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The Power of Mobile Supervision for Community Corrections

Community corrections programs like probation and parole aim to reduce incarceration and recidivism by supervising participants in the community. Traditionally this has involved face-to-face meetings, drug testing, and electronic ankle monitors. But smartphones offer a revolutionary new approach that is more effective and affordable.


The Ubiquity of Mobile Technology:

Mobile devices like smartphones are central to most people's lives today. According to a recent study, Americans spend over 4 hours per day on their smartphones on average. For younger demographics, usage is even higher - teens spend up to 9 hours per day on their phones. 


People have become so attached to their devices that nomophobia - the fear of being without your phone - affects over 50% of people. Phones are the first thing people look at in the morning and the last thing they look at before bed. It's clear that mobile technology provides unparalleled access to individuals for many purposes, including community supervision.


Benefits Over Ankle Monitors:

While ankle monitors have been used in community corrections for decades, smartphones provide far more useful information at a fraction of the cost. Ankle monitors typically only provide location data periodically, while smartphone apps can track location, communication records, program compliance, and more in real time. Ankle monitors rely on outdated technology like GPS and cellular networks, while phones take advantage of WiFi, Bluetooth, and other sophisticated tracking methods. And smartphone supervision costs about 5-10 times less than electronic monitoring with ankle monitors - around $5/day compared to $25/day for ankles monitors.


Benefits Over In-Person Meetings:

Requiring individuals under supervision to meet face-to-face with officers is time-consuming and inefficient compared to mobile communication. A typical caseload of 70 participants would require 700 hours of in-person meetings per month at 1 hour each. 

Smartphone apps allow constant data collection without officer effort. They also enable discreet candid communication that is often more honest than in-person meetings, according to research. A recent study found twice as many probationers admitted to drug use through a mobile app compared to in-person meetings. Smartphone parolee check-ins also mitigate common challenges such as reliable access to transportation or difficulty scheduling around work..


Additional Benefits of Mobile Supervision:

Beyond basic monitoring and communication, smartphones allow for advanced features that were never before possible. Apps can include calendar reminders, alerts, check-ins, skill training programs, and communication with support networks. All this can improve outcomes without increasing demands on staff. And artificial intelligence can be applied to detect risks before they become issues. The opportunities are endless with mobile technology.



Given the central role of smartphones and their advanced capabilities, mobile technology is the obvious choice for 21st century community supervision programs. Platforms like RePath leverage mobile devices to provide more effective, efficient monitoring and communication with participants. This improves outcomes and saves taxpayer money. The future of community corrections is mobile.

Is your court still reliant on in-person meetings and ankle monitors? Let’s schedule a demo so you can see how RePath can help you serve more participants and get more people back on the right path.

Help people navigate the criminal justice system

The RePath App electronically assists individuals through the criminal justice process. Agencies can choose from multiple supervision levels dependent on their specific needs.