Juvenile Justice Bulletin --July 2000 --The IAP Mix of Supervision and Services

The IAP Mix of Supervision and Services

The IAP model stresses the need to create a wide-ranging and balanced mix of interventions designed to control offender risk and to address offender needs. Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia have all responded by (1) providing enhanced, IAP-specific programming during both the institutional and aftercare phases and (2) creating a blend of control and treatment strategies during aftercare.

Institutional Services

In Colorado and Nevada, the basic intervention for IAP and all other youth is based on normative culture models that seek to help youth develop prosocial values. The intervention involves creating a positive peer culture in the cottage, having daily group counseling sessions, and using peer pressure to induce behavioral change. In Virginia, the basic intervention in all Department of Juvenile Justice facilities since early 1997 has been the militaristic-style LEADER program. Using uniforms, a platoon organization, military drills, and highly structured days, the program represents an attempt to develop a new institutional culture based on structure, discipline, and group cohesion.

Within this larger context, the programs in each site have developed specialized services for IAP. First, all the sites house IAP youth in the same living unit, although they have usually been mixed in with non-IAP youth. Second, because of the reduced caseloads, IAP youth have much more frequent face-to-face contact with their institutional case managers for purposes of case planning and counseling than does the control group.15 Third, each site has developed programming specifically targeted to its IAP population. For example:

  • All three sites include a formal system of rewards and sanctions (see Rewards and Sanctions).

  • Colorado provides a vocational skills workshop and additional individual counseling (run by community providers), parent orientation and experiential learning activities (jointly run by cottage staff and the providers), and anger management and survival skills groups. Further, family members of IAP youth are involved in multifamily counseling groups operated by the providers at the institution.

  • In Nevada, IAP youth receive the pre-release services discussed previously. These include participation in Jettstream, Rational Recovery, and The Money Program.

  • In Virginia, IAP youth are involved in a life skills group, receive specialized vocational assessment, and receive additional individual counseling by their case managers. Parents of IAP youth are involved in provider-run groups and other services in the community while their sons are incarcerated.

In addition to these specialized services, IAP youth in each site are provided a wide array of more traditional services (e.g., education, substance abuse treatment) while institutionalized.

However, as shown in table 4, IAP youth are not necessarily more likely to be involved in these traditional service areas than non-IAP youth. For example, in Colorado and Virginia, there are no differences in the proportion of IAP and control youth who have been involved in education, vocational training, counseling, substance abuse interventions, or life skills training. In Nevada, however, IAP youth are more likely to be involved in vocational training, substance abuse interventions, and life skills programming.

There is a similar pattern with respect to the intensity of services (i.e., mean hours or days per service month) provided to IAP youth. In Colorado, IAP and control youth receive generally very similar levels of service in each of the basic intervention areas, although control cases receive slightly more intensive services in vocational training and counseling. In Virginia, IAP and control youth receive similar doses of services in all areas except vocational training (where the IAP group receives less intensive services). In Nevada, however, there are two service domains (counseling and life skills) in which IAP youth receive far more intensive services than control youth.

These data suggest a lack of differentiation between IAP and control youth in service delivery during the institutional phase, especially in Colorado and Virginia. This is due in part to Colorado's efforts in recent years to provide enhanced services for all institutionalized youth and to the extended vacancy in the IAP case manager's position at the Beaumont facility in Virginia.

It is important to remember, however, that what is being measured here is the extent of youth involvement in traditional intervention areas. As shown elsewhere, there are important differences in IAP institutional service delivery in connection with case management (e.g., early release planning, institutional visits by the parole officers), the nature of service delivery (e.g., the involvement of community providers in Colorado), the emphasis on transition, and the provision of unique programming such as the systems for rewards and sanctions.

Aftercare Supervision

In each site, multiple mechanisms are used to provide intensive supervision. All the sites provide a highly structured setting for the early months of aftercare. Colorado uses day treatment programming, Nevada employs administratively revocable furlough coupled with day programming, and Virginia requires a 1- to 2-month stay in a group home. The sites also require frequent contact between the youth and the supervision team. In the first few months of parole, the expected frequency of contact ranges from once per week in Colorado to three times per week in Nevada to five times per week in Virginia.

Each site has made provisions for extended coverage (i.e., supervision that occurs during evening hours and on weekends). Other monitoring or surveillance-oriented activities include curfews and random urinalysis (all sites), house arrest and electronic monitoring (as needed in Nevada and Virginia), and random paging and monthly court reviews (Virginia). Finally, IAP parole staff in each site spend a significant portion of their time interacting with youth and families at community programs, offenders' homes, and "in the street" instead of working solely out of the office. Although the number of aftercare youth for whom data are available is somewhat limited, it appears that the intensity of supervision for IAP youth is greater than that found for controls in all three sites. For example:

  • In Nevada and Virginia, IAP youth have substantially more face-to-face contacts with their parole officers each month than do control youth. IAP youth in Colorado and Virginia also have telephone contacts with their parole officers at a rate that is more than twice that of control youth (see table 5 and figure 3).

  • In Virginia, the parents of IAP youth have far more face-to-face contact with parole officers than do control group parents.

  • In all sites, IAP youth are significantly more likely than control youth to be subject to some form of evening and weekend supervision or surveillance (see figure 4 below).

The data on the frequency of contact between parole officers and youth may raise the question of just how intensive the IAP supervision is. Seeing a youth two or three times per month (in Colorado) or even five times per month (in Nevada) may not seem to enhance dramatically the levels of supervision. However, these data need to be viewed in the larger context of how "intensive supervision" is defined in the sites. The IAP programs do not rely solely on the contact between assigned parole officers and youth to achieve intensive supervision. Instead, the sites use a team supervision approach that involves several different parties, including the parole officer, surveillance or tracking staff, treatment providers, and others. In Colorado, for example, substantial responsibility for social control is assumed by the two day-treatment providers during the early phases of parole. Instead of relying on multiple contacts per week with the case manager, Colorado uses highly-structured, 7-hour-per-day program involvement as a key mechanism for close supervision. There, as in the other sites, it is this type of service involvement, along with surveillance activities and the frequency of contact, that helps create intensive levels of supervision.

Services while on aftercare. The IAP model and the three demonstration programs emphasize the need to create links with a wide range of service providers to meet the multiple and varied needs of the target population. Colorado and Virginia have been quite successful in meeting this objective, while Nevada has encountered some obstacles.

Colorado has developed a full-fledged public-private partnership by creating its multiagency service provider network. IAP managers and staff view the provider network as the core element of the project. It involves approximately 25 different agencies and includes both residential and nonresidential programs that provide a full range of services. In practice, two of the agencies (the day treatment providers) are used routinely for almost all paroled youth, and the others are accessed according to a youth's needs. Funding for these services is provided through a combination of DYC contractual dollars, IAP funding, and an additional pool of State subsidy money that provides flexible funds for specialized aftercare services.

Virginia has been successful in maximizing the number and type of community resources that can be made available to IAP youth. It has done so by creating and sustaining relationships with key organizations in the community, accessing several different funding sources, and accessing resources that previously may not have served the juvenile parole population. The IAP site routinely uses approximately 15 different public and private community-based organizations for service delivery, although they are not organized into a formal provider network as in Colorado. The services include alternative education programs, a specialized public school reentry class, three vocational training programs, mental health and family preservation services, and substance abuse treatment and relapse prevention programs. Access to services is enhanced through the availability of flexible funds, including IAP grant money and a $2 million State subsidy for community-based services. In addition to these brokered services, parole staff provide a series of direct services including life skills and substance abuse counseling and youth and parent groups.

Nevada's IAP has struggled to create community links and generally has had less access to community agencies than is the case in Colorado or Virginia. Historically, the Nevada Youth Parole Bureau has had little experience with service brokerage. Consequently, for approximately the first 2 years of the project, IAP staff directly delivered most of the services. In summer 1998, however, Nevada began to move away from the direct service model. A day treatment provider assumed the primary responsibility for the core services received by all youth (e.g., life skills training, tutoring, anger management, continuation of the Jettstream and Rational Recovery classes). Other services are available to IAP youth, but these are limited to programs that have had long-standing contracts for services to all parolees, are operated by other governmental agencies, or require fees for service.16 In an attempt to provide a broader range of services, in addition to more individualized and readily accessible services, Nevada identified five potential contractors in mid-1996 who could provide various levels of treatment for mental health, substance abuse, and other problems. Until only recently, however, a series of bureaucratic obstacles and delays at the State level prevented the finalization of these IAP-specific contracts.

Service involvement. Regardless of the variations in service delivery models, large percentages of IAP youth in each site receive services in several different areas, and IAP clients, especially in Nevada and Virginia, are consistently more likely to receive services than their control counterparts. Data relative to the prevalence and intensity of aftercare services delivered to youth are presented in table 6. These data need to be treated with caution because of the low number of control clients with reports on service delivery in Colorado and Virginia.

In Colorado, a large percentage of IAP youth are involved in each of the service areas. These youth are more likely than controls to partake in employment, vocational training, and substance abuse services. The extent of IAP youth's service involvement in Nevada and Virginia is striking. In both sites, approximately two-thirds or more of the IAP youth are involved in the various services. IAP clients also are far more likely to be involved in each service area (with the sole exception of employment) than are the control clients.

Although large numbers of IAP youth are provided services, the data indicate that they do not necessarily receive more intensive services than control youth. In fact, the results are quite mixed. In each site, there are several service areas in which the intensity of services is comparable for both groups, other areas in which IAP youth receive more intensive services, and still other areas in which controls receive more intensive services.

It is possible that the supervision practices described previously and the service delivery patterns shown here could change over time or with larger samples. However, based on the current aftercare data, it appears that the sites have been quite successful in accomplishing what is suggested by the IAP model: because IAP clients are high-risk, high-need youth, they need to be handled with both extensive control and extensive involvement in services.

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Implementation of the Intensive Community-Based Aftercare Program Juvenile Justice Bulletin July 2000