Probation’s IT Strike Team Advances Technology Technologyanddataplayanintegralroleinbusinesses and governments around the world, helping to increase productivity and improve processes and decision- making. A recent audit of the Probation Department’s information technology (IT) infrastructure revealed the need for a major upgrade. Chief Probation Officer Terri McDonald and the County’s Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe have created a Probation IT Strike Team tasked with developing a strategy for updating and improving Probation’s technology. Currently,theProbationDepartment’sITinfrastructure, applications, processes, organizational capability and capacity fall short of industry and County benchmarks. The infrastructure issues include deficiencies in asset management, outdated hardware, and unsupported applications or operating systems. These deficiencies limit productivity and expose the Department to security risks. An independent assessment conducted by Resource Development Associates (RDA) and an evaluation by the Probation Reform and Implementation Team (PRIT) also recommended prioritizing updates to the IT infrastructure and data systems. Probation requested funding in the 2018-19 budget to perform a complete assessment of its IT environment and organizational capability; to define a strategic approach to improve technology, process, staffing, and governance; and to develop a strategy for updating the Department’s case management systems. The Probation IT Strike Team, modeled after the successful Public Defender’s IT Strike Team, consists of IT leadersfromacrosstheCounty.TheStrikeTeamwillprovide recommendations to achieve the following objectives: •  develop a multi-year road map that will identify short-, mid- and long-term solutions for IT improvement. •  recommend an appropriate IT organization structure and staffing model. •  facilitate progress on priority projects, including: –  pre-trial services case management –  grievance management –  internal affairs case management –  juvenile assessment and intervention system –  adult case management system, –  CCTV for safety and accountability in juvenile halls and camps –  staff scheduling –  laptop security management –  work order management (Probation facilities management system) –  Probation access management –  juvenile case management system •  develop an infrastructure modernization road map that focuses on network, desktop, and unified communications. •  identify projects and initiatives that internal staff can accomplish rather than using external service providers. •  elevate the capabilities of current IT staff with an effective training and staff development approach. During the first quarter, great progress was made including hiring key roles, implementing new software capability, modernizing computers, and supporting the new Vermont office where over 200 new computers were set up. Key positions were filled including a manager for the IT Service Desk who will help drive service improvements, a project manager for the Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System, and a consultant project manager who will oversee the CCTV projects for juvenile halls and camps. New software was also added in the Department including a system for youth in juvenile halls and camps to file grievances using their classroom computers and a Pretrial+ update to meet new civil name change requirements. 2018 PTS Employee of the Year Pretrial Services (PTS) Bureau honored Investigator Aide Wendy Tan as 2018 PTS Employee of the Year during its annual staff meeting in February. Tan started her career in the Probation Department as a Detention Services Officer at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in 2006. In 2008, she transferred to the PTS Bail Deviation (BD) Program as an Investigator Aide. For the past three years, she has worked at the PTS Jail Unit at the L.A. Police Department’s Metropolitan Detention Center. The PTS Jail Unit allows staff to conduct interviews on site at the County’s busiest booking locations rather than having them wait for inmates to call the BD Program. These efforts expedite the screening process at the early stages of the pretrial process and establish a presence inside LAPD facilities as part of the booking process. Tan worked extremely well in the collaborative environment and developed a professional working relationship with law enforcement personnel, serving as the liaison between the Metro Jail and PTS and quickly made her presence known inside the Metro Jail. In March 2018, L.A Police Sergeant Yin expressed how wonderful it was to have Tan working in their jail and engaging with the inmates. Tan often completed over 40 interviews on any given Monday, generally the busiest days due to the number of weekend arrests. In July 2018, Tan was presented with a Certificate of Achievement for Highest Producer. She conducted approximately 4,500 in-person defen- dant interviews in 2018. Tan continues to consistently deliver beyond the Bureau’s expectations. Community Coalition Town Hall Chief Probation Officer Terri McDonald and Chief Deputy for Adult Services Reaver Bingham participated in a frank discussion with members of the community at a town hall sponsored by the Community Coalition in March. The town hall, centered around the need for services and resources for formerly incarcerated individuals, provided a space where Probation and the community could begin to see eye to eye and discuss ways to collaborate. “I believe that Probation’s role should be in a supportive role. I believe our job is to connect clients to services,” said Chief McDonald. “We are your Probation Department and you are our community. The only way we are going to be able to heal together is to listen to each other.” At the town hall, the Community Coalition presented the findings from focus groups they conducted with formerly incarcerated individuals. Expanding the pool of local service providers was one of the main recommendations that were presented by the Community Coalition. More community-based organizations providing reentry services by those who have previously been justice involved was also of interest to the group. “Your voices have been heard. We are going to everything we can to addresstheconcernsofthecommunity,” said Chief Deputy Bingham. “We recognize the need for us to be more service oriented and a therapeutic service driven organization.” The discussion also touched on finding what programs are doing well to provide them with additional support as well as Probation’s collaboration with the Office of Diversion and Reentry, focusing on health and social services for those who are also Probation clients. Probation also plans to create regional community advisory committees designed to listen, be responsive and collaborate with the diverse neighborhoods on Los Angeles County and needs of its residents. “What I look forward to is standing out there and saying we are putting people out there and making it easier for organizations and at the end of the day be able to show that we’re keeping people out (of jail) and getting them into successful lives,” said Alberto Rentana, Community Coalition President and CEO. “We have a lot of work to do and I just want to acknowledge the big step we are taking forward today.” ADMINISTRATION, PEOPLE, PLACES, ACCOLADES The Probation Department The Probation Department ADULT SERVICES 12 13