This proposal is conducting a study using intervention and community orientated strategies to reduce recidivism rates. According to the Justice Department, these levels are at 43.8%. This is because the individual breaks the conditions of their parole / probation or commits new crimes within three years of their release. ("State of Recidivism," 2006) To reduce recidivism a new approach must be taken that will concentrate on dealing with the root causes. The evaluation method will be the qualitative system. This is when there is an examination of different sources and the underlying trends. (Pratt, 2006) The organization that will be studied is the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA). The total costs for conducting the evaluation will be $20 thousand. Once this takes place, is when actuaries will illustrate those techniques which can reduce recidivism. This will enhance the ability of the CSOSA to achieve its primary objectives.
The CSOSA is focused on dealing with the 3,200 offenders that are released into the Washington DC region every year. Their objectives are to work with former convicts in learning new skills and becoming law abiding citizens. Moreover, they monitor defendants who are in the middle of criminal proceedings and are awaiting the outcomes. The primary mission is to reach out to these demographics prior to conducting any kind of activities that will violate their parole or probation. This enhances public safety by having a program which is actively watching cliental. ("Mission and Goals," 2012)
There are several primary goals of the CSOSA to include:
Public safety: This is when the organization wants to have programs that will prevent someone from harming members of the community. The way that this is accomplished is through having strict accountability and successfully integrating former convicts back into society. ("Mission and Goals," 2012)
The fair administration of justice: The CSOSA is dedicated to providing timely and accurate information to decision makers about cliental. This helps them to determine the impact of the program and avoids unnecessarily sending someone to jail. ("Mission and Goals," 2012)
This is showing how the agency is focused on preventing convicts from engaging in self-abusive patterns (which can negatively impact the community). ("Mission and Goals," 2012)
The Day Reporting Center is the program that we will be evaluating. This is an onsite location where former convicts can be able to transition back into society. The various kinds of services that are provided include: mental health, educational, vocational and employment opportunities. The primary objectives are to offer cliental with a place that will help them to learn new strategies for interacting with society. At the same time, there is a focus on: maintaining stable housing, finding / retaining meaningful work, reconnecting with families and learning vocational skills. In the future, this prevents them from going back into the prison system (resulting in negative effects on those around them and for the taxpayers). ("Day Reporting Center," 2012)
In the research project we will be evaluating the overall impact of current approaches on recidivism rates. This will help us to see the effects of these programs and how they adding to the problems with the criminal justice system. The information that is uncovered during this process will be used to highlight the current trends.
Once this takes place, is when the research will focus on alternative programs that are reducing recidivism levels. This will illustrate new initiatives that could be introduced and have a positive impact on the CSOSA. The information that is uncovered will help to address the current challenges.
Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Visher (2003) who said, "According to a national study, within 3 years, almost 7 in 10 will have been rearrested and half will be back in prison, either for a new crime or for violating conditions of their release. Clearly, an individual's transition from prison back into a home and into a community is difficult, and avoiding crime can be the least of his or her problems. Understanding these pathways and the reasons for and the dimensions of an individual's success or failure is the focus of recent scholarly attention to the problem of 'prisoner reentry,' the process of leaving prison and returning to free society. However, most of the existing research on prisoners' lives after release focuses solely on recidivism and ignores the reality that recidivism is directly affected by post prison reintegration and adjustment, which, in turn, depends on four sets of factors: personal and situational characteristics, including the individual's social environment of peers, family, community, and state-level policies." This is illustrating how the status quo is failing to understand the root causes of the problem. Instead, alternative approaches must be examined that will address the weaknesses with the current policies.
The findings will establish a series of initiatives that can be used in different municipalities around the country. This is accomplished by identifying those programs that are successful and then augmenting them with others. In the future, this will provide governmental entities and nonprofit organizations with a foundation for dealing with recidivism and repeat offenders. Those who will benefit from the study include: the general public, law enforcement, the criminal justice system and the offenders. The program will be focused on how the findings can be enacted from a macroeconomic level. (Visher, 2003)
The different pieces of literature are highlighting how alternatives can have a positive impact on communities. According to Visher (2003) these initiatives are shown to be effective because they are addressing the root causes of the problem. Moreover, they are using various resources to reach out to individuals. Commenting about what was happening Visher observed, "Individual transitions from prison to community are, we suggest, best understood in a longitudinal framework, taking into account an individual's circumstances before incarceration, experiences during incarceration, and the period after release-both the immediate experience and long-term situational circumstances. We are focusing on four specified dimensions (i.e. family / state policies / community attitudes / post release experiences) and how they affect an individual's transition from prison to community." (Visher, 2003)
This is showing how programs must be enacted which are concentrating on different aspects of the individual's life. To achieve these objectives means that various resources must be integrated with a collaborative approach. The information from this source is useful in illustrating how alternative strategies are effective. In the future, this helps the CSOSA's Day Reporting Center to offer more programs that are geared towards dealing with the root causes of these problems. This is the point that the agency will be more efficient in achieving critical objectives. (Visher, 2003)
Moreover, Ferguson (2005) determined that having intervention and support programs will reduce recidivism in minorities. This is because they do not have anything that can help these individuals in effectively transitioning. However, in order for these programs to work a partnership should be established between different entities and stakeholders. This is when everyone is effectively addressing the root causes of the problem by intervening early and communicating. (Ferguson, 2005)
In the future, this program and those that help to retrain / educate can give these people the skills they need to be successful. This is the key in reducing recidivism rates and creating positive changes. The information from this source is useful in corroborating the effectiveness of these initiatives and partnerships. This will allow the CSOSA to enhance the kind of programs they are offering and the areas of concentration. (Ferguson, 2005)
However, Sieter (2003) determined that all programs must be judged for their effectiveness. This means there needs to be extensive research conducted for its cost benefits and the ability to achieve long-term objectives. If this kind of focus is taken, alternative programs will have a positive effect on at risk criminals and probation / parolees. The information from this source is useful in helping to establish a foundation for implementing these kinds of programs. (Seiter, 2003)
The trends that were uncovered in the literature review are illustrating how alternative programs can be effective in reducing recidivism. This is because they are addressing the root causes of the problem and are working with various stakeholders. At the same time, many of these policies can be implemented with the status quo to enhance services.
However, these areas must concentrate on addressing main causes. This means that research must be conducted to determine the long-term impacts. The study that we are undertaking is examining these areas and how they can be implemented by the CSOSA's Day Reporting Center. In the future, this will allow officials to focus their research on those programs that are most effective. This will enhance the agency's ability to achieve its mission and primary objectives.
What you will measure?
During the evaluation, there will be a concentration on identifying the general trends for alternative programs in dealing with recidivism rates. This will establish the fact that these kinds of programs are effective in dealing with the underlying causes. While at the…