- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for Probation distributes laptops to staff as key step in transforming the agency into a mobile workforce
Coria Holland, Communications Director
Massachusetts — This is in addition to the more than 1,500 laptops already issued to Trial Court staff (including judges, clerks, case coordinators, case specialists). The MPS designated laptops are currently being provided to all First Assistant Chief and Assistant Chief Probation Officers, Probation Officers, and Senior Community Corrections Probation Officers.
Kevin Riley, MPS Project Manager for Information Services, said the lightweight, easily transportable laptops will help build capacity within the Probation Service.
“The laptops, with accompanying cell phone hotspots, will be key equipment for Probation staff as MPS evolves its supervision and support strategies going forward. They will serve as the platform for the case management and record assembly software currently in development for the Service,” said Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan.
Among the key features of the laptops are remote access to Trial Court technology via a VPN, access to Microsoft Office, and a webcam for meetings, trainings and connections with service providers and probationers. Riley said the laptops have proven especially useful for Probate & Family Probation Officers during the pandemic, supporting ongoing dispute intervention work. Similarly, officers throughout the MPS have successfully employed virtual strategies in maintaining contacts, and supervision, and support of cases across the system.
“The MPS laptop deployment project is going very well. After lessons learned from an eight-week pilot project, we have moved through configuration, and then deployment and set-up and now there is broad-based use of the equipment,” said Riley who credits the active partnership with the Judicial Information Services Department (JISD), as “critical to the success of every aspect of this project.”
“Laptop deployment is a significant priority for the MPS and we are looking to build upon the progress made thus far and continue getting more of this equipment into the hands of our staff as soon as possible,” Riley said. “The next phase of equipment (an additional 400 laptops) is being readied, imaged by JISD, and queued up for deployment to additional staff, an effort that will only enhance our effectiveness.”
Riley noted, "I want to give a big thanks to Field Services Operations Coordinators: Brian Balestracci, Scott Fichera and Shayna Simmonds as well as Field Services Coordinator Natalie Lorenti for being key project team members instrumental in helping to deploy this equipment throughout our organization in a very short period."