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This guide is designed to “lay out the context, summarize the key issues, highlight the recent research, and provide suggestions about where to find more extensive and detailed resources” about special populations parole boards may have contact with (p. xiii). Seven chapters are contained in this publication: sex offenders; offenders who have significant mental health concerns; offenders who have significant substance abuse problems; women offenders; aging or geriatric offenders; youthful/juvenile offenders in the adult correctional system; and the challenges of housing for offenders released from prison.

Special Challenges Facing Parole Cover

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.

Successful Parole and Probation Practices Cover

This is an excellent website for learning about this innovative approach to reducing recidivism. "About one-third of probationers and parolees fail the terms of their supervision. Over three-quarters of parolees are re-arrested within five years, and over half return to prison. High failure rates for people on probation and parole—whether for new offenses, revocations, or individuals who abscond from supervision—result in increased crime, crowded prisons and jails, and strained public budgets … Why Swift Certain and Fair? Because—if the conditions are right—a SCF program can take high-risk individuals in your jurisdiction and substantially reduce their drug use, revocation and re-arrest rates, and the subsequent reliance on incarceration." Points of entry contained on this website are: why SCF; current programs; ingredients for success; stakeholders' roles; and what's happening now.

Swift, Certain, & Fair Cover

"With limited exceptions, there is a scarcity in the research literature directly engaging releasing authorities and the breadth of their decision-making. To a significant extent, there continues to exist a “black box” when it comes to the understanding of parole release and revocation … The survey was divided into three sections: Section A: The Structure and Administration of Parole Boards; Section B: Information Systems and Statistical Information; and Section C: Issues and Future Challenges Facing Paroling Authorities … This is the first comprehensive survey of parole boards completed in nearly 10 years. Its findings provide a rich database for better understanding the policy and practice of releasing authorities" (p. 10, 11).

The Continuing Leverage of Releasing Authorities cover

“This paper provides suggestions and examples about how these key decisionmaking functions of parole [which offenders participate in which programs, when, and for how long] can be shaped to target resources effectively according to the principles of risk, need, and responsivity” (p. viii). Sections of this publication include: introduction; historical context; the cusp of change; parole at the crossroads; resources to support parole’s new role; targets of excellence in paroling authority decisionmaking; specific steps paroling authorities can take to enhance their ability to provide “targeting”; policy-driven parole decisionmaking—individual and team excellence; and conclusion.

The Future of Parole as a Key Partner in Assuring Public Safety Cover

This study’s purpose was to “determine the extent to which people on probation and parole contribute to the demands on the resources of local law enforcement, and to identify what opportunities exist to use data to target their limited resources more effectively” (p. 3). Some of the findings show that: only one in five arrests are people on probation or parole; for these individuals one in six arrests were for violent crime, one in three for drug crime; and an assessment of a parolee for risk of rearrest was effective, while that for probation’s was not. Two of the recommendations made in this report are: promote the use of a validated risk assessment instrument; and provide evidence-based practices for those people at high risk for re-offending.

he Impact of Probation and Parole Populations on Arrests in Four California Cities Cover

This report explains why the current probation officer to supervisor ratio (7:1 span of control) should not be increased to a higher level due to significant impacts on the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in the Community Based Correctional System in Iowa. Span of control is “the number of individuals, or resources, that a person can effectively supervise within a structured organizational, business of military setting” (p. i). Sections of this report following an executive summary are: the importance of a low span of control in effective implementation of EBPs for probation and parole; findings on the impact of this low span of control; probation officer competencies; application of theoretical span of control factors to an EBP probation and parole environment; and conclusions and considerations.

The Importance of a Low Span of Control in Effective Implementation of Evidence Based Probation and Parole Practices Cover

“As the size and cost of jails and prisons have grown, so too has the awareness that public investment in incarceration has not yielded the expected return on public safety. Today, in the United States, an opportunity exists to reexamine the wisdom of our reliance on institutional corrections—incarceration in prisons or jails—and to reconsider the role of community-based corrections, which encompasses probation, parole, and pretrial supervision … States and counties are moving to shift the burden from institutional to community corrections, sending greater numbers of offenders to supervision agencies with heightened expectations of success but often without the additional resources necessary to do the job that is being asked of them … There is considerable variability within and across states in the way community corrections is organized and financed. Agency responsibilities and accountability also differ” (p. 2). Since this report explains what the current state of and emerging strategies for community corrections, anyone working to strengthen the field or seeking to understand the potential of community corrections to reduce the recidivism of offenders should read this report. Sections cover: what community corrections is; its current state; emerging best practices; current practices that need more research; recent policy changes in community corrections; and moving forward—recommendations to the field.

The Potential of Community Corrections Cover

The use of Strategy in Training Initiative in Community Supervision (STICS), a comprehensive model for community supervision, is discussed. Those individuals involved with community corrections and its increased effectiveness should read this article. It will explain how to transfer evidence-based practice into “real world” community supervision. Topics covered include: the emergence of the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model; the Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision—program design, implementation, and evaluation issues; and steps to bringing “what works” to the real world.

The Role of Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation in Evidence-Based 'Real World' Community Supervision Color

The application of evidence-based research findings to the practice of offender supervision is explained. Sections of this manual include: introduction -- supervision as a behavioral management process to reduce recidivism; behavior and change; assessment and planning; communication tools; information tools; incentives to shape offender behavior; service tools; offender types; and guiding principles.

Tools of the Trade Cover


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