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Faye S. Taxman
Reentry and Supervision: One is Impossible Without the Other
Corrections Today Magazine Volume:69 Issue:2 Dated:April 2007 Pages:98-101, to 105
This article describes the Proactive Community Supervision (PCS) project in Maryland and offers results from a comparative analysis of participant outcomes. The PSC model reframes the role of supervision services from simply supervision functions to more of a case management approach that focuses on the nature and intent of the contacts between the offenders and their probation/parole officers. The PCS supervision agent attempts to affect change in three ways: (1) engage the offender in the change process by focusing on pro-social skills; (2) begin the change process by addressing criminogenic traits; and (3) assist the offender in sustaining change through positive community and family involvement. Results of a study that compared the outcomes of PCS program participants with those of traditional supervision participants (control participants) concluded that for the first outcome measured, drug testing, there were no significant differences between PCS participants and control participants in terms of failure to appear for testing or positive urinalysis findings. The second outcome under examination, new arrests, indicated that PCS participants were significantly less likely to be rearrested than the control participants. The third outcome examined, requests for warrants, revealed that participants in the PCS model experienced a 38 percent reduction in the probability of a warrant being filed for technical violations. The findings suggest that the PCS model is effective at lowering recidivism rates and encouraging pro-social behaviors among offenders under community supervision. The study was carried out in Maryland where the outcomes of 274 randomly selected PCS participants were compared to the outcomes of 274 matched offenders who were receiving traditional supervision services. Main outcomes under examination were drug testing, rearrest, and request for warrants. Bivariate and logistic regression models were used to examine differences between the two groups of offenders. Figure, tables, endnotes
Christy A. Visher; Christine Lindquist; Susan Brumbaugh
Lessons Learned From SVORI: Program Director Perspectives on Implementing Reentry Programming
Corrections Today Magazine Volume:69 Issue:2 Dated:April 2007 Pages:92 to 97
This article presents the preliminary findings from an implementation evaluation of Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiatives (SVORIs), focusing mainly on the final program director survey regarding lessons learned and sustainability issues. Findings indicated that the SVORIs were generally successful at program implementation. Most SVORI programs delivered services both prior to and after release. More than half of directors indicated it was more difficult to implement the post-release phase of the program. The most challenging aspect of delivering post-release services was reported to be existing agency regulations or policies that made reentry programming difficult to deliver. Staff turnover was also noted as a pervasive problem. Although most SVORIs established enrollment goals, many directors reported difficulty with enrolling a sufficient number of program participants. Stringent enrollment criteria followed by the voluntary nature of the program were main reasons cited for enrollment difficulties. Program components identified as making the most difference to successful implementation were cross-agency collaboration, the use of teams, and intensive case management. Although directors were reluctant to identify problems with program implementation, some mentioned that mentoring was difficult due to problems with recruitment. Challenges in housing and employment assistance for reentry participants were also reported. Other directors mentioned problems with implementing the restorative justice component of the program and problems with working with so many different agencies. Despite difficulties, directors identified pre- and post-release supervision agencies, employment agencies, and vocational training agencies as the organizations that contributed the most to SVORI programming. Although program funding was due to end in June 2006, several SVORI programs have engaged in sustainability efforts to extent their services. Results of the SVORI outcome evaluation are forthcoming. Figures, tables, endnotes
Pamela K. Lattimore
Challenges of Reentry
Corrections Today Magazine Volume:69 Issue:2 Dated:April 2007 Pages:88 to 91
This article reviews Federal funding of prisoner reentry programming and suggests a more sustained and thoughtful effort regarding the Government's role in prisoner reentry initiatives. The main argument is that the Federal Government has approached prisoner reentry programming in a patch-work fashion while what is actually needed is a concerted and sustained effort. In making this argument, the author describes Federal legislation regarding prison reentry program funding since 2003. The author makes note of the many changes made to Federal prisoner reentry programming, such as changing the management of certain initiatives and authorizing the Prisoner Reentry Initiative rather than the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), which has been receiving Federal funding since 2003. Most recently, the Federal government funded the "Marriage and Incarceration" Initiative that focuses on strengthening marriage and families among male inmates. The author points out that while the government seems to be trying to provide leadership on prisoner reentry, each time the funding stream is changed, new programs must be developed. Instead, it is proposed that the government follow a continuous improvement model when it comes to prisoner reentry, which would entail providing technical assistance to State and local agencies to help them identify evidence-based practices, monitor implementation, and measure outcomes.