Advancing Criminal Justice Reform by Transforming Probation Technology
The Los Angeles County Department of Probation (LAC Probation) relies heavily on its Information System Bureau (ISB) to update systems, eliminate inefficiencies, and create standards and governance processes, all of which have led to significant systemic changes that have improved rehabilitation outcomes for juveniles and adults. With the onset of COVID-19 and a financial crisis facing county agencies, LAC Probation is relying even more on ISB to leverage technology to enhance services, become more cost effective, and increase efficiencies. Supporting this work, FUSE Executive Fellow Alok Bhatia helped improve key governance processes and secured approval for transformative IT initiatives, while building support for these changes among staff. To help during COVID-19, he instituted a telework program and developed a “hoteling” framework, which requires advance booking of space for staff coming into the office.Alok also focused on improving hiring practices, expediting IT delivery timeframes, and providing training on project management and best practices for delivering IT services. He is continuing to work on core IT improvements, including the replacement of an outdated mainframe-based system and the implementation of the hoteling framework, with a focus on increasing the team’s resiliency. By streamlining operations, LAC Probation can improve both the equity of its services and rehabilitation outcomes for justice-involved individuals.