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Process Evaluation of the Handbook Method Youth Probation

NCJ Number
M. Timmermans; J. van den Tillaart; G. Homburg
Date Published
6 pages
This report summarizes the methodology and findings of a process evaluation of the "Handbook Method Youth Probation," which presents a new model for delivering youth probation services in the Netherlands.
The starting point of the Handbook Method Youth Probation is the diagnostic phase, in which an assessment is made of the risk of reoffending, using a scientifically based method (the risk assessment instrument). Another central point of the new model is the identification of criminogenic factors (offense-related factors) during the diagnostic phase. According to the model, the diagnostic phase should lead to a work plan, in which the objectives to decrease the risk of reoffending are clarified. The handbook also requires that the action plan be evaluated each half year, and that a new action plan be written on the basis of this evaluation. At the end of a supervision program, a final report must be written. If the supervision program has a poor outcome, the youth probation officer must report this to the Child Protection Board and the public prosecutor. Based on the results of the process evaluation and a comparison with the results of an earlier evaluation (2002), the current working of youth probation services is more structured and uniform than before the new model embodied in the Handbook; however, youth probation officers still choose which aspects of the supervision program they emphasize and apply their own preferences in the delivering of services and supervision. This is the intention of the Handbook Method Youth Probation, i.e., that within the general parameters of the probation model, officers are free to tailor their approaches to individual offenders.