The Division of Parole Supervision (DPS) uses both case management and supervision tools and techniques to support parole clients with their reentry into the community while also promoting public safety. Supervision tools include drug testing, electronic monitoring, and contacts with the client and others in the community to ensure that the client is doing well and adhering to the conditions of parole. Case management techniques include the use of risk assessments, case planning, referrals to community resources (see our Services/Community Resources page), and cognitive-behavioral interventions to address the needs of our clients. DPS uses the following evidence-based practices (EBPs) in our day-to-day supervision.
Principle 1: Assess Risk and Needs Using Assessments
DPS uses the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), which provides a series of possible assessments that can be used to support community supervision. These assessments are used to help identify the general likelihood of recidivism as well as criminogenic needs that will be addressed to support a client’s successful reentry into the community. In addition, DPS uses various other specialized risk assessments to inform the supervision of certain offenders (such as sex offenders).
Principle 2: Enhance Intrinsic Motivation
Since 2017, DPS has utilized a standardized matrix of responses for both non-compliant and prosocial behaviors of clients while on parole. This tool provides a means to address both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Using this matrix, parole officers are able to support prosocial behavior by issuing rewards that are meaningful to that individual. That same matrix also makes it possible for officers to respond swiftly and appropriately to minor and technical violations with low-level sanctions or modifications to the conditions of supervision.
Principle 3: Target Interventions Using the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Model
Our parole officers use risk and needs assessments to identify criminogenic needs for each client. After these are identified, the officers utilize the Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS) model of case management to collaboratively build a case plan with clients. These EPICS sessions support change through cognitive-behavioral interventions such as cost-benefit analyses and problem solving.
Principle 4: Skill Train with Directed Practice
As noted above, officers use EPICS as a case management approach. EPICS is a method of coaching and working with clients on specific cognitive-behavioral interventions, skill-building techniques, and/or problem-solving practices. Officers practice these techniques and skills with high and moderate risk clients in face-to-face meetings for the entire duration of their supervision.
Principle 5: Increase Positive Reinforcements
As noted under Principle 2, DPS utilizes a behavior response matrix to ensure that clients are recognized for their positive behaviors while in the community. When a client displays prosocial behaviors, parole officers are able to recognize those behaviors with a set of graduated positive responses. These responses acknowledge both smaller positive changes as well as larger achievements such as the completion of case planning objectives and attaining goals.
Principle 6: Engage Ongoing Community Support
Since 2016, DPS has worked diligently to expand our network of providers so that clients can receive programming and support (such as short-term residential drug treatment, relapse and pretreatment classes, transitional housing, and more). By having an extensive network of resources, DPS is able to help clients build their own support networks in the communities in which they reside. Check out our current services and community resources listing on the Services/Community Resources page.
Principle 7: Measure Relevant Processes
DPS continues to build upon its existing data management system (the Parole Information Management System, or PIMS). This system is used for multiple purposes such as creating and developing various dashboards, reports, and real-time data tools. The information gathered from PIMS allows DPS to review the success of our clients as well as the progress of our agency.
Principle 8: Provide Feedback and Data to Guide Decisions
With the dashboards we have built and data we have gathered, we are able to employ that information to make decisions that support positive client outcomes. This information also helps to provide a longer-term analysis of the effectiveness of our parole practices, services, and how our work is affecting the overall safety of our communities.