect the bracelet, an alert is sent to their probation officer, who is in charge of sanctioning the offender for violations.

BI Incorporated provides electronic monitoring technology to correctional agencies across the country. One of the most popular devices is the BI ExacuTrack® One, a one-piece, ankle-mounted tracking unit that relies on GPS tracking data and other location monitoring technologies to accurately track an offender’s movement within local communities.

For more information about our technology, click here.

Posted in Industry News, Monitoring Technology

Electronic monitoring helping North Carolina police solve crimes

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Police in Charlotte and Mecklenburg, North Carolina, who use electronic monitoring technology provided by BI Incorporated, are crediting four arrests in October with electronic monitoring data that showed the suspects—all on electronic monitoring—to be near the crime scenes.

The arrests were featured in an NBC Charlotte news report which stated that, as a part of their wider search for a suspect, police have been using tracking software to see if any offenders on electronic monitoring were near reported crime scenes. Officers enter an address into the database and are able to see if any participant’s tracking device logged nearby coordinates.

Using this method to locate possible suspects has led police to make four arrests in October in relation to break-ins and automobile thefts. In one case, where a credit card had been stolen, police were able to track that the suspect had been to several locations where the victim’s stolen card was subsequently used.

The report states that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police made 90 arrests in 2013 from using such electronic monitoring data.

According to one officer, the arrests are teaching certain offenders to take the monitoring devices more seriously.

BI Incorporated works with correctional agencies across the country to provide electronic monitoring technology and support to supervising officers. As evidenced by this report, electronic monitoring helps to keep offenders accountable for their actions, which allows officers to increase sanctions when needed.

BI provides the North Carolina Department of Public Safety with the BI ExacuTrack® One, HomeGuard® 200 and HomeGuard 206, BI TotalAccess® and BI Monitoring Operations, BI’s 24/7 national monitoring center.

To learn more about BI’s technology and support services, click here.

Posted in Industry News

Performance measures key to determining success of justice reinvestment policies

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justice center

The Council of State Governments Justice Center recently published an article that discusses the essential role of performance measurement in implementing justice reinvestment policies.

As the article states, performance measurements help states track and analyze data so that informed decisions can be made that increase the likelihood of long-term justice reinvestment success.

CSG recommends designing effective performance measurement systems by either modifying existing data systems or creating new data systems or by expanding staff capacity. It also gives examples of states which have done one of the three.

For instance, West Virginia has modified existing data systems while North Carolina has developed a new data system which includes an adult corrections database to monitor approximately 100 metrics related to justice reinvestment policies. And in Kansas, the Kansas Sentencing Commission has dedicated one staff member to full-time research analysis to track implementation of the state’s justice reinvestment legislation, HB 2170.

CSG’s article follows a brief by the Urban Institute which provides recommendations on how to track recidivism as a performance measure, illustrating the importance of having meaningful data to use in creating smart policies and informed decision-making.

BI Incorporated works with correctional agencies across the country to help improve performance measures related to individuals under community supervision, including providing electronic monitoring technology and monitoring support to supervising officers.

These offender monitoring systems are designed to encourage pretrial defendants, probationers or parolees to remain crime free while giving them the ability to remain in their communities and continue to work.

To learn more about our technology and services, click here.

Posted in BI Insight, Industry News

BI’s offender-funded option saves money for correctional agencies

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Electronic monitoring (EM) is a useful tool for correctional agencies across the United States. The technology assists supervising officers in keeping track of individuals being monitored while helping to combat jail and prison overcrowding. As such, electronic supervision programs have been on the rise in the U.S.

But EM programs can be costly, which is why some agencies opt to recover some of the cost to administer the programs through offender fees.

Offender fees enable agencies to off-set the costs of electronic supervision programs, and for many agencies this allows them to supervise a greater number of individuals within their program. Agencies are able to begin their programs with the offender-funded option or may add the option to an existing program. The fees for the technology can range from a flat monthly rate to a daily fee, depending on the needs of the individual.

The offender-funded option offers several benefits, including:

  • A little to no-cost alternative to incarceration that helps reduce overcrowding
  • Reducing the cost of operation and the cost of building new jails and prisons
  • Using saved funds to expand community-based supervision programs or diverting the money savings to other corrections programs
  • The option for offenders to live at home, go to work and maintain social ties while serving their sentence—a double benefit as there is little to no cost to taxpayers and the offender continues to contribute to the local community and economy.
  • Having clients contribute a portion of the technology and service costs adds value for the client. As such, compliance is enhanced because the individual is sharing the financial burden.

There are several ways for agencies to implement the offender-funded option, including completely outsourcing the implementation and operation or handling the operation in-house after purchasing or leasing electronic monitoring technology.

BI manages thousands of offenders daily for agencies that have implemented the offender-funded program option.

The option is available to state, local and federal agencies.

Posted in Monitoring Technology

Q&A: Vice President of Protocol Operations, Henry Conforti

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HConfortiWith the acquisition of Protocol Government Solutions this year, BI Incorporated now offers a consolidated system for case management support. The Protocol team has more than two decades of experience supporting governmental customers. Henry Conforti is responsible for the development and implementation of Protocol’s overall business strategy and key initiatives. He has extensive experience in the corrections field, business development, operations and software development. In this Q&A, Henry discusses how Protocol’s services will blend with BI’s overall monitoring operations and caseload services.

Q. How will Protocol add to BI’s current Monitoring Operations solutions?

A. BI Monitoring Operations has been the industry standard for decades. By incorporating our sophisticated caseload management solutions for both “hooked” and “unhooked” offenders, we can better support supervising officers to manage a wide range of offender populations.

Q. How does Monitoring Operations help officers manage their caseloads more efficiently?

A. We offer a high touch, custom solution for each agency. Everything we do is designed to reduce an officer’s clerical work and hold offenders accountable. In fact, our caseload support services can relieve officers of up to 70 percent of their clerical or data processing workload.

Some examples: Our 24-hour call center can serve as a dispatch center, handling calls from offenders, officers and outside agencies. Offenders can check in via an operator or through our Integrated Voice Recognition System. Officers can leave messages for offenders, request warrants and escalate critical incident notification. We also handle offender-fee collection, a big time saver that also allows agencies to defray program costs or expand service levels. We can manage offender check-in and interviews, curfew monitoring, offender messaging services, court-date reminders, drug test notification, cell phone locator and sex offender registry, to name a few. Each of these helps officers manage large caseloads.

Q. How can you support an agency’s electronic monitoring program?

A. Electronic monitoring drives compliance to schedules and curfews. Protocol can dispatch referrals for equipment enrollments and installations, repairs or replacements. We can also manage offender profiles, schedules and exclusionary zones and manage events and alerts. We can act as a first response for agencies by troubleshooting alerts and providing immediate notification of violations.

Q. Can you expand on your call center services?

A. We handle more than 3 million inbound calls annually from offenders, officers, outside law enforcement and treatment providers. We also place more than 1 million outbound calls annually to verify schedules, attendance at treatment sessions alert follow ups. Each call is recorded into the chronological case notes. Anything that happens with an offender (i.e. arrest, law enforcement contact, positive drug test) is transferred to a live operator to ensure it is handled immediately. Not only does our call center serve as an offender messaging system but officers can also call in from the field to request an operator dictate their case notes. This saves a great deal of time for officers.

Q. Can you expand on your case management services?

We offer many options for case management automation. This can be integrated into a current web-based system or we can customize it for an agency. Our goal is to ensure officers are getting the most out of our services. Agencies can automate parole plans, client agreements, LSI assessments, orders of protection, earned time and any other offender paperwork. Addresses, sex offender registration information and employment information can be updated with the click of a button. In addition, outside information and billing from services such as county jails, treatment providers and drug testing facilities can be integrated into our system’s case notes. Agencies are also able to automate parole holds and releases that are immediately sent to county jails. Finally, all of this data is accessible 24 hours a day via phone, email, laptop, smart phone or PDA.

Q. What other outside systems can be incorporated into your caseload and monitoring support services?

A. Some agencies choose to integrate NCIC into their existing systems. This provides a valuable public safety tool offering immediate officer notification if an offender is wanted or has been arrested. The NCIC database offers 24-hour processing of all offender name and fingerprint hits. The ability for us to process agency warrants allows for immediate notification to outside law enforcement as well as parole boards. This feature works well for agencies with fugitive apprehension units.

Q. How do your services drive program compliance?

A. With the ability to run real-time, customizable reports at any time, agencies can set up quarterly or monthly department reports on any aspect of an officer’s caseload. This might include offender violation reports, completed offender assessments/profiles, and offender contact data for each officer. An officer on/off duty system can also be incorporated.

Q. What does a typical program look like?

A. Many agencies choose our 24-hour call center and the Integrated Voice Recognition option, our web-based case management services, fee collection service and warrant processing. But we know each agency has unique needs so we focus on custom solutions. We offer the highest standards of quality and support to each and every program.

Posted in BI Insight

BI Incorporated donates to Napa County charities, coordinates volunteer effort

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Program Manager Patrese Scott presents Shirley King, director of the Napa Valley Food Bank, with a donation on behalf of BI Incorporated.

Several staff and participants of the Napa County Community Corrections Service Center, operated by BI Incorporated in partnership with the Napa County Probation Department, recently gave back to the community through donations and volunteer efforts made to a local food bank and the Salvation Army.

BI contributed $5,000 to the Salvation Army and $2,500 to the Community Action of Napa Valley and staff and probationers who report to the Napa County CCSC volunteered time at the Salvation Army and Napa Storehouse.

At the Salvation Army, volunteers served food to staff and visitors, while they helped to stock the pantry’s shelves at Napa Storehouse, which is a part of the Community Action of Napa Valley—a network of seven Napa Valley food banks that serve more than 1,000 households per month.

“Learning to give back to our community is one of the important points we stress with probationers who attend the day reporting program and part of promoting positive attitudes and behavior,” said Patrese Scott, program manager of the Napa County CCSC. “It’s only natural that we as an organization and our participants give back to those in need.”

The Napa County CCSC was opened by Napa County in 2009 to help alleviate jail crowding problems and tackle chronic recidivism with certain offender groups. Currently, 51 probationers attend the day reporting center program and another 80 check in twice weekly for a personal recognizance program.

The goals of the Napa County Day Community Corrections Service Center include reducing the jail population by diverting individuals to community supervision and helping clients stay crime-free once released to the community. Participants are monitored closely for alcohol and drug use, meet with case managers and participate in intensive treatment and training classes.

Posted in Industry News

Urban Institute releases brief on improving recidivism as a performance measure

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California Public Safety RealignmentThe Urban Institute recently released a brief on how to gather recidivism data as a means to improve every state’s ability to track recidivism data and drive smart policies and informed decision-making.

The 13-page brief is intended to act as a blueprint, giving states guidance on how to make recidivism a meaningful performance measure so that policymakers do not have to rely on anecdotes or system-level trends when evaluating policies and programs.

As a part of their blueprint, the authors provide four steps in making recidivism a meaningful performance measure. They are:

  1. Definition: Use multiple measures of success.
  2. Collection: Develop protocols to ensure data are consistent, accurate, and timely.
  3. Analysis: Account for the underlying composition of the population.
  4. Dissemination: Package the findings to maximize impact and get the results into the hands of decisionmakers.

The brief elaborates on each step, suggesting that there is no “right” measure of recidivism. Instead, the authors say, “States should think of recidivism as a series of different performance indicators that must be carefully calibrated to the outcome they are intended to measure. Recidivism reduction is the responsibility of multiple agencies and many different actors, and the definition of success must allow for a range of outcome measures that are responsive to this fact.”

To read the brief in its entirety, click here.

BI Incorporated works with correctional agencies across the country to provide electronic monitoring technology designed to help reduce recidivism by holding offenders accountable for their time and actions.

Our electronic monitoring technologies are often used in conjunction with day reporting programs, like those run by our sister company GEO Reentry Services, which work to change criminal thinking through evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy.

To learn more about our products and services, click here.

Posted in Industry News

Illinois Department of Corrections renews contract with BI Incorporated

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Illinois DOCExtending a 10-year relationship, the Illinois Department of Corrections has once again selected BI Incorporated to provide GPS tracking and electronic monitoring products and services for offenders released to community supervision.

As a part of the contract, BI will provide the BI ExacuTrack® One, BI HomeGuard® 200 and BI HomeGuard® 206 to the Illinois DOC.

The DOC supervises more than 49,000 incarcerated adults in 25 adult correctional centers. It also supervises more than 29,000 parolees released to community supervision, which includes GPS tracking or participation in reentry programs such as day reporting or adult transitional centers.

BI has a longstanding relationship with the Illinois Department of Corrections for offender monitoring technology, monitoring services and reentry services. Today more than 3,000 offenders are monitored with BI’s electronic monitoring systems in Illinois. Under terms of this new award, Illinois will use the ExacuTrack One to monitor high-risk sex offenders released to community supervision.

The ExacuTrack One provides accurate data about an offender’s movement within the community by monitoring an offender’s geographical position using a portable tracking unit that relies on available GPS data and other location positioning technologies.

As the product name implies, ExacuTrack One includes a single device that is installed on the ankle of the individual being supervised. This tracking unit works on the same monitoring platform, BI TotalAccess®, as the rest of BI’s electronic monitoring equipment.

The HomeGuard 200 and HomeGuard 206 are curfew monitoring systems that allow officers to enforce compliance to court-ordered curfews and schedules. While the HomeGuard 200 uses radio-frequency to monitor, the HomeGuard 206 receiver has an embedded cellular unit which eliminates the need for a traditional landline.

To learn more about BI’s electronic monitoring technology, click here.

Posted in Industry News

Bureau of Justice Statistics releases figures on prison populations in 2013

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barb wire 1The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released a report that found state prison populations rose for the first time since 2009, while the federal prison population declined for the first time since 1980.

According to the report, “Prisoners in 2013,” in December 2013, state and federal prisons held approximately 1.57 million prisoners, an increase of 4,300 prisoners from year-end 2012.

That increase reflects a 6,300 inmate increase in the state prison population during 2013, and a decrease of 1,900 inmates in the federal prison population.

Other highlights include:

  • The number of prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal prison increased by 5,400 persons from year-end 2012 to year-end 2013.
  • The number of people admitted to state or federal prison during 2013 increased by 4%, from 608,400 in 2012 to 631,200 in 2013.
  • The number of sentenced prisoners grew in 27 states, including three of the four states with the largest prison populations: Texas (up 2 percent), California (up 1 percent) and Florida (up 1 percent).
  • The number of female prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal prison rose by 2,800 inmates (up 3 percent).

The report also examines the progress of California’s Public Safety Realignment policy, finding that California state prisons held 122,800 inmates in custody at year-end 2013. An additional 13,200 prisoners were held in private prisons or in other states.

Due to realignment, California experienced large declines in its prison population in 2011 and 2012. By year-end 2013, the state’s prisoners in custody were 143 percent of the design capacity, down from 181 percent in 2010.

Read the full report here.

BI Incorporated, the nation’s leader in electronic monitoring technology, works with more than a dozen agencies in California and many more throughout the United States to provide alternatives to incarceration in an attempt to help alleviate prison overcrowding.

Electronic monitoring is designed to complement traditional incarceration while saving taxpayers money and allowing offenders suitable to the program to forego prison while still maintaining compliance to court-ordered sanctions designed to discourage future criminal activity.

Posted in Industry News

Morgan County receives nearly perfect audit score for second year

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morgan countyMorgan County Community Corrections, a BI Incorporated customer since 1995, once again ranked number one in the state following an annual review by the Indiana Department of Corrections, who performed an intensive on-site audit.

Morgan County Community Corrections scored 96 out of 100 for the on-site audit, as well as 100 on the presentation portion for a written grant application to the Indiana DOC, which earned the agency a $20,932 performance bonus.

The community corrections department manages several diverse, evidence-based programs that focus on assisting offenders in establishing lives free of crime. Community Corrections Coordinator Jim Reed credits many of the department’s successes with a unique structure that combines probation and other community corrections programs so that supervising officers know every detail of each participant’s case.

The county uses electronic monitoring as an alternative to incarceration, employing a wide selection of BI products so that offenders can be matched up to the appropriate technology in an attempt to encourage compliance.

Morgan County uses the BI ExacuTrack® One, BI ExacuTrack®, BI HomeGuard® 200 and HomeGuard 206, BI TAD® and, more recently, the SOBERLINK SL2.

The county also uses BI TotalAccess® and is supported by BI Monitoring Operations.

The county typically monitors at least 55 offenders under their electronic monitoring program, which is overseen by three officers, though the program has managed up to almost 100 individuals at one time.

This is the second year Morgan County ranked the highest out of 92 counties in Indiana.

Posted in Industry News