Discuss the effectiveness of various community corrections

Discuss the effectiveness of various community corrections

Chapter 9

Community Corrections

Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, you should be able to: • List and describe the

principles of effective intervention

• Describe the devel- opment and use of probation

• Describe the develop- ment and use of inter- mediate sanctions

• Describe the devel- opment and use of parole

• Discuss the effective- ness of various com- munity corrections

Chapter Outline

9.1 What Works In Changing Offenders? The “What Works” Movement Risk Principle Criminogenic Need Principle Treatment Principle Fidelity Principle

9.2 Probation A Brief History of Probation The Philosophy Supporting Probation The Size and Scope of Probation Revocation and Failure of Probation The Presentence Report Concluding Comments About Probation

9.3 Intermediate Sanctions Types of Intermediate Sanctions Comments on Intermediate Sanctions

9.5 Parole A Brief History of Parole The Size and Scope of Parole Reentry and Rediscovering Parole

9.6 Chapter Summary

Critical Thinking Questions

Key Terms

Web Links


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What Works in Changing Offenders? Chapter 9

9.1 What Works in Changing Offenders? We start this chapter not with an introduction to community corrections but rather a consid- eration of the science behind efforts to reduce recidivism. This information is presented first because efforts to rehabilitate offenders take priority in community corrections. Indeed, many of the revolutionary changes in rehabilitation are occurring in this area. These programs keep offenders out of prison but also provide for community security, and they have grown more popular largely because they are less costly than imprisonment. Thus it is important to under- stand both community corrections and the rationale behind its efforts to manage and change offenders.

Before proceeding, it is important to note that it is very difficult to change antisocial behavior. Numerous studies show that antisocial behavior can be highly stable over long stretches of the life course (Wright et al., 2008) and can be resistant to change. Some offenders, moreover, may not be capable of change. Criminal psychopaths, the evidence tells us, do not do well in treatment programs and often end up learning not how to change but how better to manipulate officials and therapists (Ogloff et al., 1990). Thus it is important to recognize that even the best programs may produce only modest reductions in offender recidivism. However, even modest reduc- tions in recidivism translate into fewer victims and improved life chances for offenders.

The “What Works” Movement

After reviewing a range of rehabilitation programs for offenders, Robert Martinson (1974) con- cluded that “with few and isolated exceptions, it appears nothing works.” Martinson’s con- clusions were cited widely by those critical of rehabilitation and served as a death knell for rehabilitation for the next 20 years. Rehabilitation fell out of favor at exactly the same time crime rates skyrocketed and prison populations exploded.

Yet a closer inspection of the programs reviewed by Martinson showed that about 40 percent of the programs he examined showed reductions in reoffending. A group of Canadian psycholo- gists used this opportunity to examine why some programs reduced reoffending while others did not. What they discovered is that effective intervention programs shared common features. Through many years of scientific study, these psychologists developed what they called the prin- ciples of effective intervention. These became organizing concepts of community corrections and they stimulated what has become known as the “what works” movement in corrections.

Risk Principle

There are four general principles, the first of which is known as the risk principle. This states that interventions should target high-risk offenders. For programs to be effective, they must assess offender risk. This is usually done with the use of risk-assessment instruments. Once

▲ Rehabilitation programs seek to reduce the rate of recidivism. © Bojan Brecelj/CORBIS

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What Works in Changing Offenders? Chapter 9

offenders’ levels of risk are known, programs can target those at the greatest risk of reoffend- ing for the most intensive treatment. Research shows that targeting high-risk offenders is more effective than targeting low-risk offenders. Moreover, research also shows that targeting low- risk offenders with intensive treatment can actually increase their reoffending (Latessa, 2010). As we will see throughout this chapter, matching offenders to treatment and interventions based on risk level has been the bane of corrections. Far too often low-risk individuals are subjected to intensive interventions that can worsen their behavior.

How can interventions make behavior worse? First, research conducted at the Oregon Social Learning Center found that without constant adult supervision and guidance, youth in treat- ment groups can bond, thereby reinforcing antisocial attitudes and values (Dishion et al., 1999). This is more likely to occur when low- and high-risk offenders are mixed together. Unfortunately research data show that association with high-risk individuals increases the criminal behavior of low-risk individuals. Second, research by the state of Washington found that the competence of the therapist directly impacted recidivism rates. Therapists who were prepared for group treatment, who knew how to direct a group, who showed clear boundaries, and who reinforced prosocial behavior and sentiments produced significantly better results than incompetent ther- apists (Barnoski, 2004). Finally, Sherman (1993) argues that offenders become defiant when they see punishments as disproportionate, unjust, or overly harsh.

Criminogenic Need Principle

The second principle, the criminogenic need principle, posits that intervention programs must focus on change factors related to the offender’s antisocial conduct. Some of the important factors to target include antisocial values and attitudes, substance abuse, antisocial peers, dys- functional families, and poor decision-making and problem-solving skills. Unfortunately many intervention programs target factors that have little or nothing to do with an individual’s cur- rent criminal behavior. Research shows that when criminogenic needs are addressed, changes in criminal behavior are also observed.

There is probably no better example of a criminogenic need than addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Between 70 and 80 percent of all arrestees have drugs or alcohol in their systems at the time of their arrest. Often, their addictions have placed many such arrestees in situations where crime and other problem behaviors emerge: They drive intoxicated, get into physical alterca- tions, commit domestic violence, and steal. Programs that help such individuals to get and stay off drugs and alcohol usually also help them to stay out of trouble (Wilson et al., 2005). Thus by addressing this need, programs can reduce crime.

Treatment Principle

Third, the treatment principle tells us that intervention programs should use a mix of cogni- tive and behavioral strategies. Cognitive approaches confront the way offenders think, their criminal values and attitudes, and their decision making. Behavioral approaches, by con- trast, seek to model, reward, and reinforce prosocial behavior. Numerous studies show that cognitive-behavioral strategies work better than other intervention strategies for offenders, including nondirective talk therapy and psychoanalytic approaches. Nondirective approaches do not tend to work with most offenders because they are usually concrete in their thinking and not always able to think rationally.

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What Works in Changing Offenders? Chapter 9

Many offenders hold antisocial values and attitudes. These support and encourage criminal behavior and a general antisocial worldview. Scholars have studied offender decision mak- ing in detail and have classified a number of criminal thinking errors (Walters, 2003), which allow offenders to psychologically avoid responsibility for their behavior, often by diminishing the rights of others, appealing to other loyalties, and viewing themselves as “decent” folks. Cognitive therapies target and confront these self-destructive thinking patterns and try to rein- force healthier approaches through behavioral reinforcement. In a cognitive-behavioral inter- vention, for example, offenders may have to role-play how they would handle a situation that could lead to criminal behavior.

Fidelity Principle

Finally, programs have to actually deliver the services they offer, and they have to do so with consistency and with well-trained staff. This is known as the fidelity principle, and it high- lights the importance of what is known as the “black box” of correctional programming. Unfortunately many programs do not actually deliver the services they say they are delivering.

“Intensive” programs are not always intensive and cognitive-behavioral programs do not always follow the principles of cognitive-behavioral interventions. Moreover, it goes without saying that some individu- als should never work with offenders. When they do they often reinforce criminal thinking patterns and antisocial behavior. Indeed, adhering to program fidelity has been a central problem in correctional intervention for many years. When programs fail to adhere to the fidelity principle, they can actually increase reoffending rates.

These four principles have revolutionized the field of corrections. They have made correctional decisions and interventions more “data driven,” made correc- tional administrators and staff accountable for the delivery of services, and produced a knowledge base about whom to target (and whom not to), how best to

intervene, and the types of programs that will work and those that will not. Today, community correctional agencies across the United States are relying heavily on data to help make decisions about which programs to fund, which to keep, and which to develop. Hopefully this data-driven strategy will encourage greater accountability and reduce the tendency in corrections to look for the next “silver bullet” or panacea.

As we examine community corrections in the following pages, keep the principles of effective intervention in mind. Also keep in mind that hundreds of research studies now show that some rehabilitation programs that meet these principles achieve an average reduction in recidivism of between 10 and 20 percent (Lipsey, 1998; Lipsey & Wilson, 1993). Programs that strongly adhere to these principles have been shown to generate ever larger reductions (Latessa & Holsinger, 1998). However, this same body of research also reveals that some interventions do not work and can actually increase offender misbehavior. Latessa (2010) notes that the following types of interventions do not work or make offenders worse:

▲ President George Bush signs a proclamation for national Drug Abuse Resistance Education Day. © Associated Press

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Probation Chapter 9

• Programs centered on fear or other emotional appeals • Programs that threaten or shame offenders • Education-only programs, especially drug education programs • Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) • Scared Straight • Programs that increase offender self-esteem • Programs that rely on talking cures or that are vague and unstructured • Programs that show respect for criminal thinking

Community corrections is a vibrant area. With tighter state budgets, policy makers are now demanding that funded programs be able to show their impact on recidivism. They are demanding evidence of effec- tiveness in return for continued taxpayer support and, in many places, closing programs that have not been shown to work. This is a new era of accountabil- ity and represents a fundamental shift toward using science in corrections. Keep this information in mind as we progress through this section.

9.2 Probation A recent study found that about 30 percent of people in a given birth cohort will experience at least one arrest (Brame et al., 2012). Most of these arrests are for relatively nonserious offenses where no bodily harm occurred and no significant amount of property was lost. Indeed, many of these arrests are for public order offenses, such as urinating in public, drunk driving, or pos- session of controlled substances. In many of these instances, the arrested individual poses no serious threat to society and lives an otherwise normal, crime-free life.

Obviously violation of law requires some type of official response. Yet the vast majority of indi- viduals arrested and even convicted of a crime never see the inside of a jail or prison. Instead, they are sentenced by a judge or agree to a plea deal with the prosecutor for a term of probation. Probation is a judicially imposed sentence that places the offender under court supervision for a period of time. The supervision occurs in the community, thereby letting the offender avoid jail or prison. By avoiding a term of incarceration, the offender has the ability to continue working, going to school, maintain family relationships, and participate in free society.

The offender has to agree to abide by certain conditions. These conditions are placed in a proba- tion contract and represent an agreement between the court and the offender. The conditions in the contract depend in part on the individual circumstances of the offender. For example, drug and alcohol offenders may be required to attend treatment, while people convicted of public order offenses may be required to pay a fine and complete community service. Generally pro- bation contracts include a condition not to break the law while under supervision. In this way, probation serves as a form of a suspended sentence. Offenders who violate the conditions of probation may have to serve their original sentences, be sentenced to a period of incarceration, or be subject to more intense supervision and more intrusive scrutiny.

Stop and Think 9.1

Suppose you were the head of the depart- ment of corrections in your state. Would you require programs to focus on the principles of effective intervention? Would you require that they show evidence of their effective- ness? Why, or why not?

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Probation Chapter 9

A Brief History of Probation

How did probation emerge as the most used correctional sentence? Was it because leaders in the criminal justice system or special panels of academics advanced the idea of treating some offenders in the community? Or was it because courts were moving to a more enlightened stance on criminal punishment? The short answer is no, but understanding how probation emerged tells us what the contributions of a single person can achieve.

The advent of probation is attributed to John Augustus (1785–1859), a shoemaker in Boston who became interested in helping men avoid jail. Augustus was part of the Washington Total Abstinence Society, a group dedicated to reducing the use of alcohol in the United States, which became known as the temperance movement. As part of this movement, Augustus would spend time in local courts and jails, noting that minor crimes, such as public drunkenness, were being punished by periods of incarceration. While in jail, these offenders could not work to support themselves or their families. During this time, offenders who could not afford to pay their fines would also be placed in jail.

Augustus eventually approached a local judge and asked that a man recently charged with public drunk- enness be placed under his supervision. Despite the protests of local police, the judge agreed but required Augustus to pay the fine of 1 cent plus court costs. The offender and Augustus were required to report back to the court in 3 weeks. Augustus helped the offender to find work and made him sign a pledge to stop drinking. Upon their return to court, the judge and onlookers were surprised to see the man in much better condition.

From that point forward, Augustus worked with the court, bailing out men who “were indicted for their first offense, and whose hearts were not wholly depraved, but gave promise of better things” (Dressler, 1962, p. 17). Augustus did not bail out just anyone but only those he believed were capable of change. After he bailed them out, he helped them find work and to quit drinking; he also helped their families in a vari-

ety of ways. When the offender had to return to court for official sentencing, Augustus would be there too and detail the extent to which the offender had followed his rules and had been rehabilitated. Usually, after hearing from Augustus, the judge would fine the person 1 cent plus court costs. If Augustus’s efforts were successful, the offender would avoid jail.

Augustus’s project eventually expanded to include women and even children. By the time he had completed his work, he had helped almost 2,000 people. His work proved so effective that Massachusetts passed legislation in 1878 implementing “probation” for juveniles—a term Augustus coined from the Latin term probare, which means “to prove or to test.” By 1930, every state except Wyoming had passed laws enabling probation for youths. Probation for adults, how- ever, took longer for states to accept. It was not until 1956 that all states had laws implementing probation for both adults and juveniles. Today, every state and the federal government use proba- tion extensively—all because a cobbler took the time to help offenders improve their lives.

▲ Probation Officers use an automated license plate reader to detect stolen cars in Sacramento, California. Four cameras mounted on their cruiser automatically read license plates of vehicles and alert them when a car has been reported stolen. © Andri Tambunan/ZUMA Press/Corbis/© Sacramento Bee

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Probation Chapter 9

The Philosophy Supporting Probation

Many of Augustus’s ideas remain with us today. First, Augustus believed that criminal punish- ment should be used to help reform offenders. Second, he believed that some offenders should be given a second chance in life. Third, he maintained that jail was simply inappropriate for some offenders and that jail conditions could lead them to commit more crimes in the future. Finally, Augustus held that probation was appropriate only for certain offenders and that there were others who should not be considered for probation.

In many ways, Augustus’s beliefs still form the philosophical backbone of probation. Today, probation is viewed as a way to keep nonviolent offenders in the community, where they can be linked to available services to address the problems leading to their arrest. Alcoholics, for example, can attend treatment programs, enroll in classes, attend counseling sessions, and find employment. Today, probation officers use sophisticated risk-classification instruments to help identify individuals for whom probation would be appropriate and those for whom it would not. Moreover, in modern times, probation is also viewed as the “least restrictive” approach, which balances the needs of the offender against the desire to keep the public safe. By using proba- tion, judges are often able to keep nondangerous offenders out of prison and in the community where, like Augustus’s charges, they can be rehabilitated and reintegrated. Furthermore, proba- tion is substantially less expensive than incarceration. Incarceration can cost between $80 and $150 per day, while Camp and Camp (2003) estimate that probation costs about $4 per day. Probation gives the court tremendous flexibility in managing offenders and in tailoring sen- tences to meet the needs of individual offenders.

It is worth noting, however, that the implementation of probation across states and the fed- eral government, especially probation for adults, was resisted by many officials. They believed that probation would not be sufficiently punitive and that it would jeopardize public safety. As a result of these concerns, many legislatures crafted laws that excluded probation for certain offenses, such as homicide. As we will see, these concerns remain.

The Size and Scope of Probation

Of all sanctions used by the criminal justice system, probation is by far the most common. Almost 60 percent of all adult dispositions result in probation. Recall that most adult disposi- tions are for misdemeanor crimes. Even so, the use of probation is also common for adult felons: 20 percent of violent offenders, 29 percent of property offenders, and 30 percent of felony drug offenders receive probation (Rosenmerkel et al., 2009).

Over 4 million adults were on probation in 2010, and over 4.4 million were either placed on probation or moved off probation (Glaze & Bonczar, 2011). As shown in Figure 9.1, the proba- tion caseloads increased every year from 1980 until about 2006. During this time period, case- loads grew by an average of 9 percent each year. By 2008, however, caseloads had leveled off. In 2009, caseloads decreased by about 2 percent, and they decreased by another 2 percent in 2010. Indeed, by the end of 2010, probation caseloads had declined to 2003 levels.

Given the large number of people on probation, small percentage changes translate into large changes in absolute numbers. In 2010, for example, the 2 percent decline in caseloads translated into almost 70,000 fewer people on probation. If we add to this the decline that occurred in 2009, then today there are about 130,000 to 140,000 fewer people on probation than there were in 2008. These declines are also found in estimated rates of probation. For example, in 2007

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Probation Chapter 9

the probation rate was 1,873 per 100,000 people. By 2010, that rate had declined to 1,721 per 100,000—a rate lower than the levels in 2000.

A similar but slightly different pattern exists for juveniles. If probation is used heavily in the adult system, it is used almost exclusively in the juvenile system. In 2008, probation was ordered in 50 percent of the adjudicated cases. The juvenile justice system, however, also uses a number of informal strategies for handling juvenile delinquents. Virtually all of these strategies involve some form of probation. Probation populations increased beginning in 1989 and escalated sharply until 1997. After several years of decline, they leveled off at 1993 levels.

Revocation and Failure of Probation

What happens if a person fails to meet the conditions of probation or commits a new crime while on probation? The answers depend on local policies. Some probation departments enforce stricter probation standards than others. However, national data reveal that 65 percent of adults will successfully complete their terms of probation. About 20 percent will fail on probation (Glaze & Bonczar, 2011). Failure can take two forms—an arrest for a new crime or failure to meet probation standards. If an offender fails to meet probation standards, the probation officer can “violate” (or cite) the offender for a technical violation. Technical violations are not always new crimes but are instead violations of court orders, such as failing to attend counseling ses- sions or to pay fines.

Judges and probation officers often consider the circumstances of new crimes committed by probationers as well as technical violations. That is, just because a person commits a new crime or is “violated” does not mean the person will automatically be sent to jail or prison. When a probation officer petitions the court to revoke the probationer’s probation, a revocation hear- ing is called.

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Figure 9.1: Cases Ordered to Probation by Offense

Probation case loads increased every year from 1980 to 2010. Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Statistical Briefing Book (2011).

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Probation Chapter 9

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Gagnon v. Scarpelli (1973) case that because revocation can result in a loss of liberty, defendants are entitled to certain rights. These include:

• The right to be informed of the charges in writing

• The right to be presented with the written charges before the hearing

• The right to attend the hearing and to present evidence

• The right to confront witnesses • The right to legal counsel in some


Even after a probation has been revoked, however, the court still has the option of placing the offender back on probation—usually with more intrusive supervi- sion than before.

The Presentence Report

Recall that the criminal justice system establishes the guilt of an offender in one of two ways: First, the offender admits guilt in a plea arrangement with the prosecutor’s office. Over 90 per- cent of all criminal cases involve an admission of guilt in a plea deal. Second, the offender can be proven guilty in a trial. Once guilt has been established, the criminal process moves to the sen- tencing phase. Prior to sentencing, the court will likely order a presentence investigation (PSI).

The PSI is an important document and used by the judge during sentencing. It comprises the results of an investigation into the background of the offender, the nature of the offender’s crime, and the character and life circumstances of the offender. Conducted by a probation officer, the PSI presents critical details about the offender and contains a sentencing recom- mendation. Judges most often follow the suggested sentences. Sudies show that they do so 85 to over 90 percent of the time (Norman & Wadman, 2000). Latessa (1993), for example, found that judges in Ohio followed PSI recommendations 85 percent of the time when the recommendation was for probation and 66 percent of the time when the recommendation was for prison.

More often than not, a judge knows very little about any individual criminal offender. Instead, he or she relies heavily on the PSI (Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, 2012). Probation officers collect information on:

• The nature of the current offense: They collect official police reports, ask the offender about his or her version, and collect accounts by victims and witnesses.

• The offender’s criminal history: This is an important determining fact in criminal sen- tencing. Probation officers collect information on the offender’s prior arrests, convic- tions, and periods of probation and incarceration. They also examine the offender’s juvenile history.

▲ Lindsay Lohan at her probation hearing in Los Angeles. She was handcuffed and taken into custody after a judge ruled that the actress had violated the terms of her probation. Lohan’s bail was set at $100,000. © Rex Features/AP Images

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Probation Chapter 9

• The offender’s current life situation: Information is collected on the offender’s marital status, family arrangements, employment history and current status, military service, financial situation, physical and mental health issues, and results on any risk-assessment instrument.

Along with the information collected by the probation officer, the PSI will also include a sen- tencing recommendation and a plan for supervision if probation is recommended. The plan for supervision usually includes specific conditions for addressing the problem that led to the offense. Offenders with drug or alcohol problems, for example, may be required to attend treat- ment, while offenders with mental health problems may be required to attend therapy. The pro- bation officer usually recommends some type of restitution, fine, or community service.

Concluding Comments About Probation

Probation is the “go to” sentence of the courts, especially the juvenile court. As such, some juris- dictions have experimented with different types of probation. Some states have used shock pro- bation for certain offenders. Offenders would be sentenced to prison and after a short stay would

be released on probation. Other variants include the use of split sentences, which include some aspects of incarceration and probation. Offenders serving a split sentence, for example, may spend nights or weekends in jail but be supervised in the community the rest of the time.

Despite the best efforts of probation officers and judges and despite the use of sophisticated risk- classification instruments, probationers commit tens of thousands of new crimes each year. As Lowenkamp and colleagues (2006) note, in 1991 in the United States, some 318,000 probation/parole violators in prison accounted for 13,200 murders, 12,900 rapes, 19,200 assaults, and 39,500 robberies. These rates are similar to those of other countries that use probation. In a 2006 analysis of the criminal behavior of proba- tioners in England, for example, Leapman found that probationers committed 10,000 crimes per month (Leapman, 2006). Internal documents from the British Home Office also indicated that between 1998 and 2004, probationers committed over 200 murders.

While the overall recidivism rate for probationers is low, the large number of people on proba- tion translates the low recidivism rates into large absolute numbers of new crimes. Two points about this can be made: First, it is critical that the risk to public safety posed by the offender be considered. For some individuals, probation is inappropriate. Second, even in cases where indi- viduals present a low risk of reoffending and where probation is clearly appropriate, some will reoffend. Unfortunately some will commit very heinous crimes. The point is that probation is an inexact science that attempts to balance fiscal limitations against public safety and against the needs of the offender. It is safe to say that the majority of probationers complete their sentences and require little follow-up. Other probationers, however, require much more supervision and

▲ A Probation Officer looks at Moco Space, a social media site, on an office computer at the probation department in Modesto, California. Probation officers often monitor social media sites for statements or photos to show judges why crimi- nal defendants should get stiffer sentences. © Joan Barnett Lee/ZUMA Press/Corbis

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Intermediate Sanctions Chapter 9

are less likely to complete their sentence without committing a new crime or being revoked for a technical violation. When probation departments are understaffed, underfunded, or do not abide by the principles of effective interventions, serious problems occur. Offenders do not receive supervision, noncompliant behavior goes unnoticed and thus unsanctioned, and some offenders move easily back into a life of crime.

There is emerging evidence, however, that probation backed by immediate sanctions for unlaw- ful behavior can reduce recidivism. In 2004, Judge Steven Alm implemented a new form of probation—one that links any violation of the terms of probation with immediate sanctions. Judge Alm’s program became known as the Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program. Probationers in the HOPE program are subject to immediate jail time if they fail to show up for a scheduled appointment, fail a drug test, violate a condition of their proba- tion, or commit a new crime. Any time a violation occurs, a probation modification meeting is held within 2 days and the offender is sentenced to an immediate jail stay. If the offender fails to show at the meeting, a warrant is issued and the offender is immediately apprehended. Continued violations usually result in increased jail terms and, if necessary, drug and alcohol treatment in a residential facility.

Evaluations results of the HOPE program stand out. Using a sophisticated study design, Hawken and Kleiman (2009) randomly selected 330 HOPE offenders and compared them to 167 regular probationers. The HOPE group averaged 17 prior arrests, while the control group averaged 16.4. Using a 1-year follow-up, the researchers found that HOPE probationers were 55 percent less likely to be arrested for a new crime, 61 percent less likely to miss an appointment, 72 percent less likely to test positive for drug use, and 53 percent less likely to have their probation revoked (Hawken & Kleiman, 2009). The National Institute of Justice is now spon- soring replication studies to find out if this type of probation practice can be successfully duplicated across probation sites. If so, the program does indeed offer hope to probationers.

9.3 Intermediate Sanctions The “War on Crime” resulted in exploding prison populations. Unable to keep up with the constant inf lux of offenders, some prisons and many jails quickly became overcrowded—to the point where the safety of prisoners and staff was compromised. This often resulted in lawsuits designed to address overcrowding. Part of the problem was that courts had only two options for dealing with people convicted of a crime: prison or probation. Unfortunately some offenders were unnecessarily placed in prison while others were inappropriately placed on probation. There is a broad gulf between prison and probation. What became painfully obvious was that the courts needed a range of other sanctions—sanctions falling between the typically lax standards of probation and the more invasive and stigmatizing prison experience.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Out of this need was born a range of intermediate sanc- tions. These were tougher than probation but often allowed offenders to avoid prison. Across the United States, courts and local jurisdictions implemented a wide range of new, creative,

Stop and Think 9.2

Imagine yourself as a probation officer. What do you think would be the best strategy for managing an offender with a lengthy criminal record that included drug abuse and property crimes?

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Intermediate Sanctions Chapter 9

tough sanctions that were often infused with a strong desire not only to punish offenders but also to help them to change.

The intermediate sanctions movement promised to:

• Reduce costs associated with a reliance on incarceration • Provide the courts with a greater range of sentencing options • Individually tailor punishment and treatment • Allow for an incremental series of sanctions in response to offender misconduct • Provide for increased public safety through increased supervision and surveillance of

offenders in the community

Did the movement succeed or were these new programs doomed to fall victim to the same factors that had led to the demise of many other rehabilitative models? Did advocates of inter- mediate sanctions promise too much? Were the rehabilitative ideals corrupted? Did a focus on supervision and surveillance crowd out other goals? Did the expansion of correctional options lead to widening of the net, or did these interventions help to keep people out of prison? In the next few pages we examine a variety of intermediate sanctions as well as their effectiveness.

Types of Intermediate Sanctions

Before we examine the various intermediate sanctions, it is important to understand some of the issues presented by the development of these sanctions. It is not easy to develop and implement a new form of treatment or sanc- tion and to integrate that program seamlessly into existing sentencing structures. Probation officers have to change some of their daily behaviors, monies have to be transferred from one program to another, lines of supervision have to be established, benchmarks for success have to be determined, and new policies have to be developed and implemented. Only then can offenders be sentenced to the sanctions. However, problems still exist. Just as some offenders are not appropriate for probation or prison, some do not need the strict regimens

provided by some sanctions or do not do well under them. Others do not do well without strict guidance. Matching offenders to appropriate sanctions becomes increasingly important as a larger range of sanctions is offered.

With these problems recognized, a fundamental disagreement between people who advocated rehabilitation and those who advocated increased control over offenders emerged. On one hand, advocates of rehabilitation saw many intermediate sanctions as devoid of opportuni- ties for offenders to change. Yet others argued that intermediate sanctions extended the state’s supervision and surveillance of convicts and thus increased public safety. This schism would

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Intermediate Sanctions


Figure 9.2: Sanctions Continuum

It’s important to match offenders to the appropriate sanctions.

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Intermediate Sanctions Chapter 9

haunt the implementation and effectiveness of inter- mediate sanctions.

Intensive Supervision One of the first intermediate sanctions to develop was intensive supervision probation, also known as ISP. ISP was meant to target probationers at a high risk of reoffending and those who had failed previously to meet the conditions of their proba- tion. ISP promised to increase the number of con- tacts between probationers and probation officers and subsequently to increase the level of supervision and monitoring of offenders in the community. To do this, ISP case officers were usually given reduced caseloads.

ISP emerged first in Georgia and New Jersey and spread quickly to every state. These programs were implemented relatively easily and they focused on increased control and supervision more than reha- bilitation. Offenders on ISP usually had to meet a variety of mandatory obligations, such as drug treatment, and they had to pay fines and make restitution.

Decades of research into ISP, including a massive study of 14 ISP programs in nine states con- ducted by the RAND Corporation (Petersilia & Turner, 1993), converge to show that:

• What constitutes “intense” varies dramatically across programs. Many programs required only 2 contacts with probation officers per month, while others required more than 20 (Latessa & Smith, 2011). Compared with regular probationers, however, those on ISP usually do receive more contacts.

• An increased focus on surveillance leads to increases in technical violations. In essence, the more probation officers looked for violations, the more they found. In the RAND study, for example, 12 sites had violation rates over 50 percent and 4 had rates above 80 percent. The average violation rate was 65 percent, showing that most offenders did not comply with their probation requirements (Petersilia & Turner, 1993).

• Wide disparity also exists in how ISP programs responded to technical violations. Some, especially in California, led to increased revocations followed by prison sentences, while other programs modified the conditions of probation (Petersilia, 1997).

• ISP generally had no impact on prison overcrowding because many ISP programs were not designed to divert offenders from prison but rather to provide greater punishment.

• ISP participants believed the program to be punitive.

Outside of these factors, much research has also focused on the ability of ISP to reduce recidi- vism. Remember that ISP participants are generally at an increased risk for recidivism, so it should not be surprising to find elevated recidivism rates. This makes it difficult to compare ISP clients with other offenders. Nonetheless, studies show that, on average, ISP programs were associated with relatively higher levels of recidivism as compared with regular probation

▲ Paris Hilton leaving the Los Angeles Municipal Court. A judge sentenced her to 45 days in jail for violating her probation. © Associated Press

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Intermediate Sanctions Chapter 9

services but lower or similar recidivism rates as compared with prisons. Note Petersilia and Turner (1993, pp. 310–311): “At no site did ISP participants experience arrests less often, have a longer time to failure, or experience arrests for less serious offenses.”

Researchers, however, have found that ISP programs that include more rehabilitation compo- nents, such as group counseling, are often associated with reductions in recidivism. Petersilia and Turner’s (1993) study found that programs with a greater emphasis on rehabilitation pro- duced reductions in recidivism of 10 to 20 percent. Similarly, Lowenkamp and colleagues (2010) found that ISP programs with a focus on rehabilitation were associated with reductions in recidivism by about 6 percent, while those oriented around a punishment philosophy were associated with increases in recidivism of 11 percent.

House Arrest, Electronic Monitoring, GPS Tracking The use of house arrest, where an offender is ordered by a judge to a period of confinement in his or her place of residence, began in Florida in 1994. At the time it represented a punitive alternative to incarceration in a jail or prison and was designed to help ease overcrowding. House arrest could be ordered as a punishment or as part of a condition of probation. Offenders awaiting trial can also be ordered to a period of house arrest.

Offenders placed on house arrest are confined in their own homes. When the use of house arrest spread across the United States, agencies took special care to make sure that only low- risk individuals were placed on house arrest. Many times house arrest was used for individuals convicted of drunk driving. Owing to their unique circumstances, individuals on house arrest may be allowed to leave on certain days for limited periods of time to attend therapy sessions, work or seek employment, or go to school.

House arrest has long been used with juveniles. Today it is used in most jurisdictions for individuals who are at low risk of violence and reoffending. It is also used in a range of circumstances, such as when an offender requires health care or if the offender is pregnant and is close to delivery (Latessa & Smith, 2011). Obviously house arrest would not be appro- priate in cases of domestic violence.

House arrest offers courts an alternative to impris- onment and is usually designed as a “last chance” for offenders (Byrne et al., 1989). Violations often lead to immediate revocations and to terms of imprisonment.

One of the early drawbacks to house arrest was the limited ability of probation officers to verify that offenders were actually at home. In the days prior

to the Internet and mobile phones, probation staff would either call offenders at their homes or have a computerized phone service call. If the offender did not answer, another call was made and, in some circumstances, a probation officer would travel to the offender’s residence. Verified violation could result in a technical violation and prison time.

▲ Location where Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former director of the International Monetary Fund, was held under house arrest during his sexual assault trial in New York City. © Associated Press

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Intermediate Sanctions Chapter 9

Technology, however, has dramatically increased the ability of the government to provide more active and complete electronic surveil- lance of individuals sentenced to house arrest. Today, offenders can be placed on electronic monitoring (with or without house arrest) and to GPS tracking. These systems usually attach securely around the ankle and can be worn under pants or jeans. Early electronic monitoring systems required offenders to stay within range of an electronic monitor. If the connection between the electronic bracelet and the home station was broken or if the offender ventured too far away, the system would notify the probation office and a probation officer would respond.

Modern technology, however, allows for GPS tracking. GPS track- ing systems are similar to electronic monitoring systems except that they are able to track the time, date, and movement of offenders. At any point during the day or night, probation officers can examine the GPS tracks of offenders to verify if they are at home, work, or school. GPS tracking can also be used to verify if an offender was at a crime scene, and it can provide warnings to probation departments if offenders abscond or come into geographic proximity with places they are banned from entering. Sex offenders, for example, may not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools. If they violate that ban, the GPS system can send an alarm. Also, domestic violence offenders are often instructed to stay away from their victims. GPS systems can monitor domestic violence offenders for compliance.

House arrest is almost always monitored electronically. Studies have found that electronic house arrest is an effective way of managing offenders. Recidivism rates, revocation rates, and technical violations are about the same as those of regular probationers. In one study of the effects of electronic monitoring, Latessa (1993) found that 24 percent of the individuals on elec- tronic monitoring in Cleveland were rearrested, 4 percent absconded, and 72 percent success- fully completed their terms. Other studies have found that recidivism rates are slightly higher for those on electronic house arrest, but the differences are usually very small (Gendreau et al., 2001). Nonetheless, electronic house arrest remains a viable, low-cost option for jurisdictions across America.

Boot Camps The 1980s gave rise to many correctional alternatives. One alternative that caused much fanfare was the “boot camp.” These camps, which appeared first in Georgia, paralleled boot camps used in the armed forces. They included drill instructors, strict disciplinary regimens, and physi- cal conditioning. The idea was that offenders, many of them juveniles, would benefit from the structure and discipline offered by the programs—discipline that would transfer to real-life skills when they returned home.

Boot camps were very popular and spread quickly from Georgia to at least 26 other states (MacKenzie et al., 1993). As originally conceptualized, boot camps were designed to be an offender’s “last chance” prior to being incarcerated. They were designed as an intermediate punishment that placed offenders in tough, regimented environments where discipline and

▲ A Parole Agent uses a flashlight to inspect a GPS locater worn on the ankle of a parolee in Rio Linda, California. © Rich Pedroncelli/AP

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Intermediate Sanctions Chapter 9

self-control would be valued and reinforced. Boot camps were to be punitive and tough and to give offenders a chance to change their ways. By any measure, boot camps were demanding and challenging.

Boot camps were operated by states and sometimes attached to prisons. However, accord- ing to Camp and Camp (2001), probation and parole agencies at one time operated 32 boot camps. Over 3,000 offenders per year were treated in boot camps. Yet despite much fanfare, hope, and effort, studies of the effectiveness of boot camps generally failed to show that they reduced recidivism. In states like Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas, and Louisiana, study after study found that boot camp graduates did not do better than comparison groups in terms of recidivism, revocation rates, or rates of completion (Cullen et al., 1996; MacKenzie, 1991; Souryal & MacKenzie, 1995). These same studies also found that other, less intense, and less costly interventions were associated with better outcomes. Some studies also showed that boot camps increased recidivism rates. In one meta-analysis of boot camp studies, Aos and col-

leagues (2000) found that boot camps were associated with an 11 percent increase in recidivism.

The failure of boot camps to meaningfully reduce recidivism motivated many states to abandon the concept entirely. There were, however, other con- siderations. First, boot camps were expensive. They required special facilities and personnel. Many of the instructors in boot camps were ex-drill instructors in the armed forces. Second, incidents of inmate abuse started to emerge. In Massachusetts, for example, guards were fired and prosecuted for abuse of juve- nile inmates. When combined—the lack of empirical evidence showing their effectiveness, their cost, and lawsuits that emerged from the boot camp experi- ment—these drawbacks of boot camps helped to sub-

stantially curtail their use. Today, boot camps still exist, but many are now operated by private agencies and are usually aimed at youth with substance abuse problems.

Residential Treatment Centers Residential treatment centers (RTCs), which used to be called “halfway houses,” were originally designed to provide living quarters for homeless men. In time, they were used to help treat drug and alcohol offenders and eventually also higher-risk offenders.

Offenders can be sentenced directly to an RTC or they can be placed there if they violate proba- tion standards. Other offenders, leaving prison, can also be required to live in an RTC prior to being discharged. Offenders live at the RTC for a period of time and must abide by its rules. At some facilities, they are allowed to leave the RTC during the day to seek employment, enroll in school, or attend therapy; however, they must return by a specific time or risk being charged with a violation. While living in the RTC, offenders can receive drug/alcohol treatment and attend other rehabilitation programs. RTCs can offer structured residential treatment services in a controlled environment.

Studies of the effectiveness of RTCs generally show positive effects—that is, RTCs employing treatment programs that adhere to the principles of effective intervention, have staff trained

▲ Boot Camp for first-time youth offenders in Forsyth, Georgia. © Robin Nelson/ZUMA Press/Corbis

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Parole Chapter 9

and equipped to manage offenders with a range of problems, and target high-risk individuals reduce recidivism by about 10 percent. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, many RTCs fail to meet these stan- dards and are thus associated with no overall effect on recidivism or, worse, with increases in recidivism (Lowenkamp et al., 2006). Many RTCs, notes Latessa (1998), fail to classify offenders based on risk, employ staff that are not capable of managing criminal offenders, and offer programs that have little chance of generating behavioral change. Again, program integrity and compliance with the principles of effec- tive intervention matter.

Comments on Intermediate Sanctions

The intermediate sanctions movement helped to spur the advent of a range of alternatives to incarceration. These alternatives provided judges and correctional agencies more options for dealing with people convicted of crimes while also keeping some people out of prison. Even so, intermediate sanctions such as boot camps were and are no pana- cea for crime. These programs varied tremendously in how well they were implemented, in their reliance on proven strategies that reduce offender misbehavior, and in their treatment and supervision efforts. Some programs reduced recidivism while others did not. Although intermediate sanctions cost less than prison, many were no more effective than regular proba- tion. This trade-off represents a fundamental issue in community corrections: The public expects offend- ers to be punished for their crimes, but there is little evidence that punishment alone changes criminal behavior. Intermediate sanctions help offenders avoid the stigma and problems associated with incarcera- tion, meet the public’s desire for offender account- ability, and can, in some instances, reduce recidivism. Overall, intermediate sanctions serve an important function in community corrections.

9.4 Parole The criminal justice system is just that—a system that has to operate within a set of fiscal, legal, and operational constraints. If tomorrow, for example, legislatures decided to criminalize ciga- rette smoking and to punish violators with prison terms, the criminal justice system would have to accommodate these changes. With millions of smokers, it is obvious that this large number of new inmates entering the system would immediately overload it. Barring the construction of new prisons, the new demands would have to be met by some adjustment at the back end or the system would be crippled. Parole represents one of the mechanisms that states and crimi- nal justice officials use to manage the capacity of the system. However, parole also represents a way to manage offenders in the community and help them in their transition back into free

▲ A room at a halfway house at a community correctional facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where about 30 parolees live. According to the Department of Community Correction, this is the first state-run transitional living facility in Arkansas. © Associated Press

Stop and Think 9.3

If you were to create an intermediate sanc- tion program, what would it look like? That is, what types of offenders would you tar- get? What types of program rules would you put in place? What types of services would you provide?

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Parole Chapter 9

society. Parole allows inmates to leave prison prior to the expiration of their sentences, but like probationers, parolees have to meet certain requirements. If they violate the conditions of their parole, they can be placed back in prison to finish their sentences.

A Brief History of Parole

The idea that inmates should be able to reduce their terms of incarceration is not new. As we discussed in Chapter 8, Captain Alexander Maconochie implemented a type of parole—or early release—while he was warden of the British penal colony on Norfolk Island. Maconochie is known as the father of parole largely because his ideas influenced the development of the Irish system under Sir Walter Crofton. Recall that the Irish system had a ticket-of-leave system, where inmates could earn the ability to leave the prison to work and live.

These ideas were imported into the United States and became law in 1869 in New York. They spread quickly as part of a broader rehabilitative movement that included the use of indeterminate sentences. Inmates, the argument went, could show that they were reha- bilitated by complying with institutional rules and participating in institutional programs. Having shown that they were rehabilitated, further incarcera- tion would serve no purpose other than punishment. By 1944, every state had passed legislation allowing for parole.

The history of parole, however, is not pretty. Initially parole was managed by a parole board. This board was to be made up of experts in criminal behavior, such as psychologists. Inmates would apply for parole

and have their files reviewed by the parole board. The parole board would then decide whether to grant the inmate parole. Problems, of course, emerged almost immediately. Parolees were granted parole in some circumstances but not others, making for inconsistency in who received parole. Moreover, some parolees committed very heinous crimes while on parole, drawing politi- cal attention and public rebuke to parole in general.

Because of these issues, parole has been under constant attack by individuals who see it as jeopardizing public safety and limiting the legitimacy of the criminal sanction. The return to determinate sentencing in the 1980s substantially restricted the use of parole, and in the 1990s truth-in-sentencing laws were passed mandating that offenders spend at least 85 percent of their sentence incarcerated before being eligible for release. Moreover, most states and the fed- eral government abolished the ability of parole boards to arbitrarily release inmates and instead moved to relying on statutorily defined guidelines for parole. These guidelines specify which offenses are eligible for parole and the conditions an inmate must meet before being granted parole. These guidelines vary dramatically from state to state.

The Size and Scope of Parole

By the end of 2010 in the United States, there were 840,676 individuals serving time on parole, representing about 17 percent of all individuals on community supervision. The number of

▲ Some states use parole boards to determine the offender’s eligibility for parole, while others rely on statutory sentencing guidelines. © Corbis/SuperStock

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Parole Chapter 9

people on parole increased slightly by 0.3 percent in 2010, after a drop in 2009 of 1.5 percent. State parole populations actually dropped by 2,096 inmates. However, this was offset by an increase of almost 5,000 inmates on federal parole. The number of inmates on federal parole has recently increased every year. It increased almost 8 percent in 2008, over 5 percent in 2009, and by about 5 percent again in 2010. Overall, more than 1.1 million people were either placed on parole or left parole in 2010 (Glaze & Bonczar, 2011).

States differ in how they manage parole, with some using parole boards to determine parole eligibility, called discretionary parole, and other states relying on statutory sentencing guides, called mandatory parole. About 50 percent of all inmates released on parole are released based on mandatory statutory guidelines and about 30 percent are released through parole board recommendations. These percentages have varied from year to year, but the general pattern has remained the same since 2000 (Glaze & Bonczar, 2011).

The average time a person spends on parole is 18 months. Evidence indicates that most parol- ees violate conditions of their parole within 6 to 12 months and that parole terms greater than 24 months provide no net benefits to public safety (Latessa, 1993). Unfortunately only about 50 percent of all parolees will complete their terms of parole successfully. On average, about 35 percent of all parolees will be returned to prison. Of those returned to prison, 10 percent will be there for a new sentence and about 25 percent will be returned for a technical violation. Another 10 percent will abscond, with a warrant issued for their arrest (Glaze & Bonczar, 2011).

Parolees are 88 percent male and 42 percent White; they are most likely to have been incarcer- ated for a drug offense (35 percent). Twenty-seven percent of parolees have committed a violent offense, while about 25 percent are on parole for a property offense.

Reentry and Rediscovering Parole

Parolees are subject to a wide range of conditions with which they must comply. While these conditions vary from state to state, most include drug testing, mandatory employment, stay- ing away from other felons, not possessing a gun or drugs, and not committing a crime in the future. Moreover, each parolee has to meet mandatory reporting requirements. Some may even be placed on electronic monitoring for a period of time.

Parolees usually have to submit a plan to a caseworker prior to being granted parole. In this plan, the inmate explains proposed future living arrangements and how various requirements, such as employment, will be met. Parole officers conduct periodic criminal records checks, conduct drug tests, and verify employment and living arrangements. They may show up at the offender’s place of employment or at the offender’s home.

If an offender does not meet the terms of parole, a parole officer may choose to initiate a revoca- tion hearing. As in the case of revocation hearings for probation offenders, parolees have to be notified in writing of the charges against them; they also have the right to hear and challenge evidence and to present their own evidence. Once a determination has been made by an impar- tial evaluator, the inmate has a right to receive the official findings in writing. Revocations for parole violations are the leading reason why parolees are returned to prison. Unfortunately, many parolees return to the same friends, same settings, and same environments that helped get them into trouble initially.

© 2018 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution.

Critical Thinking Questions Chapter 9

Parole has recently been given a new life, and a new name—reentry. The idea behind reentry is nothing new. Advocates of reentry make many of the same arguments that progressives made when they created parole. The two differ only in the amount of resources that reentry advocates control. The federal government recently directed a large reentry initiative. This plan, known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, created 89 reentry sites across the United

States. The initiative also provided states with funds to develop effective reentry programs—programs that aid offenders in making their way back into free society. Reentry programs promise to focus more on offender needs, such as education, housing, substance abuse counseling, and employment opportunities. The hope is that these modifications will result in fewer parolees returning to prison. Time will tell.

9.5 Chapter Summary Community corrections has become an important focus as states have channeled more offend- ers away from prison and into community settings. Community-based programs serve millions of people, providing cost savings over incarceration while keeping offenders in the community so they can support their families, continue to work, or go to school. Probation remains the most frequently used correctional option in America and serves a population that maintains relatively low recidivism rates. Aside from probation, states have experimented with a range of intermediate sanctions—sanctions that provide a mix of increased supervision, treatment, and control. Some of these sanctions have proven cost-effective and have led to recidivism rates that are comparable to those of other programs. Other programs, such as boot camps, have failed to achieve many of their goals.

Community-based programs treat and supervise a broad range of offenders, from those on pro- bation to those leaving prison on parole. They vary tremendously in program integrity and in the services they offer. Nonetheless, a large and growing science on offender change is leading to dramatic shifts in correctional practices and accountability. Programs that follow the principles of effective intervention—whether attached to probation programs, to halfway houses, or to substance abuse centers—have been shown to reduce recidivism. Hopefully this emerging data- driven strategy will continue to mature and to guide correctional interventions in the future. Corrections, after all, should serve both to punish and to rehabilitate.

Critical Thinking Questions 1. Should the criminal justice system make it a priority to rehabilitate offenders? 2. Should programs that take tax money be required to show that they reduce criminal offend-

ing? Justify your answer. 3. The HOPE program evaluations show that increasing the certainty of punishment of proba-

tioners reduces their criminal involvement. Should the HOPE approach be expanded? What are the potential negative consequences?

  1. The reentry initiative promises to help reintegrate criminals back into society. Should the criminal justice system take on the role of reintegration?

Stop and Think 9.4

Suppose the governor of your state asked you to develop a system to reintegrate offenders leaving prison. What would your program look like?

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Key Terms Chapter 9

Key Terms Black box Refers to the inner workings of correctional rehabilitation programs and whether programs work out as advertised.

Criminogenic need Dynamic, changeable factors related to the offender’s problem behavior.

Discretionary parole Parole granted by a parole board.

Fidelity principle The degree to which a treatment program adheres to the principles of effec- tive intervention.

House arrest A sentence of confinement to take place in the offender’s residence.

Intensive supervision probation A type of probation that includes more frequent contacts between probation officers and probationers and more rigorous and invasive rules.

Intermediate sanction A criminal sanction that falls between probation and imprisonment.

Mandatory parole Parole dictated by statutory guidelines, often dictating who is and is not eligible for parole and when.

Parole board A group of usually three to five individuals, often appointed by a governor, who evaluate parolees and make recommendations for parole.

Presentence investigation (PSI) A comprehensive investigation usually carried out by a pro- bation officer prior to sentencing.

Principles of effective intervention A body of scientific knowledge about how best to change offender behavior.

Probation contract A set of stipulations the probationer must follow, such as curfew require- ments and not using drugs or alcohol.

Reentry A comprehensive approach to better reintegrate parolees.

Revocation hearing Occurs when a probation or parole officer revokes a person on supervi- sion for a technical violation or for committing a new crime.

Risk classification An empirical evaluation of a person’s risk for reoffending.

Risk principle This principle states that programs should target those individuals who are at the highest risk of reoffending for the most intensive treatment.

Shock probation Usually involves a brief period of incarceration, ranging from a few weeks to a few months, followed by a period of supervision in the community.

Split sentences A criminal sentence where the offender spends part of the sentence incarcer- ated and part in the community.

Suspended sentence Occurs after conviction when a judge orders a sanction but delays imple- menting that sanction for a period of time. The sentence can be carried out if the offender commits another crime.

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Web Links Chapter 9

Technical violation Violation of a term of probation or parole not including a new crime.

Treatment principle The idea that the best, most effective, treatments for criminal offenders are cognitive-behavioral, which seek to change criminal thinking patterns and to reinforce prosocial behavior.

Truth in sentencing A legislative movement to restrict the use of parole until a certain per- centage of the actual sentence has been served.

Web Links A link to the American Probation and Parole Association that provides information about

current research and policy: http://www.appa-net.org/eweb/

The International Community Corrections Association, which provides information about programs, conferences, and trainings: http://www.iccaweb.org/

The National Institute of Corrections, which provides information about current issues and policy revisions: http://nicic.gov/

An organization that promotes the benefits of community-based sanctions using research, best practices, and program applications: http://centerforcommunitycorrections.org/

The National Institute of Justice, which provides statistical information and research about the offender population and corrections: http://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/

The American Correctional Association, which conducts research, education, conferences, and training for criminal justice employees and professionals: http://www.aca.org/ standards/faq.asp

A link to the Federal Probation and Pretrial Officers Association, which seeks to improve ser- vices and court procedures through communication, education, and training of officers: http://www.fppoa.org/

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which provides information and links to community correc- tional facilities and programs: http://www.bop.gov/locations/cc/index.jsp

A website providing general resources regarding research, publications, and information about offender and community correctional issues and topics: https://www.ncjrs.gov/ communitycorrections/general.html

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