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Federal Probation Journal - June 2001

Federal Probation Journal (June 2001) is dedicated to informing its readers about current thought, research, and practice in corrections and criminal justice. Explore the issue.

This Issue in Brief

We wish to alert readers to an upcoming change in our publishing schedule. Beginning this Fall, we are inaugurating a third yearly issue of Federal Probation. June and December will be reserved for assorted topics associated with corrections and criminal justice. The new issue will feature articles on a special theme. The September 2001 number will be devoted to Technology and Criminal Justice.

Readers of this June issue will note Scott Ballock’s contribution to a new occasional column, “A View from the Field.” Many of those working in probation and pretrial services find this a time of rethinking, retooling, and redesigning what they are doing and what they hope to accomplish. We hope to encourage this important conversation by publishing thoughtful analyses, written by those active in probation and pretrial services, of where we are and where we should be heading.

When Prisoners Return to Communities

By Joan Petersilia

Nearly 600,000 inmates arrive on the doorsteps of communities throughout the country each year, released from state and federal prisons and secure juvenile facilities. The issue of how to deal with “prisoner reentry” into the community is becoming a hot one, due to the cumulative impact of these hitherto-unprecedented numbers, following upon years of huge incarceration rates. Author Joan Petersilia points out the complicated parole supervision issues raised by this situation, especially when it is compounded by reduced money for rehabilitation programs that might help offenders stay out of prison.

The Homeless Pretrial Release Project

By Alissa Riker, Ursula Castellano

One of the most expensive accommodations a municipality can provide for its citizens is a jail bed. Yet, cities across the country, overwhelmed by the complexities of homelessness, have increasingly turned to urban jails as a primary intervention. The authors describe the Homeless Release Project in San Francisco, a program offering pretrial supervision to homeless misdemeanants arrested on bench warrants. Pretrial supervision is based on an intensive community-based treatment model that emphasizes building collaborative partnerships with both judicial actors and social service providers.

The Homeless Court Program: Taking the Court to the Streets

By Steven R. Binder

San Diego’s innovative take on the problem of the homeless and the court system was inspired by a Vietnam veterans’ outreach effort to homeless veterans called Stand Down. Collaboration between homeless shelters and key players in the justice system results in hearings in local shelters, with participation in shelter programs as the terms and conditions of sentencing.

Influencing Positive Behavior Change: Increasing the Therapeutic Approach of Juvenile Courts

By Michael D. Clark

The author focuses on improving the therapeutic approach of the juvenile court personnel by learning from the results of a metaanalysis of forty years of therapy outcome studies. The research finds that the effective aspects of treatment are “transtheoretical”—that is, deriving from factors common to all therapies—and can be summarized as client factors, relationship factors, hope and expectancy, and model/technique.

Community Justice Initiatives: Issues and Challenges

By David M. Altschuler

The “community justice” movement that gained popularity in America during the 1990s is a multiform movement characterized by such programs as victim-offender mediation and reconciliation, conflict resolution, family group conferencing, circle sentencing, restitution, reparative probation, and victim services. The author clarifies goals and values underlying these diverse approaches, identifies inconsistencies and contradictions among them, and suggests points of divergence that may cast doubt on the usefulness of the term “community justice.”

Restoring Justice to the Community: A Realistic Goal?

By Susan Sarnoff

Since the 1960s, much has been done to improve the status of victims in the criminal justice system, as well as to meet victims’ financial and other tangible needs caused by crime. The author explores the inherent difficulties in implementing any kind of full or consistent restorative justice model within our present criminal justice system. She reviews how restorative justice has been reflected in the criminal justice system, opposition to restorative justice, and the programmatic changes that would have to occur to realize restorative justice.

Prevention Roles for Criminal Justice Professionals

By Eric T. Assur

Traditional probation and parole services have rarely played a significant role in providing delinquency prevention services. Recently, however, community entities such as the public schools have recognized the benefit of inviting a broad range of community servants, including those in criminal justice, to assist as partners in the field of early childhood education.

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