JSP and Harris County CSCD Are Working Together to Unpack Drivers of Revocations

In this new era of mass probation, understanding the drivers of revocations is paramount in the fight against mass incarceration, and even more importantly, helping individuals successfully complete probation and stay in their communities.

JSP is excited to announce the release of a report on the local drivers of probation revocations in HarrisCounty, Texas and how those drivers can be targeted to reduce them. The report was produced as part of Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department’s participation in the Reducing Revocations Challenge, a national initiative of Arnold Ventures and the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) dedicated to transforming probation and reducing mass incarceration. The Challenge aims to increase success on probation through the identification, piloting, and testing of promising strategies grounded in a robust analysis and understanding of why revocations occur.

To carry out this work, we used multiple methods to hone in on potential drivers of
revocations, including exploring electronic data, reviewing individual case files, and conducting stakeholder and client interviews. This approach allowed us to dive deep into policy and practice and explore the impact of a wide range of factors that affect who gets violated and/or revoked and why, including supervision conditions and parameters, perceived risk, and the nature of the noncompliance; in addition to the exploration of client characteristics that may be associated with violations and/or revocations, such as gender, race, and ethnicity.

Using a mixed-methods design, our research explores the complexity of probation violations in Harris County. Findings show several predictors driving probation violations, including the number of completed office visits early in the probation process, number of conditions assigned to individuals, and positive urinalysis tests. This report details the methods and findings and offers recommendations for each of these primary drivers.

These and other findings from the research are being used to develop targeted solutions that aim
to improve success on probation and/or reduce the broader footprint of supervision by addressing the key drivers uncovered.

Read the report here.

Learn more about the Reducing Revocations Challenge and view all Action Research Reports here.