MD Offenders Using Kiosks

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Thousands of offenders in Maryland who are out on probation or parole can now use a designated kiosk for their required check-in with their agents.

The state of Maryland purchased equipment that has been installed in 44 parole and probation field offices throughout the state.

More than $400-thousand in federal funding paid for the kiosks. The software for the program was provided by New York City.

A pilot project was started in Montgomery County.

Officials say more than 2600 offenders are now using the kiosks.

According to officials there are about 725 agents to handle 65-thousand offenders as part of the Division of Parole and Probation in Maryland.

"For a parolee or someone under mandatory supervision by enlarge this is a supplement to their regular reporting. They will still see their agent the same number of times they have in the past. Most of them will be checking in more. Rather than a phone call most of them will be coming in here to check-in," says Patrica Vale, Acting Director for Parole and Probation.

Corrections officials unveiled the kiosk Wednesday at the Annapolis Parole and Probation office located in the District Court building.

Vale says allowing low risk offenders to just use the kiosk, frees up the agents to work with the higher risk offenders.

The offender must have his or her hand scanned when using the kiosk as a way to verify their identity. Then a series of questions are asked.

"I think the experience is good," says Danny who is on probation for car theft. He used the kiosk in the parole and probation office in the Annapolis District Court building Wednesday afternoon. Danny says the questions include your employment, if there are address or contact changes and if you have been arrested.

Shaun Rutherford is the Field Supervisor of Parole and Probation for Anne Arundel County. He says if an offender answers "yes" to being arrested then he or she is directed to the front desk to see the agent.

Vale says the technology is being used by other states but Maryland is leading the way.