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Executive Summary of Rand's Study, 'Granting Felons Probation Public Risks and Alternatives'

NCJ Number
Crime and Delinquency Volume: 31 Issue: 3 Dated: (July 1985) Pages: 379-392
Date Published
14 pages
This article summarizes the major findings of a recent Rand study designed to discover whether felony probation presents an acceptable risk for public safety and, if so, what the system could do to overcome those risks.
To this end, the study sought to establish how effective probation has been for a sample of felony probationers, identify the criteria courts use to decide whether a convicted felon gets a prison or probation sentence, discover whether the prediction of recidivism could be improved, and see if the system could develop a felony sentencing alternative that poses less risk for public safety. The results show that two-thirds of those sentenced to probation in Los Angeles and Alameda, California, were re-arrested during a 40-month follow-up period. The study concludes that the criminal justice system needs an alternative form of punishment intermediate between prison and probation. It describes such a program that incorporates intensive surveillance with substantial community service and restitution. The article concludes with several policy and research recommendations. (Author abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1985