computer aided mapping,
criminal justice programs,
geographic information systems,
Smallest Geographic Unit:
Date of Collection:
- 2008 (Pre-Implementation Survey)
- 2010 (Post-Implementation Survey)
Unit of Observation:
Probation officers and supervisors in the state of Rhode Island
Data Collection Notes:
As part of this study, the evaluation team obtained measures of users' perceptions of the Community Supervision Mapping System (CSMS) project through two methods: survey data from probation officers throughout Rhode Island and focus groups with probation officers and detectives. Only the probation officer survey data are available as part of this data collection at this time.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Community Supervision Mapping System (CSMS), an online geospatial tool that enables users to map the formerly incarcerated and others on probation, along with related data such as service provider locations and police districts. To understand how probation officers use and could potentially benefit from CSMS, probation officers in the state of Rhode Island were surveyed a few weeks before and 18 months after the implementation of CSMS.
Probation officers were surveyed a few weeks before and 18 months after the implementation of the Community Supervision Mapping System (CSMS). The baseline survey (pre-implementation wave) was designed to collect information on officers' daily work, their caseloads and interactions with clients, contacts with service providers and law enforcement, and their experiences with technology. The second survey (post-implementation wave) asked the same set of baseline questions along with additional questions about their experiences with CSMS, which features they used, how it impacted their work, and their expected use of CSMS in the future.
The pre-implementation survey was first administered to a pilot group of ten probation officers in the Rhode Island Department of Probation; of those ten officers, nine returned the survey. Based on the results of the pilot survey, a slightly modified online version of the survey was created using the CheckBox online survey tool. From mid-June to late-July 2008, 47 Rhode Island probation officers successfully completed the online survey, generating a sample size of 56 probation officers who completed either the pilot survey or online version for the first wave of the survey.
For the second wave of surveys, the evaluation team e-mailed invitations to 67 probation officers using Checkbox (version 4.5). There was initially a low response rate within the period immediately following the e-mail invitation that Urban Institute staff sent, which briefly explained the study and assured prospective respondents that the survey was voluntary and confidential. The evaluation team asked the Rhode Island Department of Corrections champion, a probation supervisor, for suggestions, and the probation administrators agreed to send out an encouraging e-mail to all officers to explain that Urban Institute is a legitimate institution and to reiterate why the survey would be beneficial. The Urban Institute sent weekly reminder messages over a three-month period (ending January 2010), and potential respondents were also offered the option of faxing or e-mailing their completed surveys to the research team. A total of 52 probation officers completed the post-implementation survey.
The survey was first administered to a pilot group of ten probation officers in the Rhode Island Department of Probation; of those ten officers, nine returned the survey. Based on the results of the pilot survey, a slightly modified online version of the survey was created using the CheckBox online survey tool. From mid-June to late-July 2008, the evaluation team e-mailed invitations to 64 Rhode Island probation officers requesting that they complete the survey. Of those 64 respondents, 7 were later excluded due to changes in their job duties. Two additional respondents were excluded because they had completed a training session for the mapping application prior to participating in the survey. Overall, 47 individuals successfully completed the online survey, generating a sample size of 56 probation officers who completed either the pilot survey or online version for the first wave of the survey. For the second wave of surveys, invitations were e-mailed to 67 probation officers using Checkbox. The final sample size for the second survey was 52 probation officers. Dataset 1 contains the data for both waves of the study; the overall sample size is 108 probation officers.
Longitudinal: Cohort/ Event-based
Mode of Data Collection:
Pre-implementation survey of Rhode Island Probation Officers
Post-implementation survey of Rhode Island Probation Officers
Description of Variables:
The dataset contains a total of 140 variables, comprised of 8 variables describing the probation officer's professional background (e.g., job title, number of years as a professional), 15 variables describing contact with clients (e.g., size of caseload, number of clients that the probation officer talks with on the phone or in the office in a typical week, percentage of clients that the probation officer has contact with once per week/twice per week/etc.), 23 variables describing the amount of time that the probation officer spends on job duties specific to the profession (e.g., number of hours spent communicating with clients or communicating with service providers or providing court coverage, etc.), 3 variables describing the probation officer's contact with other agencies (e.g., number of referrals given or service providers contacted over the past month), 3 variables describing the probation officer's computer usage (e.g., how often he/she uses the computer or a computerized mapping program), and 86 variables describing the probation officer's impressions of the Community Supervision Mapping System (CSMS) mapping tool and his/her experience with using it for work-related purposes (e.g., actual features used, opinion of user-friendliness, opinions of the tool's usefulness for work-related tasks, problems or challenges encountered, opinions of factors that would encourage more use of the tool, etc.).
Pre-implementation survey wave: 87.5 percent; Post-implementation survey wave: 77.6 percent
Presence of Common Scales:
Several Likert-type scales were used.
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of
disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major
statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to
these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
Created variable labels and/or value labels.
Standardized missing values.
Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.