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Case Study: New York City Department of Probation's Federal Partnership Efforts

NCJ Number
Jason Ziedenberg
Date Published
July 2014
25 pages
This report describes the benefits and uniqueness of the technical-assistance partnership between Federal agencies (the Bureau of Justice Assistance [BJA] and the National Institute of Corrections [NIC]) and the New York City Probation Department (DOP) in enabling the DOP to integrate a variety of opportunities to improve its practices and approaches.
A critical element of the partnership's success was taking time to develop a client-consultant relationship based on trust, out of which needs, goals, and matching technical-assistance resources were identified. These resources included improved assessment instruments that focused supervision and community engagement in probation services; training in motivational interviewing of probationers, restorative justice, and community engagement, with a view toward DOP's continuing such training; and surveys to determine the strengths and gaps in the staff's readiness for new initiatives. The latter resources helped DOP focus on professional development that facilitated more openness to evidence-based programming. Reasons why this technical-assistance collaboration was more successful than many others is discussed. Appended online resources accessible through this report