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Using Translational Tools To Reduce Recidivism in Hidalgo County, Texas

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2017
20 pages
This report describes the features and benefits of an effort to implement evidence-based practices in probation supervision for Hidalgo County, Texas.
Beginning in 2012, George Mason University's Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) and the Hidalgo County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) collaborated to implement evidence-based practices for probation supervision. The project involved the use of special translational tools for justice professionals. Such tools assist agencies in converting research evidence into operational practices by using assessment information in case planning and referring individuals to treatment based on their needs and risk factors. Two translational tools were used. One is an eLearning system called Skills for Offender Assessment and Responsivity in New Goals (SOARING2) and the Risks-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Simulation Tool. SOARING2 is designed to educate justice personnel and treatment providers in the skills of evidence-based practices. It is coupled with onsite internal coaching to facilitate use of the skills in practice. The RNR Simulation Tool is designed to provide decision-support services that advance the use of evidence-based practices by linking probationers to appropriate services. These translational tools go beyond educating the population to decision-support activities designed for key justice and/or treatment decisions, because they can transform complicated information into simple information for users. All newly hired probation officers are required to complete SOARING2 eLearning modules as part of their core training. 8 figures and 5 references