Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts- March 27, 2007

NCJ 217431
Christopher T. Lowenkamp Ph.D. ; Jennifer Pealer ; Paula Smith ; Edward J. Latessa
Adhering to the Risk and Need Principles: Does It Matter for Supervision-Based Programs?
Federal Probation Volume:70 Issue:3 Dated:December 2006 Pages:3 to 8

This study examined the effects of program characteristics on recidivism (reoffending), using a sample drawn from community nonresidential programs. The study found evidence of a link between program characteristics and its effectiveness in reducing recidivism. All of the programs were supervision-based and adhered to some degree to the principles of matching program features to the risk and need characteristics of the offender. These intensive supervision programs were more successful for the higher risk offenders. When at least 75 percent of the population supervised was classified as high risk, there was a 5-percent decrease in recidivism. This compared with a slight increase in recidivism for programs that served more low-risk offenders. Programs that required higher risk offenders to be in the programs for a longer period had a 4-percent reduction in recidivism. Those programs that had a "one-size-fits-all" approach had no effect on recidivism. Programs that had more referrals for higher risk offenders reduced recidivism by 7 percent. Programs that did not have more referrals for this population had a marginal reduction in recidivism. Programs in which 75 percent or more of the referrals were for treatment programming had an 11-percent reduction in returns to prison. Programs in which more than 25 percent of their referrals were nontreatment increased recidivism by 3 percent. Based on these findings, it is evident that programs tailored to prominent risks and needs of offenders achieved significant reductions in recidivism. The study examined 66 community-based jail and prison diversion programs in Ohio. Offenders served by these programs were compared to offenders who were processed as usual in jail, municipal probation, or prisons. A total of 5,781 prison diversion cases were compared to an equal number of parolees. A total of 707 comparison cases were used as a matched sample for the jail diversion programs. 2 tables, 2 figures, and 26 references

NCJ 217432
Jill A. Gordon Ph.D. ; Christina M. Barnes M.S. ; Scott W. VanBenschoten MSW
Dual Treatment Track Program: A Descriptive Assessment of a New "In-House" Jail Diversion Program
Federal Probation Volume:70 Issue:3 Dated:December 2006 Pages:9 to 18

This article describes the creation of a jail diversion program for offenders diagnosed with a mental illness and reports on the progress and outcomes for program participants. The 40 program clients evaluated had significant trauma histories, showed signs of mental health improvement over the course of program participation, and reported a reduction in substance use. A reduction in both the type and number of criminal justice system contacts was found for clients who remained in treatment for a longer period of time. The program described was developed by Chesterfield County (Richmond, VA metro area). Following confirmation of the need for a jail diversion program that addresses the needs of substance-abusing and mentally ill offenders, a small planning group met to discuss the specifics of the program. The planning group included representatives from the criminal justice system and treatment systems (both substance use and mental health). Due to the success of an existing county Day Reporting Center (DRC) the planning group decided to use the DRC model for the new program. The jail diversion program created, known as the Dual Treatment Track Program (DTT), is a highly structured and intensive regimen of supervision and treatment. The services offered to defendants include an immediate evaluation by a psychiatrist, medication management, entry into intensive outpatient services, drug testing, and pretrial supervision. The target population is offenders who remain in jail and have a dual diagnosis of substance use and mental health disorder. Participants must be at least 18 years old, have a nonviolent criminal history and current charge, and be willing to participate in the program. The program is for both men and women. The three primary data sources for the evaluation were person tracking, client progress/status information, and official statistics. 13 tables and 47 references

NCJ 217433
Shelley J. Listwan ; Francis T. Cullen ; Edward J. Latessa
How To Prevent Prisoner Re-entry Programs From Failing: Insights From Evidence-Based Corrections
Federal Probation Volume:70 Issue:3 Dated:December 2006 Pages:19 to 25

This article discusses how the knowledge base of "what works" to change offender conduct can help guide current efforts to design and implement effective reentry programs for released offenders. This knowledge base on "what works" to change offenders features three core principles: risk, needs, and responsivity. The risk principle refers to the identification of personal attributes or circumstances that predict reoffending. This principle suggests that the most intensive correctional treatment services should target the highest risk population. The principle of classification according to needs refers to targeting the needs that underlie the specific criminal behaviors of the individual. These needs may include changing antisocial attitudes, reforming feelings and values, and addressing skill and behavioral management deficiencies. Programs should be designed to address these various needs. Responsivity is the third core principle. It refers to the delivery of an intervention that matches the abilities and styles of the client. Based on these principles, an ideal model for reentry programs should include three or more phases. The first phase would begin in the institution with the delivery of services that target the inmate's needs. The second phase would begin as the inmate is released from the institution. The inmate's risks and needs may change significantly as he/she enters the community. Ideally, the individual would continue with treatment services and case plans that would be updated and modified as needed. The final phase of the reentry model is an aftercare or relapse prevention phase in which clients receive ongoing support and services that address their needs. Reentry programs that fail to develop clear goals and objectives, use effective classification systems, rely on appropriate theoretically relevant models, and plan for relapse will inevitably fail. 77 references

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