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Ten-Step Guide to Transforming Probation Departments to Reduce Recidivism

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2011
72 pages
This guide outlines 10 steps to help probation officials refocus toward reducing crime and re-offense rates among probationers.
This 10 step guide provides a blueprint for implementing the principles of recidivism reduction, from effective assessments to revised personnel management practices. This action play is presented in three phases: 1) setting an agenda for change; 2) redesigning the department's policies and practices; and 3) implementing procedures to ensure quality and monitor progress. The 10 steps are not all meant to function as a sequence of events. Each of the steps described in this guide must be in place and well integrated to create a major cultural and philosophical shift in the agency. They should be overseen by a committee-subcommittee structure that fosters buy-in from department staff as well as collaboration with key stakeholder agencies and community partners. The virtues of this committee-subcommittee structure are numerous; in particular, they allow the department to pursue the 10 steps concurrently, rather than sequentially. This will allow the department to make progress and to realize success more quickly. To help agencies assess their progress, a checklist of key activities is at the end of each step. The guide also provides a resource section that relates to the topics in each step, and includes appendices with sample documents from a probation department that underwent a transformation similar to what is described in this guide. Appendixes

Date Published: August 1, 2011