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Pathways Home Pre-Release Video Conferences

Alameda County, CA
Program Year: 2021

Abstract:
Research indicates that individuals released from incarceration are less likely to recidivate if they engage in pre-release case planning prior to release. In 2019, the Alameda County Probation Department assigned a full-time probation officer conduct a case-planning video conference with clients who were returning to Alameda County from state prison within 1-3 months of their release. This video conference enabled clients and the probation officer to discuss client needs and ensure that critical services, including transportation and housing, were available to clients immediately upon release. These video conferences also allowed clients to meet their probation officer and familiarize themselves with the requirements of probation in advance of their release. After analyzing records for 74 clients who received a case-planning video conference between March 2019 and December 2020 and 263 high-supervision clients who did not, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Policy found that 94% of clients who received a case-planning video conference reported to their probation officer within two business days, as required, compared to 82% of clients who did not receive a case-planning video conference (p=0.01). Additionally, clients who received a case-planning video conference were 8 percentage points more likely to receive at least one service referral from their probation officer and received an average of 1.8 more referrals than their counterparts who did not receive a case-planning video conference (p<0.001). Future analyses will examine the impact of the pre-release video conferences on recidivism after 1 year, but the dramatic impact on reporting and referrals to needed services suggests that this low-cost intervention already has significant benefit and should be replicated among other probation departments.

Contact:
Wendy Still
Chief Probation Officer