Federal Probation

Federal Probation is a magazine specializing in Law topics.


Vol. 81, No. 2, September

Reflecting on Parole's Abolition in the Federal Sentencing System
NEARLY ALL DISCUSSIONS of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (SRA) focus on what the landmark legislation created, and rightly so, because the SRA created so much that has come to define the modern federal criminal justice system. The SRA created the...
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Removal of the Non-Scored Items from the Post-Conviction Risk Assessment Instrument: An Evaluation of Data-Driven Risk Assessment Research within the Federal System
BEYOND THE GENERATIONAL improvements observed with risk assessments, agencies have devoted a substantial amount of focused effort to develop, implement, and revise their own instruments. The preference to develop rather than adopt is often attributed...
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State Sentencing Guidelines: A Garden Full of Variety
OVER 40 YEARS AGO, sentencing in the U.S. was primarily "indeterminate." Judges would pronounce long sentence terms consisting of minimum and maximum times to serve, and parole boards would exercise their discretion in reviewing individual cases for...
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Introduction to the United States Sentencing Guidelines Anniversary Special Section
IN NOVEMBER 1987, the United States Sentencing Guidelines went into effect, dramatically changing sentencing in the federal criminal justice system. In this special issue commemorating the 30-year anniversary of the guidelines, a group of prominent judges...
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Federal Sentencing Policy: Role of the Judicial Conference of the United States and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
I. IntroductionIn November 1987, the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 ("SRA") and the United States Sentencing Guidelines went into effect, dramatically changing how defendants are sentenced in the federal courts. Congress eliminated a model where defendants...
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Five Questions for the Next Thirty Years of Federal Sentencing
CONGRESS EMBRACED A more systematic approach to punishment in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. It abolished discretionary parole release and determined that sentencing guidelines crafted by a sentencing commission were a wise approach to public policy.2Like...
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The Integral Role of Federal Probation Officers in the Guidelines System
WHEN THE ORIGINAL United States Sentencing Commission (the Commission) began the daunting task of creating the initial Guidelines Manna1 in the mid-1980s, the first commissioners quickly realized the critically important role that federal probation officers...
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The Presumption for Detention Statute's Relationship to Release Rates
SINCE 1984, THE pretrial detention rate for federal defendants has been steadily increasing. Recent work has aimed to address why the detention rate continues to rise and if there may be alternatives that could slow or reverse this trend. The presumption...
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Vol. 81, No. 1, June

Understanding Resistance in Correctional Therapy: Why Some Clients Don't Do What They Should, and What to Do about It
AT A RECENT federal reentry court session held in the District of New Jersey, five program participants were provided with an introduction to financial literacy. As a homework assignment, the participants were each instructed to call or visit three local...
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A Longitudinal Survey of Newly-Released Prisoners: Methods and Design of the Boston Reentry Study 1
GROWTH IN AMERICAN prison and jail populations over the last 40 years has propelled the U.S. incarceration rate to the highest in the world and made incarceration commonplace for residents of poor inner-city communities. The U.S. penal system now houses...
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Conditions of Supervision in Federal Criminal Sentencing: A Review of Recent Changes
I. IntroductionIN LATE 2016, several changes related to the conditions of probation and supervised release in federal criminal sentencing went into effect. These were (1) revisions to the national Judgment forms that list the conditions imposed by the...
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Judge-Involved Supervision Programs in the Federal System: Background and Research
I. BackgroundIN RECENT YEARS there has been a growing recognition among policy-makers, practitioners, and researchers of the importance of using the highest quality scientific evidence when developing, implementing, and evaluating criminal justice programs....
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Fugitives from Justice: An Examination of Felony and Misdemeanor Probation Absconders in a Large Jurisdiction
PROBATION IS THE most widely used alternative to incarceration (Phelps, 2013); therefore, the majority of the responsibility of monitoring criminal offenders in the community falls on probation officials. One of many concerns for probation officers is...
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Juvenile Focus
Criminal VictimizationThe Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has published Criminal Victimization, 2015, which presents national rates and levels of criminal victimization in 2015 and annual change from 2014. The report includes statistics on the characteristics...
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Comparison of Recidivism Studies: AOUSC, USSC, and BJS
RECIDIVISM IS ARGUABLY one of the greatest challenges facing the criminal justice system today. Reoffending not only has relevance for public safety, but has resource and cost implications related to incarceration and other criminal justice costs (Urban...
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Vol. 80, No. 3, December

An Examination of Deterrence Theory: Where Do We Stand?
DETERRENCE THEORY HAS been the underlying foundation for many criminal justice policies and practices throughout the course of American history. Although it was once the dominant theory within the realm of criminology, it now competes with other developing,...
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Assessing the Case for Formal Recognition and Expansion of Federal Problem-Solving Courts
IntroductionAlthough not formally recognized by the Judicial Conference of the United States, nearly half of federal district courts operate some form of problem-solving court. Citing the positive energy those courts have produced and studies conducted...
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Leadership and Its Impact on Organizations
THE FEDERAL JUDICIAL Center's Leadership Development Program teaches and develops leadership skills in participants through a combination of formal instruction, project-based learning, and one-on-one interaction with faculty mentors. During the course...
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An Examination of the Impact of Criminological Theory on Community Corrections Practice
CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORIES ABOUT why people commit crime are used-and misused-every day by legislative policy makers and community corrections managers when they develop new initiatives, sanctions, and programs; and these theories are also being applied-and...
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Subsidizing the Criminal Justice System-The Costs of Being Poor
Subsidizing the Criminal Justice System-The Costs of Being Poor A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor. By Alexes Harris. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2016.236 pp. $29.95 (paperback).REVIEWED BY TODD JERMSTAD BELTON, TEXASMuch...
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Transportation Strategies of Female Offenders
DEPENDABLE TRANSPORTATION CAN include automobile ownership, proximity to affordable and reliable public transit, or physical ability to walk or bike from place to place. The challenge of dependable transportation has been well studied in low-income and...
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Performance Measures in Community Corrections: Measuring Effective Supervision Practices with Existing Agency Data
IN RECENT YEARS, community supervision in the United States has been changing dramatically, as corrections populations have mounted and philosophies have shifted accordingly to accommodate more evidence-based supervision. There are currently 6.8 million...
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Vol. 80, No. 2, September

False Positives, False Negatives, and False Analyses: A Rejoinder to "Machine Bias: There's Software Used across the Country to Predict Future Criminals. and It's Biased against Blacks"
The validity and intellectual honesty of conducting and reporting analysis are critical, since the ramifications of published data, accurate or misleading, may have consequences for years to come.-Marco and Larkin, 2000, p. 692PROPUBLICA RECENTLY RELEASED...
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Communicating Risk Information at Criminal Sentencing in Pennsylvania: An Experimental Analysis
RESEARCH IS RELEVANT to policy if it assesses the effects of different policy options using measures that are important to policy makers (Ruback & Innes, 1988).1 But policyrelevant research by itself does not necessarily lead to policy change. Unless...
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Examining Changes in Offender Risk Characteristics and Recidivism Outcomes: A Research Summary
THE POST CONVICTION Risk Assessment (PCRA) is a correctional assessment tool used by federal probation officers that identifies offenders most likely to commit new crimes and the criminogenic characteristics that, if changed, could reduce the likelihood...
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The Real-World Application of the Risk Principle 1: Is It Possible in the Field of Probation?
ALTHOUGH SEVERAL CRIMINAL justice theories exist as a roadmap to effective supervision, the Risk, Needs, and Responsivity (RNR) model dominates the scholarly literature. A quick search in the Criminal Justice Abstracts Database reveals 140 peer-reviewed...
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How Dangerous Are They? an Analysis of Sex Offenders under Federal Post-Conviction Supervision
SEX OFFENSES ARE among the crimes that provoke serious public concern (Hanson & Morton-Bourgon, 2005, 2009). An especially acute concern involves the growing exploitation of children by online sex offenders who use the Internet and related digital...
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Enhancing Community Supervision through the Application of Dynamic Risk Assessment
RISK FACTORS HAVE commonly been distinguished as being either static (e.g., age at first arrest, number of prior convictions) or dynamic (e.g., substance use, employment status). In the early days of risk assessment (1970s), static factors were most...
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Using a Multi-Level Risk Assessment to Inform Case Planning and Risk Management: Implications for Officers
ONE OF THE primary goals of the federal probation and pretrial services system is to protect the community through the use of controlling and correctional strategies designed to assess and manage risk. In 2010, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts...
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Imagining Sentinel Event Reviews in the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System
DNA EXONERATIONS OF wrongfully convicted defendants have thrown a new light on the problem of error in American criminal justice. The fact that people sometimes make mistakes came as no surprise to active practitioners, but the growing list of highly...
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