Probation and Parole Projects

Sponsors: Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC)

Through this initiative, the Center will provide targeted information to governors’ criminal justice policy advisers on emerging best practices for paroling authorities; roles and responsibilities of paroling authority members—and the implications for qualifications to consider in making appointments; opportunities for paroling authorities as key stakeholders in carrying out governors’ public safety and criminal justice system improvement efforts; and strategies that can be employed by governors in exercising their appointing and leadership authority in order to strengthen parole board practices. These objectives will be accomplished through the efforts of a partnership between the Center and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center). The project will design and deliver a Virtual Convening: “Paroling Authorities as Key Partners in Achieving Governors Criminal Justice Policy Goals,” a half-day event focused on the topic of the critical role played by paroling authorities to accomplishing governors’ policy goals for public safety and the wise use of public resources; will plan and conduct a strategic planning summit to provide an opportunity for more intensive review of evidence-based parole practices for a limited number of state teams who will come together and receive assistance to develop recommendations for improving policy and practice; and will conduct in-state workshops in four of the states that have participated in the “strategic planning summit” to help teams develop a plan for implementing recommendations identified at the summit.

Sponsors: Office on Violence Against Women

In partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and the Resource Sharing Project (RSP), the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) will provide specialized training and technical assistance to enhance the probation response to sexual assault. This initiative will provide a dedicated focus on the probation response to sexual assault, with the overarching goal of delivering specialized training and technical assistance to increase probation agencies’ and officers’ awareness, knowledge, understanding, and practical application of a victim-centered approach to supervising sex offenders. Specifically, CSOM will: deliver targeted on- and off-site training on understanding and incorporating victim-centeredness into probation practices; provide on- and off-site TA to support probation officers with employing a victim-centered approach at the various points in which specialized, sex offender-specific supervision strategies have particular implications for victims and their families ; and create tools and resources that can be used to raise awareness, increase knowledge, and guide probation practices that are victim-centered.

Sponsors: The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC)

The Center, in partnership with Applied Research Services (ARS) will assist the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Rhode Island Parole Board to assess and revalidate their existing parole risk instruments and assist in the integration of the instruments with their existing parole standards.  The Center will review Rhode Island’s existing guidelines and make recommendations concerning their operation and the integration of the risk assessment tool into the guidelines. The Center will also work with Parole Board members and staff to gain insight into current decisionmaking practices, identify factors of significance in making determinations, review how board members evaluate various items in the present guidelines, and assess opportunities to improve the manner in which the current guidelines are being employed in the decisionmaking process. Recommendations will be developed concerning how the guidelines might be improved to produce more consistent and objective determinations of individual factors. Opportunities to effectively integrate and utilize the risk assessment information as part of the guidelines will then be examined and recommendations regarding its synthesis will be developed.

Sponsors: Colorado Judicial Department

Center staff completed a comprehensive review of pertinent literature that focuses on risk assessment, interventions, and treatment modalities used for the supervision of economic/white-collar crime offenders.  Center staff also reviewed Colorado’s “Guidelines for Probation Officers Supervising Economic Crime Offenders (EC),” and compared these guidelines against literature review findings to determine whether there is any existing evidence that supports the specific elements in the current guidelines.   The Center ultimately made recommendations for probation supervision guidelines and standards that reflect evidence-based or promising practices for the supervision of economic/white-collar crime offenders.

Sponsors: Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, Inc.

Under the Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative (GA-PRI), the Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS) is interested in building on and enhancing their existing array of responses to behaviors to further motivate clients to succeed and desist from future criminal behavior. The Graduated Sanctions/Incentives Project, through services provided by CEPP, will include developing and recommending an improved graduated response policy and procedure that promotes the development of individually responsive sanctions and incentives; improved data collection techniques to document the use and impact of the new policy and procedure; and a training curriculum to be used by DCS to train staff on the use of the new policy and procedure.  CEPP will develop an action plan to be used by the Georgia Process Action Team (PAT) and will provide technical assistance to the PAT on select topics.

Center staff will support the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in developing a behavioral management system that includes both incentives and sanctions designed to develop new skills and support pro-social behavior, while decreasing anti-social behavior, for all their programs. The Center will aid Cuyahoga County in developing a formal menu of non-compliant and pro-social behaviors, and identify sanctions and rewards to match the behavior through the development of behavioral management system, policies and procedures, staff training, and implementation of the behavioral management system for criminal justice. Center staff will also assist with the development of a quality assurance and monitoring/evaluation process to ensure fidelity to and effectiveness of the system. On-site education and training for the Probation Department staff and the judiciary in the use of the behavioral management system will also be provided.

Center staff will provide assistance to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in the form of a strategic planning session and a facilitated, day-long retreat. This effort builds upon previous technical assistance provided by the Center’s National Parole Resource Center (NPRC), prior to the appointment of several new board members. This current effort will focus on integrating new board members and assisting the Board in considering how Justice Reinvestment initiatives in the Pennsylvania may be impacting the mission or efforts of the Board.

Sponsors: Wisconsin Department of Corrections

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC) contracted with the Center to assist with the development and implementation of a “dosage probation” pilot project. The concept of “dosage probation” was developed collaboratively by the Center with the Milwaukee County Evidence-Based Decision Making policy team, which includes Milwaukee County justice system policymakers and their state partner, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. The project team is developing a strategy for identifying a target population of probation-bound felons; skill training probation and service staff in EBP; implementing a best practices model of probation supervision; and tracking dosage delivered to offenders in accordance with their assessed level of risk and criminogenic needs. The project includes an experimental design that will evaluate short and long-term impact of the dosage model on offenders in the dosage program with matched offenders in a control group.

Sponsors: City and County of San Francisco Adult Probation Department

The Center, in partnership with The Carey Group, continues to assist the San Francisco Adult Probation Department in equipping its staff with the knowledge, skills, and tools to apply evidence-based practices throughout the department’s work. This project builds upon a previous contract with the Department from 2011. Project staff are providing training and coaching to staff throughout the department in EBP, Motivational Interviewing, and Core Correctional Practices; training and coaching supervisors in managing and mentoring staff in an EBP environment; assisting in the revision of agency policies to ensure their adherence to EBP; implementing structured responses to prosocial behaviors and violations; and establishing quality assurance and continuous quality improvement measures.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Center received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance to create a national resource center on issues related to parole. The NPRC will provide training and technical assistant to paroling authorities to: Encourage the use of effective risk reduction programming for mid to high risk offenders prior to and after release; Assist them to collaborate with other partners to assure release readiness, including housing, employment, and informal supports in the community; Assist them to manage effectively the timing and conditions of release of adult and juvenile offenders; Provide them with information and tools to respond to the behavior of individuals on parole supervision in order to encourage success and reduce the likelihood of future violations through Positive reinforcement and incentives for desired behavior; and Evidence-based responses to violations that are swift, certain and designed to reduce the likelihood of future violations and new criminal behavior; Implement victim-sensitive policies and practices as well as prevent future victimization; and Ensure the appropriate use of tools and resources that will lead to reductions in recidivism, increased offender success, increased victim satisfaction and reductions of justice-system related costs.

Sponsors: South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS)

The Center will assist the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS) to develop a response decision making tool that can be used by agents and supervisors when responding to offender behaviors. The tool will address behavior severity levels as well as the offenders’ level of risk, needs, and individual responsivity. Center staff will develop graduated sanctions and incentives grids and an accompanying User’s Guide and policies, will work with the state to develop a pilot and implementation program, and will develop a performance measurement plan to assess the effectiveness of the tool; and develop and deliver a stakeholder engagement curriculum that will focus on the implementation of evidence-based practices, and will enhance the training capacity of local staff to deliver this kind of training. In addition, the Center will develop and assist in the implementation of a quality assurance tool that will ensure fidelity and adherence to evidence-based practices in the development of stakeholders and treatment services.

Sponsors: Colorado Department of Corrections

The Center is working with the Colorado Board of Parole to develop and finalize administrative revocation guidelines. The Center will assist the board in formalizing a vision/mission and guiding principles statement for the guidelines and to identify key substantive issues of concern to the Board. To this end, Center staff will design and facilitate two sessions to develop a strategy for developing the guidelines and considering the automation that would be required in support of this effort. Center staff will map the current Board decision making process, including a definition of the automated information available at each point and conduct an analysis of data on revocation decision making in recent time periods. Finally, the Center will synthesize the development work into a “Proposed Parole Revocation Guideline and Implementation Plan.”

Sponsors: Ohio Chief Probation Officers Association

A Center staff member delivered a day-long training on evidence-based responses to probation violations for the Ohio Probation Chiefs Association and their members. This presentation explored: current research on supervision and violations; responding to violations in the context of effective supervision and case management practices; understanding the link between violation responses and risk reduction; application of the research in the prevention and management of violations; examples of structured violations decision making processes and tools; the implications for violations practice on special populations; and the implementation of quality assurance and automation in responding to violations.

Sponsors: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The Center provided assistance to the CDCR/DAPO in the development of an implementation plan for the restructuring of current state approaches to parole supervision. The basis of this restructuring was empirical research findings that were demonstrated to be effective in reducing offender misconduct and recidivism. The project drew upon the current literature in the field as well as experience from jurisdictions across the country. The Center worked closely with a fifteen person work team appointed by the CDCR/DAPO to accomplish this task through a series of on-site visits and web-based consultations. The Center provided project management services and expert consultation with regard to evidence-based practices and parole supervision practices, and facilitated and guided the work of the team, and played a primary role in the development of the final implementation plan document.

Sponsors: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Center staff assisted the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Adult Parole Operation (DAPO) in the development of policy to guide responses to parole violations.  The Center worked closely with DAPO to analyze current policy and practice, the parole population, the array of responses available, and to develop a structured decision making tool for statewide use.

Sponsors: Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency

The Center provided continuing technical assistance to the MCCD, including: training and technical assistance to the Michigan Parole Board; and training and coaching of the Michigan Department of Corrections staff on issues related to sex offender management, gender responsiveness, and Learning Site implementation.

Sponsors: Colorado Department of Corrections

The Center provided staff to conduct on-site information gathering and facilitate a two-day meeting with key leadership from the Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections, and Youthful Offender System to consider the current approach to violations in Colorado; discuss how other jurisdictions have approached this work and the tangible outcomes derived from their efforts; and discuss other significant corrections policy activities currently underway in Colorado, and how those activities intersect with this initiative. As a result of the meeting the Center developed a work plan for Colorado based on discussions held during the meeting.

Sponsors: Georgia Department of Corrections

The project conducted a probation staff analysis for the Georgia Department of Corrections in order to produce a series of recommendations for the department to consider in the implementation of evidence-based and emerging practices. The project conducted research with probation department staff, including key leaders, managers, and field officers; reviewing department policies and practices; and gathering research related to evidence-based and emerging practices in other jurisdictions prior to producing a final report for the department.

Sponsors: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Public Safety, Parole Board

The Center provided staff to assist in the development and conduct of a Senior Managers’ Training Retreat for the Massachusetts Parole Board. The retreat focused on leadership issues and team building in order to foster a collaborative working relationship among the senior directors of the Board.

Sponsors: Michigan Department of Corrections

Project staff provided consultation and technical assistance to the Michigan Department of Corrections in the development of guidelines for parole decision making, including the development of policies and procedures, and risk and needs assessments.

Sponsors: Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

Based on the Center’s preliminary assessment of the decision making guidelines used by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, this project conducted a detailed analysis of both the Parole Board’s guidelines to identify areas for refinement and improvement, and the Board’s current practices with respect to responses to violations of parole. The project provided support and assistance to the Board as they considered the results of the analysis and made decisions about how to integrate the lessons of the analysis into refinements of their policies and practices regarding release and revocation and create a strategic plan for the implementation of these decisions.

Sponsors: United States District Court, District of Hawaii

Center staff developed and conducted a presentation on collaboration and the use of evidence-based practices in reducing risk in the community, and provided assistance to the district court in strategic planning. Staff also provided assistance to identify members for a Steering Committee designed to provide oversight to the work.

Sponsors: Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

Center staff developed and conducted a four-hour training on interviewing techniques designed to help examiners improve their interviewing skills and enhance their ability to gather pertinent information for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to inform the Board’s release decision making. The training provided information on evidence-based decision making and practice, as well as skill building exercises.

Sponsors: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Center staff designed and delivered two training events for hearing examiners of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole on their role in supporting the Board’s commitment to evidence-based approaches to parole decision making.

Sponsors: Ramsey County (Minnesota) Community Corrections Department

The Center worked with an internal policy team of the Ramsey County (Minnesota) Community Corrections Department, Juvenile Division, to develop a structured approach to responding to violations of probation. The products included new policy documents, a response matrix, and a measurement strategy to discern the impact of the new approach on successful completion of probation.

Sponsors: The Urban Institute

Center staff served as co-authors and reviewers of an NIC-funded document highlighting effective parole supervision strategies. The paper articulated a new strategy for effective parole supervision in the context of evidence-based reentry efforts.

Sponsors: Georgia Probation Association

Center staff developed and delivered a keynote address and workshop on effective offender supervision approaches and the use of evidence-based practices at the annual meeting of the Georgia Probation Association.

Sponsors: Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

This effort built upon earlier work in which the Center provided assistance to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in the development of a sanctioning matrix to scale the severity of violations and expected responses. Under this phase of the work, the Center provided assistance to the Board to integrate the principles of risk more explicitly into guidance for staff regarding expected responses to violations. The project provided technical assistance to support the efforts of a Board-chartered violations team, tasked with developing and disseminating a Parole Violations Response Instrument, in a series of working sessions with the violations team.

Sponsors: Pew Charitable Trust

The Center provided assistance to the Pew Charitable Trust to develop a policy brief on parole violations, a document that will be used to inform legislators about the issues surrounding responses to technical violations of parole and reentry.

Sponsors: The Urban Institute

Center staff assisted with the planning and provided facilitation for two Massachusetts parole officer focus groups that addressed the board and staff perceptions about current offender supervision activities, the application of evidence based principles to their work, and opportunities to make improvements in areas related to case management, the use of assessment tools, information sharing, violation decision making, officer training, and other pertinent topics. Information gleaned from these groups was shared with the Parole Board Chair and Executive Director, and feedback from the groups was used to help to shape policy and practice changes in the State.

Sponsors: Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

The Center conducted a preliminary assessment of the Parole Board’s release decision making process to enable the Board to determine their needs for policy change in this area. In partnership with JFA Associates, the Center reviewed policies, procedures, and other documentation for the purposes of gathering information and data critical to this analysis, and provided a series of action recommendations for the Board’s consideration.

Sponsors: Massachusetts Parole Board

The Center provided facilitation and expert consultation services to the Massachusetts Parole Board regarding the modification of their parole release guidelines instrument. This assistance focused on the content of the guidelines, the development of a risk assessment tool, and practical implementation issues associated with the use of the guidelines.

Sponsors: JEHT Foundation

Despite a groundswell of interest and focus on the issue of offender reentry, little attention has been focused on the critical role of paroling authorities and parole supervision agencies in contributing to more successful reentry. Positioned at the intersection between correctional institutions and community supervision, paroling authorities set conditions of release, respond to violations of supervision, and – in some instances – control the timing of release. Parole supervision agencies carry the legal responsibility for supervision and post-release management of the vast majority of the reentering offender population. This project supported the development of a monograph that highlights both the role of these criminal justice stakeholder agencies and the challenges and changes they must embrace in order to be successful partners in supporting successful reentry. The paper, Successful Transition and Reentry for Safer Communities: A Call to Action for Parole, was published in June, 2006.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections Association of Paroling Authorities International

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, and the Association of Paroling Authorities International, the Center designed a training program for parole board members, and staff from paroling agencies and departments of correction. Trainings were delivered annually and provided information on best practices in parole release decision making; current research in the assessment, reentry, and supervision of paroled offenders; responding to violation behavior; and the management of special populations in the parole context. The training content was enhanced by the use of the materials in the Resource Kit for New Parole Board Members, developed by the Center for Effective Public Policy under a separate contract.

Sponsors: New York State Board of Parole

The Center designed and conducted a training session for all members of the New York State Parole Board, attorneys who represent the Board, and selected members of the Board’s staff. The purpose of this training was to provide information concerning critical and emerging legal issues within the parole field.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

This project was designed to provide technical assistance to selected paroling authorities that demonstrated a commitment to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of methods used to respond to offenders who violate rules and conditions of parole under both discretionary and mandatory release supervision. In providing technical assistance to each site, the project: analyzed current practices to determine the quantity and quality of the data available for decision making and the demonstrated commitment of decision makers in using such data; ensured that key decision makers were aware and knowledgeable about research evidence; provided key decision makers with information regarding program options for sanctioning and intervening in violation behavior based on assessed risk; assisted the participating boards in initiating and forging working relationships with other criminal justice practitioners involved in the revocation process to attain common policies; and assisted boards in articulating written policy that they can consistently enforce with the assistance of other key community justice practitioners. The project received supplemental funding to develop a handbook entitled Parole Violations Revisited: A Handbook on Strengthening Parole Practices for Public Safety and Successful Transition to the Community and to develop a Web site (www.paroleviolationsrevisited.org) designed to increase the availability of the information presented in the handbook.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

This project was designed to assist local jurisdictions in: the clarification of their goals for probation/parole supervision; the conduct of a comprehensive assessment and analysis of their violation practices; the development of local policies to guide violation practices in the future; and the development of strategies to enable participating jurisdictions to more effectively utilize a range of sanctions in response to offenders’ violation behavior.

The Center provided individualized technical assistance to local policy teams (consisting of the agency heads/policymakers of the court; key citizen leaders; and representatives from supervision agencies, police, jails, public defender’s offices, prosecutor’s offices, mental health/substance abuse agencies, community corrections, and the local legislature) specifically established to undertake this work in five judicial districts in Colorado and three counties in New York. The work of this project, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections-sponsored efforts that preceded it, are documented in Responding to Parole and Probation Violations: A Handbook to Guide Local Policy Development.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

This project, managed collaboratively with the Association of Paroling Authorities, International, supported paroling authorities interested in establishing consistent, responsible, and objective parole release decision making processes and procedures—and consistent violation response guidelines—at the state level. In order to achieve these goals, the Center: made the availability of technical assistance widely known to state paroling authorities; assisted selected authorities to introduce structured policy guidance to decision making, updated structured release guidelines, and responded to violations in a manner consistent with release policies; and offered on- and off-site technical assistance and a three-day workshop for selected jurisdictions.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

The Center collaborated with the Association of Paroling Authorities, International, to provide two regional orientation sessions for new parole board members. The sessions provided an overview of the history of parole in the United States, the goals of parole, the connection between the responsibilities of release and community supervision, structured decision making, legal issues affecting parole boards and their practices, and emerging issues and their impact on parole. Participants were given an opportunity to compare the structure of their individual parole boards and their experiences with their peers. Facilitators helped participants identify critical issues and communication problems, and develop strategies for responding to these problems.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

Through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, the Center provided technical assistance to five probation and parole agencies interested in developing or improving a program of community-based intermediate sanctions for offenders who violate the conditions of supervision. This project built upon the experiences of earlier efforts to assist probation and parole agencies in their management of offenders under community supervision.

Sponsors: State Justice Institute

The Center provided technical assistance to the Superior Court of Arizona in Pima County to assess and re-design its handling of probation violations with the purpose of reducing court workload and decreasing the time elapsed between the lodging of violation warrants to disposition.

Sponsors: Connecticut Board of Parole

The Center provided training and technical assistance to the Connecticut Board of Parole in the design and use of structured decision making for parole release.

Sponsors: Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles

The Center acted as advisor and facilitator for an internal working task force of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles that was developing a new system for classification and supervision of parolees.

Sponsors: Michigan Department of Corrections

The Center designed and provided a five-day intensive orientation seminar for the ten members of the newly constituted Michigan Parole Board.

Sponsors: National Institute of JusticeAbt Associates, Inc.

During this era, the number of probation and parole revocations and ascendance in several states was rising sharply; and revocations comprised a large and growing proportion of prison admissions. At the same time, practitioners noted that many revokees were released very quickly, particularly in states where courts imposed prison population caps. Practitioners complained that these quick releases undermined their ability to encourage compliance with conditions of supervision.

In 1990, the National Institute of Justice initiated a study of the problem and a description of state responses. Abt Associates conducted the early stages of the inquiry, and then contracted with the Center to assist in the conduct of more in-depth interviews with officials in a small number of jurisdictions that have implemented particularly interesting policy responses to revocations and absconding’s. The study included a literature review, initial round of telephone interviews, input from advisors, follow-up telephone interviews, selected site visits, and a compilation of findings. The Center conducted on-site interviews, extensive telephone interviews, prepared jurisdictional databases, synthesized findings from those data, identified emerging trends and major issues for future inquiry, and drafted major components of the final report.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

In partnership with COSMOS Corporation, the Center provided technical assistance to paroling authorities across the nation. This assistance was aimed at the establishment of consistent, equitable, and objective decision making policies for parole release and revocation within those states. Staff worked with parole boards to: identify and agree on their purposes in making release decisions and providing parole supervision; clarify the information needed to make decisions and provide appropriate supervision; and design decision tools that integrated information into those functions.

National staff and consultants provide a variety of services designed to meet these diverse aims. The process with each paroling authority included achieving consensus among parole board members on the use of decision tools in carrying out their responsibilities, identifying the goals of their release and supervision functions, and developing parole policies consistent with those goals. Center staff had primary responsibility for the design and facilitation of the meetings required to carry out this process in the participating states.

Sponsors: Virginia Parole Board

The Center was commissioned by the Virginia Parole Board to report on the progress of their release decision making guidelines initiative and to provide advice and guidance as the initiative moved forward toward a decision regarding full implementation and operation. The Center had previously played a supporting role in helping the Board to assess its own efforts and to develop its recommendations and strategy for implementation of parole guidelines. Center staff reported on progress of the guidelines, recommended that the Virginia Parole Board move forward on their plans to fully implement the guidelines, and outlined a monitoring system to ensure continuing performance of the guidelines.
Center staff reported on progress of the guidelines, recommended that the Virginia Parole Board move forward on their plans to fully implement the guidelines in January 1992, outlined a plan for further development and preparation for the January 1992 implementation date, and outlined a monitoring system to ensure continuing performance of the guidelines.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

In conjunction with COSMOS Corporation, the Center completed a study of the implementation of the National Institute of Correction’s Model Probation and Parole Classification and Case Management Project. Thirty-eight state and local supervision agencies participated in the original project, and the implementation study was designed to provide the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections and the probation and parole field with information about its results. The study examined how the classification system was used; those agencies who chose to discontinue its use and why; the problems agencies encountered in implementation; and the lessons that could be drawn from their experiences.

All 38 jurisdictions were initially surveyed by telephone, and intensive follow-up evaluations were conducted on-site in several jurisdictions. A practitioner’s guide containing descriptive information, resources, and contacts was developed, as was a special report to the National Institute of Corrections outlining the key elements of a successful national initiative and posing research questions for further inquiry.

Sponsors: City and County of San Francisco Adult Probation Department

This project aims to build the skills of San Francisco’s Probation Department staff in working with offenders to maximize successful outcomes, including a reduction in recidivism. This effort includes a series of skill-based training sessions on the application of evidence-based practices, Motivational Interviewing, and skill training in core competencies for both probation line staff and supervisors. In addition, project staff are providing skill training to supervisors, and are developing a toolkit for supervisors to support ongoing coaching and mentoring of staff.

Sponsors: Ramsey County, MN

The Center is providing support to Ramsey County, Minnesota in their development of a policy structure to guide responses to violations of probation by: 1) assisting in the formation of a Ramsey County Community Corrections Violations Policy Team and the development of a detailed work plan; 2) conducting information gathering to understand current policy, practice, and population; 3) developing a shared understanding of the gaps that exist between current policy/practice and desired and optimal policy practice; 4) defining in detail the elements of the county’s new policy framework; and 5) developing and conducting a workshop to present the new policy framework and plans for its implementation.

Sponsors: Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

Center staff developed and conducted a four-hour training on interviewing techniques designed to help examiners improve their interviewing skills and enhance their ability to gather pertinent information for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to inform the Board’s release decision making. The training provided information on evidence-based decision making and practice, as well as skill building exercises.

Sponsors: Colorado Judicial Department

The Center provided staff to conduct on-site information gathering and facilitate a two-day meeting with key leadership from the Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections, and Youthful Offender System to consider the current approach to violations in Colorado; discuss how other jurisdictions have approached this work and the tangible outcomes derived from their efforts; and discuss other significant corrections policy activities currently underway in Colorado, and how those activities intersect with this initiative. As a result of the meeting the Center developed a work plan to develop a violations decision making process. Since then, the Center has providing continuing technical assistance to the Colorado Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections and YOS’ workgroup to develop the Colorado Violations Decision Making Process (CVDMP), including development of a work plan to conduct a 90-day pilot text. The Center provided education and skill building training to individuals responsible for the pilot test of the CVDMP, as well as off-site technical assistance to the pilot sites. Following the pilot, the Center designed and conducted a debrief process, provided assistance to the revision of the CVDMP as needed, and assisted in the development of a work plan for a division wide implementation of the CVDMP. The Center is currently involved in efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the division wide implementation and develop plans to further strengthen the violations process through training and technical assistance support to staff.