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Summary of the evidence

Appropriateness Statement Outline

Brief summary of the practice, its effects (or lack thereof), and the evidence for it. This is intended as a snapshot for readers to quickly understand what the practice is and whether it is appropriate to use based on the available research evidence.

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Types of Contacts

  • While in-person/face-to-face contacts by themselves are not evidence-based practices, they can be used to deliver evidence-based interventions (e.g., motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral interventions).
    • Remote contacts are promising but more research is needed.
  • Contacts are an important way for officers to interact with and supervise clients.
    • They provide opportunities to build rapport with clients and monitor their compliance with supervision conditions.
  • Three types of contacts are most used: (1) in-person/face-to-face contacts, (2) telephone contacts, and (3) kiosk reporting.
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Frequency of Contact

  • The evidence in support of the effect of the frequency of contact on recidivism is inconclusive.
  • Contacts between officer and client are a vital part of evidence-based supervision.
  • The risk principle calls for increased contacts for individuals who are at higher risk of recidivism.
  • Increased contacts introduce more opportunities for intervention but also increase the level of surveillance on clients.
  • Increasing surveillance through frequency of contact can increase the number of technical violations detected.
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Collateral and Employer Contacts

  • The evidence supporting the effects of collateral (client’s family and social supports) and employer contacts on recidivism is inconclusive.
  • There are no empirical evaluations that isolate the effectiveness of collateral and employer contacts.
  • Collateral and employer contacts are generally highly valued aspects of an officer’s fieldwork.
  • Positive encounters between officer and client in the community can build rapport.
  • Rapport built through collateral contacts has been shown to increase the likelihood that the family member, close friend, or service provider will contact the officer when concerned about the client.
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Drug Testing

  • Drug testing on its own or coupled with sanctions is not an evidence-based practice.
    • It has no impact on recidivism.
  • Evidence exists that providing incentives for obtaining negative drug test results is effective.
  • Drug testing can help determine whether a client has substance-use issues.
  • Increased levels of drug testing may lead to increased technical violations.
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Electronic Monitoring

  • The evidence of the effectiveness of electronic monitoring (EM) to reduce recidivism is inconclusive.
  • The empirical evidence is both limited and mixed.
  • Evidence shows EM can be effective when combined with other programming (e.g., substance use treatment programs).
  • The costs of EM can be a burden to the individual.
  • Wearing EM technology in public can be stigmatizing to clients.
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Financial Restrictions

  • The evidence for effects of fines, fees, and restitution on recidivism is inconclusive.
  • There is limited evidence that shows crime-reducing effects, but there is evidence of the harmful effects of fines, fees, and restitution.
  • Unpaid fines, fees, or restitution can lead to a host of negative consequences for clients, such as revocation, which make reintegration difficult.
  • Fines, fees, and restitution are monetary sanctions meant to punish, redeem, and draw revenue from individuals on supervision.
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House Arrest

  • The evidence on house arrest on recidivism is limited but promising.
  • There are few evaluations, but there is evidence that house arrest can be an effective alternative to incarceration.
  • House arrest is often combined with electronic monitoring and a curfew (see electronic monitoring statement for guidance).
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Phone-Based Monitoring

  • The evidence on phone-based monitoring on recidivism is promising.
  • Phone-based monitoring can include phones, text, emails, videoconference, etc.
  • Phone-based monitoring can be used as a replacement for or supplement to face-to-face contacts with an officer.
  • Phone-based monitoring can be used to support the positive change of a client and monitor compliance to supervision conditions.
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Restraining Orders

  • The evidence on restraining orders on recidivism is inconclusive.
  • Often restraining orders are issued in response to an abusive intimate relationship but can be issued for other domestic relationships as well (e.g., family members).
  • The empirical evidence refers to the use of restraining orders used in domestic abuse circumstances. Less is known about no-contact orders used in supervision.
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Anger Management

  • CBT-based anger management is an evidence-based practice.
  • Anger management programs that are educational or awareness building are not effective.
  • Evidence indicates that CBT-based anger management programs reduce general and violent recidivism.
  • Skills taught in anger management programs help clients build strong interpersonal relationships and comply with the conditions of supervision.
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