Thursday, May 10, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, May 10, 2007


NCJ 217997
Nancy Rodriguez ; Vincent J. Webb
Probation Violations, Revocations, and Imprisonment: The Decisions of Probation Officers, Prosecutors, and Judges Pre- and Post-Mandatory Drug Treatment
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume:18 Issue:1 Dated:March 2007 Pages:3 to 30

This study examined how the passage of Arizona’s mandatory drug treatment law affected probation violations and the revocation process. Study findings show that the implementation of mandatory drug treatment laws has the capacity to alter the decisions made by probation officers, prosecutors, and judges in low-level drug cases. The findings support the argument that probation officers and not prosecutors play the most significant role in revocation decisions. Findings indicate that the majority of revocations leading to incarceration involved technical violations and not the commission of new crimes. Mandatory drug treatment laws represent the latest policy aimed at dealing with the increasing representation of drug offenders in prison. Although a number of States have enacted sentencing laws that mandate drug treatment for low-level drug offenders, few studies have extended an empirical focus to such laws. To expand studies of sentencing policies to include mandatory drug treatment laws and provide a more comprehensive review of the relationship that exists among probation officer, prosecutors, and judges in revocation cases, this study explored four research questions: (1) what types of technical violations led to probation revocation and imprisonment of low-level drug offenders; (2) what was the relationship between technical violations and prosecutors’ decisionmaking process; (3) what was the relationship between technical violations and judicial outcomes; and (4) did probation officers’, prosecutors’, and judges’ decisionmaking processes change after the implementation of the mandatory drug treatment law? The study analyzed only those low-level drug offenders who were on probation prior to incarceration under the Arizona Department of Corrections. Tables, notes, and references

NCJ 217999
Daniel P. Mears ; Michelle L. Scott ; Avinash S. Bhati
Process and Outcome Evaluation of an Agricultural Crime Prevention Initiative
Criminal Justice Policy Review
Volume:18 Issue:1 Dated:March 2007 Pages:51 to 80

Findings are presented from a process and outcome evaluation of the Agricultural Crime, Technology, Information, and Operations Network (ACTION) crime prevention initiative in California. The process and outcome evaluation results suggest that the Agricultural Crime, Technology, Information, and Operations Network (ACTION) program holds the potential to reduce crime and to improve the ability of law enforcement agents to identify, arrest, and prosecute suspects. In addition, the results suggest that in areas where the program has been aggressively implemented, farmers respond by taking more crime prevention efforts, and that these in turn may reduce crime. The results underscore the importance of taking a broad view of program effectiveness and including diverse measures of impact. Specific evidence from the analysis includes: (1) higher program dose is positively associated with agricultural crime victimization; (2) this general pattern holds across many types of victimization; (3) dose is positively associated with intermediate outcomes consisting of a range of farmer-undertaken crime prevention steps; and (4) the effects of dose on the end outcomes are largely explained by the IPOs. Agriculture remains a central pillar of American society, and yet the study of agricultural crime, such as the theft of equipment, livestock, crops, and chemicals remains rare. However, ACTION seems to be the only exception. Drawing on data from a study funded by the National Institute of Justice, results are presented from a process and outcome evaluation of ACTION. Tables, notes, and references

NCJ 217979
Alex R. Piquero ; Jeff A. Bouffard
Something Old, Something New: A Preliminary Investigation of Hirschi's Redefined Self-Control
Justice Quarterly
Volume:24 Issue:1 Dated:March 2007 Pages:1 to 27

This study collected and analyzed original data in order to test Hirschi's redefinition and modification of his concept of self-control as a general determining factor in criminal behavior, comparing the predictive ability of his concept of self-control with the most commonly used measure of self-control. The findings show that Hirschi's new definition of self-control as the tendency to consider the full range of potential costs of a particular act was significantly and negatively associated with two types of criminal acts, drunk-driving and sexual coercion. The findings further revealed that Hirschi's redefined self-control measure, which involves considering all costs of a particular action, had better predictive power for criminal behavior than Gottredson and Hirschi's previous concept of self-control as involving consideration of primarily long-term costs. These findings suggest that there may be future opportunities for integrating self-control and rational-choice theories of crime, since there is apparently a logical link between an individual's self-control, as redefined by Hirschi, and the content and processes involved in "rational" decisionmaking. A sample of 212 young adults were recruited from 2 sections of an introductory college course and presented with 2 hypothetical offending situations in a paper-and-pencil survey format. The scenarios were a hypothetical drunk-driving incident and a hypothetical sexual-coercion incident. The latter scenario was presented only to men. After reading each scenario, respondents were asked several questions related to their likelihood of engaging in similar behaviors. The dependent variable was the likelihood of a respondent's offending under a similar scenario. The independent variables were features of Hirschi's redefined concept of self-control, items on the self-control scale developed by Grasmick et al., and measures of respondents' social bonding. 3 tables and 72 references

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