Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of the Massachusetts Intensive Probation Supervision Project, 1984-1985 (ICPSR 9970)

Principal Investigator(s): Byrne, James M.; Kelly, Linda M.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an Intensive Probation Supervision (IPS) program on high-risk offenders. The IPS program was characterized by four changes in usual procedures: (1) increased supervision, (2) risk/needs assessment for substance abuse, employment, and marital/family relationships, (3) stricter enforcement of probation, and (4) a four-stage revocation procedure for technical violations. The investigators also studied whether the additional caseload of the probation officers who implemented the IPS program reduced the number of supervision contacts with non-IPS probationers under normal minimum, moderate, and maximum supervision regimens. Offenders put on IPS probation in 1985 from 13 experimental courts were compared to high-risk offenders put on regular probation in the experimental courts in 1984, and to high-risk offenders on regular probation from 13 control courts for both 1984 and 1985. Data were derived from risk assessment forms, needs/strengths assessment forms, probation supervision records, and criminal history data obtained from the state's probation central field. For each offender, a full range of data were collected on (1) offender risk characteristics at initial, four-month, ten-month, and termination assessments, (2) offender needs characteristics at the same intervals, (3) probation officer/offender contact chronologies for the entire one-year follow-up period, and (4) offender prior criminal history and recidivism during a one-year follow-up period.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • The 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.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Pre-Test Group - Download All Files (3.097 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS2:  Post-Test Group - Download All Files (3.406 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   

Study Description


Byrne, James M., and Linda M. Kelly. EVALUATION OF THE IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS INTENSIVE PROBATION SUPERVISION PROJECT, 1984-1985. ICPSR version. Los Altos, CA: Sociometrics Corporation [producer], 1992. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09970.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09970.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (85-IJ-CX-0036)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    arrest records, caseloads, criminal histories, offenders, probation, probation officers, probationers, property crimes, risk assessment

Geographic Coverage:    Massachusetts, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1984--1985

Universe:    All offenders placed on probation in Massachusetts in 1984 and 1985.

Data Type(s):    survey data, and administrative records data, experimental data

Data Collection Notes:

The two data files are identically structured and contain the same set of variables.


Sample:    Fifteen courts were originally selected for the experimental program, but two were subsequently dropped from the study. The 13 remaining pilot sites provided a cross-section of the state's probation system, including courts covering urban, suburban, rural, and mixed (urban/suburban/rural) areas of the state. IPS eligibility was determined by a score of less than 10 on the state's risk/needs assessment forms. The experimental group comprised all offenders who met this criterion and were included in the IPS program between April 1 and December 31, 1985 (n = 277). All IPS-eligible offenders who were placed on regular probation between April 1 and December 31, 1984, were used for pre/post comparisons within the experimental courts (n = 242). The total population of IPS-eligible offenders in the 13 control courts for the periods of April 1 to December 31, 1984, and April 1 to December 31, 1985, were included in the control group (n = 365). Finally, a random sample of all other offenders in experimental and control courts who were placed on probation during the same time periods of 1984 and 1985 was drawn (n = 2,534).

Data Source:

risk classification forms, needs/strengths classification forms, probation case files, and criminal history data from the state's probation central field

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:

  • Standardized missing values.


Original ICPSR Release:   1993-10-02

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File SP9970.ALL was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-01-18 File SA9970.ALL was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-01-18 File CB9970.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 1999-05-12 SAS and SPSS data definition statements were added to this collection.

Related Publications


Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics