1 min read
Posted on 06.16.05
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 06.16.05

Police officers have told me that they keep arresting the same people over and over again — and that this makes their jobs much more difficult.

Are they correct?

The study by Dr. Scott Decker of UMSL/St. Louis will examine what happened to people assigned to felony probation in the City of St. Louis during 2004.

The goal of Dr. Decker’s study is to determine the “outcomes” of probation. These outcomes could include: arrest by the police for a new offense, arrest by the police for a violation of probation, actions taken by the supervising probation officer to change the terms of supervision, warrants filed by the Circuit Attorney’s office, and revocation of probation.

The study is designed to find answers to the following questions:

  • How many probationers are arrested, for what offenses and how soon after receiving probation?

  • How does the criminal justice system respond to probation failures (i.e., arrests)?

  • How well do prosecution recommendations for sentencing predict future arrest patterns?

  • Do the arrest patterns of probationers vary by offense type (offense specific, property, violent, disorder, drugs), offender characteristics (race, age gender, neighborhood of residence) or system variables (prosecutor sentencing recommendation, risk score, supervision level, prior record)?

  • What proportion of arrests (felony, misdemeanor) do probationers account for?

    These answers will help me separate fact from anecdote.

    I’ll keep you posted.