Probation officers use technology to stay connected with people – WSAZ-TV

Posted: March 28, 2020 at 1:46 pm

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Officials in Scioto County have worked for years to help their community heal from the effects of the opioid crisis.

"We're able to get them off the drugs but also instill some employment in them and totally turn their life around," said Shawn Davis, Chief Probation Officer.

Probation and Drug Court programs serve about 1,200 people in the county.

Concerns over COVID-19 have shut courthouse doors temporarily for most legal proceedings.

Six officers are now working from home, tasked with managing their cases through a computer system called OCSS.

The program allows officers to virtually connect with people.

"They're nervous they're anxious about what's going on," said Davis. "Once we make contact with them, we seem to be able to calm them down. They see now there's a way through this program they can communicate with us."

The system was launched March 1st. People on probation can now self-report, video chat and text.

Two counselors are also available for guidance during an anxious time for many.

"This week we put a couple of people in in-house rehab," said Davis. "There's still a couple here still accepting people from us. That we're able to get them that help that they need."

The department is still able to handle emergency situations. They're hoping the community will also do their part and reach out with any concerns so they can intervene.

"That is a concern," said Davis. "Luckily through technology, we're able to do some. we're not able to do everything that we want to do. We're afraid that we're going to lose some. We just hope that before those people cross that bridge that they'll reach out to us and allow us an opportunity to help them."

Scioto County Drug Court is expected to host its first virtual meeting in early April.

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Probation officers use technology to stay connected with people - WSAZ-TV

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