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What are typical ways the practices are used?

Appropriateness Statement Outline

Overview of how the practice is typically used.

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Types of Contacts

  • Contacts are used to check in on clients, ensure they are in compliance with supervision conditions, discuss issues they are experiencing, work on cognitive-behavioral interventions, collect probation fees, and more.
    • During contacts, clients often answer standard questions about their activities and compliance with supervision conditions.
    • Remote contacts like telephone or kiosk reporting may have the client use a biometric identification process (like a handprint of fingerprint scan) to confirm their identity.
  • Kiosks may have a space for clients to pay probation fees.
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Frequency of Contact

  • Agency policy typically decides the frequency of contact.
  • Officers should use the results of a validated risk-needs assessment to determine how often they should regularly meet based on the level of risk and need of their client.
  • Typically, weekly contacts are recommended for the clients with the highest risk/need profiles.
    • Clients with high levels of non-criminogenic needs (i.e., housing, clothing, or food) may also require more frequent contact to assist in stabilizing their living situation.
  • The standard frequency of contact for clients with moderate risk/need profiles is monthly.
    • Many low-risk clients are placed on monthly contact at the outset to allow the officer to build rapport with them and ensure they start on the right track.
  • Quarterly contacts (once every three months) are typically reserved for low-risk clients who have established a track record of compliant behavior; these contacts are generally not face-to-face.
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Collateral and Employer Contacts

  • Collateral contacts
    • Family contacts happen most often over the phone or during home visits.
      • During a home visit, contact information can be exchanged, and the officer can introduce themselves as a resource for the family member.
      • Officers should develop rapport with the family or social support through the mutual goal of the client’s success.
    • Relationships with social workers, case managers, or treatment counselors are important to remain up-to-date on a client’s progress in programming.
      • Contacts with caseworkers or social workers can be done by phone or through in-person meetings with all three parties (officer, caseworker, and client) present.
  • Employer contacts
    • Employer contacts can be conducted over the phone or in-person at a client’s place of employment.
    • Employer contacts have the potential to jeopardize a client’s employment. This is especially true if in-person contacts are conducted in uniform with bulletproof vest and gun.
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Drug Testing

  • Drug testing is most often done through urinalysis (a chemical test of the client’s urine), although other methods (i.e., hair testing, breathalyzer for alcohol) may be used.
    • Urinalysis often requires that officers monitor the client while they urinate to ensure that the client does not provide “clean” urine (urine from another individual who has not used drugs recently) or otherwise tamper with the sample.
    • Some publicly available products may be used by clients to detox (remove traces of drugs) or dilute (reduce the amount of drug residue in the client, allowing them to provide a negative test sooner).
  • Drug testing can be done randomly (the client is not told they will be drug tested before receiving the test during a probation office visit) or on a set schedule, such as weekly or biweekly.
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Electronic Monitoring

  • EM is typically used either to replace incarceration as a graduated sanction or to modify a sentence for greater monitoring.
  • If an officer thinks a client needs more oversight, the officer should work with the court to authorize the addition of EM.
  • Types of electronic monitoring include:
    • home unit – client wears a transmitter (e.g., ankle monitor) that sends an alert if the client leaves a physical location or travels outside the monitor’s range
    • passive GPS tracking – transmits the physical location of an individual; can be available through a smartphone
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Financial Restrictions

  • Fines are used as a punishment for criminal behavior.
  • Fees are used to generate revenue or cover required services.
  • Restitution is designed to be a restorative act that allows the individual to accept accountability for their crime.
  • Fines, fees, and restitution are imposed by the court. As such, supervision officers often have no power to control them.
  • Supervision departments impose fees on clients for the purposes of revenue generation.
  • Often a client’s readiness to be discharged from supervision is tied to their payment of supervision fees. A client may have their supervision extended for an inability to pay their fees.
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House Arrest

  • House arrest is a sanction for clients who have a stable address and whose presence there does not pose a danger to themselves or others.
    • An agency’s perspective on violent behavior may determine the use of house arrest.
  • House arrest orders can be accompanied by electronic monitoring as the way of verifying the client’s location.
  • Types of electronic monitoring include:
    • home unit – client wears a transmitter (ankle bracelet) that will alert the probation office if the client leaves home or travels out of range of the home monitor
    • passive GPS tracking – through client’s cell phone, monitors client’s movement throughout the day and transmits information to the probation office
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Phone-Based Monitoring

  • Voice recognition telephone monitoring
    • clients call in once a week (or some frequency) to an automated system
    • clients may complete a series of short interview questions once a month during the randomly selected call
    • typically reserved for low-risk clients
    • allows officer to reallocate their time and energy to higher risk clients per the risk principle
  • Smartphone technology
    • text messages
      • can be used for a variety of purposes, including sending reminders for appointments, giving a client access to their officer between visits, providing positive reinforcement, providing brief surveys, allowing check-ins between visits, and providing information (i.e., programs, jobs)
    • GPS technology
      • smartphone GPS can be used as a replacement for more intrusive and potentially stigmatizing versions of GPS technology (i.e., ankle bracelet)
      • can also be used to offer warnings to clients when they are getting close to areas that are triggers (environmental)
    • Applications
      • smartphone applications exist which provide support (i.e., self-help, mental health, substance abuse) for clients
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Restraining Orders

  • A no-contact order with victims is often issued as a standard supervision condition.
    • Officers often have no say in this process.
  • Restraining orders, which are processed more quickly and with lower standards of proof than criminal prosecutions, are cost-effective legal actions available to victims.
  • The purpose of restraining orders is to provide immediate relief and protection for abuse victims.
  • Restraining orders may include the following restrictions:
    • physical contact
    • telephone contact
    • distance maintained from victim’s residence or place of employment
    • the type, frequency, and duration of any contact that is allowed
  • Restraining orders may also include conditions of mental health counseling or substance abuse assessment/treatment.
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Anger Management

  • Anger management uses cognitive restructuring (changing thought patterns) to help clients recognize emotions, angry thought patterns and their triggers, identify the potential consequences of an angry or violent reaction, use cognitive skills to redirect or stop escalation of negative thoughts leading to violence, and cope with anger without resorting to violence.
  • Anger management also teaches clients to create plans for how they will respond to potential triggers of anger in a nonviolent way.
  • Clients who have engaged in violent crimes or whose crimes are motivated by uncontrolled anger (for example, some forms of property destruction) may be ordered to complete an anger management program.
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