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Swift and Certain Consequences in Probation and Parole - Interview at the 2009 NIJ Conference

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2009
0 pages
In this video, "Swift and Certain" consequences for probation and parole violators is discussed.
I was getting motions to revoke probation, almost always recommending prison, because the probation officer was just unsuccessful in getting the offenders to change their behavior - to stop using drugs, to go to treatment - and I thought, "Now, what would work? What would work to change people's behavior?" And as I thought of it, I thought, "What does a parent do? And what do I do as a parent?" If my child did something wrong, I gave him a consequence right away, whether it was taking away privileges, whatever, but I talked to him about it, but I gave him the consequence right away. And "swift and certain" is something you hear a lot of talk about, but it's almost never done in the criminal justice system, so that's what we started doing four and a half years ago. If an offender violates a condition of probation, we give them a swift and certain consequence. That means they're arrested immediately, they're held in custody, we have a hearing typically two business days later, and they get a short time of incarceration. That way they can tie together the behavior that's bad whether it's testing positive for drugs, not going to see their probation officer with a consequence and learn from it. (Session Transcript Excerpt)

Date Published: June 1, 2009