Franklin County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a $13,308 Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant application for the County Adult Probation and Parole System for the purchase of six tablet devices.

Each time an offender is placed on probation, a risk-needs assessment is completed through the Unified Case Management System.

"We know about the Ohio Risk Assessment model that determines the risk involving safety to the community," said Commissioner Robert Thomas. "I always thought of risk assessments as being at the beginning of the system ... probation uses it to determine the level of supervision."

"A risk-needs assessment is a tool we use to tell us how high-risk they are and what needs they have," explained Daniel Hoover, Franklin County Adult Probation/Parole Department chief. "Someone with low risk and low needs, such as someone who wrote a bad check, might not have to be supervised as intensively as a sex offender."

The risk assessment determines the case plan for each parolee.

Currently, probation workers and case managers must use the web-based UCMS from office desktops. "We are trying to get some tablet PCs that would allow us to be more flexible in our ability to gain the assessments of the offenders instead of being locked into doing them at the office," Hoover said.

Two of the three commissioners at Tuesday's meeting approved the grant application. Commission Robert Ziobrowski was absent from the meeting.

"Let's hope they get the money," Thomas said.

 Contact Andrea Rose at or 717-762-2151 or on Twitter @AndreaCiccociop.