ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE CONTINUUM OF CARE WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF SEX OFFENDER COMMUNITY SUPERVISION IN WASHINGTON STATE: A FOCAL CONCERNS PERSPECTIVE
Schaefer, Roger Lewis
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The process of transitioning from prison to the community poses unique challenges for those who have been convicted of sexually-based offenses. Due to the realities associated with the unique challenges facing these individuals, the community supervision process fluctuates along the correctional care continuum. The five focal concerns - Social Reintegration, Community Reentry, Status Maintenance, Statutory Compliance, and Risk Management - identified and subsequently studied by the current study represent checkpoints along the correctional care continuum. By examining the chronological field notes (chronos) composed by CCOs, the current study shows that community corrections officers most frequently note issues related to those focal concerns at the control end of the correctional care continuum -- Risk Management and Status Maintenance. The qualitative findings suggest that CCOs routinely note the concrete aspects of the supervision process such as housing or condition enforcement, while abstract realities such as relationships or social anxiety are noted less frequently. The frequency at which CCOs note or record these issues in the chronos is significantly related to correctional outcomes -- technical violations and new convictions. Specifically, increases in the number of chrono entries addressing Community Reentry, Status Maintenance, and Risk Management are significantly linked to increases in technical violations, while increases in the number of chrono entries related to Status Maintenance is significantly related to an increased likelihood of recidivism. Overall, the current study shows that all five focal concerns are included in some way in the community supervision process, that control-oriented focal concerns are prioritized, and that prioritizing, or more frequently noting, specific focal concerns is significantly linked to correctional outcomes.