Meeting Clients Where They Are At: How Virtual Contacts Can Improve Probation Success


Tuesday, February 27, 2024
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Session Type: Workshop

As the pandemic continues for many locations, community supervision agencies are balancing in-person versus virtual contacts. Virtual contacts refer to various technologies – videoconferencing, smart-devices (e.g., cellphones) – that allow for social interactions in virtual spaces that would otherwise occur in traditional face-to-face settings. Virtual contacts can offer several advantages to community supervision agencies. First, virtual contacts allow POs to meet clients where they are and reduce barriers to engagement (e.g., transportation, childcare). Second, through increasing access and engagement, virtual approaches can reduce technical violations, which are key drivers of revocation. Lastly, virtual contacts are flexible and can be optimized to match the needs of individual clients. During this session, presenters will provide attendees with evidence on the utility of using virtual contacts and will encourage participants to think critically about the benefits and challenges that come with shifting from face-to-face to virtual or hybrid models of community supervision.


Dr. Brian Lovins
Principal, Justice System Partners

Dr. Lovins is a Principal at JSP. He earned his PhD in Criminology from the University of Cincinnati, and he is the past President for the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA). Prior to JSP, Dr. Lovins worked for Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) as the Assistant Director. He was tasked with developing and implementing agency wide change plans to drive increased successful completion rates. Dr. Lovins has been instrumental in introducing the referee/coach conversation to the field. In 2018, Dr. Lovins and colleagues published the initial article “Probation Officer as a Coach: Building a New Professional Identity” in Federal Probation. Since then, he has delivered hundreds of conference presentations and invited talks regarding the referee/coach concept. Dr. Lovins routinely consults with agencies regarding their implementation of a coaching framework within the context of evidenced-based interventions. Dr. Lovins has received the 2020 Edward J. Latessa Practitioner Research Award from the American Society of Criminology-Division on Corrections and Sentencing for his continued body of work in helping community corrections move forward. He has also been honored with the Dr. Simon Dinitz Public Service Award for his work and dedication in helping correctional agencies adopt evidence-based programs and the David Dillingham Award, as well as a being recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Cincinnati. His publications include articles on risk assessment, sexual offenders, effective interventions, and cognitive-behavioral interventions.

Jordyn Rosario
Research Associate, Justice System Partners

Jordyn (she/her) is a Research Associate with JSP. She received her Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Criminology from Florida State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia. Her research uses quantitative methods to study the effects of childhood victimization and disproportionate minority contact on juvenile reoffending amongst justice-involved youth, individual and neighborhood factors that contribute to the non-reporting of intimate partner violence to police, and racial and ethnic disparities in GED/HSED program completion amongst an incarcerated population. Her dissertation, entitled “An Examination of the Mediating Effects of Negative Emotionality on the Relationship Between Childhood Victimization and Juvenile Reoffending,” used official juvenile justice data to study the mediating effects of negative emotionality on the relationship between victimization and subsequent juvenile reoffending. Jordyn’s research interests focus on social justice, the causes and consequences of victimization and criminal justice system involvement, social stratification, and disparate outcomes in the criminal justice system.