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Implementation Evaluation of the Pretrial and Drug Intervention Programs in Macon and Peoria Counties

NCJ Number
E L Cowles; R J Schmitz; B Bass; L Gransky; P Hagner; C Smith
Date Published
237 pages
This report presents the evaluation methodology and findings for five programs in Macon and Peoria Counties in Illinois designed to reduce jail overcrowding.
Officials in these two counties recognized problems of jail crowding and a need for more alternative programming in their local criminal justice system. Both counties initiated Pretrial Services Programs aimed at decreasing the number of pretrial detainees in their jails. The Macon County State's Attorney also began the Deferred Prosecution Program to provide early intervention by removing offenders from formal court processing and directing them to treatment. The Day Report Center was developed by the Macon County Department of Probation and Court Services Department to provide increased supervision and services, primarily for drug-involved and violent offenders. In addition to its pretrial program, the Peoria County Adult Probation Department initiated the Drug Intervention Program, targeted at probation clients with the most serious need for drug treatment services. A process and impact evaluation was conducted for these five programs. It evaluated 37 months of program operation, beginning in February 1995 with the start of the first program, the Deferred Prosecution Program. The evaluation found pervasive problems related to the clarity of goals and objectives, or their compliance with actual program performance. Also, data systems in both counties and, thus in all five programs, presented difficulties not only for the evaluation but also for any future attempts by the programs to perform ongoing assessments of their performance. Finally, the pending reorganizations in the two court services and probation departments present both challenges and opportunities for the future development of the programs. Recommendations are offered for mission and goals, data improvement, and probation and court services reorganization. Extensive tabular and graphic data