Local News

Probation officers get online to track offenders

Posted December 10, 2008 9:18 p.m. EST
Updated December 10, 2008 11:15 p.m. EST

— A new online tool will help probation officers save time and keep track of offenders.

The Web-based application, which went online Oct. 29, alerts probation officers when an offender in their caseload is arrested or convicted and when a warrant or order for arrest is issued, Department of Correction spokesman Keith Acree said in a news release.

Starting Jan. 1, all probation officers in the state will be required to use it.

“It has been a long time coming. We are happy it is here,” Chief of Support Services Cynthia Williams said.

Officers can also review their entire caseload and see which offenders have been arrested or convicted since the previous day, he said.

Cindy Cousins, an applications systems manager with the department, said the program will help “make sure nothing slips through the cracks.”

The $75,000 program comes as state officials are working to fix problems brought to light in the wake of the slayings earlier this year of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior Eve Carson.

Suspects in both those shootings were on probation at the time of the crimes. An internal investigation into their cases found the suspects whom the probation system had overlooked, in part, because of heavy caseloads and there not being a central system from which probation officers could obtain court information about offenders.

The online system is connected to arrest and conviction data from the Administrative Office of the Courts, Acree said.