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Judge-Involved Supervision Programs in the Federal Courts: Summary of Findings From the Survey of Chief United States Probation Officers

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 75 Issue: 2 Dated: September 2011 Pages: 37-46
Barbara Meierhoefer
Date Published
September 2011
10 pages
This report summarizes the findings of a 2010 survey of chief U.S. probation officers that was designed to obtain information on the status of Federal post-conviction supervision programs that are modeled on State and local drug and reentry courts, which involve judges in the monitoring of offender progress under probation.
The survey of 93 probation chiefs identified 41 districts that were, or would be by the end of year 2010, operating 45 judge-involved supervision programs. On October 28, 2010, the Federal Judicial Center, which administered the survey, sent a detailed survey to the chief U.S. probation officers in 36 districts that hosted 39 of these programs. All surveys were returned before the end of November. Just over 75 percent of the Federal judge-involved supervision programs were developed at the request of the court. One-third of the program teams participated in a reentry team training program that emphasizes the collaborative and organizational elements of team supervision. Despite the cross-fertilization of programs across districts, no two programs were identical. Most important from a design and research perspective was the program's goal as defined by the primary problem it is intended to address. The majority of the 239 surveyed programs targeted substance abuse rather than prisoner reentry. This report reviews typology by program goals, correlates of program types, risk assessment, other eligibility limitations, the selection progress, incentive for program participation, and less adversarial procedures. Findings on program structure address program length, phases, and interim rewards. Other findings pertain to team composition, program responsibilities and traditional roles, resource commitment, program reach and graduation rates, and Implications for further research. The latter section advises that the next step is to get a better understanding of how various program features are related to program success. 11 figures and 1 table


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