JSP Principal Dr. Brian Lovins joins Incarceration, Inc with Van Jones in this series to explore the historic purpose of probation and parole, the explosion of people sentenced to probation, and the realities that probation and parole operate as delayed incarceration.
Dr. Brian Lovins joins Field Days to talk about the future of community corrections and the critical role probation officers play in the success of individuals under supervision. He unpacks his big dreams of probation officers as coaches, and not referees, and how this model sets everyone up for success.
The 5th hosts Alisha James and Marcus Hodges invite JSP’s Dr. Brian Lovins to discuss how his innovative leadership style is uniquely suited to challenge the status quo of probation supervision, to reconsider how we talk about criminal legal system issues, and lead the field of probation into truly out-of-the-box reform.
JSP Principal Dr. Brian Lovins chats with Field Days host Chris and Greg a second time to discuss three priority areas as the President for the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), including: developing a platform to elevate innovation and success stories in the field, setting standards of professional practice, and creating a welcoming space to invite young probation leaders to participate in building the future of the profession.
JSP Principal Dr Brian Lovins’ and colleagues discuss what it would take for probation officers to reimagine themselves as coaches, and how this new professional identity might impact people on supervision and the culture of the organization.
Lovins, B. K., Cullen, F. T., Latessa, E.J., Jonson, C. L. (2018). Probation Officer as a Coach : Building a New Professional Identity. Federal Probation. 82(1), 13-19.
Talking about the Way We Talk: Understanding Assessment Tool Communication to Improve Core Correctional Practices
Probation agencies across the country use assessment or actuarial tools to learn more about the best ways to help people while they are on probation. While agencies often train staff to administer the tool, they rarely train staff on how to talk about the tool with individuals on probation. Dr. Shannon Magnuson and colleagues discuss the importance of introducing the tool and discussing results with individuals and how this maximizes the spirit of core correctional practices. They also discuss the importance of acknowledging assessment fatigue of individuals on probation and the invisible emotional burden of repeatedly answering intimate questions about themselves.
Kras, K., Magnuson, S. & Taxman, F. (2022). Talking about the Way We Talk: Understanding Assessment Tool Communication to Improve Core Correctional Practices. Perspectives.
JSP Research Associate Shannon Magnuson and colleagues explore a story of resilience about those who are confined- and work in solitary confinement across several state prisons.
Stanford University Press
Rudes, D.S., Magnuson, S. & Hattery, A. (2022) Surviving Solitary: Living and Working in Restricted Housing Units. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
Dr. Amy Dezember and colleagues examine why so few criminal justice research studies use experimental research designs – research designs that allow researchers to prove that a program or practice works. They offer a few reasons such as lack of mentoring about how to properly carry out an experimental research study and concerns by practitioners about how the research will work in real-time. They discuss ways researchers could work through these concerns and increase the use of experimental research.
Journal of Experimental Criminology
Dezember, A., et al. (2021). The lack of experimental research in criminology – evidence from Criminology and Justice Quarterly. Journal of Experimental Criminology. 17(4), 677-712.
Dr. Lovins and colleagues evaluate special caseloads for individuals scoring low risk compared to assigning these individuals to regular caseloads. They look at the impact of these two caseload types on: intensity of supervision, increases to intensity of supervision, and revocation outcomes.
Duru, H. Lovins, L., & Lovins, B. (2020). Does reducing supervision for low-risk probationers jeopardize community safety? Federal Probation. 84(1), 21-27.
JSP Research Associate Dr. Jen Lerch and colleagues consider how individuals on probation perceive their POs and how these beliefs are related to factors such as prior treatment experience, prior drug use, and prior criminal legal system experience.
The Prison Journal
Sloas, L., Taxman, F.S., Walters, S.T. & Lerch, J. (2020). Individual-Level Predictors of the Working Relationship between Probation Officers and Probationers. The Prison Journal. 100(6) 709-725.
JSP Research Associate Shannon Magnuson and colleagues’ report the outcomes of a technical assistance project aimed to help probation officers better understand the technical components of the risk tool they use and how to talk about the results of the reports with their clients.
Magnuson, S., Kras, K. R., Aleandro, H., Rudes, D. S. & Taxman, F.S. (2020) Using Plan-Do-Study-Act and Participatory Action Research to Improve Use of Risk Needs Assessments. Corrections. 5(1), 44-63.
Dr. Lerch and colleagues consider how computerized motivational interviewing with traditional probation supervision is related to starting substance use treatment compared to traditional probation supervision alone.
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Lerch, J., Walters, S.T., Tang, L., & Taxman, F.S. (2017). Effectiveness of a computerized motivational intervention on treatment initiation and substance use: results from a randomized trial. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 70, 59-66.
Dr. Lerch and colleagues discuss how correctional officers in a reentry facility use formal misconducts for petty misconducts despite COs reporting that misconducts for petty offenses lacked purpose and/or not supported as a practice by their supervisory staff.
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Viglione, J., Lerch, J. Rudes, D. S., & Taxman, F.S. (2017). Big Stick Management: Tickets as discipline within a correctional reentry facility. Criminal Justice and Behavior. 44(2), 163-183.
Featured In Media
Featured In Media
Read work where JSP staff is featured below.
As “the voice of the community corrections industry”, the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) serves as the field’s leading professional membership association. As APPA’s President, Dr Lovins is focused on supporting the association to contribute to the sector’s improvement through a more efficient and effective model. In this interview, he reveals that the issue of stigma, the need to change success metrics and humanization are critical priorities for community corrections.
Justice Trends (2022 March 21). Change and humanization: Watchwords among community corrections professionals in the US, an interview with Brian Lovins.
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