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Risk and Rehabilitation: Supporting the Work of Probation Officers in the Community Reentry of Extremist Offenders

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $715,752)

The applicant proposes to develop a series of online training modules and best practice toolkits geared toward supporting the work of probation officers, other criminal justice officials, and service providers that work in the space of extremist offender reintegration. The applicant proposes to identify the risk characteristics of extremist offenders, identify individual and community-level barriers to successful reintegration, and provide guidance to probation officers in making risk assessments, providing reintegration services and post-confinement supervision, and offering sentencing and confinement guidelines. This project proposes three forms of data collection and analysis: 1) Drawing on the NIJ-funded Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) and associated datasets, the applicants will quantitatively assess the characteristics, needs, and recidivism risks for extremist offenders across the United States; 2) Working with the Probation and Pretrial Services Office of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (PPSO, AOUSC), the applicants will administer a nationally-representative survey of approximately 600-800 U.S. probation officers to gather information on their experiences in supporting offenders, including extremists; and 3) With assistance from the PPSO and an expert consultant (former Chief U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer for the District of Minnesota), the applicants will interview approximately 30 probation officers, 10 former extremist offenders, and 10 social service providers to gain a more in-depth understanding of reintegration processes, barriers, and strategies for success. The probation officer subjects will be selected based on their experiences with extremist offenders, their career stages, and practical considerations. Extremist subjects will be selected to represent diverse ideological milieus, as well as the extent to which they successfully reintegrated back into their respective communities after a period of confinement. Service providers will be selected based on their experiences assisting in the reintegration and/or disengagement of extremists and extremist releasees. Quantitative data will be analyzed using cross-classified multilevel models. Interview data will be analyzed using modified grounded theory to generate hypotheses regarding the specific needs and experiences of extremists and probation officers. Interview transcripts will be coded using qualitative analysis software, such as MAXQDA, and two-step Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and/or coincidence analysis will be used to assess how factors interact to produce multiple pathways to reintegration success or failure. "Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 16, 2019