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Presentation on the Phase 1 Report on the Home Confinement Program
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  1. Presentation on the Phase 1 Report on theHome Confinement Program Orange County, Florida August 6, 2013

  2. Phase 1 Scope of Work • Evaluate relevant home confinement statutes and judicial administrative orders. • Evaluate the risk and liability elements of the program. • Review of the organizational structure and supervisory oversight of the home confinement program. • Analyze and assess home confinement staffing levels and caseloads. • Assess and analyze the program’s use of technology. • Evaluate the feasibility of privatization. • Analysis of the potential of discontinuing home confinement.

  3. Project Methodologies • Interviewed Community Corrections, home confinement and justice system stakeholders to understand the use and issues with the program. • Collected program trend data for assignments and completions. • Developed a detailed database of assignments to home confinement in 2012. • Conducted a survey of similar programs in Florida and elsewhere to compare features which could be utilized in Orange County. • Analyzed the program and opportunities for improvement. • Throughout the study process met with the County and Community Corrections to discuss facts, issues and alternatives.

  4. Home Confinement Program Trends • While the program is currently suspended, its use had declined over the past 5 years – by 32%. • The length of time assignments participated in the program increased by 9% over the period (from 74 days to 81 days). • The number of “successful” completions are up over the period and judicial revocations down.

  5. The Types of Alleged Offenders in the Program Last Year • Almost 70% of assignments were charged with felonies. • Most assignments were in the program as a condition of bail: • 60% had bails under $5,000 (78% under $10,000); even the majority of felony assignments had bail under $10,000. • Only 2% had significant bails over $50,000. • About 16% of assignments had two or more violent felony convictions (but 68% of felons had at least one prior conviction for any charge); over 21% had a prior failure to appear. • The average assignment had a field visit every 9 days and more serious offenders had about the same frequency of visits.

  6. Lessons from Other Home Confinement Programs • The project team successfully contacted five (5) counties in Florida and three (3) out of state. • All of the surveyed counties had electronic monitoring programs in use, most for as long as Orange County. • Most counties had more restrictive criteria for the types of alleged offenders who could be in the program. • Staffing levels and caseloads varied – with Orange County in the upper range of caseloads compared to other jurisdictions. • Most counties utilized a more ‘active’ approach to monitoring program assignments. • All other counties had transitioned to GPS technologies.

  7. Major Conclusions in thePhase 1 Final Report • The home confinement program as it operated prior to its suspension had a number of issues which increased its risks: • It had a large number of serious offenders in the program; moreover, bails were very low even for serious offenders. • Caseloads were relatively high. • Assignments were not always actively monitored. • Home confinement is a useful tool in the ‘spectrum of supervision’ available to the County. • A renewed program should address these issues by: • Assigning fewer and less serious offenders. • Address management, supervision and policy issues. • Use more credible technology and actively monitor cases.

  8. How the Home Confinement Program Should Be Structured • Continue to utilize electronic surveillance as a tool to monitor alleged offenders and sentenced individuals. • The County’s Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC) should be formally constituted and charged with developing criteria which meets the needs of the program. • Offense characteristics should be for less serious offenses and for people who have performed satisfactorily in prior justice contacts. • The PSCC should also develop performance standards and receive reports from CCD about program performance. • The judiciary needs to be better briefed on the range of pre-trial release options available as well as program results. • The Home Confinement Program should be merged with the Pre-Trial Release Program.

  9. How the Home Confinement Program Should Be Staffed and Operate • Hire or transfer 9 Senior Community Corrections Officers to handle cases and 3 Correctional Aids for 24 hour GPS monitoring. • With reduced caseloads the number of field visits should be increased. • Alter shift schedules and assignments; cross train staff. • Rely on the private sector to provide and maintain the most up to date technology; active monitoring should remain a County responsibility. • Make changes to intake risk assessment approaches and better tie to individual supervision plans. • Eliminate the use of RF technology and switch entirely to GPS. • Enhance technologies – anti-tampering and movement monitoring. • Staff need to better initially trained and receive continuing training. • Strengthen guidelines for using OCSO to assist with field visits.