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Intensive Supervision for High-Risk Offenders in 14 Sites in the United States, 1987-1990 (ICPSR 6358) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

In 1986, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funded a demonstration project of intensive supervision programs (ISPs), alternatives to control sanctions that involve community sanctions and emphasize stringent conditions and close monitoring of convicted offenders. The primary intent of the demonstration project was to determine the effects of participation in an ISP program on the subsequent behavior of offenders and to test the feasibility of the ISP's stated objectives: (1) to reduce recidivism by providing a seemingly cost-effective alternative to imprisonment, and (2) to provide an intermediate punishment between incarceration and regular probation that allows the punishment to fit the crime. Fourteen sites in nine states participated in the project and each of the selected sites was funded for 18 to 24 months. Individual agencies in each site tailored their ISP programs to their local needs, resources, and contexts, developed their own eligibility criteria, and determined whether probationers met those criteria. While the individual ISP projects differed, each site was required to follow identical procedures regarding random assignment, data collection, and overall program evaluation. Data collection instruments that differed in the amount of drug-related questions asked were used for the six- and twelve-month reviews. The "non-drug" data collection instrument, used in Contra Costa, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties, CA, Marion County, OR, and Milwaukee, WI, gathered drug data only on the number of monthly drug and alcohol tests given to offenders. The "drug" data collection instrument was distributed in Atlanta, Macon, and Waycross, GA, Seattle, WA, Santa Fe, NM, Des Moines, IA, and Winchester, VA. Variables regarding drug use included the number of drug tests ordered, the number of drug tests taken, and the number of positives for alcohol, cocaine, heroin, uppers, downers, quaaludes, LSD/hallucinogens, PCP, marijuana/hashish, and "other". The drug questions on the instrument used in Dallas and Houston, TX, were the same as those asked at the drug sites. Once a site determined that an offender was eligible for inclusion, RAND staff randomly assigned the offender to either the experimental ISP program (prison diversion, enhanced probation, or enhanced parole) or to a control sanction (prison, routine probation, or parole). Assignment periods began in January 1987 and some sites continued to accept cases through January 1990. Each offender was followed for a period of one year, beginning on the day of assignment to the experimental or control program. The six-month and twelve-month review data contain identical variables: the current status of the offender (prison, ISP, or terminated), record of each arrest and/or technical violation, its disposition, and sentence or sanction. Information was also recorded for each month during the follow-up regarding face-to-face contacts, phone and collateral contacts, monitoring and record checks, community service hours, days on electronic surveillance (if applicable), contacts between client and community sponsor, number and type of counseling sessions and training, days in paid employment and earnings, number of drug and alcohol tests taken, and amount of restitution, fines, court costs, and probation fees paid. Background variables include sex, race, age at assignment, prior criminal history, drug use and treatment history, type of current offense, sentence characteristics, conditions imposed, and various items relating to risk of recidivism and need for treatment. For the two Texas sites, information on each arrest and/or technical violation, its disposition, and sentence or sanction was recorded in separate recidivism files (Parts 10 and 17). Dates were converted by RAND to time-lapse variables for the public release files that comprise this data collection.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

WARNING: Because this study has many datasets, the download all files option has been suppressed, and you will need to download one dataset at a time.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Atlanta Background Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
Documentation:
DS2:  Atlanta Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS3:  Atlanta Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS4:  Contra Costa County Background Data - Download All Files (2.2 MB)
Documentation:
DS5:  Contra Costa County Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.1 MB)
DS6:  Contra Costa County Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3 MB)
DS7:  Dallas Background Data - Download All Files (1.6 MB)
Documentation:
DS8:  Dallas Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.2 MB)
DS9:  Dallas Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.2 MB)
DS10:  Dallas Recidivism Data - Download All Files (1.3 MB)
DS11:  Des Moines Background Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
Documentation:
DS12:  Des Moines Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.2 MB)
DS13:  Des Moines Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.2 MB)
DS14:  Houston Background Data - Download All Files (1.9 MB)
Documentation:
DS15:  Houston Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.2 MB)
DS16:  Houston Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.2 MB)
DS17:  Houston Recidivism Data - Download All Files (1.6 MB)
DS18:  Los Angeles County Background Data - Download All Files (2.2 MB)
Documentation:
DS19:  Los Angeles County Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3 MB)
DS20:  Los Angeles County Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.1 MB)
DS21:  Macon Background Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
Documentation:
DS22:  Macon Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS23:  Macon Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS24:  Marion County Background Data - Download All Files (2.1 MB)
Documentation:
DS25:  Marion County Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.7 MB)
DS26:  Marion County Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.7 MB)
DS27:  Milwaukee Background Data - Download All Files (2.1 MB)
Documentation:
DS28:  Milwaukee Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.8 MB)
DS29:  Milwaukee Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS30:  Santa Fe Background Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
Documentation:
DS31:  Santa Fe Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3 MB)
DS32:  Santa Fe Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS33:  Seattle Background Data - Download All Files (2.4 MB)
Documentation:
DS34:  Seattle Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.5 MB)
DS35:  Seattle Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.5 MB)
DS36:  Ventura County Background Data - Download All Files (2.2 MB)
Documentation:
DS37:  Ventura County Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.1 MB)
DS38:  Ventura County Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (3.1 MB)
DS39:  Waycross Background Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
Documentation:
DS40:  Waycross Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS41:  Waycross Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS42:  Winchester Background Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
Documentation:
DS43:  Winchester Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS44:  Winchester Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Petersilia, Joan, Susan Turner, and RAND Corporation. Intensive Supervision for High-Risk Offenders in 14 Sites in the United States, 1987-1990. ICPSR06358-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-05-15. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06358

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (87-IJ-CX-0057, 87-IJ-CX-0059, and 90-DD-CX-0040 (NIJ)and 86-SD-CX-0015 (BJA))
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Assistance

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   alternatives to institutionalization, communities, community service programs, diversion programs, drug testing, drug use, offenders, program evaluation, recidivism

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1987--1990

Date of Collection:  

  • 1987--1990

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   All ISP programs in the United States.

Data Types:   administrative records data, event/transaction data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Users are encouraged to consult the various published articles and reports about the demonstration project and the RAND evaluation for detailed information about differences in site implementation, goals, characteristics, and success of ISP implementation.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Between 1980 and 1985, 40 states implemented intensive supervision programs (ISPs) that involved community sanctions and emphasized stringent conditions and close monitoring of convicted offenders. The published outcomes were encouraging. Recidivism rates were low, and the majority of new arrests were for technical violations rather than new crimes. However, many people questioned whether the ISP programs were responsible for the observed outcomes or whether other factors (e.g., less serious offenders being assigned to ISP, preexisting differences in the offender background) were systematically biasing the outcomes. In 1986, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funded a demonstration project of ISPs. The primary intent of the demonstration project was to determine the effects of participation in an ISP program on the subsequent behavior of offenders. The data collection and subsequent analysis addressed the following questions: (1) Who participated in the ISP? (2) Did ISP participants receive more surveillance and services than offenders on routine probation? (3) How did participating in the ISP affect the offenders' future criminality? (4) Did the ISP affect the offender's employment, education, counseling, community service, and payment of fines and fees? (5) How did the costs of ISP supervision compare with those of routine probation? (6) For whom was the ISP most effective? The demonstration project and the evaluation were not intended to evaluate the performance of the participating agencies. Rather, the purpose was to test the feasibility of the ISP's stated objectives: (a) to reduce recidivism by providing a seemingly cost-effective alternative to imprisonment, and (b) to provide an intermediate punishment between incarceration and regular probation that allows the punishment to fit the crime.

Study Design:   The demonstration involved random assignment of eligible offenders to the experimental ISP program or to a control sanction (prison or routine probation or parole). Fourteen sites in nine states participated in the project and each of the selected sites was funded for 18 to 24 months at a level of $100,000 to $150,000 per site. Each site followed identical procedures with respect to random assignment, data collection, and overall program evaluation. The RAND Corporation evaluated the ISP programs with support from BJA and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The BJA encouraged individual agencies in each site to tailor their ISP programs to their local clienteles' needs and risks, financial sources, and internal and external political contexts. The ISPs that were part of this project were not primarily "service and treatment" programs but were oriented more toward "surveillance and supervision." Each site developed its own ISP eligibility criteria, and each was responsible for determining whether probationers met those criteria. While the individual ISP projects differed, the RAND evaluation was designed to operate similarly for all sites. Each site was required to follow identical procedures regarding random assignment, and the sites collected identical data to support the evaluation. Data collection instruments that differed in the amount of drug-related questions asked were used for the six- and twelve-month reviews. The "non-drug" data collection instrument, used in Contra Costa, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties, CA, Marion County, OR, and Milwaukee, WI, gathered drug data only on the number of monthly drug and alcohol tests given to offenders. The "drug" data collection instrument was distributed in Atlanta, Macon, and Waycross, GA, Seattle, WA, Santa Fe, NM, Des Moines, IA, and Winchester, VA. Variables regarding drug use included the number of drug tests ordered, the number of drug tests taken, and the number of positives for alcohol, cocaine, heroin, uppers, downers, quaaludes, LSD/hallucinogens, PCP, marijuana/hashish, and "other". The drug questions on the instrument used in Dallas and Houston, TX, were the same as those asked at the drug sites. Once a site determined that an offender was eligible for inclusion, RAND staff randomly assigned the offender to either the experimental (ISP) program or the control (routine program). Assignment periods began in January 1987 and some sites continued to accept cases through January 1990. Over the 14 sites, three types of ISPs were tested: (1) prison diversion programs in which lower-risk persons who had been sentenced to prison were subsequently diverted back to the community to participate in an ISP program as a substitute to prison, (2) enhanced probation, or (3) enhanced parole, in which already sentenced probationers or parolees are selected for closer supervision because they are generally deemed too serious to be supervised on routine caseloads or are evidencing failure under current supervision conditions. Each offender was followed for a period of one year, defined individually for each participant, beginning on the day of assignment to the experimental or control program. To record time-at-risk information (or "street time"), the six- and twelve-month review forms included a status calendar. The calendar recorded the dates the offender was placed on and removed from ISP or routine parole, and dates of entry into and release from jail, residential placement, or prison. As forms were completed on-site, they were mailed to RAND, edited, and entered into a database. Dates were converted by RAND to time-lapse variables for the public release files.

Sample:   The two Texas sites were selected and funded by the Texas Legislature, and the other twelve sites were selected by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Data Source:

Presentence Investigation Reports and chronological notes maintained by the probation officer

Description of Variables:   Background variables include sex, race, age at assignment, prior criminal history, drug use and treatment history, type of current offense, sentence characteristics, conditions imposed, and various items relating to risk of recidivism and need for treatment. The six-month and twelve-month review data contain identical variables: the current status of the offender (prison, ISP, or terminated), record of each arrest and/or technical violation, its disposition, and sentence or sanction. Information was also recorded for each month during the follow-up regarding number and type of face-to-face contacts, number and type of phone and collateral contacts, number and type of monitoring and record checks performed, community service hours performed, days on electronic surveillance and type of electronic surveillance (if applicable), number of contacts between client and community sponsor, number and type of sessions in counseling, number of days in training and type of training, number of days in paid employment and earnings, number of drug tests taken, number of alcohol tests taken, amount of restitution paid, amount of fines and court costs paid, and amount of probation fees paid. For the two Texas sites, information on each arrest and/or technical violation, its disposition, and sentence or sanction was recorded in separate recidivism files (Parts 10 and 17).

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

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.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2013-05-15 Incomplete SAS transport (xpt) files for datasets 5, 6, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, and 29 were replaced with SAS CPORT (stc).
  • 2006-03-30 File UG6358.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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