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Understanding the Decision To Pursue Revocation of Intensive Supervision: A Descriptive Survey of Juvenile Probation and Aftercare Officers

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 46 Issue: 3/4 Dated: 2008 Pages: 137-170
Nathan C. Lowe; Cherie Dawson-Edwards; Kevin I. Minor; James B. Wells
Date Published
34 pages
This Kentucky study examined juvenile probation and aftercare officers' perceptions of juvenile intensive-supervision program goals and the frequency of offender violations, with attention to the factors officers consider in pursuing revocation and in using alternatives to revocation.
Findings show that officers perceived rehabilitation as the least important function of Kentucky's Juvenile Intensive Supervision Team (JIST) program. As a goal of the JIST program, rehabilitation was rated behind ensuring community safety, detecting violations through monitoring, and deterrence through sanctioning infractions. Technical violations of supervision conditions were perceived by officers as the most frequently committed violations. For both probation and aftercare cases, technical violations were viewed as "moderately frequent" or "frequent." Misdemeanors and felonies while under supervision were viewed as less common than technical violations. Factors considered by officers as most important in deciding whether to pursue revocation were virtually identical for both probation and aftercare juvenile cases. The factors included the number and seriousness of prior and current offenses as well as the involvement of substance abuse. This finding suggests that even though aftercare youth have returned to the community after stays in long-term residential placements, they are still judged by the original charges that led to commitment, as well as charges prior to the most recent charge. Alternatives to revocation pursued in dealing with technical violations were related to increased control/monitoring rather than changes and/or improvement in rehabilitative services. Sixty-six out of 72 employees of the Kentucky Division of Juvenile Justice's Community Services Branch returned completed surveys (81.5-percent response rate). The e-mail survey was distributed between December 2006 and March 2007. 4 tables, 6 figures, and 52 references