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Evaluation of Private Probation Supervision and Case Management in Colorado

NCJ Number
Topics in Community Corrections Volume: nual issue (1998) Issue: Dated: Pages: 13-18
S Pullen
Date Published
6 pages
Because many contracts for private probation services in Colorado have moved into their second year and questions about the effectiveness of privatized probation are surfacing, the Office of Probation Services (OPS) conducted a cursory evaluation of private probation agencies in Colorado.
The OPS examined the degree to which privatized probation providers were meeting the need to decrease probation caseloads and meeting the terms of their contracts with probation departments. The OPS also sought to determine whether access to the Judicial Department's data management system would enhance contractor performance and what level of access would be most appropriate. The evaluation included two components, case file reviews of cases transferred to private vendors and interviews with representatives from private agencies and chief probation officers. Evaluation findings indicated that chief probation officers were generally very pleased with the ability to contract for the supervision services of low-risk probationers. In addition, they were quite satisfied with the quality of services provided by private vendors. Evaluation findings also showed that private vendors were generally managing low-risk probation cases transferred from local probation departments in accordance with their contracts and standards for supervision. In terms of case management, and the ability of private vendors to offer a service to courts and probation departments, the transfer of low-risk cases from probation to the private sector appeared to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. 5 references