Reducing Recidivism and Improving Programming in the San Francisco Adult Probation Department
The San Francisco Adult Probation Department (APD) implemented a number of reforms to adapt to the new AB 109 clients (this is a specialized group of parolees who are released early from prison) and to implement evidence-based supervision. In 2014, George Mason University’s Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) and APD collaborated to implement the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Simulation Tool, a decision support tool designed to advance the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs). Evidence-based practices that are designed to reduce recidivism in probation supervision agencies through: (1) use of validated risk and need assessment tools; (2) targeting key risk and need assessment factors in case plans to reduce recidivism; (3) providing appropriate interventions and programs based on the dynamic risk factors that affect criminal behavior, and the interventions should use cognitive behavioral approaches to facilitate change in the behavior of probationers; (4) use of swift and certain responses to positive behaviors and to address non-compliance behavior; and (5) creating an environment where the working relationship between the officer and probationer can facilitate behavioral change. Research that supports these principles can be found in Taxman, 2009, Crime Solutions (crimesolutions.gov) and other resources. Collectively, these practices can reduce offending and technical violations.