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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78250 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of an Enriched Probation Program - Project Start-Demonstration Phase, January, 1976 - February, 1978 in Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan
Author(s): C Lichtman; S M Smock
Corporate Author: Wayne State University
Ctr for Urban Studies
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 224
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
Grant Number: 76-ED-05-0002; 77-ED-05-0003; 78-MU-AX-0200
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Evaluation of a citizen-initiated, community-based corrections program offering a broad spectrum of social services and support to nonviolent felonious property offenders on probation in the Detroit, Mich., area is reported.
Abstract: Project START, a pilot program operating between February 1976 and March 1978, was a cooperative effort among law enforcement agencies and citizens. It aimed to reduce the repeat rate of nonviolent property offenders through an enriched probation progam offering client diagnosis, service brokerage, employment counseling and referrals, community education, and training for agency representatives, probation officers, and community volunteers. The evaluation design used random assignment of probationers to the project or to a regular probation control group, a purposively selected group of parolees for comparison with probationers, multivariate statistical methods to generate a predictive model of the various program outcomes, a posttreatment interview of a sample of clients, and an ongoing process feedback to the program regarding its inner functioning. Rather than attempting to declare whether Project START works or does not, the evaluation sought to discover what kinds of effects if any, the project had on the various classes of clients served. The evaluation found that START increased service usage by about 350 percent over regular probation when only probation-referred services were considered; including nonprobation sources, START's increase was 29 percent. The project also exhibited a superiority in client tracking after referrals were made, and clients spent more time on jobs than did the controls. However, no effects on recidivism could be discovered attributable to service usage, employment, or even START clienthood, and no client characteristics were discovered bearing on recidivism. An independent cost-benefit analysis yielded a favorable social net present value for START. It is thus concluded that intensive service delivery to probationers cannot be expected to reduce or increase recidivism rates or crime rates. Tables, figures, and footnotes are supplied. Appendixes contain an evaluation report of the Citizen Power in Criminal Justice Conference organized by START and evaluation research instruments.
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Evaluative research; Ex-offender employment; Michigan; Post-release programs; Probation or parole agencies; Probation or parole services; Recidivism
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