Supporting juvenile corrections with smartphones

Modern juvenile corrections programs seek to keep children out of facilities and in their family units. This is most clearly exemplified by the state of California’s recent decision to permanently close youth prisons. But intervention is still required to support children convicted of crimes, helping them redirect their steps to avoid future incarceration as an adult. 

Monitoring programs are one clear alternative to incarceration that courts and agencies around the country are using to support adult community reentry and rehabilitation programs. But using smartphone-based technologies to support youth throughout rehabilitation processes can be especially impactful. Here are several key benefits of engaging Corrisoft’s smartphone-based monitoring technology as an alternative to incarceration in juvenile corrections programming:

Smartphone-based tools are familiar and second nature to youth. 

Children under 18 have never lived in a world without cell phones. Many students learned their ABCs on tablets in school and watched YouTube videos on their parents’ smartphones instead of traditional television programming. Smartphone use is second nature for young people. Incorporating monitoring and rehabilitation programming into familiar devices eliminates the extensive learning curve you may experience when instituting programming for adults. Creating a program experience that is not complicated and is familiar increases the likelihood that participants will engage and comply.

Providing devices and data plans creates equal access to services.

All of the children who come through your agency will not have access to a cell phone. By providing a device and data plan as a component of your rehabilitation process, you are ensuring that all of your participants have equal access to the essential tools they need to comply with their programming. This eliminates some of the barriers that children in lower socioeconomic classes face, ensuring all of your participants have the same shot at success. 

AIR devices and technology can track school attendance without stigmatization.

Wearing a traditional GPS ankle monitor to school can be humiliating and stigmatizing. Students enrolled in youth offender programming need to remain in school, oftentimes as a component of their programming. But wearing a monitoring device can lead to bullying and social isolation, which may cause students to avoid school all together. By transitioning your monitoring technology to a smartphone, students can more comfortably attend school. Their smartphone will not call attention to the fact that they’re involved in a community supervision program, providing discretion that is essential for school-aged children. 

Corrisoft’s technology keeps them connected throughout rehabilitation programming.

Connection to agency employees and advocates is critically important for youth success in rehabilitation programming. Having a person they can call if they get in a tough situation and knowing where to turn for information about their programming helps them take responsibility for program compliance. But beyond connecting regularly with agency officers, the smartphone also serves as a connection to the positive familial influences in their lives. Not all children live with their life role models – oftentimes grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers or other friends of the family fill this position. By providing a smartphone to youth participants in monitoring programming, you are helping them connect with the people who will make the most positive impact on their lives.