Judicial Council Report Finds SB 678 Highly Effective in Increasing Evidence-Based Practices
SB 678 Passed in 2009 to Increase Evidence-based Practices in Probation


Sacramento, Calif. – November 8, 2019 – The Judicial Council of California recently found that California Probation Departments have been highly-effective in implementing evidence-based practices while protecting public safety since the implementation of Senate Bill 678. The SB 678 program helped lead to the revamp of California Probation’s practices to adopt more evidence-based, scientifically-supported approaches that have yielded considerable positive results.

“To better serve our clients, we must continue to implement evidence-based practices that address underlying trauma and support their mental health state,” said Chief Stephanie James. “SB 678 allows more individuals to benefit from probation services using risk-assessment and risk-based supervision, chipping away at the issue of overcrowding in prisons.”

The judicial council report found that SB 678 has enhanced the use of evidence-based practices by probation which provide better tools to avoid the need to over rely on revocations to address behavior. Intended to reduce the number of adult offenders in state prison, SB 678 has been successful in dropping the adult revocation of probation rate. Probation’s expanded evidence-based approaches kept the revocation rate at 3.1 percent. Each year since SB 678 has passed, California’s revocation rate stayed below the original baseline rate of 7.9 percent.

After the passage of SB 678, California’s crime rate has remained steadily below the 2008 baseline level. Property crime rates decreased by 5.1 percent and violent crime rates decreased by 1.5 percent. In light of the positive results that evidence-based practices yielded, probation departments continue to enhance the use of risk assessment, collaborative practices, risk-based supervision, and the delivery of evidence-based programming.

“Protecting communities and working to prevent future crime is our priority,” said CPOC Executive Director Karen Pank. “We believe that providing expert-supported rehabilitative methods to our clients is an effective way to prevent future crime. SB 678 made it possible for us to implement evidence-based practices statewide, with research now showing a reduction in crime despite the downturn of revocations.”

The SB 678 program has generated approximately $1 billion in state savings and has helped probation departments succeed in keeping probationers engaged within the community and out of prison.

For the Judicial Council report go here. For more information about CPOC, please go to www.cpoc.org.

Media Contact:  Laura Dixon laura@cpoc.org 510-384-3020

# # #