Earlier this week, we dove into the early years of probation. Part two, looks at the early 1970s and the one research article changed the course of American probation.

The Great Shift

In 1974, The Public Interest published Robert Martinson’s “What Works? Questions and Answers About Prison Reform” in which he concluded that “the rehabilitative efforts that have been reported so far have had no appreciable effect on recidivism.”

Martinson’s conclusion sent shockwaves through the corrections community and the American public and, as a result, the rehabilitative model in corrections was called into question.

Another corrections researcher and scholar, Ted Palmer, who analyzed Martinson’s data in 1975—Martinson Revisited—stated later “rarely if ever did a research article have as powerful and immediate an impact on corrections…Within a year, the view that essentially no approach reduces recidivism was widely accepted.”

Check back Friday for the final part of our history of probation series, The Rise Strict Correctional Control.

Coming Soon in January

A Fireside Chat with Chief Wendy Still 

Our CEO Sam Hotchkiss is kicking off Reconnect’s 2021 Webinar series with a one-on-one conversation with Wendy Still, Chief Probation Officer of Alameda County (Oakland, CA) and former Chief Probation Officer of San Francisco county as she prepares to retire later this year.

During her career, she has witnessed drastic policy shifts, the evolvement of effective evidence-based strategies and practices, budget and staffing cuts, and countless other industry milestones, while being a relentless advocate for change and progress within the system.

Spaces for the chat are limited and filling up fast, register now!

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