Minimum Supervision: Who Performs Better?



Cartagena, Reyna V

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Interventions that are better suited for high-risk offenders do damage to the low-risk population, leading to an increase in recidivism (Lowenkamp et al., 2006). This argument is made based on limited evidence that all low-risk offenders are better suited for administrative handling than higher risk offenders. Randomized controlled trials conducted by Barnes et al. (2010, 2012) found that administrative caseloads of 400+ lowrisk offenders had no significant impact on the rate of recidivism for this population. This suggests that the low-risk population can largely be left alone, an assumption agencies have embraced to reduce workload. However, the question remains: does this make sense? Can an agency responsible for supervising justice involved people in the community simply leave low-risk offenders alone? This thesis project attempts to answer this question by exploring the factors that influence supervision outcomes for the low-risk population supervised by the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in Washington, D.C. Case and offender-level characteristics were analyzed to examine the supervision outcomes of this population. Logistic regression results found that low-risk offenders on parole or supervised release were over 11 times more likely to end supervision unsuccessfully than low-risk probationers. Results also show that low-risk offenders who incurred a rearrest during their supervision term were over 43 times more likely to be removed from low-risk supervision altogether, regardless of case type. Findings indicate that differences between low-risk offenders do exist and influence supervision outcomes. This encourages discussion as to whether or not administrative management of this population should be reconsidered.



Low-risk, Community corrections, RNR, Re-entry, Probation, Parole