U.S. Department of Justice

Behavior Management of Justice-Involved Individuals: Contemporary Research and State-of-the-Art Policy and Practice

Publication year: 2015
Thumbnail preview "All justice-involved individuals who are under community supervision are expected to abide by a set of conditions. Unfortunately, a significant portion will violate one or more of their terms and conditions of supervision at some point, either by committing a new offense or by committing a technical violation—an infraction related to failing to comply with the technical rules set by the releasing authority. Many of these individuals will be incarcerated as a result of a violation. Yet, incarcerating individuals for violations does not necessarily achieve the desired public safety impact in terms of reducing future violations and recidivism. There remains an endless “revolving door” of individuals who are placed on community supervision, engage in further problematic behavior, and return to correctional facilities to likely repeat the cycle again. This paper provides a policy and practice framework to support the development of effective behavior management systems that will increase the compliance and prosocial behavior of justice-involved individuals both during and following their community supervision."

Sections of this publication include: the "never events" in the behavior management of justice-involved individuals; introduction to conditions of community supervision; why behavior management matters—developments over the past three decades, summary of the research and frameworks in what works in shaping behavior, rethinking the term sanctions, six key principles guiding effective responses to noncompliance, the use of incentives and rewards, key considerations in their effective use, the Model Penal Code on rewards and responses to noncompliance, putting it together--responding to behavior in ways that produce positive outcomes, making it work—operationalizing the research, illustrations of select programmatic efforts to manage behavior, and state and local efforts to address behavior management using a structured policy framework process; advancing behavior management policy and practice—ten steps to developing a behavior management policy; recent advances in behavior management—accounting for criminogenic needs, considering the complexity of the behavior, tailoring responses to prosocial behaviors, automating decision making tools, consistently addressing behavior across the justice system continuum, and key data questions; future advances in behavior management; and a recommended behavior management policy and practice approach—"always events" in the behavior management of justice-involved individuals.