Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Probation and Parole: History, Goals, and Decision-Making - Origins Of Probation And Parole, Changing Goals Of Community Corrections, Neo-classical Models, Probation And Parole Decision-making

Probation and Parole: History, Goals, and Decision-Making - Research Assessing The Effectiveness Of Community Corrections

criminal supervision activities studies

As noted above the recidivism rates for those on probation and parole are relatively high. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 43 percent of the felony probationers and 62 percent of the parolees will be rearrested within three years after beginning community supervision. The question is whether community supervision has any impact on reducing criminal activities. That is, would these offenders commit more crime if they were not being supervised in the community. Most research examining the effectiveness of probation and parole focuses on the effectiveness of increasing some component or condition of supervision, particularly the effectiveness of increasing different types of control. Disappointingly, the majority of these studies demonstrate no impact of the increased control; the recidivism rates for those who had the increased supervision or control over their behavior was approximately the same as the rates for the comparison groups (MacKenzie). In fact, frequently those who had more conditions requiring control had higher technical violation rates.

Several studies do give more hopeful signs. Most of the research examining the effectiveness of probation and parole has focused on the control aspects of community supervision; however, a few studies have examined the effectiveness of combining treatment and surveillance. The results of these studies are promising (MacKenzie). In several studies, the offenders who received increased supervision as well as increased treatment had lower recidivism than others who were not given the supervision and treatment. Many of these studies are exploratory and have not been replicated but they do present a hopeful sign that combinations of treatment and control may be effective in lowering recidivism.

Another indication that community supervision may have a positive impact on offenders comes from a self-report study completed by MacKenzie and her colleagues (1998). They asked offenders to report on their criminal activities during the year before arrest and during probation. Self-report criminal activity is important to study because few of the crimes committed result in an official record of arrest. The researchers found that the criminal activities of the offenders declined dramatically when the pre-arrest period was compared to the probation period. This suggests probation was effective in reducing the criminal activities of these offenders. Similarly, behaviors that constituted a violation of conditions of probation such as heavy drinking or illegal drug use were associated with increased criminal activity. The researchers found no evidence that increases in the intrusiveness of conditions, the agent's knowledge of misbehavior, or how the agent responded to misbehavior were associated with changes in criminal activity. Thus, while probation appears to be effective in reducing criminal activities and the violations of conditions signaled criminal activities, little else done during probation had a crime reduction effect.

The studies of the effectiveness of combinations of treatment and supervision and the findings from the self-report study of probation provide some encouragement that community supervision has the potential to be a valuable addition to the arsenal of activities criminal justice systems can employ to reduce crime in the community.

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over 10 years ago

i am a four time felon and have been incarcerated three times. fortunately i,ve bounced back every time and learned many things, including what was effective and what wasn't, about myself and the criminal justice system . i did view it all from a better place not a bitter one so i believe i can speak objectively about it all. i took full responsibility for my actions and therefore, paving the way for my vision wthout any resentments, i payed close attention to what was going on around me. i believe, in part, many times the relationships i had with my parole and probation officers played an integral role in my reoffending. the approaches, only finding out later, that were used in my case were a "law-enforcement orientation." after serving eight years and really digging down deep all those years, coupled with a desire to get clean, i finnally wrestled the gorilla off my back at the age of thirty eight. when released i was hopeful and anticipated my future with joy and determination to get to work, and continue my education. however i was soon disillusioned and dissapointed as the very first impresion i recieved from the person who mattered most, my parole officer, was fear. in those moments i became very confused and entangled with my past all over again. sometimes it took only moments to shake, but many times it took weeks of binge drinking and a carton of cigarettes. the relationship of the supervising officers and the parolee/and or probationer i feel, in part, is a determinate in the recividism of ex-offenders.

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over 7 years ago

this is the stupidest web page I've ever seen. you just put this here to make google ad money. what crap.

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almost 8 years ago

I just wanted to know what probation is and what happens when you are on it.

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almost 3 years ago

Probation and Parole: History, Goals, and Decision-Making - Research Assessing The Effectiveness Of Community Corrections