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What are the practices?

Appropriateness Statement Outline

In-depth summary of the practice and the evidence for/against it.

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Types of Contacts

There are three types of contacts typically used in community supervision:

  • In-person/face-to-face contacts require the client to visit the probation office to meet with their PO.
  • Telephone contacts require the client to contact the PO, respond to calls/messages from the PO, or use an automated smartphone application to check in.
  • Kiosk reporting requires the client to visit a kiosk (often located in courthouses, probation offices, or police stations) to check in.
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Frequency of Contact

  • Evidence-based supervision calls for regular meetings between officer and client as a part of effective case management and supervision.
  • These contacts can come in many types (see types of contact statement for more information) and can occur with varying frequency (i.e., weekly, monthly, quarterly).
  • The risk principle within the RNR model calls for greater intervention for higher-risk clients and less intervention for low-risk clients.
  • More frequent contacts with their client gives officers more opportunity to gather information about the client’s life, build trust, ensure compliance to supervision conditions, and conduct cognitive-behavioral interventions with them.
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Collateral and Employer Contacts

  • Fieldwork is a surveillance mechanism that helps verify a client’s compliance with their programming and supervision conditions. It can include home visits, collateral contacts, and employer contacts.
  • Collateral contacts occur when an officer contacts and collects information from a client’s family and/or other social supports. This can include family, friends, caseworkers, social workers, etc.
  • Employer contacts occur when an officer makes contact (phone call, email, in-person) with a client’s employer or with the client at work
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Drug Testing

  • Drug testing is a practice where POs test the client to determine whether they have taken drugs within a certain period.
    • The amount of time that drug residue remains in a client’s system varies by the type of drug ingested, up to 14 days for men and 30 days for women.
  • Drug tests can be either positive (the client has drugs in their system) or negative (the client does not have drugs in their system).
  • Depending on the type of test, drug tests are not always accurate.
    • They can provide false positives or false negatives.
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Electronic Monitoring

  • EM is a generic term for electronic surveillance. It encompasses a variety of strategies such as radio frequency electronic monitoring, GPS (global position satellite) tracking devices, and voice recognition.
  • A variety of probation conditions may utilize EM for accountability purposes, including:
    • house arrest (Individuals are restricted to their house)
    • curfews (limits on when a person can be outside of their residence)
    • restraining orders (requirement that a person does not go near a home, facility, or other physical location)
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Financial Restrictions

  • Monetary sanctions are the most common form of punishment imposed by the justice system. They fulfill both symbolic and practical functions, including retribution, deterrence, restoration, and revenue generation.
  • Fines, fees, and restitution are three different forms of monetary sanctions.
  • Fines are financial punishments assessed by a judge upon conviction for any level of offense.
  • Fees can be imposed on clients by courts or service agencies to recoup costs such as drug testing, treatment, probation services, etc.
  • Restitution is intended to compensate victims for crime-related costs such as damage to property, medical expenses, or others. There are two forms:
    • Direct Restitution is paid to the victim for some quantifiable harm.
    • Indirect Restitution is paid to the state for disbursement to victims who apply for compensation.
  • Although restitution is meant as a symbol of accountability on the part of the client toward the victim, victims often do not receive these funds.
    • Victims often must apply for restitution, which can be an onerous process.
    • Often if the victim has a criminal record, they are not eligible for restitution.
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House Arrest

  • House arrest is a punishment aimed at reducing opportunities for criminal behavior by restricting movement.
  • House arrest can be used as a direct punishment or graduated sanction. There are typically two types:
    • curfew – the probation agency defines hours when the client can and cannot leave their home
    • direct home incarceration – the client can only leave their home for court-approved activities (i.e., employment, religious services, food shopping, etc.)
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Phone-Based Monitoring

  • Phone-based monitoring occurs whenever an officer uses cell phone technology to carry out the objectives (rehabilitative or law enforcement) of supervision.
  • Phone-based monitoring can take many different forms.
    • Voice recognition telephone monitoring can be a replacement for monthly face-to-face meetings with officers.
    • Various smartphone functions can be (re)purposed for use in supervision, including:
      • text messages
      • GPS technology
      • applications (i.e., apps)
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Restraining Orders

  • Restraining orders are a form of legal protection that prohibits abusers from having contact (physical or communication) with victims. They can come in the form of temporary restraining orders (TROs) or permanent restraining orders (PROs).
    • TROs are protective orders that last for short periods (weeks/months).
    • PROs are protective orders that last for more extended periods (years).
  • The total length of time a restraining order can last depends on local and state laws.
  • Victims of domestic abuse can file for restraining orders against their abusers without having to wait for the traditional criminal justice processes to occur.
  • No-contact orders have the same effect as a restraining order, but they are issued by the courts or by supervision departments rather than being requested by victims.
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Anger Management

  • Anger management is a therapeutic treatment program that aims to help clients manage anger and change hostile attitudes without engaging in violent behavior.
  • Anger, aggression, and hostility are different:1
    • Aggression is behavior that is intended to cause harm to another person or damage property (can include verbal abuse, threats, or violent acts).
    • Anger is an emotion which does not necessarily lead to aggression.
    • Hostility is an attitude that involves disliking others and evaluating them negatively; it can lead to aggressive behaviors.
  • Clients (like everyone) may experience anger. Effective anger management programming is about managing angry feelings without engaging in aggression.
  • Effective anger management is grounded in the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (see CBT Appropriateness Statement).
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