Probation and pretrial services offices in 27 districts use 79 kiosks to gather routine status reports from defendants and offenders. The accompanying graphs show the top 10 districts for kiosk use for the period, January 1 through December 31, 2011. The Western District of Texas ranked first of the districts collecting pretrial reports by kiosk, and second in post-conviction reports by kiosk.
The kiosks use an electronic reporting system and are located in probation and pretrial services offices. A client goes to the office, verifies his or her identity with a fingerprint scan at the kiosk, and answers a series of questions displayed on the touch screen. Defendants respond to about nine questions while convicted offenders may respond to 30 or more questions, although some responses simply require confirmation that the data is correct. The reports are sent by email to the officer within seconds, with the client’s “yes” responses to questions about drug use, or contact with law enforcement, for example, moved to the top of the report for the officer’s immediate attention. The reports also are downloaded to the Probation/Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System.
The program began in 2008 with kiosks in nine probation and pretrial services offices.