The New York City Department of Probation (NYCDOP) is a department of the government of New York City responsible for providing supervision for adults and juveniles placed on probation by judges in the Supreme, Criminal, and Family courts. In addition, Probation Officers are responsible for preparing background reports that assist judges in determining appropriate sentences for adult offenders and juvenile delinquents.
The business of the New York City Department of Probation (NYCDOP) is to protect the community by intervening in the lives of offenders, holding them accountable, and serving as a catalyst for positive change. The department works with the community and other justice partners to provide to make the probationers law abiding citizens through effective supervision. Despite being a vital component of the criminal justice administration for New York City, the probation officers of NYCDOP did not have an efficient information support system. The automation was partial and officers had to depend on systems that were operating in silos. As a result, the department was unable to measure accountability or perform strategic analyses. In addition, the systems were expensive to maintain and lacked the flexibility to support changing business needs. The probation staff was hard-pressed to keep up with the case volumes while maintaining processing speed. The NYCDOP therefore decided to carry out an IT re-engineering initiative to increase operational efficiency to share information in a timely manner and reduce costs. It wanted to implement an integrated
RCMS to streamline its business operations and hence increase the speed of case processing. This system would serve as the fulcrum around which business operations would revolve and hence needed to be designed for flexibility and growth. The NYCDOP chose TCS as its partner in this engagement, given TCS’s considerable experience across a number of complex governance projects around the world.
TCS implemented the RCMS, a notification-based workflow system to automate the Pre-sentence Investigation and Probation Supervision business processes.
Key features of the system were:
- The system was integrated with a custom document management process and electronic folder feature to eliminate dependency on physical papers.
- The exchange of real-time data in NIEM2.0 XML format with different criminal justice agencies (New York Police Department, Division of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, etc.) in multiple transport channels (Web Service, MQ, SFTP).
- Information received from multiple agencies could be processed so that probation officers could be alerted in real time.
- Automatic generation of nearly one hundred operational forms and reports required for handling court proceedings and other legal requirements Integration with an automated reporting kiosk to handle the reporting requirement for low-risk probationers. The kiosk reduced the need for the probation officers’ need to interact with the low-risk probationers and they could hence focus better on high-risk, violent felons and sex offenders.
- Creation of a data warehouse component to enable the creation of many management reports to measure operational efficiency; analyze the trends in various criminal activities in New York City and the effectiveness of probation services
The TCS team developed the RCMS utilising open source technology and the most innovative concepts in case management. Built for customization and flexibility, the system could be easily configured for any case management requirement. TCS executed the project with resources located in the client location and remotely in India by deploying it Global Network Delivery Model (GNDM™).
Further, by using the Modified Waterfall model, the team delivered the project one and a half months ahead of schedule, while meeting all the quality standards. The team drew upon the expertise of the TCS Performance Engineering group during capacity planning and while fine-tuning the application performance during the system integration testing phase.
The engagement with TCS provided NYCDOP with the following benefits:
- Streamlined business processes for planning, developing, and providing quality service; complete investigations faster and on-time; and ability to provide better service to government partners in both law enforcement and the human services community.
- Lower failure to report and re-arrest rate thereby increasing effectiveness of probation service.
- Successful prosecution of the probationers violating the conditions of probation due to the collaborative information sharing and enhanced record management.
- An intelligent reporting mechanism that enables probation officers to make appropriate referrals to various rehabilitation and employment programs so that the probationers may be brought back to mainstream society as soon as possible.
- Management reporting and trend analysis capabilities.
- The business process workflows and automated notification and alert mechanism ensure proper manageability and tracking of the probation cases.
- Lower operating costs due to reduction in maintenance activities through the replacement of legacy applications o use of open source technologies o use of the onsite/offshore model
- An increase in on-time delivery of pre-sentence investigation reports from 70% to 100%.
- Reduction in the training needs of new officers due to the use of streamlined business process, consistent workflows, and ease of use
- Speed of operations while ensuring authenticity and timeliness due to the automatic information gathering from external partners and electronic dissemination of information
“It has been a great pleasure working with TCS over the last 3 years of engagement. TCS has successfully developed a probationer-reporting KIOSK and Reusable Case Management System for the agency. With a solid reputation for delivering outcomes, it is no surprise that TCS stands on ‘Experience Certainty.’ I would like to extend a HEART felt thank you for the RCMS GO LIVE. Special thanks to PM Mazibur Ansari and the entire TCS Team. The talented Deployment team delivered certainty. We combined our skills with others and ‘Won a Championship’ for both NYCDOP and TCS; delivering a tangible solution for years to come," said Alphonzo Albright, Deputy Commissioner & CIO New York City, Department of Probation.