Probation officers use technology to keep in touch with people

Officials in Scioto County have worked for years to help their community heal from the effects of the opioid crisis.

“We are able to get them off drugs, but also instill a job in them and totally change their lives,” said Shawn Davis, chief probation officer.

The probation and drug court programs serve approximately 1,200 people in the county.

Concerns over COVID-19 have temporarily closed courthouse doors for most court proceedings.

Six agents are now working from home, responsible for managing their cases through a computer system called OCSS.

The program allows agents to connect with people virtually.

“They’re nervous, they’re worried about what’s going on,” Davis said. “Once we make contact with them, we seem to be able to calm them down. They now see that there is a way through this program to communicate with us.”

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

Two counselors are also available for counseling during a time of anxiety for many.

“This week we put a few people into internal rehab,” Davis said. “There are still a few here who are still accepting people from us. That we are able to give them the help they need.”

The department is always able to handle emergency situations. They hope that the community will also do their part and voice their concerns so that they can intervene.

“It’s a concern,” Davis said. Fortunately, thanks to technology, we are able to do it. We are not able to do everything we want to do. We are afraid of losing some. That they will contact us and give us the opportunity. to help them. ”

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

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