Sunday, December 23, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, December 23, 2007


NCJ 220608
J. D. Chesire; David R. Karp
Volunteer Management in Boards of Probation: Perceptions of Equity, Efficiency, and Reciprocity Among Vermont Volunteers
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume:44 Issue:4 Dated:2007 Pages:65 to 99

This study evaluated a Vermont Department of Corrections (VDOC) reparative probation intervention in which volunteers served on local boards to meet with probationers in order to negotiate a reparative contract. Findings indicated that education, reported religiosity, political conservatism, length of time as a member of a reparative board, and number of cases managed explained significant variation in self-reports of experience, preference, and satisfaction among volunteers to community boards of probations. The volunteer program studied was designed to operate on the principles of restorative justice programs by determining the harm which resulted from the offense, the method needed to repair the harm, and the party responsible for the repair. The program employed community volunteers to meet with offenders to negotiate a restorative justice contract. Offenders were obligated to fulfill terms of the contract such as writing apology letters, paying restitution, or completing community service as the probationary sanction. Variations regarding the importance of equity in the reparative model, showed strong distinctions between how politically conservative volunteers viewed victim participation in the board process, beliefs that the reparative model restored communities, and their commitment to restorative justice principles. Volunteers who placed greater importance on religiosity or spirituality held more positive views of victim participation in reparative boards. Regarding efficiency, it was equally clear that important processes involved in the organizational culture of the correctional system, and within volunteer-offender relationships were manifesting through perceptions that VDOC managed the program effectively. In terms of reciprocity from outcomes of exchanges, volunteers who were more politically conservative were more likely to see retribution as an aspect of reciprocal relationships between communities and offenders, but volunteers who had participated in more cases were less likely to view reciprocity with offenders in a retributive fashion. Volunteers with a higher education viewed the reparative model as generating better outcomes for offenders. The sample of 229 respondents was drawn from Vermont volunteers who completed a 54-question instrument measuring perceived equity, efficiency, and reciprocity in the program. Tables, references

NCJ 220617
Connie Ireland; Bruce Berg
Women in Parole: Gendered Adaptations of Female Parole Agents in California
Women & Criminal Justice
Volume:18 Issue:1/2 Dated:2006 Pages:131 to 150

This article examined gender barriers for women in correctional (parole) occupations. The results suggested that female parole officers experienced gender bias and harassment in similar ways to those experienced in other law enforcement environments, but those who managed to rise to the ranks did so by employing one or the other of three distinct adaptive styles of behavior: overcompensation, reinforcement of female stereotypes, and political correctness. Most women reported widespread forms of subtle harassment including such actions as being denied a preferred schedule out of a supervisor’s apparent spite, and comments about one’s inability to perform expected tasks such as lifting or effecting arrests because of the perceived weaker physiology. The broader implication for this study was that women in parole continued to remain largely marginalized in their occupational roles, as similarly reported in studies on women in policing. Traditional female traits such as communications skill, problem solving, and community relations were not treated as assets by the most successful women in law enforcement or parole. Instead, successful, high-ranking women in parole used traditional male assets of strength; hyper feminine assets of distress, nurture, and sexuality; or extreme avoidance of gender to achieve successes. Future research should explore the extent to which these experiences are shared by female parole agents elsewhere, as well as examine the gendered experiences of women in other non-police law enforcement careers such as probation, correctional institutions, Federal law enforcement, and investigations. The study used semistructured interviews with a sample of 12 female parole agents hired between 1960 and 2003 in California. References

NCJ 220625
Beth M. Huebner; Jennifer Cobbina
Effect of Drug Use, Drug Treatment Participation, and Treatment Completion on Probationer Recidivism
Journal of Drug Issues
Volume:37 Issue:3 Dated:Summer 2007 Pages:619 to 642

Using data from the 2000 Illinois Probation Outcome Study, this study considered the interaction of drug use, drug treatment provision, and treatment completion on reoffending among 3,017 probationers. Sixty-four percent of the sample had a drug-use history, and this group was more likely to be rearrested and to fail more quickly while on probation compared with probationers without a drug-use history. Seventy-one percent of the probationers with a drug-use history received treatment, and most completed treatment. As hypothesized, probationers who completed the full course of drug treatment were the least likely to reoffend among those with a drug-use history; however, the reoffending rate of drug-treatment completers was similar to that of probationers who had no drug-use history. Probationers who entered but did not complete drug treatment were more likely to reoffend than drug users who needed treatment but did not receive it. The results suggest that drug treatment can reduce reoffending only if participants complete the full course of treatment. Treatment programs that include an employment component or facilitate gainful employment may increase the chances of treatment completion and reduce opportunities for reoffending. Further, the value of keeping a probationer in treatment may outweigh the value of terminating program participation due to technical probation violations. The study sample included all probationers discharged from supervision in Illinois from October 30 through November 30, 2000. Data were collected through a questionnaire administered by probation officers in each county. It obtained information on probationer demographic characteristics, offender behavior while on probation, sentencing and case outcomes, and reoffending. Information on drug use and treatment, criminal histories, and probation outcomes was obtained from official court and probation records. Arrest data were obtained from State criminal justice records in order to determine reoffending in the 4 years following probation discharge. 4 tables, 2 figures, 43 references, and appended description of variables

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