Utah State Government, Department of Corrections, Division of Adult Probation and Parole, Reducing Recidivism Utah
|Kirk Lambert - Supervisor with the Utah Department of Corrections|
|What to Change?|
As a result of the passage of House Bill 348 of the 2015 Utah General Legislative Session, the Department of Corrections currently faces the challenging situation of implementing the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). JRI requires AP&P to move from a reactionary culture to one that is increasingly proactive and entails effective case management. Overall, AP&P agents feel overwhelmed trying to implement the requirements of JRI, move from a culture of being reactive to being proactive, learn new evidence-based tools, manage a caseload increase, and produce the desired results of enhancing public safety, increasing quality terminations to reduce recidivism, change lives and save money. Notably, they must do this in a high-stakes environment where errors or oversights can be catastrophic and create new or repeat victims.
The core conflict is that in order to reduce recidivism and increase program efficiency, increasing treatment dosage is necessary to cause a change in offender behavior but there is not enough agent time and capacity to change offender behavior. The key leverage point is to increase agent time and capacities to case manage offenders and increase treatment dosage.
What to Change to?
To address the core conflict and address the key leverage point a pilot program has been developed to test the following breakthrough innovations:
- Concentrating dosage to address criminogenic behaviors during the first 90 days after sentencing, which is most influential time period to address offender risk.
- Leveraging Treatment Resource Center (TRC) services to conduct evidence-based classes that will provide offenders 80 to 100 hours of dosage during their initial 90 days on AP&P supervision.
- Leveraging the experts by using agents who know law enforcement and are skilled in motivational interviewing to develop a Case Action Plan (CAP) with the offender on the first visit and meet bi-monthly with the offender to jointly manage the plan and work toward successful completion. Carey Guides will be used to reduce offender risk.
- Leveraging existing tools by linking the Case Action and Clinical plans.
- Maximizing offender participation and buy-in of Case Action Plan to include:
- Structuring and conducting an orientation workshop to obtain offender and family buy-in.
- Creating a Case Action Plan with collaborative input from the offender.
- Obtaining buy-in from judges, county attorney, county sheriff, treatment providers and Board of Pardons and Parole (BoPP) by establishing a pilot workgroup and developing a memorandum of understanding outlining roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder and support for the pilot.
- Disrupting the negative lifestyles common in moderate and high-risk offenders that lend itself to criminal activities by replacing free time with positive treatment.
- Conducting more efficient in-office visits, creating additional time for meaningful fieldwork to visit offenders in their natural environments (home and workplace).
How to Cause the Change?
The decision has been made to implement a pilot project to assist AP&P in meeting the challenge by focusing on recidivism efforts that changes lives. The pilot project will be conducted in the Logan area – a small community in northern Utah. The Logan AP&P office, which is known for past innovations and successes, will be the pilot site. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget will support the pilot. The pilot will begin in April, will run for 9 months but will have intermediate results to report at the September TOCICO conference.
Why was There a Need for Change?
Overall, AP&P agents feel overwhelmed trying to implement the requirements of Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), move from a culture of being reactive to being proactive, learn new evidence-based tools, manage a caseload increase, and produce the desired results of enhancing public safety, increasing quality terminations to reduce recidivism, change lives and save money. If the pilot is successful it will help agents meet the challenge by producing tools, standard work processes and templates that can be used across the AP&P division proven to enhance public safety, find hidden capacity, reduce offender risk, increase quality terminations and reduce cycle time.
How Do You Measure, Refocus, Sustain and Grow the Change?
The pilot aims to enhance public safety and support the overall agency goal of reducing recidivism by 25% by reaching the following targets:
- Reduce offender violations and increase compliance.
- Improve quality terminations with the goal of hitting 15% risk reduction in 85% of cases. A 15% reduction in risk score has been statistically correlated to reduce recidivism by 33% (one-third).
- Improve efficiency by 10% for Quality X Throughput/Operating Expense (QT/OE).
- Reduce cycle time or length of sentences.
The pilot project will start in April. We expect to have positive results to report by the September TOCICO International Conference presentation.
- Understand the process used to identify breakthrough innovations to address the core conflict.
- Learn how to apply TOC to a government criminal justice environment.
- See the intermediate pilot results testing the breakthrough innovations.
Kirk Lambert is a Supervisor with the Utah Department of
Corrections division of Adult Probation and Parole. He runs an office in Logan, Utah, and is
responsible for managing a team of probation and parole officers who supervise
offenders, run programs, and offer treatment to address criminogenic concerns.
He has been overseeing the implementation of new programs designed to
correspond with Utah’s Success Initiative to reduce recidivism rates and improve
offender outcomes. Most recently he has been overseeing a program that is
designed to remove bottlenecks in the probation system, and ensure probation is
front-loaded with the right types of programs for the right individuals. Kirk
and his wife Laura stay busy looking after their five children, and enjoying
the beautiful outdoors that Utah has to offer.