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NIC update.

Determining the appropriate response to probation or parole violations is a topic of major interest in many jurisdictions. The National Institute of Corrections' Community Corrections Division has been working on this issue since 1989 and will be providing assistance in this area to selected probation and parole agencies for at least the next 18 months.

Parole agencies in New York, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and the District of Columbia and probation agencies in Arizona, Iowa, Connecticut and Michigan are currently receiving NIC assistance. These agencies were selected from applicants proposing to address violation and revocation issues by using intermediate sanctions and other community-based options to reduce reliance on jail or prison as the primary consequence of technical violations.

To carry out these projects, NIC awarded a grant to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Effective Public Policy. A report prepared by the Center, Parole Violation and Revocation: Lessons Learned for Policy Development, is available from the NIC Information Center.

Probation and parole agencies need to develop new and more effective ways of operating. According to the Center's report, a systemwide review of operations is an essential first step toward identifying the points at which revisions in procedures are likely to have the greatest payoff. This includes analyzing both process and data.

One revision suggested in the report includes giving more discretion to individual parole agents and hearing officers to resolve certain types of violations. However, written guidelines must be developed concerning the circumstances under which agents and hearing officers should resolve problems or forward cases to the parole board.

To develop a range of fair and consistent options and violation guidelines, the report advocates involving interested parties from throughout the agency--particularly field staff. It also is important to train staff in new procedures and to provide ongoing training about existing procedures.

NIC is funding another 18-month technical assistance grant for violation and revocation work. Probation, parole or combined probation and parole agencies interested in being notified about future opportunities should contact Kermit Humphries, NIC Community Corrections Division, 320 First St., N.W., Washington, DC 20534. For a copy of Parole Violation and Revocation: Lessons Learned for Policy Development, call (303) 682-0213.

Kermit Humphries is a correctional program specialist with the NIC's Community Corrections Division.
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Title Annotation:National Institute of Corrections
Author:Humphries, Kermit
Publication:Corrections Today
Date:Feb 1, 1993
Words:375
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