Member Spotlight: Joe R.

By APPA Community posted 2020-04-01 01:57 PM


As Program Manager for the University of Denver’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center, Joe Russo has pursued community corrections research for more than two decades. Today, he is responsible for maintaining up-to-date knowledge of innovations in probation and parole technology, as well as helping agencies optimize the potential of these new tools. “I also enjoy meeting with practitioners from across the country, understanding their challenges, and working through the process of identifying viable solutions to these challenges,” Russo said.

Russo’s projects are primarily funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. They focus on the identification of high priority technology needs of corrections professionals. Currently, he is working with the NIJ and the RAND Corporation to convene an expert panel to discuss the challenges of community supervision in a digital world.

“Everyone today has a virtual presence – what we do online or on social media. Those under supervision are no different,” he said. “What our clients do in the virtual world can have real world implications. We are bringing probation and parole officers, digital forensics and policy experts together to talk about how agencies can and should deal with relatively new challenge.”

Russo’s work has made important strides towards better community supervision. He played a key role in the creation of Field Search, a free software tool which allows non-technical community supervision officers to quickly scan a client’s computer and create a report of the findings. Russo also supported an NIJ initiative to create technical performance standards for Offender Tracking (GPS) technology.

Russo earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Marist College and his Master’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, both in New York. He’s been an active member of APPA for more than 20 years and currently serves as Executive Committee Secretary.

Russo actually began his career working at a half-way house for federal inmates in Times Square, just a stone’s throw away from the New York Marriott Marquis, location of APPA’s upcoming Annual Training Institute, August 23-26. He served the New York City Department of Correction and Department of Probation before relocating to Colorado.

Thank you, Joe Russo, for all your years of support to the community corrections field and the American Probation and Parole Association as well. We look forward to building on our past successes for years to come.