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Falling Crime Rates, Rising Caseload Numbers: Using Police-Probation Partnerships

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 65 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2003 Pages: 44-49
Christopher D. Condon
Date Published
February 2003
6 pages
This article discusses the effectiveness of probation-police partnerships in addressing violent crime and reducing crime rates.
Following a discussion of the trend, begun in the 1990’s, of probation-police partnerships developing in order to aid probation leaders faced with burgeoning caseload numbers and limited resources, the author describes community corrections in the State of California. Because California differs from much of the United States in the structure of its probation and parole systems, the author suggests that progressive thinking in San Bernardino County enabled the Probation Department to experiment with several concepts in both community corrections and detention leading to a significant decrease in California’s crime rate. Describing the experimental approach taken by the San Bernardino County Probation Department, the author details the caseload-free supervision system for 11,000 adult offenders, drug courts, juvenile day reporting centers, tent housing for overcrowded juvenile detention facilities, advanced automation systems, the arming of probation officers, and advanced probation training. By forging a police-probation partnership, called Intervention and Management of Probationer Accountability through Compliance to Terms (IMPACT), San Bernardino County was able to facilitate caseload-free supervision formats and to target any youthful offender or at-risk youth. Although the success of the IMPACT partnership is still being fully evaluated, initial statistics demonstrate high levels of productivity made possible by probation-police partnerships in San Bernardino County. 17 Endnotes