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Federal Probation Journal - June 2017

This Issue in Brief

Conditions of Supervision in Federal Criminal Sentencing: A Review of Recent Changes 

Stephen E. Vance 

In late 2016, several changes related to the conditions of probation and supervised release in federal criminal sentencing went into effect, including revisions to the national judgment forms that list the conditions imposed by the sentencing court and changes to policy guidance for probation officers on the recommendation and implementation of conditions. In this article the author describes the developments that led to the recent review and changes, provides an overview of the review process, and summarizes the specific changes. 

Judge-Involved Supervision Programs in the Federal System: Background and Research 

Stephen E. Vance ​

This article provides a brief overview of relevant research regarding problem-solving courts to assist the courts and other stakeholders. The author describes the background and major research findings of drug courts and reentry courts in the states; reviews the major features and findings of the Federal Judicial Center’s study of federal reentry courts, and describes a series of studies of federal reentry courts in individual districts. Finally, the author discusses the recent emergence of pretrial diversion court programs in the federal system. 

Understanding Resistance in Correctional Therapy:   
Why Some Clients Don’t Do What They Should, and What to Do About It

Joseph A. DaGrossa 

Understanding and appropriately addressing resistance is an important yet frequently overlooked component of effective therapy. In this article the author categorizes reasons for resistance to correctional therapy, examining social, psychological, biological, and bio-social explanations. 

A Longitudinal Survey of Newly-Released Prisoners: 
Methods and Design of the Boston Reentry Study 

Bruce Western, Anthony Braga, Rhiana Kohl 

Recent survey studies of released prisoners suffer from high rates of non-response. The Boston Reentry Study is a small intensive longitudinal data collection from 122 men and women released from state prison to the Boston area. The study illuminates the process of relapse from prison, advances survey methodology for hard-to-reach populations, and helps describe the fluidity of householding and family relations of released prisoners. 

Fugitives from Justice: An Examination of Felony and Misdemeanor Probation 
Absconders in a Large Jurisdiction

Kelli D. Stevens-Martin, Jialiang Liu 

This study addresses the gap in the literature on felony and misdemeanor absconders by investigating the entire adult probation absconder population, both felonies and misdemeanors, in a large urban Texas jurisdiction to develop a profile of absconders. The authors seek to determine what factors, demographics and offense-related, may be associated with absconding from supervision by examining comparison groups of offenders who completed supervision successfully. 

Comparison of Recidivism Studies: AOUSC, USSC, and BJS 

James L. Johnson 

Since 2010, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) has produced annual recidivism statistics on offenders placed on probation and supervised release. Periodically, Federal Probation publishes articles that describe the most recent recidivism statistics and changes over time. Because recent reports by other federal agencies on federal recidivism conveyed different recidivism rates, the author explains the differing definitions and measures of recidivism, timespans, and other varying parameters of the three studies. 

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