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Developing Data Driven Supervision Protocols For Positive Parole Outcomes

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2009
76 pages
Using the Georgia Parole Board's computer case management system, this study evaluated the effectiveness of three supervision protocols: positive drug test resulting in a referral to treatment, job loss followed by referral to an employment program and increased contact, and chronic technical violations responded to with an administrative hearing and enrollment in a cognitive skills program.

Outcomes during a 12-month follow-up period were related to employment, general violations of the conditions of supervision, positive drug tests, arrests for technical violations, misdemeanor and felony arrests, and revocation of parole. Overall, the empirically derived protocols and associated technology positively impacted supervision by providing a helpful, ongoing case monitoring aid. The study provides preliminary evidence that data-driven supervision protocols can improve both supervision practices and outcomes. The evaluation found that parolees in the evaluation experimental sites were less likely to be unemployed, fail a drug test, and be arrested for a technical violation during the follow-up period; however, the differences were not statistically significant. The impact of the new supervision protocols on parole outcomes varied by protocol. The chronic technical violator protocol (with cognitive skills programming) showed the most promise, significantly reducing the number of violations and failed drug tests, while significantly delaying drug test failures. The evaluation analyzed approximately 1 million activities documented for 39,000 parole cases in order to identify patterns of parolee behavior and parole officer responses that led to improved supervision outcomes. The evaluation also collaborated with field operations management to translate the findings into new supervision protocols most predictive of success. In addition, the evaluation developed and deployed a tool in order to monitor case-management systems and identify patterns of parolee behavior covered by the protocols in order to alert officers by e-mail. Further, the protocols were evaluated on a cohort of 1,964 new parolees entering supervision. 27 tables, 8 figures, and 41 references

Date Published: September 1, 2009