icots faq - Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision

icots faq - Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision
ICOTS Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions
What is the purpose of ICOTS and what does ICOTS track?
Where can I get an overview of ICOTS?
Will ICOTS be the clearing house for all offender related information and documentation for any
Interstate case?
What are the built in quality controls (checks/balances) that will allow state Interstate Offices to
maintain control/oversight over the information leaving our state?
How do I make suggestions on improving the system?
What do I do if I cannot connect to the ICOTS website?
Will ICOTS provide any tracking of victims or victim notification?
Will ICOTS automatically cross-reference the National Sex Offender Registry?
Many of our offices have multi-function devices that can scan, copy, and print. Are these
compatible with ICOTS?
What is the ICOTS User Manual and where can I locate it?
User Administration & System Access
What is the purpose of the ICOTS Privacy Policy? Do all users have to sign the agreement or just
the agency?
How can I get assistance to reset my password?
Will we have the ability to assign an incoming investigation to a generic email address? Here in our
state, many of our counties have set up separate compact email addresses which are where we
currently send all TIRs to and then they assign out the investigations from there. That way if one
staffer is out, someone else has access to that email box.
If we don't have a way to generically assign an investigation to a county and have to send it to a
specific person, what happens when that person takes a vacation?
How do I set up additional users for ICOTS?
How do I delete a user for ICOTS?
Is it possible to assign our local Designees as Compact Staff for purpose of reviewing cases or do we
stick to the PO Support, PO, and PO Supervisor for the local titles?
Our department want the workflow in ICOTS to go PO > PO Supervisor > Designee > Compact
Office, is that possible?
Standard Operating Procedures in ICOTS
What do I do when I received an email stating that I had an action to perform in ICOTS?
What is the Compact Workload?
I completed an action in the ICOTS system (i.e. Transfer Request, Response to Violation Report,
Arrival Notice, etc.) and hit submit.
What is the ICOTS case number and Offender number?
How come an offender can have multiple ICOTS Case #s?
What if I added an offender twice and it seems two records exist that are the same person?
I am working on a Transfer Request and now I have 2 saved into the system and my workload is
stating I have two to complete, how do I merge them into one?
In the situation of an outgoing transfer request moving from the PO to the Compact Office, can
states take out the supervisory approval step between the PO and Compact Office?
I have a dual supervision (both probation and parole) case I am attempting to transfer to Indiana
and the system will only allow me to enter one type of case on this request.
What is the NCIC modifier field? I see no place to enter anything for this field.
Why isn’t the “Supervision Ends box” a mandatory field? How will the receiving state know when
supervision ends?
During the ICOTS demonstration it seemed as though the “offender application” was “optional” to
attach to a transfer request. A copy must be attached to each transfer request as mandated by
Rule 3.107.
Why when I return something to the originator does it still show in my compact workload?
After an offender is set up in ICOTS and their case has been accepted by the receiving state, will the
sending state be able to change any offender data such as sending state number, supervision end
date, SSN#, or will they be locked out as indicated on the residential info?
Can users print certain screens for court records? Like the offender application or a violation
report?
I’m in the middle of transferring an offender but I don’t have all the information and ICOTS won’t
let me go forward. What do I do?
I entered a case note and would like to edit the text. How can I delete or edit that note?
If a document is returned to the originator because it's filled out wrong and then the officer
resends a new one; are they amending the existing document or creating a new one. If they create
a new one; is the first one still in the system and can we delete it?
What if we return a violation report to the originator because the compact office determines it’s
not a significant violation; what happens to that document in ICOTS?
Can more than 1 person be assigned to an offender?
How do I initiate a subsequent state transfer?
How long do POs have to respond to requests that don't have a specified timeframe? i.e., requests
for progress reports? Will there be a report that we can view that lets us know how quick or slow
we are to respond to inquiries?
Can a case be converted to victim sensitive after it's been accepted?
What happens to the offender data after a case is closed or withdrawn; does it remain in ICOTS?
Will the ability to track offenders who have been retaken multiple times ever be added as an
enhancement later?
A request I sent was rejected and I do not plan to pursue transfer of supervision and resubmit.
How do I remove the rejected case from my workload?
How do I reject a case or withdraw (rescind) reporting instructions after accepting the case?
Can I delete a case created in ICOTS?
What does the Register Interest button do?
Supervisor Functions
I received an email to review an outgoing Transfer Request and to log into ICOTS; when I log in I am
at the Assistants screen which only initiates activities. What screen do I review the activity from?
I received an email that an incoming Transfer Request has been delegated to me to assign for
investigation. What screen to I assign the activity from the Manage Case Load or Compact
Workload?
Compact Office Functions
I am a compact office user and processing an incoming activity, I have an option to delegate to a
supervisor or assign to a PO. What’s the difference between Delegate and Assign?
When the compact office approves an RI, how do we assign it to the supervisor in the county it's
being assigned to or to the PO to whom the offender will report to?
If we have outgoing pending cases in our Interstate Office and we (Interstate Compact Office) want
to enter them into ICOTS instead of making our locals do it – how do we accomplish this?
ICOTS Reports
How do I run a report?
How do I run a report that is not offered?
Can states create their own ad hoc reports from the data in ICOTS?
Will states be able to download data extracts from the ICOTS databank for the purpose of special
reports or analyses?
From the administrators tab, why isn’t there a select all box so that I can select and associate every
county to a user for reports?
Errors and Technical Support
What is the process for getting assistance with errors or technical difficulties with ICOTS?
What do I do when the page is loading slowly?
What happens when the system goes down and we need to initiate a request for RIs; do we revert
back to hard paper requests?
What do I do when I get an error or if I can’t to log onto ICOTS?
What do I do if I receive an application error that won’t let me continue?
How do you reopen a case in ICOTS if it was closed prematurely or needs to be re-opened due to
some incident?
__________________________________________________________________________________________
General Questions
What is the purpose of ICOTS and what does ICOTS track?
“Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System” (ICOTS) is the nationwide electronic
information system of the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision used to
facilitate the sharing of information regarding offender movement under the rules of the
interstate compact.
As ICOTS is implemented all Interstate Compact business is conducted via the system; that
includes Transfer Requests, Reporting Instructions, Violation Reports, Progress Reports,
Compact Action Requests, Case Closures, etc. The system also will track pertinent offender
specific information keeping a historical log of each offender’s residence, employment,
violations, etc.
Where can I get an overview of ICOTS?
Go to www.interstatecompact.org.
Click on ICOTS on the Quick Link bar. This page contains recorded ICOTS Demonstrations,
Flash Training videos, an Online User Manual, and an ICOTS overview.
For further assistance, contact the National Office.
Will ICOTS be the clearing house for all offender related information and documentation for
any Interstate case?
All information that is currently on or attached to the transfer packet and supervisory
functions for the Interstate Compact will be captured by the ICOTS system.
What are the built in quality controls (checks/balances) that will allow state Interstate
Offices to maintain control/oversight over the information leaving our state?
ICOTS provides a managed workflow for compact activities (Transfer Requests, Requests for
Reporting Instructions, Violation Reports, etc.), meaning that all of this information flows
through the compact office for approval. None of this information can be sent to another
state through ICOTS without the approval and submission of the compact office. All
workflow, managed and unmanaged has an accountability element, documenting and time
stamping when activities are submitted.
How do I make suggestions on improving the system?
Call or email your state compact office. Each compact office has an avenue to forward those
recommendations for consideration.
What do I do if I cannot connect to the ICOTS website?
Contact your IT personnel to see if they can connect, if they can connect then the problem is
local to your computer and they will be able to help you resolve the issue. If they can’t
connect, contact your state compact office or the agency designated by your state compact
office for assistance.
Will ICOTS provide any tracking of victims or victim notification?
ICOTS will collect victim sensitive details, but ICOTS will not provide any tracking or
automatic notification. However, it is goal of the ICOTS project to provide that type of
functionality in the future.
Will ICOTS automatically cross-reference the National Sex Offender Registry?
ICOTS will not cross-reference the national sex offender registry in an automated way. This
and other similar scenarios were discussed at length during the design of ICOTS. ICOTS is
built on the NIEM/GJXDM model so that future compatibility and data sharing will be easier
to achieve. At this time the development and implementation of a system that can conduct
compact business is the highest priority, however, data sharing is a direction that could be
considered in the future.
Many of our offices have multi-function devices that can scan, copy, and print. Are these
compatible with ICOTS?
As long as your scanner saves files in a pdf format then there should be no compatibility
problems between your scanners and ICOTS.
What is the ICOTS User Manual and where can I locate it?
The ICOTS User Manual provides a comprehensive description of all activities and processes
competed in ICOTS. This document can be located via the “Help” Tab.
User Administration & System Access
What is the purpose of the ICOTS Privacy Policy? Do all users have to sign the agreement or
just the agency?
The Privacy Policy and user agreement apply to all users of the system. This includes the
administrators at the National Office and any agencies or individuals allowed access to the
system or its data. Users are required to read and understand the policy prior to receiving a
user account. Each state will maintain the User agreements for future audits.
How can I get assistance to reset my password?
On the ICOTS login screen, there is a link under the login section entitled “What was my
password again?” Click on this link and provide the requested information. A temporary
password link will be emailed to you. This password link is only valid for 20 minutes.
Will we have the ability to assign an incoming investigation to a generic email address? Here
in our state, many of our counties have set up separate compact email addresses which are
where we currently send all TIRs to and then they assign out the investigations from there.
That way if one staffer is out, someone else has access to that email box.
ICAOS certainly understands the reason upside for having a generic account but creating a
generic user will violate CJIS security policy. You can set up email account rules which can
forward emails from ICOTS to your generic email account.
If we don't have a way to generically assign an investigation to a county and have to send it to
a specific person, what happens when that person takes a vacation?
There is a “vacation mode” in ICOTS where users can set their accounts to “on vacation”
status. A Supervisor or Compact Office user can reassign the activity or case from the
Manage Case Load screen.
How do I set up additional users for ICOTS?
Contact your state compact office to add a new user.
How do I delete a user for ICOTS?
You cannot delete a user in ICOTS but you can render them inactive in the event the user
terminates or is on extended leave. Access that user’s account and select “Deactivate”. If
the user has offenders assigned to them, you’ll need to reassign the offender cases to new
parole/probation officers before the system will allow you to de-activate the user.
Is it possible to assign our local Designees as Compact Staff for purpose of reviewing cases or
do we stick to the PO Support, PO, and PO Supervisor for the local titles?
No one outside of the state compact office should have the role of compact office staff.
That role allows the user to approve transfer request, approve reporting instructions, make
official decisions on compact cases and communicate with the receiving state.
Our department want the workflow in ICOTS to go PO > PO Supervisor > Designee > Compact
Office, is that possible?
ICOTS allows multiple supervisors in the reviewing process. You can have one PO supervisor
(ICOTS user role, not actual title) report to another PO supervisor if these additional
supervisors want to be included in the review process. In the instance described, the PO
would set their workflow to PO Supervisor; PO Supervisor would choose reports to PO
Supervisor (being designee); and the designee or 2nd PO Supervisor would set his or her
workflow to reports to Compact Office. This would establish the 4 levels.
Standard Operating Procedures in ICOTS
What do I do when I received an email stating that I had an action to perform in ICOTS?
Email notifications inform you that an offender’s record needs attention, an investigation
has been assigned to you or that there are other supervisory responsibilities pending.
Login to ICOTS and select the “Compact Workload” tab or go to that offender’s profile to
retrieve detailed information.
What is the Compact Workload?
Each user in ICOTS, regardless of their role, has a Workload. This is especially a to do list of
action items for a user and a report of his or her assigned offenders.
I completed an action in the ICOTS system (i.e. Transfer Request, Response to Violation
Report, Arrival Notice, etc.) and hit submit.
Where did my information go?
When an activity is submitted it will enter the “Compact Workload” for the next person in
the workflow. If you are a field officer that reports to a supervisor then your supervisor will
now have your submitted activity in their “Compact Workload.” In addition, email
notifications will be sent to the appropriate parties. You can see the status of your action in
the “Compact Workload” tab.
How and when should I expect a response?
The response depends on the action and the rules of the request. The intended recipient of
the action has been notified by email that a request is pending and the status of his/her
“Compact Workload” indicates a response is expected.
Once the recipient has acted on a request, appropriate parties are notified and if further
action is required by you, you will receive an email notification and your “Compact
Workload” will be updated.
More frequent ‘reminders’ will be sent to the recipient as the timeframe for completion
approaches. If the timeline threshold is exceeded, escalation notifications are sent to state
compact offices and to the National Office.
Statuses and documentation of any activities entered into ICOTS can be accessed via the
Compact Cases Tab on the Offender’s Profile.
What is the ICOTS case number and Offender number?
These numbers are generated by ICOTS and are used as a standard identifier between
states. Each offender in ICOTS has a unique offender number, although can have multiple
cases associated with them.
How come an offender can have multiple ICOTS Case #s?
An ICOTS Case # is assigned each time a new request is submitted for an offender; but the
ICOTS Offender # will stay constant with that offender.
What if I added an offender twice and it seems two records exist that are the same person?
Per the ICOTS privacy policy, these errors should be investigated and reported in a timely
manner to the Compact Office. Once an offender is added into ICOTS, only the National
Administrator or the host company can delete records. It is important that users take
appropriate measures and steps to prevent adding an offender who is already in the system.
I am working on a Transfer Request and now I have 2 saved into the system and my
workload is stating I have two to complete, how do I merge them into one?
Once you enter data into ICOTS and click “Continue” “Save and Continue” or “Submit,” the
system saves the data into the system. This includes entering offender data or activity data
(Transfer Request, Progress Report, etc) Until you complete an activity and submit for
review, you can delete (and only by you) that activity by going to the activity via the
workload or the offender profile and selecting the Delete button. This will only delete that
activity.
In the situation of an outgoing transfer request moving from the PO to the Compact
Office, can states take out the supervisory approval step between the PO and Compact
Office?
ICOTS can be configured so that all work items move directly from the PO to the Compact
Office. Upon logging in for the first time each PO and PO Supervisor level user is required to
identify their workflow by naming either the user who should receive managed workflow or the
State Compact Office directly.
I have a dual supervision (both probation and parole) case I am attempting to transfer to
Indiana and the system will only allow me to enter one type of case on this request.
There are several states which have two compact offices, one for probation and one for
parole. To request transfer of supervision to one of these cases for a dual supervision case,
2 requests will need to be submitted. Although subject to change, these states include:
Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York,
New Jersey, South Dakota.
What is the NCIC modifier field? I see no place to enter anything for this field.
Once the NCIC code has been selected you can use this dropdown to provide more
information i.e. aid/abet or accessory.
Why isn’t the “Supervision Ends box” a mandatory field? How will the receiving state know
when supervision ends?
The reason there is no mandatory marker for “supervision ends on” date is because it is
conditionally required; either the date must be provided or lifetime supervision must be
checked.
During the ICOTS demonstration it seemed as though the “offender application” was
“optional” to attach to a transfer request. A copy must be attached to each transfer request
as mandated by Rule 3.107.
According to the version of 3.107 that was passed by the Commission in 2005, (that goes
into effect with the implementation of the electronic system) upon the effective date, this
rule only requires that the signed application be maintained in the sending state. Uploading
a copy into ICOTS is optional.
Why when I return something to the originator does it still show in my compact workload?
During the design process we were instructed that items that have been sent back should
stay on the “radar” a little more than items that the user has resolved.
After an offender is set up in ICOTS and their case has been accepted by the receiving state,
will the sending state be able to change any offender data such as sending state number,
supervision end date, SSN#, or will they be locked out as indicated on the residential info?
The supervising officer in the sending state retains permissions to make some changes to
the record (basic offender demographics, address, employment, identifying numbers,
supervision expiration dates, others in the home, etc).
Can users print certain screens for court records? Like the offender application or a
violation report?
All activities can be printed in a format that is similar to the current forms. It is important to
note that the functions must be completed before the system will generate such report.
I’m in the middle of transferring an offender but I don’t have all the information and ICOTS
won’t let me go forward. What do I do?
ICOTS will not allow you to submit an action or request until all required information has
been filled out, because this is not always possible. The ICOTS was designed to save your
work until you can get all the information. If you logout or start another offender’s request
prior to completing all the information your work will be saved. The next time you login to
ICOTS you will be able to resume your work by going to the “Compact Workload” tab. You
can do this as many times as it takes to complete the action or request. BE SURE NOT TO
CREATE A NEW REQUEST. ICOTS WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY DELETE DUPLICATE REQUESTS!
I entered a case note and would like to edit the text. How can I delete or edit that note?
Once entered into the system, a case note and all other activities are not delete able or
editable. Also, all case notes are viewable by any user of ICOTS.
If a document is returned to the originator because it's filled out wrong and then the officer
resends a new one; are they amending the existing document or creating a new one. If they
create a new one; is the first one still in the system and can we delete it?
When the activity is sent back the existing request is modified and stamped (user, date,
time). The original is not preserved.
What if we return a violation report to the originator because the compact office determines
it’s not a significant violation; what happens to that document in ICOTS?
The originator should be notified to withdraw the activity. The option to withdraw the
violation report up until the violation reply is created.
Can more than 1 person be assigned to an offender?
No
How do I initiate a subsequent state transfer?
From the assistance tab, the original receiving state can inform the sending state by
selecting Compact Action Request.
How long do POs have to respond to requests that don't have a specified timeframe? i.e.,
requests for progress reports? Will there be a report that we can view that lets us know how
quick or slow we are to respond to inquiries?
We did not assign timelines for processes that do not have rule associated timelines.
Can a case be converted to victim sensitive after it's been accepted?
The supervising user has the ability to update special status information through the
offender’s profile screen. Click on Manage Special Statuses.
What happens to the offender data after a case is closed or withdrawn; does it remain in
ICOTS?
Once a case is closed or withdrawn it becomes part of the offender’s historical record in
ICOTS.
Will the ability to track offenders who have been retaken multiple times ever be added as an
enhancement later?
You will be able to review the compact history of offenders with the initial of release of
ICOTS.
A request I sent was rejected and I do not plan to pursue transfer of supervision and
resubmit. How do I remove the rejected case from my workload?
The case can be withdrawn by the sending state as long as the offender was not previously
granted reporting instructions and supervision responsibility assumed by the receiving state
with the submission of a Notice of Arrival. <<See Quick Tips from 3-19-09>>.
How do I reject a case or withdraw (rescind) reporting instructions after accepting the case?
The assigned user in the receiving state who completed the Transfer Request reply can
withdraw the accepted reply and this action changes the status to rejected.
Can I delete a case created in ICOTS?
Creating a Request for Reporting Instruction or Transfer Request for an offender creates a
case. If the activity has not been submitted, it can be deleted and the user can remove
interest (available under the compact cases tab of the offender’s profile) deleting the case
from ICOTS if no activities exists for the case. <<See Quick Tip from 3-19-09 >>.
What does the Register Interest button do?
If an offender record is created in ICOTS (Offender Profile is created) a Register Interest
button is available to all users except for any users currently assigned to a case associated
with that offender. Clicking the Register Interest button allows a user not currently assigned
a case for that offender to create one from the offender’s record. Although the same action
can take place from the Assistant’s screen, the steps to create the case are different. From
the Assistant’s screen, the user chooses the activity, then creates or chooses the offender (if
already in the system). Registering Interest, the user first chooses the offender, then the
activity to create the case.
Supervisor Functions
I received an email to review an outgoing Transfer Request and to log into ICOTS; when I log
in I am at the Assistants screen which only initiates activities. What screen do I review the
activity from?
As a user with a supervisor role primarily reviews and assigns activities. These actions
should be accessed from the Compact Workload Screen. <<See Quick Tip from 3-19-09 >>.
I received an email that an incoming Transfer Request has been delegated to me to assign for
investigation. What screen to I assign the activity from the Manage Case Load or Compact
Workload?
As a user with a supervisor role primarily reviews and assigns activities. These actions
should be accessed from the Compact Workload Screen. <<See Quick Tip from 3-19-09 >>.
Compact Office Functions
I am a compact office user and processing an incoming activity, I have an option to delegate
to a supervisor or assign to a PO. What’s the difference between Delegate and Assign?
Most incoming activities have options for a Compact Office user to either assign to
themselves, forward to another member, send back, delegate to a supervisor or assign to a
PO user. Assign directly assigns that case and activity to the user to complete. Delegate is
an action which moves that assignment ability to a user. Therefore, delegating to a
supervisor does not assign the activity it only gives that user authority to assign the activity
to a subordinate user.
When the compact office approves an RI, how do we assign it to the supervisor in the county
it's being assigned to or to the PO to whom the offender will report to?
Compact Office and PO Supervisor Users have a Manage Case Load function within the User
Tab. The User in the Compact Office who completed the Request for Reporting Instructions
Reply is assigned the case until it is reassigned as appropriate. That user, or another
Compact Office User, will need to visit the Manage Case Load feature and reassign to a user
in the field as appropriate.
If we have outgoing pending cases in our Interstate Office and we (Interstate Compact Office)
want to enter them into ICOTS instead of making our locals do it – how do we accomplish
this?
Members of the compact office have all the same rights as a PO. New requests can be
entered by the compact office staff by using the “Assistants” tab.
ICOTS Reports
How do I run a report?
Only Supervisors and Compact Office Users can run reports from ICOTS
Log in
Go to the “Reports” tab and select from any of the reports listed.
Fill out the selection criteria and submit the report.
How do I run a report that is not offered?
If it’s a report that will be useful to other states or is part of a new reporting requirement as
mandated by federal or compact regulations, you can request it be added as a new report
by contacting your state compact office.
If this is a one-time request for information, the state compact office can request a special
report to be run by the National Office.
Can states create their own ad hoc reports from the data in ICOTS?
States will be able to submit their requests for custom reports to the National Office who
can create the reports for the states.
Will states be able to download data extracts from the ICOTS databank for the purpose of
special reports or analyses?
States will have the ability to run some reports on the data in the system. As for the ability
to extract data from the system, that ability will not be included in the initial
implementation.
From the administrators tab, why isn’t there a select all box so that I can select and associate
every county to a user for reports?
Instead of selecting all counties you can leave all of the boxes unchecked that way the
compact office doesn’t influence county reports (if you want to run county by county
reports).
Errors and Technical Support
What is the process for getting assistance with errors or technical difficulties with ICOTS?
First, always check to see if others at your location are experiencing issues that may be fixed
by your IT department. After ruling out local issues, then contact your state compact office
for further assistance.
What do I do when the page is loading slowly?
This could be caused by any number of internal issues. Please check with your IT
department to see if your system has recently been updated with new software or if IT is
performing maintenance. If the problem persists, call your state compact office.
What happens when the system goes down and we need to initiate a request for RIs; do we
revert back to hard paper requests?
We are guaranteed 99% availability to the website, if in the rare instance it does go down
those requests will have to process once the system is back online.
What do I do when I get an error or if I can’t to log onto ICOTS?
Double check your password, make sure your caps lock is off and try again.
If the error persists, try resetting your password. The password reset link is located on the
login page. A new password will be generated and sent to via email.
If neither of these works, contact your state compact office or the agency designated by
your state compact office for assistance.
What do I do if I receive an application error that won’t let me continue?
Check to see if anyone else in your office has had an interruption of service or has gotten an
error. It could be an issue on your computer. If this isn’t the case, contact the state compact
office or the agency designated by your state compact office for assistance.
How do you reopen a case in ICOTS if it was closed prematurely or needs to be re-opened
due to some incident?
Reopening closed cases can only be done by the state compact office.
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