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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76386 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Social Services on Probationer Recidivism - A Field Experiment
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:81-100
Author(s): C M Lichtman; S M Smock
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 76-ED-05-0002; 77-ED-05-0003; 19974-1F76; 78-MU-AX-0200
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Intensive probation does not reduce recidivism more than conventional probation, according to this evaluation of Project START, a LEAA-funded community-based intensive probation program in Michigan.
Abstract: Project START provided needs assessment and brokered services for probationers for about 2 years. The clients were between 18 and 30 years of age and were on probation for nonviolent felonious property offenses (e.g., breaking and entering, shoplifting). With each client, START determined service needs and then contracted with agencies to provide the services on a high priority basis. Because intensive probation calls for lower officer caseloads, START clients were assigned to one of five probation officers who maintained half the normal caseload. The studied sample consisted of 276 intensive probation clients, and the control group had 227 regular probationers. The subjects were sentenced during the period between February 1976 through May 1977. They were male, 65 percent black, and 54 percent first offenders. Nearly a year after termination of the program, interviews were conducted with 68 former treatment and 64 former control probationers. They focused on service referrals and use, clients' reactions to referral and services, and employment. Data bearing on services were extracted from program records and from questionnaires completed by control group members' probation officers. Recidivism data were gathered from Michigan State Police files. The findings showed that clients placed in the treatment condition did not have lower recidivism rates than regular probation controls. Also, caseload size had little effect on client recidivism. Thus, the nation that intensive probation could help rehabilitate youthful property offenders was not supported by the evidence. Tabular and statistical data, footnotes, and over 20 references are included.
Index Term(s): Michigan; Probation or parole services; Probation outcome prediction; Recidivism; Young adult offenders
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