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Federal Probation Journal - December 2000

Federal Probation Journal (December 2000) is dedicated to informing its readers about current thought, research, and practice in corrections and criminal justice. Explore the issue.

This Issue in Brief

Denial of Parole: An Inmate Perspective

By Mary West-Smith, Mark R. Pogrebin, Eric D. Poole

The bulk of parole decision-making focuses almost exclusively on the discretion exercised by parole board members and the factors that affect their decisions to grant or deny parole. The present study seeks to advance the work on parole decision-making by considering the inmate’s perspective; specifically, the viewpoint of inmates whose release on parole has been denied. Based on letters written by inmates to the Colorado parole board, we explore the nature of the problems inmates experienced.

Overview of the Federal Home Confinement Program (1988–1996)

By Darren Gowen

Over the past two decades, home confinement has gained acceptance as a credible noncustodial sanction and alternative to incarceration. This article reviews home confinement in the federal courts and presents an overview of the program based on data collected on over 17,000 program participants from 1988 through 1996.

Sober and Socially Responsible: A Two-Pronged Approach to Treating Federal Offenders

By Helen Lodge Glick

The author proposes the integration of characterological counseling/therapy with the substance abuse treatment that is mandated for federal offenders in the community. She describes the theory and practice of characterological work with offenders and suggests ways to implement this kind of programming in community agencies.

Genetic Factors and Criminal Behavior

By Jasmine A. Tehrani, Sarnoff A. Mednick

Criminal behavior results from a complex interplay of social and genetic factors. Until recently, the majority of criminological research focused solely on social contributors, either minimizing or negating the importance of genetics on criminal behavior. In the past 15 years, however, a large body of evidence has emerged suggesting that the etiology of criminal behavior may be better understood when genetic factors are also taken into account.

Training Juvenile Probation Officers: National Trends and Practice

By Frances P. Reddington, Betsy Wright Kreisel

Juvenile probation caseloads include more offenders and more serious offenders. The authors surveyed the states and the District of Columbia about juvenile probation requirements in their state. The results show a wide range of practice regarding certification, training required, and the like. With increased responsibilities placed on juvenile probation officers, the authors ask whether the training of such officers is adequate for the jobs they are required to do.

Who Lives in Super-Maximum Custody: A Washington State Study

By David Lovell, Kristin Cloyes, David Allen, Lorna Rhodes

The authors profile Intensive Management (also known as super-maximum custody) residents in Washington State prison in terms of criminal history, demographics, sentence characteristics, prison behavior, and mental health issues. They describe a variety of prison career patterns among IMU residents and consider the policy implications of their findings.

Equal or Equitable: An Exploration of Educational and Vocational Program Availability for Male and Female Offenders

By Karen F. Lahm

Existing research shows that the disparity between male and female inmates in terms of educational and vocational programming opportunities seems to be narrowing. After examining the available educational and vocational programs in over 400 United States institutions, the author finds that female inmates are being offered similar educational opportunities, though institutions for female inmates still predominantly offer training in lower-paying “women’s work.”

Probation Department Sentencing: Recommendations in Two Utah Counties

By Michael D. Norman, Robert C. Wadman

The authors analyze the sentencing recommendations in presentence investigation reports randomly selected from two counties in the State of Utah. They compare the recommended sentence with the actual judicial sentence, and also determine the degree to which the probation staff adhered to their own sentencing guideline system. Finally, they examine attitudes of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and probation/parole officers toward issues related to sentencing.

Training the Substance Abuse Specialist

By Sam Torres, Robert M. Latta

The authors describe in detail the selection and training process developed for substance abuse specialists in the Los Angeles federal probation office. Training includes both an academic component (including such topics as substance abuse philosophy, assessment, dual diagnosis, and supervising the substance abuser) and an experiential component, in which each participant supervises (with support) such caseload for three months.

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