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Assessing the Influence of Home Visit Themes and Temporal Ordering On High-Risk Parolee Outcomes

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $221,309)

Although home visits are a critical feature of community supervision, little research has been conducted heretofore on this supervision function. While there is little research to inform the field on this practice, it is still unclear to the extent that home visits are primarily to ensure offender compliance or a programming function to encourage prosocial behaviors.
In an effort to correct this, Applied Research Services (ARS) will capitalize on extensive and robust case management systems (CMS) employed by the Georgia Department of Correction (DOC) and the Georgia State Parole Board. By merging these two databases, ARS will be able to estimate the effect of a home visit on promoting offender prosocial outcomes and encouraging compliance with the terms of parole.
The ARS analysis plan will focus on the temporal and sequential ordering of events during community supervision that are most predictive of successful parole outcomes. The data analysis plan consists of four stages. First, a descriptive analysis of all agency CMS data will be conducted. Measurement of the predictor and outcome variables will be consistent with previous work ARS conducted for NIJ. The primary outcomes will be: drug test results, parole violations, new arrests, and parole revocations.
Next, a content analysis of home visits will be conducted to identify the themes of the parolee-parole officer interaction. This will pay particular attention to any application of the parole officers use of risk-needs-responsively (R-N-R) principles in supervision. To augment the content analyses, ARS will accompany parole officers on home visits in rural, suburban, and urban settings to document the themes of the visit and interaction between the parole officer and those present. ARS expects to observe 480 visits total.
Third, a data mining stage will involve multiple predictive modeling techniques, including linear and logistic regression and decision tree methods. The purpose of this phase will be to predict outcomes as a function of multiple predictors to include parolee demographics, offense detail, prior criminal/social/behavioral history, supervision performance/activities, and home visit variables identified in Stage 2. Finally, an analysis will be undertaken to compare the benefits of home visitation with the costs in order to determine the cost-effectiveness of home visits relative to offender outcomes. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 12, 2013