Probation Caseload Standards
Smaller probation caseloads allow for a better detection of violations and subsequent intervention via a hybrid approach utilizing both surveillance and therapeutic techniques. Research shows that reducing probation officer caseloads to allow for a balance between punishment and casework-oriented probation styles, in partnership with evidence-based practices and services, reduces recidivism. The 2011 federally funded ABT Associates report provides promising evidence on probation caseload standards.
Intensive Probation with Services (Cook, Macon, McLean)
Intensive probation, partnered with evidence-based services, includes a higher degree of surveillance than traditional probation and may include increased urinalysis/drug testing, increased face-to-face and collateral contacts, and mandated treatment participation. Intensive probation officers carry smaller caseloads allowing for more frequent contacts, quicker identification of rule violations, and a therapeutic approach. Research indicates reduced recidivism for offenders receiving treatment and services with intensive supervision. Two 2011 reports from ABT Associates and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy provide evidence on the effectiveness of intensive probation with services.
Drug Court (Fulton, Jersey, Knox, Madison, Winnebago)
Although localities can implement drug courts slightly differently, all drug courts seek to reduce substance abuse and criminal recidivism. Techniques used in lieu of immediate incarceration for a drug-related charge may include drug treatment, drug testing, comprehensive supervision, and clear sanctions and incentives. Drug courts are a kind of problem-solving court which, in contrast to traditional courts, attempts to get at the root of criminogenic behaviors. Extensive research on drug courts indicates improved outcomes when there is a full integration of treatment and court processes. Documents from both the Washington State Institute for Public Policy and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority highlight the key components and evidence pertaining to drug courts.
/strategy2010/pdf/Summit_Problem Solving Courts.pdf
Restorative Justice (Macon)
Restorative justice is an approach to justice that collectively identifies and addresses harms involving all those who may have a stake in the offense, while simultaneously holding the offender responsible for actions. A restorative justice process allows for everyone affected by a crime (victim, offender, community) to address their needs and find a resolution for healing, reparation and reintegration, with the goal to prevent future harm. Restorative justice practices might include victim-offender mediation, group conferencing circles, and peace circles, all of which include some form of offender-victim dialogue about an offense or infraction. Information from the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking and a Public Safety of Canada report provide information on restorative justice.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cook, DuPage, Fulton, Jersey, Knox, Macon, Madison, McLean, St. Clair, Winnebago)
Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches individuals that thinking impacts behavior. In criminal justice settings, CBT teaches offenders that cognitive deficits, distortions and flawed thinking patterns can cause negative or criminal behavior. CBT relies on the notion that changing thoughts can change behavior. Much research exists on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral programs with justice-involved populations and the therapy's success in reducing recidivism. Many trademarked therapies and curricula rely on a cognitive-behavioral framework. Background and evidence on the effective use of cognitive-behavioral therapy can be accessed through this 2011 report from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.
Trauma-Informed Therapy (Madison, St. Clair, Winnebago)
Trauma-informed therapy exists to first address the consequences of trauma to be able to facilitate healing. Many people using public behavioral health services or in the criminal justice system have histories of various traumas leading to unhealthy and criminal behavior. Trauma-informed therapy recognizes the connection between trauma and substance abuse, anxiety, depression, etc. (often symptoms of trauma), and the need to work collaboratively with clients and their support networks to facilitate healing. The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides information on trauma-informed care services.
Mental Health Court (Madison, St. Clair)
Mental health courts, a kind of problem-solving court, divert offenders with mental health issues to community-based treatment in lieu of incarceration. Mental health courts serve individuals who can consent to the court's plan and utilize mental health assessments, individualized treatment plans, and judicial monitoring to address both mental health needs and community safety. Documents from both the Washington State Institute for Public Policy and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority highlight the key components and evidence pertaining to mental health courts.
/strategy2010/pdf/Summit_Problem Solving Courts.pdf