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Recidivism as a Function of Day Reporting Center Participation

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 34 Issue: 1 Dated: 2001 Pages: 81-97
Date Published
17 pages

This exploratory study first examined rearrest among clients in two day reporting centers (DRCs) that served high-risk/high-need probationers with substance abuse problems; and then models compared DRC clients with two comparison groups of probationers.


DRCs generally have the following three elements: offenders report to the center regularly and frequently as a condition of supervision; the number of contacts per week is greater than clients would receive through normal community supervision; and the programs provide or refer clients to services not available to offenders outside the DRC. DRCs are used as intermediate sanctions for offenders who would otherwise be confined, thereby reducing prison or jail crowding. The current study included all DRC clients who were admitted on or after July 1, 1991, and who were discharged by April 30, 1994. Overall, 137 rural program clients and 94 urban program clients had sufficient data for inclusion in the analysis. The comparison groups consisted of probationers in the two counties in the study who met the eligibility requirements for the DRCs but who did not participate in either program during the study period. Three types of data were available for the study: personal characteristics of the DRC clients and comparison group members and prior record and rearrest data for DRC clients and comparison group members. The outcome analyses examined the likelihood of at least one arrest in the 12-month follow-up period. Findings showed that overall, a smaller proportion of clients who completed the program were rearrested compared to those who failed to complete the program. In the rural program, 16.7 percent of the completers were rearrested compared to 28.3 percent of noncompleters. This difference was not statistically significant. In the urban program, 18.9 percent of the completers were rearrested compared with 37.7 percent of noncompleters; this was a significant difference. Regarding the rearrest of DRC clients compared to regular probationers, the only relationship that yielded a significant difference in the likelihood of rearrest was the comparison between DRC completers and the high-risk/high-need comparison group in the rural program. Rearrest was related to the commonly found personal characteristics of age, offense, and prior record, rather than factors important to DRC program participation. The study concludes that DRCs may provide a viable correctional treatment option for moderately high-risk offenders supervised in the community. It cautions that because of the small sample sizes and exploratory nature of the study, the results are suggestive and impressionistic rather than definitive. 5 tables and 20 references

Date Published: January 1, 2001