Understanding Resource Deprivation: A Multilevel Examination of the Impact County Deprivation has on Community Supervision and Treatment Outcomes



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Originally designed to serve as an alternative to incarceration, community corrections (i.e., probation, parole, and supervised release) is the largest component of the U.S. criminal justice system with approximately 4 million adults under some form of community supervision (Oudekerk & Kaeble, 2021). Decades of mass incarceration have led to unprecedented numbers of individuals returning home under community supervision (Chamberlain & Wallace, 2016). These last few decades, recidivism rates remain largely unchanged causing community-corrections scholars to question what needs are unaddressed amongst individuals under supervision. While evidence-based practices (EBPs), such as those modeled after risk-need-responsivity (RNR) principles, call for individuals to be referred to targeted rehabilitative treatments/services/programs, many individuals still return to disadvantaged neighborhoods with high crime and a heavy concentration of justice-involved individuals (Andrews et al., 1990; Chamberlain & Wallace, 2016). Although research reveals that participation in programs that target criminogenic needs lower recidivisms (Andrews & Bonta, 2010), variation in effects across the quality of services (treatment type and quantity) and community corrections underlying philosophies (treatment vs. control and sanctions/violation practices) directly impact recidivism (Lowenkamp et al., 2006, 2010). The RNR framework emphasizes that programs that adhere to these principles and effectively link individuals to treatment-oriented services overall reduce recidivism compared to programs with control-oriented approaches (Andrews & Bonta, 2010; Bonta & Andrews, 2017; Taxman, 2020). However, even cognitive-behavioral approached programs are only found to produce a reduction in recidivism ranging between 5% to 33%, suggesting that some individuals under supervision will still offend (Lipsey et al., 2001; Wilson et al., 2005). Thus, it is important for research to investigate other contributing factors in variation of recidivism rates, such as community or county-level factors and the inability to deliver these services, that may also be a contributing factor in unchanged recidivism and treatment outcomes. This study seeks to extend social disorganization and resource deprivation theories to community corrections literature to provide insight on the variation seen when individuals supervised under certain conditions and within certain areas recidivate. More specifically, the current study uses data from 34 Oregon counties to examine how individual-level predictors (i.e., probationer demographics and specific type of treatment) and county-level conditions related to resource deprivation (i.e., county poverty, unemployment, and violent crime rates) and treatment capacity influence supervision outcomes of treatment program completion and reconviction. It is important to understand how and if individual probationer predictors and county-level conditions of deprivation affect the ability of the community and corrections agencies to be responsive to individual needs. It is hopeful that this research will begin to bridge the current knowledge gap and provide communities and corrections agencies sound recommendations for the development of improved probation and parole policies, practices, and resources.