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NCJ Number: 196208 Find in a Library
Title: Long-Term Absences From Probation: Officers' and Probationers' Accounts
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:41  Issue:3  Dated:July 2002  Pages:263-278
Author(s): Stephen Farrall
Date Published: July 2002
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines the reasons offenders fail to comply with the requirements of probation orders and community service.
Abstract: In order for community sentences to retain their appeal, they must be seen as effective in helping address the offending behavior and ensuring that the vast majority of offenders complete the requirements of their sentences. The number of those sentenced to probation orders has been increasing steadily for a number of years. The number of people that fail to comply with the requirements of their orders has also increased. There is evidence of the relationship between certain demographic characteristics, such as age, and failure to comply. There are few other sources of information about either the incidence or explanation of unscheduled absences. The main source of data for this study came from a wider study investigating the impact of probation supervision on the lives of 199 people placed on probation between October 1997 and March 1998. The main research study was longitudinal and collected data that were both quantitative and qualitative. Results show that males, young probationers, and those with employment and drug problems were the most common absentees. Financial problems and “feeling depressed and anxious” were found to be related to absence. Some criminal history variables were also associated, but the relationships were far weaker. Case study materials suggested that mental health problems, instability of accommodation, substance dependency, and the probationer’s feeling that supervision offered them little, were associated with absence. Other factors, such as poor education and/or educational disabilities, were also possible influences upon absence. Little can be done to minimize absences until more is known about why probationers absent themselves. Probation officers should be interviewed about cases that they have supervised that have absconded or that they managed to prevent from absconding. 4 tables, 19 notes, 16 references
Main Term(s): Community service order; Probation outcome prediction
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community service programs; Community-based corrections (adult); Community-based corrections (juvenile); Intermediate sanctions; Probation effectiveness
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