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Federal Probation Journal - December 2014

Federal Probation Journal (December 2014) is dedicated to informing its readers about current thought, research, and practice in corrections and criminal justice. Explore the issue.

This Issue in Brief

Driving Evidence-Based Supervision to the Next Level: Utilizing PCRA, “Drivers,” and Effective Supervision Techniques

By Melissa Alexander, Bradley Whitley, Christopher Bersch

The authors outline what they see as the untapped potential of the Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA) as a basis for effective supervision, including what they term the potential “drivers” of the risk factors captured by the PCRA. They also provide examples of interventions officers use to address the drivers, and discuss ways supervisors can encourage officers to apply the risk assessment to their daily supervision tasks. 

A Descriptive Analysis of Pretrial Services at a Single-Jurisdictional Level

By Keith Cooprider

The author uses a retrospective, single-jurisdictional study to describe some of the more significant patterns of change over time in the operations of the Pretrial Services Program in Lake County, Illinois, from 1986 through 2012. The findings reveal that some of the trends and practices are consistent with legal and evidence-based practices and NAPSA standards, while other trends and patterns somewhat contradict best practices. The study suggests that pretrial practitioners need to keep in mind the basic principles of pretrial justice as their programs grow and develop. 

Technical Revocations of Probation in One Jurisdiction: Uncovering the Hidden Realities

By Kelli Stevens-Martin, Olusegun Oyewole, Cynthia Hipolito

The authors examined felony technical revocations of adult probation offenders in an urban county jurisdiction to identify common technical violations of supervision, responses to violations, predictors of successful completion of supervision, sentences received upon revocation, supervision on specialized caseloads, and other factors not commonly considered in this type of empirical investigation. 

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: How Probation Officers Make Decisions

By Anjali Nandi

Using in-depth interviews with probation officers in a Mountain-West judicial district, the author examines the way probation officers make case decisions about their clients, concluding that while officers are trained to use actuarial tools, they seem to be putting them aside in favor of a more clinical approach to their work. The author presents implications and offers recommendations for future training and policy decisions. 

Approaching the 90th Anniversary of the Federal Probation System The Federal Probation System: The Struggle to Achieve It and Its First 25 Years

By Victor H. Evjen

A history of the federal probation system’s inception and first 25 years, originally published in the June 1975 issue of Federal Probation

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