Dosage probation represents a significant shift from traditional sentencing practices in the way that case settlements are negotiated and probation sentences are crafted, and/or in the expectations that are held regarding the outcomes of probation supervision. Dosage probation involves sentencing, supervision, programming, and violation decision-making practices that are informed by assessed level of risk, criminogenic needs, and optimal dosage; probation terms and conditions that target criminogenic needs through risk-reducing interventions; and links the completion of probation to achievement of a dosage target rather than to a fixed period of time, thereby incentivizing client engagement in interventions.
Such a shift in traditional sentencing practices necessitates the engagement of a multi-disciplinary group of system stakeholders who come together as a Dosage Probation Policy Team. The recommended Dosage Probation Policy Team includes, potentially among others:
- The local chief judge
- The local chief public defender
- The local elected district attorney
- The local chief probation officer
- The chief law enforcement officer (chief of police and/or sheriff).
Throughout the course of the planning and implementation process, the stakeholder team will consider and agree upon key policy decisions, oversee and evaluate implementation, and identify methods to continuously improve outcomes.
Where state officials have authority over local jurisdictions, support from state leadership is also necessary.