Unit 3 Assessment Probation and Parole

BCJ 3150, Probation and Parole 1 Cou rse Learning Outcomes for Unit III Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to: 1. Analyze the probation and parole processes. 1.1 Identify the role of probation in pretrial -release supervision and decision making. 1.2 Identify the role of probation in the presentence investigation. 1.3 Identify the role of probation in the sup ervision of offenders. 4. Defend the importance of presentence investigation in the sentencing process. 4.1 Compare and contrast the use of a presentence investigation in determinate and indeterminate sentences. 4.2 Explain each part of a presentence investigation report and assess the importance of that information. 7. Analyze the role of probation and parole officers. 7.1 Explain the typical standard and special conditions of probation and how probation officers supervis e these conditions. 7.2 Compose a case study report that applies the components of a presentence -investigation report, a risk/needs assessment, the standard and special conditions of probation, and a case supervision plan for an offender profile. 7.3 Examine how probation officers identify an offender’s needs and develop a case supervision plan. Reading Assignment Chapter 4: Pretrial Supervision, Sentencing, and the Presentence Investigation Report Chapter 5: Classification and Supervision Unit Lesson Unit III is all about risk. Lots of industries evaluate for risk. For example, auto insurance companies utilize a grid to determine our insurance rates based upon our age, whether or not we are married, and if we are male or female. Premiums are higher for single males under the age of 21 because, statistically speaking, this category is at the highest risk for getting into an accident. These insurance companies use data gathered from everyone who has been in an auto accident to develop these statistics, an d we can say that their data is evidence -based. In the criminal justice system, an offender is evaluated for the risk that he or she poses to the community at every step in the process because, as we learned in Unit I, our system is driven by the get tough on crime mentality that is slowly accepting the idea that rehabilitation is still achievable, and evidence - based practices work with the appropriate offender populations. This means that the general public and the law makers expect the criminal justice sy stem to incarcerate the highest risk offenders who pose the greatest threat to community safety, while using community corrections with offenders who are at a lower risk of committing a new offense. This risk evaluation starts at the time that the defend ant is arrested. The term defendant is used here because everyone is innocent until proven guilty, so he or she is not yet an offender; however, you will notice that the term defendant is used commonly in the probation field. The judge first evaluates what type of crime a defendant committed, and if the judge makes the determination that the offender is able to be released, bond may or may not be set. Many defendants are released on their own recognizance, meaning that they do not UNIT III STUDY GUIDE Making the Decision to Release on Community Supervision and Assessing Risk BCJ 3150, Probation and Parole 2 UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title have to pay any money and instead sign their name, stating that they will appear for all future court dates because they pose a low risk of committing another offense while going through the court process, or they committed an offense that is not considered as serious (Alarid, 2015 ). For other offenders who have been accused of a serious felony offense, bond may be required, or the defendant may be required to be detained while awaiting trial (Alarid, 2015). Sometimes, as a condition of bond, a defendant may be ordered to pretrial supervision, where he or she is supervised by a probation officer with some specific conditions, like random drug testing and reporting to see the probation officer (Alarid, 2015). If the defendant fails to complete these conditions, his or her bond may be revoked, and he or she might have to post a higher bond amount or be detained while awaiting trial. Based upon this, evaluate the following examples and determine whether or not you feel the individual should be released on his or her own recognizance, b e required to post bond, or be detained? A. John Doe is 43 years old and has never been arrested for any offenses. He has a good job, has been married for 20 years, and has three children. He does a lot of volunteer work with his church and has an associate ’s degree. He has just been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. B. Jane Doe is 25 years old and has been in and out of jail since she was 19 and started dating Bobby.

Bobby introduced her to heroin, and she has been addicted since she was 2 0. She started committing retail thefts to sell the goods that she stole in order to buy drugs because she was not working and neither was Bobby. Her family has completely given up on her since she was 23 and was arrested for residential burglary. She acce pted a plea bargain for that case, was convicted of burglary, and was sentenced to three years of probation. She has violated her probation with her new charge of residential burglary. C. Jim Doe is 20 years old and comes from a well -to-do family, but instea d of completing college after high school, he started hanging around with a group of friends that used drugs and committed random acts of vandalism, such as driving down neighborhood streets at night hitting mailboxes with baseball bats. On their latest cr ime spree, he and his friends videotaped themselves spray painting vulgar language and images on the front of several vacant buildings downtown. They posted this video to YouTube, and they were quickly apprehended. This is Jim’s second arrest, the first be ing for a misdemeanor criminal damage to property two years ago. Once a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty at trial, he or she will be sentenced. If an offender is a first - time offender, he or she may be granted the ability to participate in a di version agreement (Alarid, 2015). This means that the offender will have certain standard and special conditions of supervision to abide by while being supervised in the community, and if the offender completes those conditions and does not commit another offense, the conviction will not be entered onto his or her criminal record (Alarid, 2015). Many other offenders will be sentenced to a period of incarceration or community corrections, and the length of the sentence will depend upon whether or not the off ender lives in a determinate or indeterminate sentencing state and upon what type of crime the offender committed. For example, an offender convicted of a felony possession of a controlled substance charge in a determinate sentencing state may be sentenced to two years of probation or one year in prison, while the same offender convicted in an indeterminate sentencing state might be sentenced to 18 months to two years of probation or one to two years in prison. An important part of the sentencing decision for a judge, aside from the mandatory sentencing guidelines set forth by his or her state’s laws, is the content of the presentence investigation report, which is prepared in most felony cases after an offender has pleaded guilty or been found guilty at t rial (Alarid, 2015). This report, completed by a probation officer, includes the offender’s criminal history, history of education, employment, participation in substance abuse or mental health programs along with any diagnoses, family life, financial situ ation, and a victim impact statement (if applicable) (Alarid, 2015). The probation officer will then include any recommendations for sentencing, and due to the increased use of evidence -based practices in sentencing, the probation officer will also typical ly include the results of a risk/needs assessment, which is usually a Level of Service Inventory –Revised (LSI -R) score. The LSI -R is an assessment tool that was developed in Canada and takes into account ten areas of potential risk for an offender (Alarid, 2015). The higher an offender’s score, the greater the risk the offender poses to the community and the greater the risk that the offender will commit a new offense. The probation officer then uses the high -scoring areas of this tool to make recommendatio ns to the judge about what types of interventions should be utilized in the community or in the correctional setting with the offender to lower risk and make recommendations to the judge about what types of special conditions of probation should be imposed upon the offender. For example, an offender BCJ 3150, Probation and Parole 3 UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title scoring high in the area of substance use would be recommended to a special condition of substance -abuse treatment. If an offender is not placed on probation and is instead sent to the department of corrections, this presentence investigation report is used by the correctional facility to determine what security level facility the offender should be housed in and what correctional programming the offender would be appropriate for, and then the parole officer will use this same presentence investigation report to refer the offender to appropriate programs in the community (Alarid, 2015). If the offender is placed on probation, the probation officer will conduct a risk assessment to evaluate the offender’s dynamic and static risk factors, along with the offender’s needs, as the administration of probation in most states follows the risk/need/responsivity principle that you learned about in Unit I. Dynamic risk factors are those that can change over time, such as an offender’s substance use or association with a negative criminal -peer group (Alarid, 2015). Static risk factors are ones that cannot change, like the offender’s previous criminal history or history of mental health issues (Alarid, 2015). Once the probatio n officer identifies the risk of the offender, he or she is assigned a supervision/risk level. This level allows the probation officer to effectively and efficiently monitor his or her caseload. Those offenders who are at low risk to reoffend based upon th is assessment are seen less often by the probation officer, and may even earn the ability to check in with the probation officer via phone, email, or electronic kiosk. Evidence has shown that low -risk offenders will complete their probation conditions with out needing much supervision from the probation officer because the simple act of being put on probation is enough to deter them from committing another offense and not being in compliance with their probation terms. Evidence has also shown that if net -wid ening is used with low -risk offenders, and they are given too much supervision and intervention, they will actually recidivate, or commit a new crime, at higher rates. We as a criminal justice system can actually cause more offenders to commit more crimes by giving them too much attention! Moderate to high -risk offenders will be evaluated by the probation officer for the needs that ne ed to be met in order to address the risk factors that are contributing to their criminal behavior (Alarid, 2015). Once the probation officer identifies the needs of the of fender, he or she will develop a case supervision plan with the offender to address those needs (Alarid, 2015). It is crucial to involve the offender in the development of the case supervision plan because th is not only allows the probation officer to assess the offender’s readiness to change his or her behavior, but it also personally invests the offender in the probation process. Think about it like this — if someone gave you two things to do and told you wher e you were going to go to do them, when, how, and in what order, would you be as willing to do them? What about if someone gave you two things to do, and then let you pick when, how, where, and in what order you felt they needed to be accomplished?

Being g iven options and partial control in the process would give one a feeling of some autonomy rather than a feeling of being controlled. Investing the offender in the probation process also helps the offender learn how to problem -solve and set goals, and it in creases the offender’s self -esteem when he or she achieves goals that he or she has set for him - or herself. After the probation officer develops a case supervision plan with the offender, the offender is referred to the appropriate services and interventions to address the identified needs, and again evidence -based practices are used because the offender has to participate in programs and interventions that have been proven to be effective with that type of offender population (Alarid, 2015). For example, it has been proven that early - intervention education programs for offenders are completely ineffective for even casual substance users in decreasing and eliminating use. However, many of these programs still exist, and it is the probation officer ’s responsibility to know not to refer an offender to one of these programs. Instead, the offender should be referred to a substance abuse treatment program that will perform a specific assessment for substance use to accurately place the offender in a tre atment program. Many times the probation officer will rely on a state or national database, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website ( http://www.samhsa.gov/treatm ent ) to find evidence -based programs. The probation officer will also utilize evidence -based styles of interviewing, like motivational interviewing and cognitive –behavioral therapy, and talking with the offender in order to continue to facilitate change an d hopefully reduce recidivism. As you read this unit, look at the ways in which probation officers are working with offenders and compare them to the various models of supervision that were discussed in Unit II. Can you see evidence of the historical dev elopment of probation in the current methodology? How does the current administration of probation compare with the functions of probation that were discussed in Unit II? Do you think probation today is meeting its goals, and where can it continue to impro ve? How is probation meeting the goals of corrections, which are rehabilitation, incapacitation, punishment, deterrence, and restitution? Also, take some time to review the PowerPoints on motivational interviewing and Thinking For A Change, along with the articles on motivational interviewing. Both have become standard in the fields of probation and parole, and Thinking For BCJ 3150, Probation and Parole 4 UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title A Change is even utilized in the correctional setting with offenders who have been identified to have a need to learn problem -solving s kills, social skills, and improve the way they think about situations. Reference Alarid, L. F. (2015). Community -based corrections (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. Suggested Reading The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) offers a curriculum package on their website that is geared toward helping offenders change their behavior. National Institute of Corrections. (2012). Thinking for a change 3.1. Retrieved from http://static.nicic.gov/Library/025057/default.html The following arti cle discusses the concept of motivational interviewing and addresses eight reasons for using this approach in the probation setting. Clark, M. D., W alters, S., Gingerich, R., & Meltzer, M. (2006). Motivational interviewing for probation officers: Tipping the balance toward change. Federal Probation , 70 (1), 38 -44. Retrieved from http://www.motivationalinterviewing.org/sites/default/files/clarktipping.pdf The following article discusses the risk -need -responsivity (RNR) model. In order to access the resource below, you must first access the ProQuest Criminal Justice database within the CSU Online Library. Bourgon, G., & Bonta, J. (2014). Reconsidering the responsivity principle: A way to move forward. Federal Probation, 78 (2), 3 -11. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/criminaljusticeperiodicals/docview/1618956463/fulltextPDF/EC57642D2F8 45BDPQ/2?accountid=33337 Learning Activities (Non -Graded) The concept of motivational interviewing (MI) was developed in the early 1990s by Miller and Rollnick , substance abuse counselors who recognized that there are different stages of change present in recovery, and it is the counselor’s job to help clients recognize the stage of change that they are in and help them move progressively into positive stages of change that will support their recovery. Motivational Interviewing is used today, not only in probation and parole, but also in the fields of healthcare, substance -abuse counseling, and many other fields that utilize the cognitive -behavioral approach in w orking with clients. It is considered an evidence -based practice and a standard that is used in probation and parole when working with offenders. After reviewing the article in your supplementary reading on MI and the PowerPoint below, especially the examp le videos on motivational interviewing, think about how a probation or parole officer would use these skills with an individual who is struggling with changing his or her criminal thinking or behavior. The second PowerPoint presentation outlines the Thinki ng For A Change program, and a link to the entire curriculum can also be found in your suggested reading. This program is utilized not only in community -based corrections, but also in jails, prisons, and juvenile detention facilities and is designed to tea ch offenders what most of us would consider common sense skills, but these skills have been lacking in the offenders’ lives. Correctional officers, probation and parole officers, and youth counselors can be taught how to facilitate this program in a week -long training course, which is beneficial for the offenders because there will never be a shortage of facilitators to run the programs, and it is beneficial for departments’ budgets because they do not have to pay an additional counselor or social worker to facilitate the program. The skills learned in the Thinking For A Change program can then be reinforced by probation and parole officers throughout the course of supervision. BCJ 3150, Probation and Parole 5 UNIT x STUDY GUIDE Title Review the following two PowerPoint presentations: 1. Click here to access a PowerPoint covering motivational interviewing. Click here to access a PDF version of this presentation. 2. Click here to access a PowerPoint covering T4C. Click here to access a PDF version of this prese ntation. Non -graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.