Anyone working with Native American offenders should read this article. Its purpose is to "increase the level of understanding of correctional professionals about how the responsivity issues of Native American (NA) individuals can be effectively addressed. NA offenders are involved in criminal and juvenile justice systems handled by tribal, county, state, and federal agencies. As a result, there are several levels of justice practitioners, administrators, and policy makers that come into contact with NA supervisees at various stages of the criminal or juvenile justice system. This article focuses on how probation and parole officers (PPOs) are addressing responsivity factors of NA youth or adults on their caseloads throughout the supervision process" (p. 1). Sections of this publication include: risk, need, and responsivity approaches with Native American supervisees; methods; survey findings—general and specific responsivity; recommendations—three regarding research and development, risk and needs assessments, evaluation, three for recommendations for policy, and six practice recommendations; and conclusion.
"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.
“Using effective strategies to keep probationers and parolees crime- and drug-free and curb their revocation rates is among the most important issues facing our community corrections supervision system … Based on solid research, two key strategies that many agencies have begun to implement are the use of swift, certain, and proportionate sanctions to respond to violations, and the use of incentives to promote and reinforce compliance among probationers and parolees” (p. 1-2). This report does a great job in explaining how to effectively combine both sanctions and incentives in probation and parole supervision. These tactics are: consider legal and constitutional issues; apply proper ration of incentives to sanctions; collaborate with key stakeholders; develop structured response grids using key principles; and evaluate program fidelity and outcomes. Also included are a “Response Grid Template” and a “Data Collection Elements” list.
The goal of this videoconference is to enhance the ability of probation and parole agency staff (line officers, supervisors, and policymakers/administrators) to supervise sex offenders in the community more effectively. Topics addressed include:
- Overview of sex offenders and their victims;
- The victim-centered approach to sex offender supervision;
- The role of collaboration in a comprehensive approach to supervision;
- The containment approach to supervision;
- Sex offender treatment in the context of community supervision;
- The use of the polygraph as a supervision and treatment tool;
- Assessment of sex offenders;
- Presentence investigations (PSI) of sex offenders;
- Case/planning/maintaining the case file;
- Case work in various settings;
- And responding to violations.
This video examines the needs, strengths, weaknesses, and risks associated with female offenders. Topics discussed include:
- The unique and complex issues surrounding female offenders;
- Barriers that female offenders encounter in the community;
- Techniques and skills for effecting positive change;
- Outside resources to assist in supervision;
- And the challenges and rewards of working with female offenders.
This brief examines the impact a mandatory reentry supervision program has on spending and public safety. Kentucky requires that every inmate that is released from prison undergo post-release supervision to ensure that the inmate has the necessary monitoring and/or support in the community. Results show that the post-release supervision program: "improved public safety by helping reduce new offense rates by 30 percent; resulted in a net savings of approximately 872 prison beds per year; [and] saved more than $29 million in the 27 months after the policy took effect" (p. 1).
"Despite growing evidence and a broad consensus that the period immediately following release from prison is critical for preventing recidivism, a large and increasing number of offenders are maxing out—serving their entire sentences behind bars—and returning to their communities without supervision or support. These inmates do not have any legal conditions imposed on them, are not monitored by parole or probation officers, and do not receive the assistance that can help them lead crime-free lives … This report examines the rise in max-outs and its policy origins, looks at states that are leading on the use of post-prison supervision to protect public safety and reduce costs, and provides a framework to help other states use evidence to inform release and supervision decisions" p. 1-2. Sections cover: overview; policy changes lead to spike in max-outs; one in five inmates max out; state release policies vary widely; increase driven by nonviolent offenders; supervised release can cut recidivism and costs; policy framework to reduce max-outs; and conclusion.
"Faced with a prison system at 159 percent of capacity and expected to grow to 170 percent of capacity by FY2020, state leaders in Nebraska pursued justice reinvestment. After extensive analyses identified key challenges in the state’s criminal justice system, policymakers developed a policy framework designed to reduce prison overcrowding and expand the use of probation and parole supervision. Justice reinvestment legislation was enacted in May 2015 and is projected to avert $306 million in construction and operations costs by FY2020." Sections of this brief include: overview; summary of the justice reinvestment process—challenge, findings, and solutions; summary of LB 605policies to use probation rather than incarceration for people convicted of low-level offenses, and increase penalty thresholds for property offenses, enhance felony classifications, ensure post-release supervision for most people upon release from prison, and address victims' needs, and improve parole supervision to reduce recidivism; looking ahead; sustainability policies in LB 605; and "Projected Impact of LB 605 on Nebraska's Prison Population" chart.
This program interviewed four directors of state parole and probation agencies who were attending a conference at the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in Washington, DC. These directors share what works to achieve successful case completions while also protecting public safety.
"Oftentimes, parole and probation officers are the only positive role models offenders have. About a decade ago, criminologists began asking if parole and probation visits were a missed opportunity for law enforcement. What if officers developed a more supportive relationship with offenders? What if they demonstrated to clients that they weren’t just checking boxes and delivering sanctions? The working theory was that given some personal attention, offenders might be more receptive to advice about resolving conflicts and avoiding crime. Amid a flurry of academic journal articles and pilot projects, researchers from the University of Cincinnati developed EPICS, short for Effective Practices in Community Supervision, a new model for structured face-to-face meetings between officers and their clients … Since 2006, more than 80 state and county criminal justice departments have adopted EPICS , including Multnomah County. By focusing on behavioral change, rather than just threats of being thrown back in jail, EPICS and similar efforts may help break the cycle of incarceration … The guiding principle behind EPICS is that offenders need help learning how to approach life in a more constructive way. If they’re offered drugs, they need to know how to weigh the long-term cost of incarceration against the short-term benefit of getting high. They need to practice overriding impulsive responses to situations. More broadly, they need to understand how their default thought patterns, without a conscious effort to change, will lead to further crime and punishment" (p. 36-37). This article discusses: what EPICS entails—the four steps of check-in, review, intervention, and homework; difference between EPICS and traditional community supervision; the "black box" of EPICS' effectiveness; potential success of EPICS in Multnomah County, Oregon; the need for program fidelity; the fact that EPICS adds structure to offender-officer interactions and facilitating criminal behavior change; while some officers like EPICS, others don't; some offenders don't like it either; the future.