The Neglected 'R' — Responsivity and the Federal Offender
Federal Probation, Vol. 78, No. 2, September 2014
8 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2014
Date Written: September 10, 2014
Barriers that could impede the successful implementation of a supervision program (e.g., the responsivity principle) are frequently discussed under the risk, needs, and responsivity rubric, but have been historically under-researched. This paper describes an initial empirical investigation of the presence of responsivity factors among offenders under federal post-conviction supervision. From this analysis, we know that probation officers identified 28% of the nearly 20,000 offenders placed on federal supervision between November 2013 and March 2014 as having responsivity problems serious enough to constitute major barriers to supervision interventions. The most common responsivity factors identified are inadequate transportation and mental health. Offenders classified into the highest PCRA risk category were substantially more likely to have responsivity problems than their lower risk counterparts. These and other findings involving the presence of responsivity among federally supervised offenders will be further explored in this paper.
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