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Federal Probation Journal - June 1998

Federal Probation Journal (June 1998) is dedicated to informing its readers about current thought, research, and practice in corrections and criminal justice. Explore the issue.

This Issue in Brief

The Effectiveness of Coerced Treatment for Drug-Abusing Offenders

By David Farabee, Michael Prendergast, M. Douglas Anglin

Does forcing a drug abuser into treatment work? Authors David Farabee, Michael Prendergast, and M. Douglas Anglin present a survey of the substance abuse literature on the effectiveness of various levels of coercion. Their review provides support for the dictum that legally referred clients do as well or better than voluntary clients in and after treatment. The review also reveals some divergence in findings.

Monitoring Prescription Medication Use Among Substance-Abusing Offenders

By Sam Torres

Offenders’ use of prescription medications either to get high or to mask illegal drug use presents a challenge to probation officers. These drugs are prescribed by physicians and not easily within officers’ control. They can hinder treatment and long-term sobriety and abstinence. Author Sam Torres discusses this unique supervision dilemma and offers techniques to address it.

The Probation and Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System: A Review of Operations

By Federal Corrections and Supervision Division, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

About a decade ago, the need to develop a uniform data collection system for U.S. probation and pretrial services offices became very clear. The system that resulted—the Probation and Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System (PACTS)—is the subject of an article based on a report published by the Federal Corrections and Supervision Division of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The article discusses PACTS’ development, explains how post-implementation reviews were conducted to evaluate PACTS operations, and summarizes recommendations for improving PACTS.

REDUCE: The Six Aims of Financial Investigations for Probation Officers

By Arthur L. Bowker

How does the offender get money? How does he spend it? Financial investigations are one tool probation officers use to answer these questions. They help officers in making appropriate sentencing recommendations to the court and in supervising offenders. Author Arthur L. Bowker defines financial investigations, explains the aims of financial investigations, and presents factors officers must consider before initiating these investigations.

The Failure of Correctional Management: Rhetoric Versus the Reality of Leadership

By Alvin W. Cohn

All managers are not leaders, and all leaders are not managers. In measuring the success of any organization— correctional organizations included—it is important to distinguish between management and leadership. Author Alvin W. Cohn tells how leaders are different from managers. He discusses leadership traits, behavioral dimensions of leadership, and leadership style and training.

Changing Lives Through Literature

By Lawrence T. Jablecki

“Go to school and read books or go to jail” sums up a unique sentencing option for repeat criminal offenders in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Lawrence T. Jablecki, in his speech to the Houston Philosophical Society, described the innovative “Changing Lives Through Literature” program, which requires participants to read and discuss literary masterpieces. The text of his speech is presented here. In it, he discusses the origins and outcomes of the program and explains how it was imported to Texas.

Creating a Probation Automated Recording System: Issues and Considerations

By G. Frederick Allen

Even though some aspects of probation work can be made simpler with help from automation, probation has been slow to use automation to its full potential. Author G. Frederick Allen discusses some of the issues and considerations in using automation technology in probation and describes how the U.S. probation office in the Northern District of Illinois successfully implemented a new automated chronological recording system. The article suggests a model for successful automation initiatives in human services organizations.

Strength-Based Practice: The ABC’s of Working With Adolescents Who Don’t Want to Work With You

By Michael D. Clark

Resistance and lack of cooperation often “come with the territory” in working with juveniles. Sometimes the practitioner’s approach compounds the difficulties. Author Michael D. Clark examines strength based practice, an approach to working with youths that focuses on their strengths and competencies rather than their problems. The article addresses strength based work with court-mandated adolescents and outlines six principles of the approach.

Rethinking the Assumptions About Boot Camps

By Dale Colledge, Jurg Gerber

Are all boot camps the same? Authors Dale Colledge and Jurg Gerber emphasize that they are not and caution that evaluative results of one boot camp program cannot be generalized to other boot camp programs. The authors argue that differences between facilities reflect their true emphases on five common goals of boot camps. They propose a framework to enable classification based upon programming and design, allowing evaluation of success or failure based upon true goals.

A New York City Version of Correctional Boot Camp: An Overview

By David Anthony Fullard

Author David Anthony Fullard gives an overview of a New York City-based high impact incarceration program. The article explores program fundamentals such as the paramilitary structure, intensive behavior modification, and substance abuse counseling. It also details specific methods used to encourage participants to change their compulsion toward criminal behavior.

“Looking at the Law”—Probation Officer Searches

By David N. Adair, Jr.

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