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Community Supervision Fee Study

Principal Investigator (PI) / Project Lead:

SALISBURY, EMILY J.

Funding Organization:

National Institute of Corrections (NIC)

RFP / FOA:

22CS23 – NIC FY 2022 Facilitating Behavior Change Training

Award Number:

22CS16GLM4

Project Period:

9/6/2022 – 9/5/2024

Total Funding:

$188,902

Project Status:

In progress

 

Project Description:

To conduct a national study detailing how adult community supervision operations are funded. Thestudy will use state-level data showing the proportion of state revenue, local revenue, and supervisionfees being used to support agency operations. The mixed methods study will help develop a nationalprofile on how adult community supervision operations are funded, including information regarding theextent to which local and state resources are dedicated to support operations and to what extentsupervision fee revenue is dedicated to fund operations. Quantitative data will be collected tounderstand who is collecting fees, the amount of fees that are imposed and collected, and the level ofrevenue from supervision fees and other sources being used to support probation operations. Qualitativedata will be collected through interviews with probation operations staff to gain perspectives on theadequacy of current funding mechanisms, trends in funding, and how those trends correlate with trendsin community supervision populations.

 

Abstract:

The imposition of fees on persons under community supervision is a common mechanism for community supervision agencies to support fiscal operations. This arrangement creates several possibly deleterious outcomes, including threats to an agency’s ability to function as intended due to ongoing fluctuations in the number of individuals under supervision and if those individuals are unable to pay supervision fees. In agencies where fee collection is the responsibility of supervising agents, concerns about agency fiscal stability may undermine time and attention focused on activities to support long-term behavior change, which is a primary goal of supervision. Persons on supervision can be negatively impacted by fee collection, which may be a financial hardship that can result in sanctions or extended supervision if unmet. In order to better understand the role that community supervision fees have in funding community supervision agency budgets, the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) will conduct a mixed-methods study that will collect state-level data on adult community supervision funding. Quantitative data, including policy documents, will be collected via two online surveys, one administered to community supervision agency staff and one to state-level policy makers and administrators from every state and the District of Columbia. Survey questions will focus on characterizing who has responsibility for fee collection, the amount of fees collected, the role of fees in agency operating budgets, and any existing processes for assessing the impact of fee collection on individuals being supervised and agency operations. Qualitative interviews will be conducted with staff from the same community supervision agencies and will focus on understanding the impact of fee collection on agency operations and stability and agents’ ability to engage supervisees in behavior change. The quantitative analyses will employ descriptive statistics to characterize processes for collecting fees and the contribution of fees to agency budgets. The analysis will further examine differences based on geographic area, agency type, and agency- and state-level characteristics. A conceptual content analysis will be conducted with qualitative data, using both inductive and deductive coding to characterize staff perspectives on the adequacy of funding, the impact on work and relationship with supervisees, and the relationship between fees and trends in community supervision populations. The results of both analyses will be combined to create a state-by-state profile of funding mechanisms and other circumstances related to community supervision.

 


For more information, contact emily.salisbury@utah.edu

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Last Updated: 10/27/23