A flexible case management system designed to be easily adapted to internal process and legislative changes

Background

The Probation Service is a division of the Isle of Man Department of Home Affairs and is responsible for making local communities safer by supervising offenders in ways that help them to turn away from crime. 

To facilitate the efficient and effective running of the Service, the Probation Service required a computerised administration system that would allow them to manage individual cases, and track contact between the clients and caseworkers in line with National Standards.

Up until that point, the Service had used a largely paper based system together with a legacy database application. The new system would manage all of their information in one robust location.

The Challenge

The primary objective of the project was to develop a system which would address the business needs of the Service, which were identified as follows:

  • Record all relevant information about the Service's case-load
  • Publish management reports for all levels within the service
  • Grade the Service's performance in relation to National Standards
  • Assist in the workflow of the Service

Due to the complex nature of the Probation Service's business, the specification stage of the project was particularly important, with PDMS' project team working closely with the Probation Service to identify the requirements. The core requirements of the system were identified as:

  • Demographic information with regards to the offenders (client)
  • Previous conviction information for each and every client that the service has had contact with
  • Information about each of the Court Reports prepared by the Service
  • Information pertaining to each of the Orders that were to be managed by the Service
  • Each and every contact that the Service had with the offender (e.g. telephone calls, letters, face-to-face etc.)

The Solution

After a review of the requirements, PDMS' public sector development team decided that the Probation Service's administration system should be developed using the PDMS Foundations framework, allowing the system to be secure, flexible, scalable and reliable. The system was developed so additional functionality to support changes in the Probation Service's activities could have been easily added.

The project team developed a Windows based graphical user interface, which enables quick and accurate finding and recording of information. The project team realised that 'ease of use' was a prime concern for the service and therefore developed user interfaces that were intuitive and that guided the user through the various stages of a client's supervision order.

Benefits

The case management and administration system brought significant tangible benefits to the Service including enhanced performance and accountability.

The successful transfer of all the archived data from the previous system and the implementation of the new solution gave the Probation Service a single system which held all the Service's crucial information. This gave the Service improved access to statistical information, including historical data. It was able to easily produce the management reports required to benchmark their performance against the National Standards.