Evaluation of a Global Positioning System for Monitoring High-Risk Gang Offenders in California, 2006-2009 (ICPSR 34926)

Principal Investigator(s): Gies, Stephen, Development Services Group, Inc.

Summary:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The purpose of this evaluation was to determine the effectiveness of the global positioning system (GPS) monitoring of high-risk gang offenders (HRGOs) who are placed on parole. The study focuses on HGROs who were released from prison and placed on parole supervision with GPS monitoring in six California jurisdictions between March 2006 and October 2009. A propensity score procedure was performed using a sample of offenders drawn from the same six communities who were not placed on GPS monitoring. The matching procedure resulted in a final sample of 784 subjects (392 treatment and 392 control). The study used six primary sources to collect data: 1)the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) data management system, 2) official arrest records, 3) parole supervision records, 4) GPS monitoring data, 5) a CDCR parole agent (PA) survey, and 6) CDCR cost information.

Access Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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Study Description

Citation

Gies, Stephen. Evaluation of a Global Positioning System for Monitoring High-Risk Gang Offenders in California, 2006-2009. ICPSR34926-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-09-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34926.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34926.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2009-SQ-B9-K018)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    gang members, gangs, parole, parole violation, parolees, recidivism, recidivists

Smallest Geographic Unit:    County

Geographic Coverage:    California, United States

Time Period:   

  • 2006-03--2009-10

Date of Collection:   

  • 2010-12--2012-12

Unit of Observation:    Individual, Parole monitoring program

Universe:    All high risk gang offenders (HRGOs) placed on parole in the City of Los Angeles and the following California counties: Fresno, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, and San Bernardino, between March 2006 and October 2009 and all parole officers in the same jurisdictions who had HRGO offenders in their case loads.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, event/transaction data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Methodology

Study Purpose:    The purpose of this evaluation was to determine the effectiveness of the global positioning system (GPS) monitoring of high-risk gang offenders (HRGOs) who are placed on parole.

Study Design:   

Data on high risk gang offenders (HRGOs) (Subject Data, n = 784 and Outcomes Data, n = 18,816) were collected from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), official arrest records, and parole supervision records.

California operates a data management system that houses numerous databases relevant to the supervision of HRGO parolees. The majority of the data used for this study were derived from three databases: Cal-Parole, the Revocation Scheduling and Tracking System (RSTS), and the Offender-Based Information System (OBIS). Offenders are linked across all of these systems through a unique identifier that permits users to identify the same individual in different contexts or data systems.

Another principal data source for this study was the official record of arrests, convictions, and custody (commonly known as a RAP sheet) of each study participant. These data were provided in a hardcopy format and coded by hand into a database developed specifically for the study.

A third data source included the record of supervision for each parolee. Specifically, the parole agent notes the date and specific type of contact. These data were collected to measure the level of supervision received by each offender.

GPS monitoring data (GPS Assignment Data, n = 1014 and GPS Event Data, n = 281) was collected from two vendors: Satellite Tracking of People (STOP) LLC and Pro Tech. Each vendor provided the following data: a profile of the offender, a record of each event (inclusion/exclusion zone, strap tamper, low battery, cell communication gap, and no GPS communication) that included the event start and stop times and duration during a specific period, and the assignment history of the device.

The CDCR Parole Agent survey (Parole Agent Survey Data, n = 24) was emailed to Level 1 GPS Parole Agents with existing gang offender caseloads in August 2012. The email contained a note introducing the anonymous web-based survey, instructions for taking the survey, a link to the survey, and a password to securely access it. Parole Agents were sent numerous requests to complete the survey throughout the month; the survey was closed at the end of September 2012.

Costs information (Costs Data, n = 33) on personnel, facilities, equipment and materials, and other inputs were obtained through communications with CDCR staff and a review of budget documents. A cost-effectiveness worksheet was developed by research staff and transmitted to CDCR staff by electronic communication with a request to add the monetary values to each category along with explicit instructions to add any cost element that was missing from the initial draft. Follow-up discussions were used to refine cost elements and associated monetary values. For verification and to correct the cost elements, a final version of the worksheet was transmitted to a CDCR budget analyst.

Sample:   

The study focuses on high-risk gang offenders (HRSOs) who were released from prison and placed on parole supervision with GPS monitoring in six California jurisdictions. This group (n = 407) includes all HRGOs placed on GPS monitoring technology from March 2006 through October 2009 in each of the six specialized gang units located in the City of Los Angeles and the following California counties: Fresno, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, and San Bernardino.

To identify comparison individuals likely to have pretreatment risk characteristics similar to those in the treatment group, a propensity score procedure was performed using a sample of offenders drawn from each of the same six communities that maintained specialized gang units, but who were not place on GPS at the time of data collection.

The study used the one-to-one nearest-neighbor matching method. The treatment group was matched on race, age, gender, admit status, controlling offense type, controlling offense severity, registration as a violent offender, narcotics offender or sex offender, drug and alcohol testing requirements, date of parole, and parole district. A propensity score was generated for each parolee. The PSMATCH2 program for STATA matched control and treatment group parolees to unique nearest neighbors whose propensity score was with a certain caliper. Parolees who could not be matched were dropped. The matching procedure resulted in a final sample of 784 subjects (392 treatment and 392 control subjects). The two groups did not differ significantly on any variable.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Parole Agent Survey (Parole Agent Survey Data, n = 24) was sent to all Level 1 GPS Parole Agents with existing gang offender caseloads in August 2012.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional , Longitudinal: Cohort/ Event-based

Weight:    None.

Mode of Data Collection:    record abstracts, web-based survey

Description of Variables:   

The Subject Data file (n = 784 and 133 variables) has demographic variables (age, race and sex) on the high risk gang offenders (HRGOs), offense type (drug, property, violent crime, other) and severity, number of charges, number of prior arrests by offense type, gang conditions, number of days on parole, number of days in custody, GPS monitoring condition, and study site.

The Outcomes Data file (n = 18,816 cases and 45 variables) includes variables on arrest and parole violations for each month of the study period. The offenders' parole start and end dates, as well as age at parole date are also included.

The GPS Assignment Data file (n = 1014 and 17 variables) includes offender's year of birth, parole date, GPS assignment start and stop dates, and number of days on GPS monitoring.

The GPS Event Data file (n = 281 and 18 variables) includes the offender's parole start date, study end date, the GPS vendor, the type of GPS violation and number of violations.

The Parole Agent Survey Data file (n = 24 and 94 variables) includes parole agent demographics (gender, year of birth, and highest level of education), number of years as a parole agent, how long the respondent has worked in the GPS monitoring unit, and if the respondent has gang offenders on their caseload. Other variables ask about the types of equipment the agent has been issued (cell phone, hand held GPS unit, laptop, wireless card, installation tools and straps) and how often the agent has problems with the equipment. Other variables include topics covered during offender orientation, how quickly the agent responds to various types of violations alerts. Additional variables ask the agent about the GPS monitoring system, training, reliability, enhancing traditional parole supervision, and effects on outcomes for parolees.

The Costs Data file (n = 33 and 5 variables) include cost information for GPS parole and standard parole including personnel, facilities, equipment and supplies, and other inputs.

Response Rates:    The response rate for the Parole Agent Survey was 83.3 percent.

Presence of Common Scales:    None.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2016-09-26

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