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Step 3 - Assess Stakeholder Interest in the Dosage Probation Model

One of the purposes of dosage probation is to more closely align policymakers’ decisions with risk reduction research and outcomes. The dosage model can represent a significant shift in the way that case settlements are negotiated and probation sentences are crafted, and/or in the expectations stakeholders hold regarding the outcomes of probation supervision. Creating alignment around these matters necessitates a willingness to engage with system partners around a policy development process and to test this approach to sentencing and probation supervision. Part 3 of the assessment is intended to determine if the key stakeholders are positioned to work together to design and test the dosage probation model.

Interest in the Dosage Probation Model

  1. What are the goals of probation supervision? To what extent is there agreement/consensus among stakeholders regarding these goals?
  2. To what degree are these goals currently being met? What data or information is available to help answer this question? If data is available to inform this answer, are stakeholders familiar with this data?
  3. How familiar are stakeholders with the dosage probation model?
  4. Why is this model of interest to stakeholders? Can they articulate its perceived benefits?
  5. What concerns do stakeholders have about the model? Can those concerns be mitigated?
  6. What individuals and organizations would have to be supportive of dosage probation for this to be a viable policy alternative in this community? What are their anticipated responses to the possibility of implementing dosage in this community?

Experience with Collaborative Policymaking

  1. The dosage probation model includes the formation of a project steering committee. At a minimum, the steering committee should include:
    1. the local chief judge;
    2. the local chief public defender;
    3. the local elected district attorney;
    4. the local chief probation officer; and
    5. the local chief law enforcement officer (chief of police and/or sheriff).
    Are each of the above stakeholders willing to serve on a dosage probation steering committee?
  2. Are there state-level agency representatives who would have to be involved in a project such as this (e.g., such as in the case where probation is a state-level function)? If so, who are these representatives? Is there a track record of working in this way with such parties? How likely are they to support an effort such as this?
  3. Are there other parties who should be consulted before this effort is further considered?
  4. Is there an existing policy team that meets on a routine basis to collaboratively address criminal justice policy matters? What is the name of this body? When was it instituted? Who are its members? How often does it meet? How well does it function? Who coordi­nates it? What are some examples of its efforts?
  5. If such a policy team exists, is it possible to imagine that this team—or a subset of this team—would form a steering committee to guide and implement this project? What steps would need to be taken for this to occur?
  6. If an existing policy team does not exist, is it possible to imagine forming one around this project, to serve as a steering committee? Is it likely that this group could meet on a routine basis (e.g., monthly for 2 hours) during the 12-month planning phase of this project and then on an ongoing basis (but likely less frequently) during the implementation phase? Who would initiate such a step? How would it be staffed? What portion of an FTE could be dedicated to this coordination work?
  7. Who are the specific persons you would recommend for such a team? Who would or should initiate and lead the steering committee?

Stakeholder Commitment

  1. How knowledgeable are system stakeholders around EBP and the values underlying the dosage model?
  2. Would key decision makers (i.e., prosecution, defense, judiciary) agree to sentences that would result in eligible and appropriate individuals being placed on dosage probation? Would they agree to supervision conditions that are supportive of (and not antithetical to) the dosage probation model?
  3. How would leadership stay focused on dosage probation when pressures such as legisla­tive changes, grant opportunities, and so on compete for time and attention?
  4. To what extent would the steering committee be available and willing to educate and engage, on an ongoing basis, superiors, colleagues, subordinates, and others about the dosage model, the dosage implementation plan, and implementation progress?
  5. Is it possible to imagine leadership standing together if an unexpected, negative outcome occurs with a dosage probation client? What history exists to suggest that leadership would demonstrate a united front under such circumstances?