A Dallas based company pioneered the newest alternative to prison sentences by using electronic monitoring at the home. Electronic probation is one solution to the overcrowding and expense of prison.
The data from the monitoring devices was captured in a variety of computers using both MS-DOS and Unix operating systems. Different file formats and reports had to be hand-keyed into other computers for accounting, electronic mail, and weekly reporting. High labor costs resulted.
The requirement was for the proper distribution of the output of the monitoring devices to be sent to the parole officer in the event of a violation of the parolee’s terms of parole. Information had to be collected, sorted, and analyzed against the parolee’s personal schedule as set by each parole officer. Violations needed to be sent immediately via electronic mail directly to the parole officer.
A Local Area Network (LAN) file server computer and a Network Operating System were specified by MTSI engineers. An existing computer was re-formatted with the new network operating system, and the workstations were tied together via the LAN. Individual off-the-shelf equipment was integrated into a complete system.
The software automatically resolved the unique file system formats for four different monitoring devices into a common database.
The software also kept track of the hundreds of parolees and their parole officers, placed automatic phone calls to follow up potential violations, and kept a log of events that is used during parole violations and in weekly reports. Re-keying of data was eliminated, thereby cutting staff at peak times from fifteen monitoring personnel to only three. Reports are formatted and sent on a violation, daily, or weekly basis depending upon the terms of the parole. Control of automatic dialing of the phone system, a video tape recorder, and a video telephone were included. MTSI also developed a radio transmitter that was small in size, light in weight and secure against tampering. The extensive use of Surface Mount Technology (SMT) was required.