This evaluation of the Wisconsin Bureau of Community Corrections' system for the classification of probationers and parolees, conducted 2 years after the system's initiation, shows that its success was due to an emphasis on implementation by the line staff.
The Wisconsin system assigns clients to maximum, medium, or minimum supervision using risk scales based on such factors as rules violations, arrests, misdemeanor or felony convictions, and revocations. To evaluate the system, the State's southern region (the first area in which the classification process has been fully implemented) was compared with the control eastern region. Clients from both regions were matched on an individual basis. Findings showed that criminal activity has declined significantly in the high risk/high need group when required contacts (with case workers) have been increased. At the same time, decreasing contacts with low risk/low need clients has had no perceivable adverse effects. The identification of clients may help better allocate resources since the reductions in arrests, new convictions, and revocations in high risk/high need clients will generate considerate savings and help control increases in jail and prison populations. The system also makes it possible to ascertain the total workload of each probation and parole office by establishing time requirements for each supervision level, as well as for all other agency functions. Management can then allocate agent positions on a work load rather than a case load basis. Budget development and the management information system are discussed. Statistical data, classification instruments, case processing procedures, and three references are appended.
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531, United States
Wisconsin Council on Criminal Justice
30 West Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53702, United States
American Correctional Association
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314, United States
National Institute of Justice/
Box 6000, Dept F, Rockville, MD 20849, United States
United States of America
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