Individuals – Giblin (2002)

Study Reference:

Giblin, M. J. (2002). Using police officers to enhance the supervision of juvenile probationers: An evaluation of the Anchorage CAN program. Crime & Delinquency48, 116-137.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Individuals; Focused; Reactive; Very rigorous; No evidence of an effect

What police practice or strategy was examined?

The CAN (Coordinated Agency Network) program combined the resources of the Anchorage Police Department with the Anchorage Office of Juvenile Probation. The project targeted juvenile probationers and focused on two objectives: enhancing overall levels of probationer supervision and providing positive role models for youth. Each participating police officer was assigned at least one or, in some cases, two youth probationers. In addition to his or her regular police duties, the police officer was expected to make at least two unannounced contacts with his or her probationer each month to ensure that the juvenile was in compliance with the terms of his or her probation.

How was the intervention evaluated?

This was an experiment in which random assignment of probationers took place prior to the program beginning, with 91 program participants and 64 juveniles acting as a control group. Juveniles in the control group did not receive additional supervision and were supervised by youth probation officers only. The outcome measures included new probation violations, and whether any new charges occurred over a seven month period.

What were the key findings?

Juveniles participating in the program were more likely to have new technical violations than were juveniles on regular probation (30 % vs. 17%), but they were no more likely to have new charges. These findings support previous literature stating that increased supervision and surveillance can lead to increased levels of technical violations. This fact does not necessarily imply that participants committed more technical violations, but rather, there were increased opportunities for being caught.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

More frequent supervision led to more technical violations. However, program participants were not more likely to be charged with new offenses, possibly indicating that the supervision may enhance the level of accountability the juveniles have for their actions.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?