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Archive for Wednesday, January 8, 1992

PROBATION PROGRAM RESULTS REVIEWED

January 8, 1992

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Fewer than half of the offenders involved in a Douglas County Community Corrections intensive probation program during the past two years have successfully completed their probation terms, a community corrections official told the agency's advisory board Tuesday.

Elaine Hicks, intensive supervised probation supervisor, told the panel that of the 48 adult offenders involved in the ISP program in 1990 and 1991, 27 were revoked, meaning they violated their probation terms and were expelled from the program.

The board also heard from Mark Matese, community corrections director, who said the program has been altered in the last 2 years to better meet the needs of its clients. Community corrections, through its Intensive Supervised Probation program, serves as an alternative to overcrowded jails and prisons for offenders convicted of Class C, D and E felonies.

Hicks said that in 1990, eight adult offenders successfully completed the program and 14 were revoked. Of those 14 revocations, six were for going absent without leave, five were for drug or alcohol use, two were for technical violations such as failure to report or pay court costs and one was brought up on new charges.

The clients who were revoked spent an average of 484 days in the program before violating their terms.

Last year, 13 adult clients completed the program successfully and another 13 were revoked. Seven offenders were revoked for drug or alcohol use. Six revocations were for going AWOL. The revoked clients in 1991 were in the program an average of 433 days before committing a violation.

One juvenile client made it through the program in 1990, while three were revoked. Last year, four juveniles passed the program and 10 were revoked.

Matese, community corrections director, told the board he was "not convinced at this point that we can really demonstrate that we're having an effect on recidivism."

"We're asking a lot of difficult questions amongst ourselves right now," he said. "I think we're starting to challenge some of our own thinking about the way we've done business."

Matese said the department has taken one new step to help its clients with jobs. On Monday, community corrections started a daily reporting program to assist all unemployed clients find and keep a job.

The program will help offenders organize their daily lives by setting priorities and plans. Training in job readiness, decision making, social skills also will be provided.

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