The Three R’s of Conditions of Supervision
Allow for swift, certain and proportionate responses to violations and compliance/successes. Behavioral science suggests that responses by justice system to violations or accomplishments must be prompt or as quick as possible to have the greatest impact on behaviors. These responses should also be anticipated and understood (certainty principle) by the probationer to achieve ideal outcomes. Every violation and accomplishment must be met with an anticipated reaction. This eliminates the perception by the probationer or parolee that some violations or achievements have been excused or ignored. In addition to swiftness and certainty, responses must be proportionate to the infraction committed or attainments realized by the probationer or parolee in the form of a graduated approach to improve the perception that responses are fair, just and deserved. Further, research suggests that providing rewards with greater frequency than punishments is a more effective way of encouraging compliance. Finally, we cannot assume that what is punishing or rewarding for one probationer is equally punishing or rewarding for another.