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Maine Adult Recidivism Report 2013

NCJ Number
Mark Ruben
Date Published
January 2013
25 pages
This study examined the recidivism of eight cohorts of adult offenders who entered Maine's probation system between 2004 and 2011, tracking them for up to 3 years from the date of entering probation.
In addition to recording arrests for a new crime (felony or misdemeanor) within 1 year of entering probation, the study also focused on a subset of probationers who were imprisoned after having their probation revoked for a new offense while on probation within 1 year. The study found that recidivism rates did not change significantly across the eight cohorts; however, administrative and lower risk offenders in the 2011 cohort showed significantly better outcomes than their counterparts from previous cohorts. The authors speculate that these initial trends may reflect policy changes of the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) in incorporating evidence-based principles into probation supervision over the study period. Starting in 2007, MDOC supervised its administrative cases and low-risk probationers far less intensively than in the past, so as to concentrate supervision resources on higher risk probationers. The recent decision to hire probation officer assistants to manage this group of offenders may further decrease the overall rates, since their responsibilities do not include supervision standards at a level currently performed by probation officers. Higher risk probationers performed worse over the first few years of the study period, but they have begun performing better in the last 3 years. More intensive supervision of higher risk offenders has been found by researchers to increase the detection of new offenses and probation violations. This can be overcome, however, by their placement in sufficiently intensive cognitive-behavioral interventions that target their specific criminogenic needs. The authors have noted in their fieldwork that there is a lack of cognitive behavioral therapy in many parts of the State. 11 tables