Individuals – Knoxville P.D. (2002)

Study Reference:

Knoxville Police Department (2002). Knoxville Public Safety Collaborative (KPSC). Herman Goldstein Award Submission.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Individuals; Focused; Reactive; Moderately rigorous; Effective

What police practice or strategy was examined?

The Knoxville Police Department and the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole developed the Knoxville Public Safety Collaborative (KPSC) to help parolees successfully reintegrate into the community. Crime statistics and parole revocation data were reviewed and analyzed to determine which offenders were at highest risk to re-offend and what factors might be involved in those parole violations. Risk factors known to increase the likelihood that parolees will reoffend, such as chemical dependency, unstable family relationships, mental health issues, educational and vocational deficiencies, and unsuitable housing, were all addressed in this team supervision process. Offender strengths and weaknesses were evaluated and a treatment and supervision plan developed through a multi-disciplinary case staffing process. The target population included the 265 parolees whose cases were managed by the KPSC from September 1998 through February 2001.

How was the intervention evaluated?

Data were compiled for the 30-month period of September 1, 1998 through February 28, 2001, reflecting program activity for 265 participants under KPSC proactive management during the study period. A historical comparison group, comprised of 261 parolees who would have been selected for the program had there been one in place in 1996-1997, was used for comparison to the target population. Failure to succeed meant re-incarceration for new charges (misdemeanors or felonies) or for technical violations (e.g., absconding, positive drug screens, repetitive failure to comply with conditions of parole). Success was achieved when participants complied with parole and did not recidivate.

What were the key findings?

The KPSC program reduced recidivism by 44%. Forty-five percent of those in the KPSC program were re-incarcerated within two years of their release from prison in comparison to 89% of the historical comparison group.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

Police-parole partnerships to improve supervision and treatment of high-risk parolees can be successful in reducing parolee recidivism. Further, the Knoxville experience offers good indication of substantial, long-range savings in incarcerations costs for the state.

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