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Managing Random Assignment of Swift and Certain Sanctions on Probation

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Abstract:

Convicted drug-possession offenders are rarely given straight jail time; they are typically placed on probation. This places probation departments on the front lines of the struggle to reduce drug-related crime and drug abuse by offenders. Rather than consistently sanctioning probation violations – illegal drug use, missing probation appointments and drug tests, missing required drug-treatment sessions – probation officers and courts typically allow repeated violations to go unpunished. When punishment is finally meted out, they tend to be lengthy (and costly) jail terms. There are strong theoretical reasons to think that a probation system that consistently and swiftly punishes probation violations and uses mild rather than drastic sanctions would be more effective in inducing behavioral changes than the current much more haphazard system. A randomized controlled trial of 500 high-risk probationers is underway to evaluate a structured sanctions model in Hawaii, with support from the Smith Richardson Foundation and the National Institute of Justice. This presentation will (1) assess the design and implementation of the field experiment, with reference to the CONSORT statement, (2) describe efforts taken to build relationships with program staff to ensure the integrity of the design, and (3) detail lessons learned for future field experiments involving criminal justice subjects.
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Association:
Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p371279_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hawken, Angela. "Managing Random Assignment of Swift and Certain Sanctions on Probation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p371279_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hawken, A. "Managing Random Assignment of Swift and Certain Sanctions on Probation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p371279_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Convicted drug-possession offenders are rarely given straight jail time; they are typically placed on probation. This places probation departments on the front lines of the struggle to reduce drug-related crime and drug abuse by offenders. Rather than consistently sanctioning probation violations – illegal drug use, missing probation appointments and drug tests, missing required drug-treatment sessions – probation officers and courts typically allow repeated violations to go unpunished. When punishment is finally meted out, they tend to be lengthy (and costly) jail terms. There are strong theoretical reasons to think that a probation system that consistently and swiftly punishes probation violations and uses mild rather than drastic sanctions would be more effective in inducing behavioral changes than the current much more haphazard system. A randomized controlled trial of 500 high-risk probationers is underway to evaluate a structured sanctions model in Hawaii, with support from the Smith Richardson Foundation and the National Institute of Justice. This presentation will (1) assess the design and implementation of the field experiment, with reference to the CONSORT statement, (2) describe efforts taken to build relationships with program staff to ensure the integrity of the design, and (3) detail lessons learned for future field experiments involving criminal justice subjects.


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