Prior work on the efficacy of incentives and sanctions in community supervision practices suggests both can encourage desistance during prison reentry. Yet limited scholarship has investigated how sanctions and incentives impact reentry together and most research in this area is cross-sectional. Using four waves of data from the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, results of cross-lagged dynamic panel models reveal that certain incentives, namely supervision officer praise, relate to significantly lower levels of offending and substance use. Conversely, supervision sanctions and supervision officer reprimands relate to higher levels of offending and substance use over time. Overall, supervision practices that emphasize recognizing prosocial behavior over punishing noncompliance appear to hold greater promise for promoting successful reentry. Findings suggest that supervision agencies should consider the potential negative outcomes of sanctions during the reintegration process, and policies should be put into place that more closely consider the role of sanctions on behavior.
Posted on by Kelly Smith