The Last Piece of the Puzzle: Supervision module completes the Odyssey picture
December 1, 2010 by Lisa Thompson
After several months of development and configuration, the Harrison County Juvenile Probation Department deployed the Odyssey Supervision product center as a pilot project in late April 2010. Staff from the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC), the Indiana Judicial Center, and professional consultants from within the field of probation and community corrections all participated in the project to create a supervision module customized to the needs of Indiana courts.
The Supervision Product Center is the third of three product centers planned for the Odyssey case management system (CMS) which is being deployed throughout Indiana’s courts. The initial deployment of Odyssey to Indiana courts in December, 2007 included the Case Manager and Financial Manager product centers. The Supervision product center has been custom-built by experts from Indiana and Tyler Technologies, and is the first of its kind for any state using Odyssey.
What is Odyssey Supervision?
Odyssey Supervision is a web-based computer application designed for use by probation departments and other supervision programs and will assist users in managing their caseloads. The application is a separate product center within Odyssey (which is currently being used in 62 courts throughout Indiana). Because supervision data is pulled from existing data in the CMS, any court already using Odyssey can request the use of Supervision for their Probation Department, Community Corrections Department, Court Alcohol and Drug Program, Drug Court Program, Mental Health Court Program, and other Problem-Solving Court Programs.
Odyssey Supervision’s key features allow a community supervision program to create a caseload of clients, assess and collect program fees, create case contact notes, input conditions of supervision, print documents and forms, record compliance with terms of supervision, store drug testing results, and monitor compliance with intervention services. Although case specific information is classified as confidential, information pertaining to a party in a case is stored and accessible by not only the courts and clerks who use Odyssey, but also other users of Odyssey Supervision throughout the state.
Why is it needed?
Supervision and community corrections programs throughout the state are generally funded at the local level, and have traditionally been overlooked—for various reasons—with regard to allocations for technology spending. Because Odyssey is a people-based system, it makes perfect sense that the system used to manage a defendant’s case and any related financial obligations (i.e., fees and fines) should also manage that defendant’s probation record. With the development of Odyssey Supervision, and with funding provided by JTAC, Probation Departments and other programs across the state now have the ability to utilize computer software that will assist them in their daily activities and increase case management efficiencies, without imposing on their ever-decreasing annual budget.
Not only does JTAC provide the software at no cost to the city or county, but JTAC also provides the training and ongoing support and assistance to users of Odyssey Supervision through its help desk. Further, JTAC has initiated an in-house project that will link the stored data within Odyssey Supervision to the INcite application used by probation departments to report quarterly statistics to the Division of State Court Administration.
The first deployment of Odyssey Supervision was completed last April with the help of Harrison County Adult Probation staff. A new deployment has occurred every month since that time. To date, the probation-based users of Odyssey Supervision include the Harrison County Adult and Juvenile Probation Departments, Warren County Probation Department, DeKalb County Probation Department, and Floyd Superior 2 Probation Department. In August, Odyssey Supervision was launched in the Floyd County Professional Services Office, a free-standing Court Alcohol and Drug Program. In addition to the standard features available for Odyssey Supervision, users with the Floyd County Professional Services Office are able to tabulate clinical assessments and monitor referrals to outside providers. Future releases of Odyssey Supervision will provide Court Alcohol and Drug Programs and Drug Court Programs the ability to schedule treatment or counseling sessions and monitor clients’ attendance.
Due to configuration requirements, the timetable for deployment of Odyssey Supervision is based on a monthly schedule. The Supervision team at JTAC is committed to creating a positive ongoing relationship with its users, so having a complete understanding of an organization’s business procedures and users’ needs are important first steps to a successful deployment. Once configuration is complete, the JTAC training team will devote a few days of on-site training and software demonstration. Then in the weeks and months following deployment, continued application support is provided to users as needed.