Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Street-Level Decision Making and Historical Influences Related to Use of Evidence-Based Practices in Adult Probation



Growing empirical research finds that a correctional system devoted to punishment isineffective and can actually produce criminogenic effects (Nagin, Cullen & Johnson,2009). As a result, many justice organizations, including probation, are encouragingmanagers and staff to adopt evidence-based practices (EBPs)—practices supported byscientific evidence, such as validated risk and needs assessments, motivationalinterviewing, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Current research finds that when usedappropriately, evidenced-based, rehabilitative interventions are effective at reducing recidivism (Andrews & Bonta, 2010) and improving overall probation success (Taxman, 2008). Despite this push, justice organizations are often slow to adopt and implement effective practices. Implementation of EBPs falls heavily on street-level workers, like probation officers (POs) as they adopt/adapt and implement policy and practice changes by incorporating them into routines and decisions.

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