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

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2016
12 pages
In an effort to determine the influence that home visits as a component of parole supervision have on parole outcomes, this study sought to identify key attributes of a home visit (content and purpose) and the effect of home visits on multiple supervision outcomes.
The study found that the predominant subject of home-visit conversations was whether or not the parolee had contact with a law enforcement officer or the criminal justice system since the last visit. Over half of documented comments involved no more than a statement indicating that the parolee reported no arrests. This suggests that officers' documentation of home visits is no more than a surveillance method rather than a technique for achieving behavioral change. Housing and employment constituted the second and third most common home-visit themes. Only a small portion of home-visit conversations included individuals other than the parolee, suggesting minimization of the role offender family members and significant others have in parolee behavioral outcomes. Higher numbers of home visits were associated with better supervision outcomes. Home visits as characterized in this study improved parolee outcomes; however, the content of home visits needs to be improved by training parole officers in communication skills, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and responses to crime desistance. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to address knowledge gaps in the understanding of parole home visits and their influence on supervision outcomes. The combination of field observations, qualitative analysis of parole officer documentation, and quantitative analysis of a historical cohort of parolees in Georgia completing supervision produced a broader understanding of parole home visits and their influence on supervision outcomes. 35 references

Date Published: June 1, 2016