Parole Conditions: Effectively and efficiently imposing ...

Parole Conditions: Effectively and efficiently imposing ...

Imposing Conditions Driven by Evidence Based Practices CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE PUBLIC POLICY Center for Effective Public Policy, 2013 Learning Objectives I: T H E I M P O R TA N C E O F C O N D I T I O N S I I : H O W E V I D E N C E - B A S E D L I T E R AT U R E

CAN ASSIST US III: HOW MANY ARE TOO MANY CONDITIONS I V: W E L L TA I L O R E D C O N D I T I O N S V: C O N D I T I O N S A N D C A S E M A N A G E M E N T V I : W H AT A R E W E L E A R N I N G ? Introduction This presentation will focus on a variety of significant factors that are related to the nature, number, and type of release conditions that may be imposed. The impact that evidence-based research

findings could have on condition setting will also be discussed. Part I: The Importance of Conditions Placing conditions on offenders is one of the most fundamental things that releasing authorities may do. Conditions set by releasing authorities create an intended roadmap for future actions by the offender and the parole officer.

Imposing Conditions Boards have great latitude to determine the number or type of conditions that will be imposed. Legally cannot impose conditions that are illegal, immoral, or impossible to perform. Beyond that, great flexibility. Most offenders will violate one or more of their conditions during supervision. Field staff must respond to these violations. The Board/staff/parole officers must make decisions regarding the disposition of

violations. Time to Re-think Conditions For nearly twenty-five years we have been talking about the importance of responding appropriately and effectively to violations. That assumes that all the conditions imposed are appropriate and we need to respond effectively when violations of conditions occur. Perhaps we should put equal energy into the

question of what types of conditions should be set. Progress in Other Key Areas Other important things that release authorities do have received a great deal of attention over the past 25 years: The use of risk/needs assessment tools

The development of structured decision making guidelines The use of violation decision making guidelines Time to Broadly Reflect on the Imposition of Conditions With other important parole topics we might start with an examination of your broad goals as a parole board, and then focus on your objectives in a particular area. What are your broad goals regarding conditions? And how does imposing conditions help you

to achieve those goals? Goals What are some of the goals that you have in mind when conditions are imposed? Public safety Punishment Rehabilitation Incapacitation Restoration Promote offender success? Ease public concerns?

We get so good at doing things but we should stop sometimes and ask why we do it. Promoting Offender Success Many parole boards have expressed interest in:

promoting public safety reducing victimization encouraging appropriate treatment and programming to help foster behavior change establishing effective transition and reentry plans Much of this involves promoting offender success. Promoting Success If the offender truly succeeds in obeying the law, not victimizing others, meeting

responsibilities, and being a positive force rather than a drain on his or her friends, family, and community, then it is a success for everyone. The Big Picture The need for and value of each condition should be carefully considered. Creating numerous conditions creates more opportunities for the offender to fail while under supervision (for example, intensive supervision, or participating in treatment programs when they are not necessarily

indicated as a criminogenic need). When imposing conditions, consider the purpose, length, priority, and interrelationship of individual conditions. Collectively, do the conditions create a roadmap for success or a recipe for failure? Interesting Thought: Promoting Failure If we wanted our corrections and parole systems to help promote more failure actually try and encourage or promote offender failure how would they operate?

What would our conditions setting look like? Promoting Failure Overload the offender with multiple conditions that are each difficult to achieve and may not be necessary based on offender risk and need. Require the offender to be in multiple places or engaged in multiple and difficult tasks at the same time. Require offenders who have few resources to pay a good deal of money. Create conditions that are unrelated to the offenders issues or needs thus discouraging the

person. Catch offenders when they fail. Back on Track Assuming we dont want failure, then the question becomes: How can imposing conditions help us to promote more offender success? How are we Doing Now Regarding Offender Success? For parolees nationally, about half (52%)

successfully complete supervision and about half fail. This has been fairly constant for some time. For those parolees returned to prison, onethird were returned for committing a new crime, and two-thirds for violating their conditions. Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012 Some Revocation Information Revocations have been the fastest growing category of prison admissions. Parole violators account for 35% of new prison

admissions, as compared to 17% in 1980. Sources: USDOJ, BJS, 2002, 2006. Jails Approximately 12 million individuals are received and released from jails each year, representing about 9 million different individuals. On any given day, nearly half of U.S. jails house probation violators (34% of detainees) or parole violators (13% of detainees). Source: Allen Beck, BJS; cited in the Urban Institutes Jail Reentry

Roundtable Initiative, June, 2006. Definitions Effective: Producing or capable of producing an intended result. To know whether or not you are being effective, you have to know what you are trying to accomplish, and how you are progressing toward meeting this goal. Definitions Efficient: Performing or functioning in the

best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort. The conditions imposed have an impact on people (offender, supervision staff, others) and resources (programs, services, etc.). To be efficient, we need to make the best use of time and resources. Effective, Efficient Conditions From an objective perspective, we could look at conditions from two dimensions

Effective: Will imposing particular conditions help us to achieve specific objectives in this case? Which objectives will it serve? Will it detrimentally impact our ability to achieve other objectives?

Do these conditions make offender success more likely? Efficient: Will imposing particular conditions in specific cases represent the best use of resources? Is it the best use of program slots? Best use of field supervision time? Part II: How can Evidence-Based literature assist us? Lets assume that we want to promote

more offender success, and believe that conditions can play some role in helping us do so. How can we use evidence-based approaches and information to inform our condition setting practices? What Does Evidence-Based Mean? An evidence-based approach means that we are empirically informed we are using research to guide our methods and practices. In the criminal justice world, evidence-based

discussions are often focused on risk reduction methods with the goal of reducing recidivism But in a broader sense evidence-based simply means that we are effectively using sound information to guide our practice. Source: Evidence Based Policy, Practice and Decision Making: Implications for Paroling Authorities. Center for Effective Public Policy, 2011. EBP: A Practical Definition Evidence-Based Practices: A progressive, organizational use of direct, current scientific evidence to guide and inform efficient and effective correctional services.

Consider an example from the medical field: 1836: bloodletting was routine French physician Pierre Louis: one of first clinical trials in medicine Found bloodletting was linked to far more deaths What Doesnt Work Imposing conditions without a sound basis Imposing conditions without regard to

offender risks or needs Imposing high end programs on low risk offenders Imposing an overwhelming number of conditions Imposing conditions that cannot be accomplished Condition setting and EBP: Three Broad Considerations

1) The sheer number of standard and special conditions imposed 2) Whether the conditions created are well tailored to the individual 3) Whether the conditions imposed are helping us engage in effective case management On Whom are we Imposing Conditions? Offenders often: Are weak on critical life skills Have a variety of anti-social values/attitudes Lack a history of success with jobs, education,

relationships, etc. Are not particularly good at following rules Have a substance abuse issue Have housing, job, and other immediate reentry problems Part III: How Many Conditions? Fo r s t a r t e r s , w h y d o w e i m p o s e c o n d i t i o n s at all? I n t h e e a r l i e s t u s es of p a r o l e ( w h i c h comes from the French to promise) t h e r e w as o n e c o n d i t i o n . Do n t t ak e u p

a r m s a g a i n s t u s ag a i n . I n t h e c r i m i n al j u s t i c e c o n t ex t, w e h a v e t ak e n t o t h e i d ea o f m e et i n g m a n y o b j ec ti v es a n d c u r i n g m a n y i l l s b y i m p o s i n g n u m er o u s conditions. Standard/General and Special/Extra Conditions Standard conditions are imposed in all cases every time a person is granted a parole/release. The number imposed varies by jurisdiction. It might be as few as five or as many as twenty or more. Special conditions are additionally imposed in

a particular case. These conditions create extra requirements or prohibitions for the offender. In some states, the total of standard and special conditions can be in the 30s or higher. Reasons for Imposing Conditions There might be any number of issues that you are trying to address through conditions:

Define boundaries of acceptable behavior Require certain actions that might aid rehabilitation Put offenders on notice about certain requirements Impose additional controls on movement Require restitution or encourage restoration Establish critical reentry/transition objectives Your jurisdiction Which of these issues or expectations might be addressed by some of your standard

conditions? What issues might you be trying to address through your special conditions? Where do Conditions Come From? In some jurisdictions, there are conditions that must be imposed because of the language in a statute or regulation. In others, agency policies might require some particular conditions. In some states, conditions are generated by computers or staff based on some

information in the file or gathered during interviews. The rest are created by parole board members. How do Board Members Decide the Conditions to Impose? In your jurisdiction, why are certain conditions routinely imposed? And how do conditions get imposed? Is it:

During a hearing During a case file review Is it done in isolation How are your conditions conveyed to other members? Is there discussion about conditions? How Many Conditions Can One Person Comply with at One Time? Although about one-half of the individuals on parole ultimately succeed, many of the

successful cases have violations or compliance issues at some time during their parole period. And some violations are deemed too minor to warrant much of a response by field staff. Based on that, very few individuals are in complete compliance with all of their conditions all of the time. What role do conditions play in all of this? Numerous Objectives/Numerous Conditions If you expect a parolee to get a job, or go to school, then a certain amount of time has to be spent doing

that. If you expect a person to participate in a treatment program, some time must be spent doing that. If the parolee is expected to engage in community service or pro-social activities, then some time must be devoted there. In addition to the things that you expect, the parolee may have to be a parent, care-taker, or perform some other important duties. New Restrictions and Obligations The parolee might have: Remain in his/her residence during certain hours.

Avoid being in certain places or locations. Avoid contact with certain people (in addition to the victim). Pay a supervision fee. Pay restitution, court fines, or other fees. Participate in numerous programs or activities. Question: Are All of the Standard Conditions Necessary? It seems to have become customary that adding is better than taking away. Over time, and for good or well-intentioned

reasons, standard conditions might be expanded. The question to ask yourselves is: is it NECESSARY to impose to all of these conditions in EVERY case. It might seem desirable to do so for some reason but is it necessary? Few Standard Conditions in Ohio Obey the law No contact with the victim Follow the instructions of your parole officer Dont leave the State without permission Dont possess firearms or deadly weapons

Obey any special conditions Notice: You are waiving extradition by signing the conditions You are subject to warrantless searches Must pay your supervision fees Few Standard conditions in Georgia Obey the law Subject to warrantless searches No firearm or deadly weapon

Need permission to leave state/change residence Must pay fees, restitution, child support If have no job and no H.S. diploma must work on GED. Must participate in the plan created by your P.O. which includes working and being drug tested Promoting Success The sheer weight of numerous conditions might make it quite difficult for the average parolee to succeed. And offender success is

our goal. Numerous conditions may encourage the parolee to believe that he/she cannot meet all of these requirements and perhaps that contributes to the relatively high number of offenders who fail within six months of release. What do you know about the value of, or outcomes associated with, existing Part IV: Conditions Are Not Well Tailored R e l e a s e a u t h o r i t y m e m b e r s m a y h a v e a g o o d d e a l o f

information when they are making their decisions. information might include Risk/needs assessment scores Substance abuse testing scores Educational achievement information Program participation

Institutional disciplinary information Sex offender or other assessment scores Psychological/behavioral assessments This Available Special Conditions A releasing authority might require: Participation in a program prior to release Participation in a residential/community program House arrest/curfew Intensive supervision Intensive outpatient treatment Community service/restitution

Evaluation/participation in any number of community treatment programs or services Special Conditions For special conditions, the first question is: are appropriate and necessary conditions being added to a case? And view the terms appropriate and necessary in an EBP context what information, data, research, etc. suggests that this particular condition will help to promote public safety, reduce recidivism, and promote

offender success? The second question is: if the condition is appropriate/necessary, can it reasonably be complied with now? How do you Effectively Match an Offender with a Condition? Some conditions involve closer surveillance, or placement in more restrictive housing. How do you decide which offenders need this type of additional oversight? What

information, research, evidence, do you have to help you make this decision? Risk/needs assessment scores and other assessments may help to highlight specific criminogenic needs or concerns. How does this information help guide your conditions? Evidence-Based Information Put differently, how can research, data, or information help us to decide which conditions are most helpful in reducing risk (and promoting offender success) for particular offenders.

Trying to Do Everything at Once The average individual appearing before you probably has numerous problems, issues, and needs. These issues may have evolved over many years. Some of them may be criminogenic related to criminal behavior and some may be long standing issues that have simply never been resolved. How many of these substantial things can one person work on at one time?

Understanding Motivation Some of the research on Motivational Interviewing that might help motivate change in others indicates that: Motivation is changeable. Motivation can be issue specific. Motivation can be influenced by the actions of others. The ability to work on small, measureable, meaningful

changes can help reinforce change strategies. Overwhelming the Person Assuming that all of the issues, problems, needs, etc. have been appropriately identified which of them are the most important for the offender to work on at this time? Creating a laundry list of important but overwhelming expectations may simply discourage action by the offender on anything leading to non-compliance and failure. Target Higher Risk Offenders with Programmatic Conditions

The best result (lowering likelihood of recidivism) from programmatic interventions occurs when well designed and properly focused interventions are provided to higher risk offenders. These show a potential to reduce recidivism by up to 30% for higher risk offenders. Providing high-end programs to lower risk offenders may INCREASE the likelihood of their failure. Source: Andrews and Bonta, 1998

Target Crime-Producing Needs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Anti-social attitudes, values, and beliefs (criminal thinking) Pro-criminal associates and isolation from prosocial associates Temperament and behavioral characteristics (e.g.,

impulsivity, risk taking, poor self-regulation) Weak problem-solving and social skills History of anti-social behavior (criminal history; especially starting at an early age and carried out in a variety of ways) Negative family factors (e.g., neglect and abuse, undisciplined environment) Lack of vocational and educational skills Substance abuse Source: Gendreau and Andrews, 1990 Matching Offenders and Programs = Responsivity Matching interventions (particular types of

programs, services) to people (who possess certain skills/circumstances). Learning style Motivation Mental health symptoms

Cognitive/intellectual functioning One size does not fit all! What Do We Know Now? What do we actually know about the outcomes, or value, of the different conditions imposed? If we do a good job of limiting our conditions

to appropriate circumstances, and necessary considerations, how do we know that the program or intervention is actually effective? No matter how beautiful the strategy we should occasionally look at the results. Winston Churchill Part V: Conditions and Case Management As mentioned earlier, conditions are the road map that guide both offender and supervision staff efforts.

Supervision staff will develop a case plan that will outline expectations and goals for the offender. The conditions imposed will be a critical factor in this case plan. Case Planning: Working Towards Goals In order to encourage a person to work towards a goal, he or she must believe that the goal is appropriate and achievable. Smaller, short-term goals may be the best way

to help a person move forward towards larger goals. Smart goals = small, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely goals. Do our existing conditions help people to move forward in meeting broader goals? Source: Marilyn Van Dieten, Orbis Partners Case Planning and EBP EBP literature suggests that some particular things can help to stimulate or generate better offender outcomes:

The use of rewards and incentives Encouraging intrinsic motivation Encouraging support in natural communities Case Planning: Enhance Intrinsic Motivation To enhance the offenders intrinsic motivation, parole supervision staff may try to:

Build on strengths of the offender Use Motivational Interviewing to identify issues, engage in problem solving approach to offender management Engage the offender in establishing goals Question: how will these goals fit in with the conditions? Conditions and Intrinsic Motivation If the conditions imposed are focused on key

criminogenic areas, then case planning efforts that encourage the offender to take actions or act differently in the future in these areas can be a key to promoting successful outcomes. Conversely, conditions that are not related to criminogenic areas or are not well focused on the issues facing the offender may detract from efforts to promote success. The Point If supervision staff must choose between

devoting their time and energy to either monitoring the offenders compliance with the terms of parole/release or working with the offender on risk reduction strategies that involve making progress in key criminogenic areas which do you think gets preference? Most likely, the conditions that were imposed. Case Planning: Use of Positive Reinforcement The most effective behavior modification results occur when a 4:1 ratio of positive to negative reinforcement is used. This represents a significant change in how

corrections and criminal justice agencies have traditionally operated and may raise a variety of organizational culture issues. Source: Domurad and Carey, 2010 Conditions and Positive Reinforcement Focusing offender and staff energy on key areas that require attention or change can help create the proper environment for the use of positive reinforcement. But again, if conditions are imposed that

appear to be less relevant, over-whelming, or unnecessary, then the offender may be less willing to put forth the necessary energy resulting in no progress and resulting in no positive reinforcement. Engage the Support of Natural Communities Studies have consistently demonstrated that offenders who maintain positive pro-social supports are more likely to be successful in the community. Maintaining strong family ties while incarcerated reduced likelihood of recidivism.

Reduced substance abuse use the result of pressure, motivation and encouragement from family members. Maintaining family relationships is key for the success of female offenders. Sources: Harrison, 1998, 1991; Holt and Miller, 1972; La Bodega de la Familia; Dowden and Andrews, 1999 Conditions and Natural Communities If engaging support of natural communities is critical to offender success, how can conditions be tailored or fashioned to help

encourage this? Prioritizing Conditions Some conditions may be particularly meaningful during the first part of supervision. The completion of some programs, activities or events may be more crucial than other issues at the time of release. Prioritizing conditions by indicating actions that must be done first, or for some initial period of time, may help with the organization of case planning activities.

Duration of a Condition How long should a condition continue to be in effect? Is a set period of time established, or is it up to field or program staff to decide? Timing The early identification of issues that need to be addressed by the inmate during his/her incarceration could play a key role in the timing of conditions. The institutional case plan (which can be

driven by objective risk assessment instruments) can impact the the selection and timing of conditions. Parole Board could impose few conditions at the time of release - and allow staff to impose/recommend conditions later. Communicating with Field Staff Supervision staff need to understand exactly what the releasing authority means, and expects, regarding compliance with conditions. Some Boards indicate in their conditions that

a single violation of a particular condition should result in a return to prison. If this is true, field staff need to understand those expectations. Conditions and Violations Violation hearings may be the only opportunity that some field staff will have to understand the Boards perspective regarding conditions. What messages are you conveying to field

staff during these hearings? What other opportunities could you create to indicate your expectations to field staff? Part VI. What are we Learning? C e r t ai n d a t a , r e s e a r c h , a n d i n fo r m a t i o n ex i s t s th a t c a n h el p t o i n fo r m c on d i ti o n setting. T h e E B P l i t e r a t u r e s u g g es t s t h at w e fo c u s o u r l i m i te d r e s o u r c es w i s e l y o n m o d er a t e o r h i g h e r r i s k c as e s , fo c u s on s i g n i fi c a n t c r i m i n o g e n i c n ee d s , a n d u s e p r o g r a m s a n d

s e r v i c e s t h a t ar e r e s p o n s i v e t o t h e individual. Effective Condition Setting Target higher risk cases use scarce resources/ interventions on this population Focus on criminogenic needs Develop a single case plan that follows the offender through the system Impose conditions that attack appropriate issues or reinforce necessary actions Encourage the use of incentives to shape behavior

Focus on cognitive behavioral interventions Offenders Fail Early Data from many states indicates that most offenders who fail on supervision fail early (within the first 6 months). The initial period of time after release is critical to offender success. Reentry and transition efforts that try to help the offender overcome various practical problems are important. What role might conditions play in either encouraging or discouraging the offender

during this critical time? Taking Small Steps EBP and motivational interviewing literature suggests that people can change their behaviors but the change may occur in small steps little changes that help support larger changes. Conditions are often focused on big changes, or significant requirements. Perhaps imposing fewer big changes at one time (the beginning of supervision) would help encourage some key small changes during

the first six months after release. Consider Available Information Studies in MO have indicated that the inability to acquire lawful work is the factor most related to returns to prison. In GA, studies have indicated that offenders who attended vocational education programming were 17% less likely to return to prison after release than similarly situated offenders who did not participate in such programming. Sources: MDOC; GDC.

Use Information to Inform Practice Studies in MO (1998-2002) indicated that offenders who had known substance abuse needs and received treatment returned to prison at a much lower rate (4.7%) during the first year after release than those who did not receive treatment (28.3%). In GA, offenders who are placed in transitional housing units prior to release are much more likely to successfully complete supervision (more than 20%). When we dont transition offenders to lower classification levels, we can see the opposite result. In

KS, offenders who were released directly from segregation units had a return to prison rate of 80% (compared to 56% for all offenders). Taking a Fresh Look at Conditions Examining the source, and need for standard conditions can be a helpful even informative process. Trying to do a good job of matching offenders to programs means we need to learn more about the risk tools and the information they contain. We also need to have a clearer understanding

of the value or outcomes from certain programs. Conclusion Use conditions wisely - to meet your most important goals in each case. Consider the impact that conditions will have on the offenders first few months after release. Start small - you can add conditions later (or empower field staff to do this) if necessary. Understand the information that you have about current risk and needs tools, offender

failure, and existing programs in your jurisdiction. Important Work Parole decisions, and the imposition of conditions, are made by a relatively small number of people who impact hundreds of thousands of other people and millions of dollars in resources. It is complicated and important work. Give this area some attention you may be surprised by what you find and what you can do to use conditions to help you achieve your

goals. National Parole Resource Center The National Parole Resource Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, provides information and assistance to Parole Boards on a wide range of issues. Visit them at Setting appropriate conditions is one of the ten practice targets for paroling authorities endorsed by the NPRC and BJA.

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