Federal Probation

Publications
Questionnaires listing 49 offenses under the penal law of the state of New York were distributed to a large group of persons in a wide range of occupations and professions, in various parts of the country. Anonymous replies were obtained from 1020 men and 678 women. Ninety-nine per cent of the respondents admitted committing one or more of the crimes. It is concluded (1) that unlawful behavior is a common phenomenon, not an abnormal social or psychological manifestation; (2) that whether a man becomes a criminal depends more upon what society does to him than upon what he does to society; and (3) that some citizens can commit crimes and still become eminent scientists, teachers, executives, and intelligent parents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Discusses the etiology, treatment and effects of child sexual abuse through a review of research, and outlines its implications for probation practice (PP). Studies suggest that issues of power, control, poor self-esteem and victimization are central to incest offenders. The effect of child abuse may be explicated using a traumagenic dynamic model (D. Finkelhor, 1987), which states that traumatic sexualization, betrayal, stigmatization and powerlessness are symptoms of child abuse. Treatment modalities comprising behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapies, pharmacological interventions, relapse prevention and traditional psychotherapies are used in corrective sex offender programs. Studies reveal that most offenders are sentenced to probation with a condition of inpatient or outpatient treatment. In such cases, close monitoring of offenders, and coordination between therapists and probation officers becomes imperative. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Tough time is a sanctioning strategy that would impose a more stringent correctional regime on an offender than is now the case in most prisons, combining a structured work program with education and drug treatment while using due process discipline and well-defined policies. Inmates would be taught that self-improvement and positive change are acceptable life alternatives. Tough time would reduce a prison term by half for eligible inmates. Institutions could be operated within existing facilities of different security levels, either as satellite camp operations or as free-standing programs. Following successful completion, the offender would be subject to supervision for the balance of the entire sentence. The tough time approach is efficient and cost effective, it gives the courts a credible sanction that can change lives, and it meets the public's perception of what prison should be. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Reviews the current research on intensive supervision programs (ISPs), noting that ISPs with a strong focus on control are not an effective correctional intervention, but that ISPs that merge control with rehabilitation achieve better results. This research is leading to the development of a new generation of programs called intensive rehabilitation supervision. This review examines the characteristics of effective programs, including (1) the risk principle, (2) need principle, (3) responsivity, (4) program contingencies, (5) therapists relating to offenders in interpersonally sensitive and constructive ways, (6) program structures that disrupt the criminal network, and (7) high levels of advocacy as long as the community agency offers appropriate services. The characteristics of ineffective programs include targeting low-risk offenders and offender need factors not predictive of criminal behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Discusses the effectiveness of different programs for juvenile offenders. D. A. Andrews et al (1990) concluded that appropriate correctional services could reduce recidivism by as much as 50%. Appropriate services were defined as those that target high-risk individuals; address criminogenic needs such as substance abuse or anger management; and use styles and modes of treatment that are matched with client needs and learning styles. Statistics derived from police and court records are disdained in favor of self-reports or victim surveys. Programs that use cognitive-behavioral and multimodal approaches to address crime-related risk factors are preferable to simple educational, vocational, or undirected counseling approaches. The availability of a wide range of training materials and curricula and the importance of an effective program director are also noted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
The fiscal crisis of the 1970’s and 1980’s has led government to increase their use of volunteers. Often the decision to u se volunteers is influenced or required by a higher authority. For example, adult probation administrators in Texas were mandated by the legislature to use volunteers in the provision of services.
 
Pono Kaulike is a pilot program for people who plead guilty to criminal offenses, the people hurt by the crimes, and their supporters. The program was piloted in Honoluluʼs District Court of the First Circuit and has been previously described (Walker & Hayashi, 2004 & 2007). “Pono Kaulike uses the solution-focused brief therapy approach, which carefully uses language, and appreciates the importance of relationships in assisting troubled people to find their own solutions to problems” (Walker & Hayashi, 2007 p. 20). Solution-focused approaches are empowering and considered a best practice by the federal government (OJJDP, 2008).
 
The utilization of halfway houses as an alternative to more structured institutionalization in the correctional process is on the increase. Generally, it is accepted that these facilities are based upon sound correctional theory; in order to ultimately place a person in society successfully that person should not be any farther removed from that society than is necessary. Having a sound philosophical basis and the potential for great success does not insure the life of the facility. Indeed, many of the variables which are involved in determining the life or death of the house have their effect prior to the first resident's appearance. This article deals with some of those variables and makes suggestions as to how they might be best approached.
 
Restorative justice addresses both physical and emotional needs, including the need to repair relationships and build positive connections, after wrongdoing. Three basic questions are addressed by restorative practices: 1: Who has been affected by the wrongdoing? 2: How have they been affected? 3: What can be done to repair the harm? Answering these questions in a restorative process promotes coping skills and healing.
 
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1990. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 50-54).
 
The abolition of parole release, the creation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the phasing down of the U.S. Parole Commission, and a substantial reduction in good-time credits have all significantly changed the federal sentencing structure in recent years. To help put these events into perspective, author Peter B. Hoffman presents the history of the federal parole system in a two-part article that begins in this issue. In the first part, the chronology begins in 1867 with the first statute providing for reduced sentences for federal prisoners for good conduct and continues to 1972, to a pilot project to decentralize the U.S. Board of Parole into five regions.
 
This reprint from the April-June 1943 issue of Federal Probation is a companion to this issue's lead article on federal probation in wartime. Written by former "Untouchable" Eliot Ness, who by this time headed the Social Protection Section of the Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services, it demonstrates the wartime concern with prostitution and its public health implications for the armed forces.
 
The abolition of parole release, the creation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the phasing down of the U.S. Parole Commission, and a substantial reduction in good-time credits have all significantly changed the federal sentencing structure in recent years. To help put these events into perspective, author Peter B. Hoffman presents the history of the federal parole system in a two-part article that concludes in this issue. In the second part, the chronology begins in 1973 with a new proposal for reorganization of the parole board and revision of the board's procedures and continues to 1997, to an experimental project to conduct parole hearings via video conferencing.
 
The authors study patterns of change over 15 years in the Pretrial Services Program in Lake County, Illinois. They describe trends, but also attempt to explain some of the empirical findings. Their goal is to demonstrate the utility and value of "in-house" research at the local, single-jurisdictional level.
 
Over the past two decades, home confinement has gained acceptance as a credible noncustodial sanction and alternative to incarceration. This article reviews home confinement in the federal courts and presents an overview of the program based on data collected on over 17,000 program participants from 1988 through 1996.
 
In an excerpt from a new book on Prisoner Reentry, the author examines the research on the dynamic of returning prisoners and their families, and explores programs that more deeply support and involve families in the reentry process.
 
To address the issue of leadership education, the California Department of Corrections created an institute for middle-and upper-level administrators. The primary goal of the institute is to educate and develop the future leaders within the department. Authors Stan Stojkovic, David Kalinich, Rick Lovell, Mark Pogrebin, Charles Corley, and James Roberts discuss the impetus for initiating the institute, explain the guiding philosophy of the program, and describe the B-week course in detail.
 
Offenders are often resistant to counseling interventions. The author describes the use of three techniques-Redirection, Reframing, and Reversal of Responsibility-to counter behavior intended to distract and derail the counselor.
 
Stress has been linked to increased risk for substance abuse among various populations, yet research comparing stressors of federal offenders who refrain from or use drugs while under supervision is nonexistent. The authors compare federal offenders who refrained from or used drugs while under supervision on five dimensions of stress, finding that offenders who used drugs reported significantly higher stress levels on all five dimensions than those who refrained.
 
The authors describe in detail the selection and training process developed for substance abuse specialists in the Los Angeles federal probation office. Training includes both an academic component (including such topics as substance abuse philosophy, assessment, dual diagnosis, and supervising the substance abuser) and an experiential component, in which each participant supervises (with support) such caseload for three months.
 
Authors David J. Hartmann, James L. Wolk, J. Scott Johnston, and Corey J. Colyer focus on legal involvement, reincarceration, and substance abuse at followup as outcomes for men successfully discharged from a prison-based therapeutic community, the Ozarks Correctional Drug Treatment Program. They compare these results to those of a control group of male inmates who had substance abuse problems but did not attend the therapeutic community.
 
THE UNITED STATES PROBATION Department is charged, inter alia, with executing orders of the federal court regarding the correctional treatment of federal offenders. Among the orders enforced by the probation department are those requiring substance abuse treatment. Some offenders have already completed extensive treatment regimens while in prison. Others report that they have misrepresented their substance abuse histories to obtain more lenient sentences or become eligible for the Bureau of Prisons' early release program (for offenders who have completed their 500 hour in-house program). Beyond the normal burden of persons with various levels of substance abuse problems and history, these categories of offenders account for a large amount of wasted time, effort, and funds. In addressing its own need to care for persons with a spectrum of substance abuse issues, the United states Probation Department for the Eastern District of New York has undertaken an innovative substance abuse treatment program that is cost effective, has high rates of retention, and provides powerful tools for abstinence, recovery, and life.
 
Substance abuse and abuse of women frequently occur together, although the relationship between these two problems appears to be complex, and is not well understood. The author explores the relationship between substance abuse and woman abuse, along with the potential to address these problems together in an integrated treatment program.
 
Since prison-based TCs first appeared in the 1980s, numerous evaluations have been conducted at both the state and federal levels that have provided empirical support for the effectiveness of these programs in reducing recidivism and relapse to drug use, especially when combined with continuity of care in the community following release to parole. Other studies have focused on the so-called "black box" of treatment (i.e., the treatment process) in an effort to identify relevant factors that predict success among participants in TC treatment programs (e.g., Simpson, 2001; Simpson Knight; 2001). However, few have focused on the system- and treatment-level process issues relating to the implementation and ongoing operations of TCs in correctional environments and how these issues impact the ability of treatment providers to effectively provide treatment services to inmate populations. It is also important to note that most (if not all) of the issues discussed in this paper have application beyond prison-based TCs and should be considered in any initiative that seeks to implement or expand substance abuse treatment in correctional settings. In addition, although these issues may appear to address different aspects of treatment program operations, they are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, to maximize the operational effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programs in correctional environments, they should be considered in their entirety.
 
Author Sam Torres presents the initial interview as a pivotal point for officers who supervise substance-abusing offenders. Encouraging a fair but firm approach in holding offenders accountable for their decision to continue using drugs, the author describes the importance of officers establishing credibility with offenders at their first encounter. He discusses factors that affect credibility and the advantages and disadvantages of various probation officer styles.
 
The sheer number of offenders with substance abuse problems continues to be a major concern for the criminal justice system. Screening and assessment is the beginning of the substance abuse treatment process. Authors Robert A. Shearer and Chris R. Carter discuss the importance of proper screening and assessment in creating effective treatment plans and in using scarce treatment resources wisely. They address such issues as using interviews versus self-reports, screening instrument accuracy, screening offenders for psychopathy, and readiness screening.
 
Top-cited authors
Joan Petersilia
  • Stanford University
Christopher T. Lowenkamp
  • Administrative Office US Courts
Edward J. Latessa
  • University of Cincinnati
Faye Taxman
  • George Mason University
Anthony W Flores
  • California State University, Bakersfield