Examining the Relationship Between Treatment Variables and Referral Processes on Probation Outcomes



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Almost half of the justice-involved individuals on probation do not complete supervision successfully, highlighting the need to understand how different intervention types may increase supervision completion rates. Though prior literature has found that treatment effectively reduces recidivism, specifically treatment completion, there is a dearth of information understanding its effects on supervision completion. Looking at treatment as a general resource, this study assesses how treatment involvement affects probation termination and whether the degree of treatment participation or referral processes influences the likelihood of an individual completing probation.

Partnered with a local Texas probation department, primary data was collected on 738 justice-involved individuals. Probation files were reviewed to gather information on treatment participation and probation termination outcomes. Findings indicate that the degree of treatment participation significantly influences the odds of an individual successfully completing probation, even when controlling for other variables. Specifically, an individual completing treatment showed the most significant difference in completing probation compared to other degrees of treatment participation. Contrary, the stage of supervision in which the treatment was initiated does not make a difference in supervision outcomes, with no significant difference in whether the treatment was referred to as an initial court order at the start of supervision or a subsequent court order due to noncompliance.

These findings suggest that the intervention itself, rather than the intervention processes, is most significant in understanding rehabilitative efforts in relation to completing a probated sentence. Implications from these findings urge policymakers to implement treatment as a condition of supervision for those on community corrections and encourage officers to help their clientele complete their mandated treatment program. This study extends knowledge by being the first to analyze the degree of treatment participation in relation to probation termination and the first to look at whether the stage of supervision in which treatment was initiated impacts probation completion. As an unsuccessful termination of supervision results in incarceration, implementing treatment as an intervention method and encouraging treatment completion can reduce overall incarceration rates and help break the notion that the criminal justice system is a rotating door.



Sociology, Criminology and Penology