1 LA Probation Governance Study Review of best practices in Probation Prepared by: Resource Development Associates April 10, 2017 Los Angeles County Executive's Office LA Probation Governance Study LA Probation Governance Study Review of best practices in Probation Patricia Marrone Bennett, Mikaela Rabinowitz, Ardavan Davaran, Moira DeNike, Ron Soto, , Lupe Garcia This report was published by Resource Development Associates under contract with the Los Angeles County Executive's Office. Copyright 2017 by Resource Development Associates About Resource Development Associates Resource Development Associates (RDA) is a consulting firm based in Oakland, California, that serves government and nonprofit organizations throughout California as well as other states.
2 Our mission is to strengthen public and non-profit efforts to promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. RDA supports its clients through an integrated approach to planning, grant-writing, organizational development, and evaluation. April 10, 2017 | Los Angeles County Executive's Office LA Probation Governance Study Acknowledgements The following Review of best practices in Probation could not have been completed without the support and contributions of Vincent Schiraldi, David Muhammad, Dr. Jorja Leap, and Karrah Lompah. Mr. Schiraldi is the Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School, as well as former Director of Juvenile Corrections in Washington, DC and former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation .
3 Mr. Muhammad is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and a leader in the fields of criminal justice, violence prevention, and youth development. Dr. Jorja Leap is an Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare; Director of Health and Social Justice Partnership at UCLA; and Principal of Leap and Associates. Ms. Lompah is the Chief of Staff at Leap and Associates, where she helps direct the Health and Social Justice Partnership at UCLA. April 10, 2017 | 1 Los Angeles County Executive's Office LA Probation Governance Study Table of Contents Acknowledgements .. 1 Introduction .. 2 Section 1.
4 Probation Department Management, Structures, and Systems .. 4 Organizational Culture .. 6 Collaboration, Partnerships, and Linkages .. 11 Staffing Standards in Probation .. 18 Management practices and Systems .. 25 Collection and Use of Data .. 28 Section 2. Adult Probation Services .. 33 Assessment and Case Planning .. 34 Pre-Release Planning .. 39 Pretrial Services and Court Assistance .. 41 Section 3. Juvenile Service Delivery .. 44 Pre-Adjudication Diversion .. 46 Detention Diversion .. 50 Assessment and Case Management .. 53 Juvenile Detention and Placement Facilities .. 59 Section 4. Transition Aged Youth .. 66 Appendix of Tools, practices , Programs, and Approaches Referenced in Document.
5 70 April 10, 2017 | 1 Los Angeles County Executive's Office LA Probation Governance Study Introduction American Probation was originally invented by Boston shoemaker John Augustus in 1841, a court volunteer who took errant neighbors under his wing, helped them pay off their debt to society, and reported back to the court on their progress to help them to avoid being At that time no one could have envisioned the current system, where almost 4 million people on Probation are supervised by 2,000 departments around the As the above numbers indicate, Probation agencies, including Los Angeles County Probation , have grown to impact the lives of residents far beyond anything anticipated by the original designers.
6 In large jurisdictions like Los Angeles County, where 6,500 staff operate under an $820 million budget to supervise approximately 50,000 system-involved adults and juveniles, the imperative for well-designed and well-operated organizational systems and practices is Driven by a large body of research, Probation departments across the country are under transformation, implementing new strategies and processes including evidence-based practices and community-based services, and placing increased emphasis on rehabilitation and youth development as a means for promoting public 5 Within this landscape, Probation agencies should focus on harm reduction by supervising only those who need to be supervised, for only the amount of time they need to be under supervision, and by relying more on incentives like shortening Probation terms for good behavior, rather than sanctions like revocation and incarceration.
7 For individuals under community supervision, Probation should focus on improving supervision practices by implementing evidence-based and best practices identified in the field, couched within a community-involved approach, as research indicates that cohesive communities and informal controls are more effective at reducing crime than government 7 8 9 10 11 With the Probation profession being transformed throughout the nation, there is great need for guidance around identifying and implementing evidence-based and best practices to promote public safety, affect positive behavior change, and minimize the risk of In order to develop the following review of best practices in Probation , RDA synthesized research across a number of subject areas, including criminal and juvenile justice as well as organizational development and leadership, developed by government and professional Probation agencies; non-profit and private organizations; and, independent researchers published in peer reviewed journals.
8 Organization of this Document This document is organized into four distinct sections focusing on best practices in: Probation Department Management, Structure, and Systems; Adult Service Delivery; Juvenile Service Delivery; and, Transitional Age Youth. April 10, 2017 | 2 Los Angeles County Executive's Office LA Probation Governance Study Each section begins with an introduction highlighting key developments in the subject area, followed by a more detailed review of evidence-based and best practices across a number of domains within each area. Appendices are includes at the conclusion of the document in order to highlight specific tools, practices , programs, and approaches referenced throughout the document.
9 April 10, 2017 | 3 Los Angeles County Executive's Office LA Probation Governance Study Section 1. Probation Department Management, Structures, and Systems Propelled by over 25 years of research describing what works to develop and rehabilitate both young people and adults, the Probation profession is now being transformed as departments across the country are implementing new strategies and processes, including evidence-based practices and community-based Twenty first century Probation departments emphasize rehabilitation and youth development as core components of their mission and as a means of promoting public Collaboration with community-based organizations and other public systems involved in the lives of individuals in the Probation system is now seen as critical to achieving this mission, as is measuring and reporting on client processes and outcomes.
10 The use of data to direct decision-making both at the individual- and systems-level is a major change that is demanded in order to ensure improved outcomes, smarter use of taxpayer dollars, and better conditions for both those under the charge of Probation and those who work within the 16 At the same time that the Probation profession is experiencing these rapid changes, the workplace in America is also changing. The use of computers and the practice of using data to inform all decision- making are now common practice both in the private and public sectors. Entry-level requirements in most professions call for higher levels of education, specialized training, and continuing education.