Changing Inbox View

I would like to modify the inbox view for non-admins to only show content based on a users current role and folder location of the content items in the inbox (basically imposing the same ACL folder restrictions as the content explorer folders). The solution doesn’t need to read the ACLs for the content but I think looking at the folder path for each of the items and logially stating “if the user role = x, then filter only items beginning with a folder path = y”. Is there a way to do this?

Full reasoning below if you want to know more info:

I am trying to figure out a workaround for using the ad-hoc system because our users are not satisfied with it’s out-of-the-box implementation. I agree that it could be modified to be more user friendly (presenting the user with option buttons rather than requiring a search) but I understand others may use this function differently. As of right now we are not using e-mail workflow notifications and I expect we will need to at some point in the future, but for now I am working around the ad-hoc system.

I have a scenario where there is one master community but many workflow roles which somewhat follows the logic behind EI and CI communities. The community in this case is the “College of Arts and Sciences”, that has workflow roles for each department within the College. Each department has a workflow role for editors and approvers, for instance, the Department of Human Factors has these workflow roles: db_coas_hfs and db_coas_hfs_admin.

Most of the content types used in the COAS community utilize one workflow (attachment:coasWorkflow-reviewState.jpg) instead of being broken up into four workflows (one workflow per department) so that content may be edited/approved by any role at a later time by changing the ACL entries for the folders that are visible to each role.

My point to all of this is that the workflow is functioning as expected, since each admin role gets to see content in the review state within their inbox, they all see content from every department where mass confusion ensues.

Alternatively I was thinking about making new communities for each department that would encompass the existing approver and editor workflow roles. If users are in different communities but are in the same workflow, will they see the other items in their inbox? It seems like this could be a good option, however I would need to change all of the community ownership in the backend tables and the administrators complain because the have to remember to change communities when building out a new website.