Individuals – Thomas (1998)

Study Reference:

Thomas III, G. R. (1998). Coordinated Agency Network (CAN). San Diego Police Department.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Individuals; Focused; Reactive; Moderately Rigorous; Effective

What police practice or strategy was examined?

The Coordinated Agency Network (CAN) is a collaborative project between the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Probation Department. The goal of the program was to provide intensive, in-person, community-based supervision to low-risk juvenile probationary wards. Under this program, police officers made regular bi-weekly visits to the juveniles and their families, monitoring probation compliance, offering follow-up referrals, and assisting in identifying appropriate court-ordered community service projects. These officers also communicated their observations to the probation officer, reporting on the juveniles’ compliance and progress. Fifteen police officers dedicated an average of one hour per week during their work hours to CAN-related activities for six months.

How was the intervention evaluated?

The team identified 160 juvenile probationary wards, of which 80 juveniles were randomly assigned to receive intensive supervision as part of the CAN initiative, while the other 80 juveniles served as a control group. Juveniles in the control group did not receive additional supervision and were supervised by probation officers only via mail once per month. The outcome measures included the incidence of new probation violations, new offenses, and active warrants over a six-month period, as well as the successful completion of probation conditions.

What were the key findings?

Juveniles participating in the CAN program exhibited lower rates of recidivism, with 6% being arrested for new offenses, violating probation conditions, or having active warrants, compared to 22% among those on regular probation. Furthermore, they were 35% more likely to successfully complete their probation conditions through increased supervision and mentoring provided by CAN (27% vs. 20%).

What were the implications for law enforcement?

This study underscores the effectiveness of frequent, face-to-face supervision and mentoring in fostering compliance with probation conditions among juveniles. It also highlights the benefits of multi-agency collaboration, which allows for a more nuanced understanding of the needs and challenges faced by juvenile delinquents and their families, offering more targeted support through community-based programs and services.

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