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ICB Publications

Green, Amy E., et al. "Predicting Delinquency in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Analysis of Early Risk Factors." Youth Violence & Juvenile Justice 6, no. 4. 
This study examined the ability of early risk factors to predict delinquency referrals. Significant risk factors included externalizing behaviors, prenatal smoking, parent marital status, and mother's education. Students with three or more risk factors had eight times the number of delinquency referrals than those with no identified risk factors.

Taxman, Faye S. “Tools of the Trade: A Guide to Incorporating Science Into Practice.” National Institute of Corrections . Maryland Dept. of Public Safety and Correctional Services, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington DC), 2004. 
The application of evidence-based research findings to the practice of offender supervision is explained. Sections of this manual include: introduction -- supervision as a behavioral management process to reduce recidivism; behavior and change; assessment and planning; communication tools; information tools; incentives to shape offender behavior; service tools; offender types; and guiding principles.

Gifford-Smith, Mary, Kenneth A Dodge, Thomas J. Dishion, and Joan McCord. “Peer Influence in Children and Adolescents: Crossing the Bridge from Developmental to Intervention Science,” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 33, no. 3 (2005): 255–265. 
Considerable evidence supports the hypothesis that peer relationships influence the growth of problem behavior in youth. Developmental research consistently documents the high levels of covariation between peer and youth deviance, even controlling for selection effects. Ironically, the most common public interventions for deviant youth involve segregation from mainstream peers and aggregation into settings with other deviant youth. Developmental research on peer influence suggests that desired positive effects of group interventions in education, mental health, juvenile justice, and community programming may be offset by deviant peer influences in these settings. Given the public health policy issues raised by these findings, there is a need to better understand the conditions under which these peer contagion effects are most pronounced with respect to intervention foci and context, the child's developmental level, and specific strategies for managing youth behavior in groups.

Taxman, Faye. “Reentry and Supervision: One is Impossible Without the Other,” Corrections Today, April 2007, 69, 2: 98-101,105. 
The article focuses on the use of the supervision process to help an offender become a productive citizen. It cites the similarities between case management and supervision. It details the model of supervision that is focused on facilitating offender change. It mentions the selection criteria that have been used for the Proactive Community Supervision (PCS) project.

“The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking: Workshop Report.” National Library of Medicine. Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee on the Science of Adolescence, 2011. 
The workshop discussions of biobehavioral and psychological perspectives on adolescent risk behavior alluded repeatedly to the importance of the cultural and social contexts in which young people develop. Presenters described research on the ways family, peers, schools, communities, and media and technology influence adolescent behavior and risk-taking. 

Bourgon, Guy, Leticia Gutierrez, Jennifer Ashton, and Public Safety Canada. “The Evolution of Community Supervision Practice: The Transformation from Case Manager to Change Agent.” United States Courts. The Journal of the American Probation and Parole Association: Perspectives, 36(3), 64-81, 2012. 
With the introduction of risk and need assessments into routine practice, Community Supervision Officers are now required to administer and score these instruments. Not only must Community Supervision Officers communicate this risk/need information to other criminal justice professionals, but they are asked to utilize this information for classification purposes and to interpret the information to develop case-management plans. Officers are also asked to make efforts to maximize offender compliance, plan and manage the client’s rehabilitative services, and are often expected to facilitate positive prosocial changes in the clients that they work with.

“The Potential of Community Corrections to Improve Safety and Reduce Incarceration.” Vera Institute of Justice. Center on Sentencing and Corrections, July 2013.
As the size and cost of jails and prisons have grown, so too has the awareness that public investment in incarceration has not yielded the expected return in public safety. This creates an opportunity to reexamine the wisdom of our reliance on institutional corrections—incarceration in prisons or jails—and to reconsider the role of community-based corrections, which encompasses probation, parole, and pretrial supervision. However, it could also be an opportunity wasted if care is not taken to bolster the existing capacity of community corrections. With this report, Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections provides an overview of the state of community corrections, the transformational practices emerging in the field (including those in need of further research), and recommendations to policymakers on realizing the full value of community supervision to taxpayers and communities.

“The Potential of Community Corrections to Improve Safety and Reduce Incarceration.” The Vera Institute of Justice. The Center on Sentencing and Corrections, July 2013.
As the size and cost of jails and prisons have grown, so too has the awareness that public investment in incarceration has not yielded the expected return on public safety. Today, in the United States, an opportunity exists to reexamine the wisdom of our reliance on institutional corrections—incarceration in prisons or jails—and to reconsider the role of community-based corrections, which encompasses probation, parole, and pretrial supervision. However, it could also be an opportunity wasted if care is not taken to bolster the existing capacity of community corrections.

Schiraldi, Vincent, Bruce Western, and Kendra Bradner. “New Thinking in Community Corrections.” Office of Justice Programs. HARVARD Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, 2015. 
This paper raises important questions about the criminal justice system’s response to young adults. Recent advances in behavior and neuroscience research confirm that brain development continues well into a person’s 20s, meaning that young adults have more psychosocial similarities to children than to older adults. This developmental distinction should help inform the justice system’s response to criminal behavior among this age group. 

“Behavior Management of Justice-Involved Individuals: Contemporary Research and State-of-the-Art Policy and Practice.” National Institute of Corrections. Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP) (Silver Spring MD), National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (Washington DC), 2015. 
There remains an endless “revolving door” of individuals who are placed on community supervision, engage in further problematic behavior, and return to correctional facilities to likely repeat the cycle again. This paper provides a policy and practice framework to support the development of effective behavior management systems that will increase the compliance and prosocial behavior of justice-involved individuals both during and following their community supervision. [Abstract from Introduction] 

Case Study: How Joe was Affected by His Officer

Community corrections officers can have a significant influence on outcomes by the ways in which they interact with individuals on supervision. Much of the leading training models teach officers the proper skillset using cognitive-behavioral techniques that, when used properly, encourage both short- and long-term prosocial change among individuals under supervision. Here is one case study that explains this process in practice. Note the terms that are highlighted as references to this and other learning domains on this website.

Joe is a 32-year-old, white man who lives in a rural part of Arizona. A couple of years ago, after losing his manufacturing job, he started using various pain killers on a regular basis, coupled with his continued alcohol use. He started stealing from friends and family members. Eventually, he was arrested on theft and drug charges and placed on probation for a period of two years. That’s when he first met Cliff, his probation officer. In their first couple of meetings together, Cliff laid out exactly what Joe had to do in order to get off probation: abide by his terms, attend drug treatment, and maintain employment, among others. At first, Joe didn’t like of any of what Cliff had explained to him. He didn’t think he needed treatment at all; he just got caught up with life by losing his job. He thought he could get back on his feet in no time. After a few months of being on probation, Joe kept using drugs, had a positive drug screen, and missed one treatment session. Cliff immediately addressed this with Joe in a constructive manner. Joe was expecting Cliff to berate him about his violations and possibly throw him in jail. However, Cliff gave Joe an opportunity to provide his side of the story of what’s going on in his life. Through that interaction, Joe realized that maybe he did need some help; much more than he realized before. Over the next several meetings with Cliff, which seem to generally be about 30 minutes each time, Joe actually began look forward to talking with Cliff. They talked about his progress, his problem areas, and ways that he still needed help. In Joe’s mind, Cliff was always firm, consistent, and always held him accountable, but he was also supportive and compassionate. After about six months, Joe became sober and found a good job that paid the bills and kept him out of trouble. What Joe didn’t know about Cliff is that he was trained in a particular program that provided him with the skills to enhance the quality of his interactions with probationers and encourage positive behavioral changes among probationers. It certainly seemed to be working, because Joe was on his path to becoming a changed man…in a good way.

“Motivational Interviewing (with a Criminal Justice Focus) Annotated Bibliography.” National Institute of Corrections. National Institute of Corrections. Information Center (NICIC) (Aurora CO), 2016.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) was introduced to the field of corrections in the 1990s through the Evidence-based Practices (EBP) Model as a method for enhancing intrinsic motivation. Since that time, agencies throughout the U.S., in all criminal justice settings, have—to a greater or lesser degree—explored if, when, and how to implement this approach to communicating, building rapport, and tapping into the internal motivation of the clients and staff members they work with. This annotated bibliography contains the written resources pertaining specifically to the criminal justice field. In addition, certain documents considered seminal to the training, implementation, evaluation, coaching, and quality assurance of MI skills are included.

Bush, Jack, Barry Glick, and Juliana Taymans. “Thinking for a Change 4.0 | National Institute of Corrections.” Thinking for a change 4.0. National Institute of Corrections, 2016. 
The program is designed to be provided to justice-involved adults and youth, males and females. It is intended for groups of eight to twelve and should be delivered only by trained facilitators. Due to its integrated structure, T4C is a closed group, meaning members need to start at the beginning of a cycle, and may not join the group mid-stream (lesson five is a logical cut-off point for new group members).

Byrne, James. “An Examination of the Impact of Criminological Theory on Community Corrections Practice.” ResearchGate. Federal Probation, December 2016. 
CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORIES ABOUT why people commit crime are used—and mis-used—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 misapplied—by line community corrections officers in the workplace as they classify, supervise, counsel, and control offenders placed on their caseloads. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of the major theories of crime causation and then to consider the implications of these criminological theories for current and future community corrections practice. Four distinct groups of theories will be examined: classical theories, biological theories, psychological theories, and sociological theories of crime causation. While the underlying assumptions of classical criminology have been used to justify a wide range of sentencing and corrections policies and practices over the past several decades, it is also possible to identify the influence of other theories of crime causation on corrections policies and practices during this same period. As we examine each group of theories, we consider how—and why—the basic functions of probation and parole officers change based on the theory of crime causation under review. When considering the link between theory and practice, it is important to remember the following basic truth: Criminologists disagree about both the causes and solutions to our crime problem.

Chavira, Dina, Roberto Lopez-Tamayo, and Leonard A Jason. “Factors Associated with Community Corrections Involvement among Formerly Incarcerated People in Recovery.” Criminal justice policy review. U.S. National Library of Medicine, December 2018. 
The current study examined whether current community supervision status was associated with differences in demographic characteristics, lifetime substance use patterns, and criminal history among a sample of formerly incarcerated individuals with a history of substance use problems. Results of multivariate analyses revealed participants on community supervision were more likely to have graduated from high school or earned a GED (OR = 1.60; 95% CI [0.15, 17.24]) and were less likely to have a history of psychiatric hospitalization (OR = .88; 95% CI = [0.08, 9.35]). These characteristics may be proxies for social and emotional functioning that influence eligibility for community supervision. Despite these apparent advantages, the community supervision group did not significantly differ from the formerly incarcerated group without current justice involvement on lifetime substance use patterns or criminal history, suggesting formerly incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders may require more intensive interventions to promote existing strengths.

Chavira, D. “Too Big to Succeed: The Impact of the Growth of Community Corrections and What Should Be Done about It.” Columbia University Justice Lab, January 29, 2018. 
The recent sentencing of Philadelphia rap artist Meek Mill to two to four years in prison for probation violations committed a decade after his original offense has brought the subject of America’s expansive community supervision apparatus and its contribution to mass incarceration into the public spotlight (NBC News 2017; Jay-Z 2017). Founded as either an up-front diversion from incarceration (probation) or a back-end release valve to prison crowding (parole), community corrections in America has grown far beyond what its founders could have imagined with a profound, unintended impact on incarceration. With nearly five million adults under community corrections supervision in America (more than double the number in prison and jail), probation and parole have become a substantial contributor to our nation’s mass incarceration dilemma as well as a deprivation of liberty in their own right (Kaeble and Bonczar 2016; Kaeble and Glaze 2016). The almost fourfold expansion of community corrections since 1980 without a concomitant increase in resources has strained many of the nation’s thousands of community supervision departments, rendering some of them too big to succeed, often unnecessarily depriving clients of their liberty without improving public safety (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1995; Kaeble and Bonczar 2016; Pew Center on the States 2009; Klingele 2013; Doherty 2016).

Dierkhising, Carly B, and Shawn C Marsh. “A Trauma Primer for Juvenile Probation and Juvenile Detention Staff.” National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention, October 24, 2019.

Juvenile justice probation and detention workers play an important role in helping system-involved youth and families navigate justice and social service systems; achieving goals of accountability, competency, and community safety; and promoting safety, self-determination, and social connectedness as conditions of healing. In doing this work, juvenile probation and detention staff are also uniquely poised to serve a critical social support function for vulnerable youth and families. Although much work remains to be done to elucidate the key policies and procedures associated with a true “trauma-informed” justice system, the tips offered here provide juvenile justice staff a foundation for understanding the basic dynamics of trauma, recognizing trauma reactions, and maintaining self-care. This brief presents definitions of key concepts, overviews how children respond to trauma, and offers tips for juvenile probation and detention staff seeking to be more trauma-informed in their work.

“Publications About Brain Anatomy and Physiology.” National Institute of Mental Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020. 
This science education activity book intended for children ages 8-12 years old helps kids learn facts about the brain through games and puzzles about brain science and research. This activity book can be downloaded and printed. This fact sheet outlines how a teenager’s brain grows, matures, and adapts to the world. It also presents information on the teen brain’s resiliency, vulnerability to stress and mental health problems, and sleep patterns in teens.


1. Latessa, Edward, and Myrinda Schweitzer. “Community Supervision And Violent Offenders: What The Research Tells Us And How T Ells Us And How To Improve Outcomes.” Marquette Law Review. Journals at Marquette Law Scholarly Commons, 2020.
This article explores the supervision of violent offenders in the community and reviews the research on effective (and ineffective) practices. Included is a discussion of the scope and diversity of violent offenses, a review of the research related to intermediate sanctions such as intensive supervision and electronic monitoring, as well as the application of the Risk, Need and Responsivity model to community supervision. Finally, the challenges of translating research into practice is discussed along with recommendations on how we can improve community supervision.

Schaefer, Lacey, Gemma C. Williams, and Tenille Ford. “Social Supports for Community Corrections Clients: Risk Factors or Protective Factors?” Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology, September 20, 2021.
The significance of social supports throughout an individual’s life-course has been widely documented. However, there is ambiguity about whether social supports are likely to encourage or discourage reoffending. The current study qualitatively examines the kinds of support offered to a sample of probationers and parolees by their social support networks through a thematic analysis of transcripts gained from semi-structured interviews with 15 clients and 16 of their “PoPPs” (parents/partners/peers of probationers and parolees). Results indicate that there are several forms of support provided by correctional clients’ loved ones. These forms of support were well-received by the clients who considered them beneficial, although the findings demonstrate that social supports are not universally prosocial, and that some forms of support may be criminogenic rather than protective factors.