Briefs, Papers & Memos


Briefs, Position Papers & Memos

This provides an archive of research on California Public Safety issues, evidence based practices, and publications on probation or issues that impact probation.


AB 372 Legislative Report
Applying Evidence Based Practices to Batterers Intervention Report

In early 2017, California Assembly Member Mark Stone introduced AB 372 to help advance domestic violence batterer intervention programs. The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) co-sponsored this legislation which ultimately allowed six counties (Napa, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and Yolo) to pilot alternative interventions, focusing on creating the opportunity for change to stop future incidents of domestic violence.

Position Paper

Flash Incarceration Fact Sheet

CPOC has adopted an informational fact sheet about the laws and practices around the use of flash incarceration for use by departments when developing their policies and guidelines.  This document was produced by the Adult Services Committee and approved by the full body.

Position Paper

Recidivism Definition

Currently the 58 counties in California have agreed upon a universal definition of recidivism for both adult and juvenile probationers. The definition below allows counties to describe one level of success for probationers while they are under supervision.

Recidivism Definition: A subsequent criminal adjudication/conviction while on probation supervision.

Position Paper

Adult Probation Probation Business Model

Probation occupies a unique and central position in the justice system. It links many diverse stakeholders, including: law enforcement; the courts; prosecutors; defense attorneys; community-based organizations; mental health, drug & alcohol and other service providers; the community; the victim; and the probationer. Probation’s leadership is now formalized through the Community Corrections Partnership.


Public Safety Realignment – What is it?

It is clear that Realignment is dramatically changing criminal justice in California with the state prison population under 140,000 for the rst time since 1996, and the state parole supervision population is under 70,000. The key question moving forward — how are communities responding to the populations that are no longer under the state responsibility and must be addressed locally?

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Realignment Monthly Estimates (CDCR/DOF)
Realignment Full Implementation Estimates (CDCR/DOF)


Mandatory Supervision
The Benefits of Evidence Based Supervision under Public Safety Realignment

State prison and probation are two ends of the response continuum traditionally available to judges who sentence felony offenders in California. Realignment has given the courts the additional tool of “split sentencing.” A split sentence allows a judge to split the time of a sentence between a jail term and a period of supervision by a probation officer known as “mandatory supervision.”

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Split Sentencing Dashboard Usage by County


Assessing Risks and Needs of Realigned Populations
Post-Release Community Supervision and Services

This brief looks at the work county probation departments do to prioritize resources towards higher risk oenders, and refer people to programs most likely to reduce recidivism. As realignment continues to be implemented in counties, it will be important to understand whether the full range of evidence-based practices from offender assessment to probation supervision to treatment completion are properly resourced.

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Listing of Probation Case Management System and Assessment Tools
Referrals and Service Tracking Template


Graduated Sanctions
Strategies for Responding to Violations of Probation Supervision

Probation’s balanced approach to oender supervision is necessary to meet its responsibilities of keeping the public safe, holding oenders accountable, and increasing the likelihood of oenders successfully reintegrating into the community. The use of intermediate sanctions is a key component of this balanced approach and has helped to reserve terms of incarceration for only serious violations of supervision.

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Example Graduated Sanctions Matrix
Rewards and Sanctions Tracking Template


Evidence-Based Practices for Assessing, Supervising and Treating Domestic Violence Offenders

Community supervision agencies are struggling with budget cuts, high caseloads and pressure to reduce failure rates. In recent years there has been tremendous growth in what we know about cost-effective practices in community supervision that have been proven to reduce oender risk and improve public safety. With this in mind, CPOC commissioned this paper and companion training curriculum on what is known about evidence-based practices in assessing, treating and supervising domestic violence offenders.

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Position Paper

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is a comprehensive philosophy of justice. Various forms of Restorative Justice have been practiced throughout history in cultures around the world. Restorative Justice offers a complete approach to addressing the needs of all affected parties: victims, offenders, and communities. Restorative Justice acknowledges that crime causes harm and injury to victims and their families, offenders and their families, and communities. The purpose of Restorative Justice is to engage all of the parties affected by crime in processes that work to hold the offenders accountable, repair the harm done to victims, build offender competencies, and engage communities in finding solutions to the problems associated with crime.

Position Paper

Status Offenders in Juvenile Hall

Position: the Chief Probation Officers of California are opposed to the detention of Status Offenders in Juvenile Halls and oppose any legislation that so mandates. CPOC does not necessarily oppose placing minors into longer period of confinement than is now commonly practiced and is possible underexisting law. The primary issue is one of capacity.



Position: Research and Evaluation are critical elements necessary to the development and maintenance of offender programs and the cost-effective allocation of scarce resources.


Probation Fact Sheet

Probation is a law enforcement tool that holds people convicted of crimes accountable and helps to oversee their rehabilitation. Trained officers supervise offenders to enforce court-ordered restrictions and ensure rehabilitation, working closely with other law enforcement and local entities (health or social services, community organizations, employers, etc.).


SB 678 Research Brief & Reports

California’s justice system is changing. For the first time in a generation, California’s county jail and probation populations are growing faster than its state prison population. After decades of severe prison overcrowding and high recidivism rates, California leaders passed a series of laws to increase local agencies’ responsibility for managing individuals in the justice system and reducing the number of people sent to state prison.


The Impact of Probation and Parole Populations on Arrest in Four California Cities

On January 22, 2013 the Council of State Governments Justice Center released The Impact of Probation and Parole Populations on Arrests in Four California Cities.The unprecedented study answers one question that to date has been a matter of speculation among law enforcement and corrections officials everywhere: to what extent do people on probation and parole contribute to crime, as measured by arrests?


CJCJ: Relationship between Realignment and Crime Increase

For nearly two decades, California’s violent crime rate has been falling steadily, with a 63% decrease from 1993 to 2011. However, preliminary reports released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, 2013) show violent and property crimes increased slightly in most large California cities in the first six months of 2012, while remaining among the lowest recorded in more than 40 years (Figure 1).


Updated Sex Offender White Paper

In 2007, a White Paper on Sex Offenders and Sexually Violent Predators was prepared for CPOC. This paper focused on recent changes in legislation relating to punishment, residency restrictions and monitoring of sex offenders in the community.


Adult Probation Services and the Need to Increase Public Safety, Accountability, Competency Development and Cost Effectiveness

“Prison Reform” only gets to part of the corrections issue, and only part of what it takes to keep our communities safe. Probation departments throughout the state are suffering from increasing caseloads and static funding sources. Currently, there are about 305,000 adult offenders (approximately 25% are between the ages of 18-25) on probation with only 1,450 deputy probation officers supervising them.


Costs of Incarcerating Youth with Mental Illness

The “Costs of Incarcerating Youth with Mental Illness” project was conducted for the primary purpose of informing public policy development by analyzing the costs and contexts related to incarcerating youth with mental illness and co-occurring mental illness/substance use disorders in California detention facilities. This study was one of the products of ongoing collaboration between the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) and the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA). Information obtained from this study will serve to advocate for better services in order to prevent the inappropriate criminalization of youth who would be better served in mental health treatment settings, to improve services to youth who must be separated from the community, and to ensure continuity of mental health care upon re-entry of such youth to their communities.

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Policy Brief #1
Policy Brief #2


Sex Offenders and Sexually Violent Predators:
Punishment, Residence Restrictions, and Monitoring

Since 1990, the United States has seen a resurgence in the enactment of Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) laws. Similar to sexual psychopath legislation in the 1930s and 1940s, these laws allow for the indefinite civil commitment of sexually violent individuals. The early sexual psychopath laws were passed to help society deal with sexual offenders who were “too sick to deserve punishment.” In contrast to the original laws, this second-generation of commitment laws were adopted as public safety measures to extend the incapacitation of offenders who had already served criminal sentences.


18-25 Year Old Best Practices

California varies widely from county to county in size, geography, urbanicity and demographics.Because of this diversity probation departments are responsive to their communities, developing programs and services specific to the unique needs of their jurisdiction. Unfortunately funding for probation has not kept pace with California’s rapid growth.


Use of Force Guidelines

To help clarify a number of issues related to behavior management interventions, the California Association of Probation Institution Administrators (CAPIA) convened a workgroup [membership attached] to develop a white paper addressing the use of force options in local juvenile detention and correctional facilities.

Force Options in Probation Department Juvenile Facilities
CAPIA Administrative Use of Force Review Recommendations
Master Use of Force log


RAND Study on JPCF (formerlyTANF funded) implementation and programs

In addition to creating a new welfare program in California—the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program—the Welfare-to-Work Act of 1997 also created another new state program: the Comprehensive Youth Services Act (CYSA), which was enacted in fiscal year (FY) 1997/1998 to fund juvenile probation services. The CYSA had three basic goals: (1) keep probation youths from further crime, (2) help probation and at-risk youths develop essential skills to avoid dependence on public assistance (Section 18220(j) WIC, or Welfare Institutional Code), and (3) help achieve four overarching Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) goals: (a) provide assistance to families so youths may be cared for in their homes; (b) reduce dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; © encourage formation/maintenance of two-parent families; and (d) prevent/reduce incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

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2 page RAND Study Brief (2005)