Research ReportSchool-Based Probationin Allegheny County:Examining the Costs and BenefitsPREPARED BYKathryn Collins, Ph.D., Erin Dalton and Emily KulickOctober 2014The Allegheny CountyDepartment of Human ServicesOne Smithfield StreetPittsburgh, Pennsylvania s/dhsPHONEFAX

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014Allegheny County Department of Human ServicesThe Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) is dedicated tomeeting the human services needs of county residents, particularly the county’smost vulnerable populations, through an extensive range of prevention,intervention, crisis management and after-care services.This report was prepared by the Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation(DARE), an office within DHS. DARE supports and publishes research related tothe activities of DHS in a number of categories, including: Aging; Basic Needs;Behavioral Health and Disabilities; Child Development and Education; Children,Youth and Families; Crime and Justice; and Innovation, Reform and Policy.DHS would like to thank the Vera Institute of Justice for its financial support andtechnical assistance, and its staff (Tina Chiu, Chris Henrichson and Sarah Galgano)for their technical assistance and support. We would also like to thank Ray Bauer,Assistant Chief Probation Officer, Juvenile Probation Office, Fifth Judicial District ofPennsylvania, and LaToya Warren, Deputy Warden, Allegheny County Jail, for theirassistance in the preparation of the report.DHS research products are available for viewing and download at the DHSResearch and Reports Web page at more information about this publication or about DHS’s research agenda,please send an email to [email protected] learn more about DHS and available services, visit the DHS websiteat or call 412-350-5701(TDD 412-473-2017). 2014 Allegheny County DHSPublished 2014 by Allegheny County DHS     The Allegheny County Department of Human Servicespage ii

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014CONTENTSAcronyms and Definitions 1Executive Summary 2Introduction 3Methodology and Data 5About Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh 6Description of the Project 7Literature Review 7Population 8Outcomes 11Next Steps in Analysis 16Appendix 18Technical Appendix 19Sources 22     The Allegheny County Department of Human Servicespage iii

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014ContentsTables(continued)TABLE 1:page ivChanges in Attendance, Pre- and Post-Supervision 12TABLE 2: Average Change in Grade Point Average and Number of Improving Students,Students under School-Based Probation and All Students 12TABLE 3: Areas with Largest Number of Students who Recidivate, School Districts andNeighborhoods, Total Students and Percent of Students under Supervision 13TABLE 4: Educational Outcomes, Students who Recidivated vs. Control GroupFiguresFIGURE 1: Students under Supervision by Highest Charge, by Gender and Ageat Start of First Supervision 9FIGURE 2: Involvement in Select Social Services for StudentsPre-, During and Post-Supervision 10FIGURE 3: Percent of Students in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Placements,Pre-Supervision and Post-Supervision 11FIGURE 4: Survival Curve to Recidivating13FIGURE 5: Human Service Involvement during Supervision,Students who Recidivated v. Control Group 14FIGURE 6: Average Absence Rates during Supervision,Students who Recidivated v. Control Group 16     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services15

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 1ACRONYMS AND DEFINITIONSAcronymsCBACost–Benefit AnalysisCYF[ Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of]Children, Youth and FamiliesCYF Placement An out-of-home placement through CYFDHS[Allegheny County] Department of Human ServicesGPAGrade Point AverageJPO[Allegheny County] Juvenile Probation OfficeJPO PlacementAn out-of-home placement through JPOPPSPittsburgh Public School DistrictVeraVera Institute of JusticeDefinitions Pre-Supervision — outcomes calculated for one year prior to the first date of supervision During Supervision — outcomes calculated for the academic year (or years) during whichthe student was supervised in school-based probation Post-Supervision — outcomes calculated for one year after the end of supervision Recidivism — re-entry to JPO placement after supervision has ended     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 2EXECUTIVE SUMMARYCriminal activity is costly — to society, to the government,to victims, and to offenders and their families. Programs thatcan prevent or reduce the likelihood that a crime will occurcan generate substantial savings to society, savings that canbe reinvested in programs that work to further reduce crime.In particular, programs that can prevent juveniles from committingcrimes, and improve their life skills and their educational andemployment outcomes, can generate significant benefits tothe communities in which they live. As a result, intensivesupervision programs like school-based probation, in whicha probation officer is based in a school building to monitorstudents under supervision on a daily basis, are becomingmore popular. Nonetheless, there has been little rigorousevaluation of these programs.Allegheny County, with technical assistance from the Vera Institute of Justice, conductedan evaluation of its school-based probation program. This program started in 1994 withthree probation officers and, by 2012, had grown to include 21 of the 43 school districts inAllegheny County. In the Pittsburgh Public School District (PPS), there are school-basedprobation officers in 13 different schools, including at least one in every high school. Thisevaluation examines a variety of outcomes for students under school-based probationbefore, during and after supervision, including participation in social services, educationaloutcomes, and future involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.The majority of students supervised in school-based probation (and under supervision in general)are African American males age 15 through 17. Sixty-five percent of the students supervisedhave been charged with a felony. Seventy-seven percent of students supervised in school-basedprobation from September 2010 through December 2012 had prior involvement in social     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 20141 Includes one or more ofthe following services: childwelfare, mental health, drugand alcohol, family supportcenters, medical assistancetransportation program,homeless and housingsupports, assisted housingor public 3services.1 Involvement in behavioral health services increased both during and after supervisionfor these students.Forty-six percent of the students had been in a juvenile justice placement (JPO Place) anda fifth had experienced a child welfare out-of-home placement (CYF Place). A quarter of thestudents experienced a juvenile justice placement within a year prior to supervision, falling toless than a fifth post-supervision. There were few students who experienced a child welfareplacement within a year of supervision. However, more than 60 percent of the students witha prior child welfare placement also experienced a juvenile justice placement.For PPS students in school-based probation, more than 70 percent improved attendanceduring supervision (attending an average of 22 more school days during any given year) andover 40 percent of students improved their Grade Point Average (GPA). These students havelower GPAs on average than their peers both pre- and post-supervision. It should be notedthat this population is highly mobile, with more than half of the students changing districtspre- to post-supervision.Recidivism is defined as a student removed to a juvenile justice placement within a year ofthe end of supervision. More than a quarter of students in school-based probation recidivatedwithin a year, with African Americans and boys recidivating at higher rates than the controlgroup. Twenty-five percent of these students recidivate in a month and 50 percent withinthree months. These students are more likely to be involved with behavioral health and childwelfare services during their supervision, particularly with mental health services. Students whorecidivated were more than twice as likely as the control group to have prior drug and alcoholinvolvement. In addition, students who recidivate were, on average, more likely to be absentpre-involvement and post- involvement and to have lower GPAs. Interestingly, for studentscharged with misdemeanors, those who recidivate have more than double the absence rateduring supervision than those who do not re-offend.Next steps suggested for this study include examining the educational outcomes of studentssupervised in school-based probation compared to students supervised in traditionalcommunity supervision. In addition, additional research and analysis should be conducted tomonetize the benefits of this program, which may include savings from decreased placements,savings in court costs, and savings to victims from the prevention of future crime. In addition,educational outcomes appear to improve with this program, at least during supervision, resultingin increased likelihood of retention in school and improved attendance.INTRODUCTIONThe cost of criminal activity, to individuals, communities and the country as a whole, is substantial.In the United States, more than 23 million criminal offenses were committed in 2007, resultingin approximately 15 billion in economic losses to the victims and 179 billion in governmentexpenditures on police protection, judicial and legal activities, and correctional system costs     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 4from incarceration through probation (U.S. Department of Justice, 2004, 2007, 2008). Programsthat directly or indirectly prevent crime can therefore generate substantial economic benefits byreducing crime-related costs incurred by victims, communities and the criminal justice system.Programs that work to prevent and deter crime can be assigned valued based upon the coststhey save to society. These costs include savings as a result of fewer jail-bed days, fewer daysof probation, shorter stays in care and/or fewer arrests. In addition, examining program benefitsin this way provides useful information when making decisions about the allocation of scarceresources (i.e., programs that result in greater cost savings to society may be of greater valuethan those with a lesser impact). However, it should be noted that, although cost savings arean important component of program viability in today’s society, it is only one of a number ofcriteria to be considered when evaluating a program’s value.Allegheny County is committed to allocating criminal justice resources in a more systematicway, utilizing evaluation and evidence-based programming, to increasing understanding ofthe costs and benefits of programs, and to continuing the successful collaboration betweenthe Courts, jail, other county government offices and law enforcement that has developedthrough years of work on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board. To further this goal, AlleghenyCounty applied for, and received, a technical assistance grant from the Vera Institute of Justiceto implement a system of cost–benefit analysis throughout the justice system.Through a yearlong period of technical assistance, the Vera Institute of Justice helped AlleghenyCounty demonstrate the utility of understanding the costs and benefits of justice programs withtwo demonstration projects and through the creation of a system-wide cost database that includesagreed-upon unit costs within the county’s criminal justice system. These costs include the costof a jail-bed day, a day of adult probation, an arrest and a day of juvenile detention. Researchers,evaluators and program administrators can use this information to compare the benefits andcosts of programs when making management, budget and program decisions.One of the demonstration projects focused on school-based probation, a juvenile justice programthat uses evidence-based concepts to create an intensive supervision model to address boththe immediate causes of recidivism and decrease the likelihood of future recidivism by improvingeducational outcomes for students. To date, few studies have been conducted on school-basedprobation programs, so this analysis is an attempt to better understand the outcomes of theprogram and how they relate to costs.     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 5METHODOLOGY AND DATAData SourcesAllegheny County Budget OfficeBudget data were provided for calendar years 2011 and 2012 for adult probation and for juvenileprobation and detention. This information included total operating costs, costs for personnel,fringe benefits, supplies, materials, repair and maintenance, fixed assets, and services. In addition,the budget office provided detailed, de-identified salary information and titles for child careworkers at Shuman Detention Center and for adult and juvenile probation officers. The budgetoffice provided information on the costs of the school-based probation program and the numberof probation officers paid out of this budget.Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)DHS operates a child welfare case management data system that can merge case and clientinformation with service utilization and costs. In addition, juvenile detention and placementsare tracked through this system. This analysis examined all placement episodes for studentsinvolved in school-based probation pre-, during and post-supervision.Allegheny County Juvenile Probation (JPO)This report relies on the 2011 and 2012 annual reports of JPO. It calculates the average dailypopulation at Shuman Detention Center and details the number of probation officers by programtype (e.g., School-Based Probation, Community-Based Probation, etc.). In addition, JPOprovided information on all students who were involved in school-based probation fromSeptember 2010 through January 2013, including demographics, charges, school and district,name of assigned probation officer, and dates of supervision.MethodologyPopulation Sample2 Students were included whowere adjudicated delinquentand on probation or if theywere on consent decreeand non-placement. In bothinstances, they were directlysupervised by the schoolbased probation officer.In examining educationaland recidivism outcomes,only students whosesupervision ended beforeSeptember 1, 2012, wereincluded (N 1,298).This report examines every juvenile assigned to a school-based probation officer during the2010–2011 and 2011–2012 school years (N 1,502).2 Students who were on probation duringthis time and attending a school with a school-based probation officer were assigned to thatprobation officer. See Appendix for the list of schools in Allegheny County with a school-basedprobation officer.Of students for whom educational outcome information was available, 50 percent (583) attendeda PPS school at some point, and 23 percent (298) attended a PPS school pre-, during and postsupervision. Educational outcomes were examined only for students who had available datathroughout the entire study period.For the 1,502 juveniles under supervision during this time frame, we examined human serviceshistory a year prior to supervision, during supervision and a year following supervision. Human     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 6services include child welfare involvement, behavioral health involvement, support serviceinvolvement (including public benefits, assisted housing, homeless and housing supports,and family support center participation), and involvement with intellectual disability services.Recidivism Cohort AnalysisJuveniles are considered to have “recidivated” if they had a home removal to a JPO placementafter the end of their supervision. In order to better understand the factors that might contributeto recidivism, we used propensity score matching to construct a control group of students undersupervision who did not re-offend during the period with those who did. The students werematched on age, race, gender, highest charge (on a scale of 1 through 8) and school district. Thiscreated a comparison group with matched risk factors to compare to those who re-offended,allowing for an analysis of what factors contributed to re-offending.ABOUT ALLEGHENY COUNTY AND THE CITY OF PITTSBURGHIt is now rare for Allegheny County to mount a new criminal justice program without determiningif the approach is evidence-based and without incorporating some level of evaluation. For example,Allegheny County redesigned its Pretrial Services Office using national standards, it commissioneda study of its Mental Health Court that included a cost–benefit analysis (CBA), and it designedits new Reentry Program using best practices identified by the Council of State Governmentsand the U.S. Department of Justice. That Reentry Program benefited greatly from the CBAconstructed by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Allegheny County used this analysisto select the programs for a 1.5 million pool of services — services that now include cognitivebehavioral therapy, drug treatment plus aftercare, education and employment skills development.In spite of this respect for CBA and for using evidence in decision-making, there were challengesto integrating CBA into Allegheny County’s criminal justice operations. The county’s two technicalassistance grants from the Bureau of Justice Administration laid the groundwork for this —both by bringing together the necessary cross-system team (President Judge of the Court ofCommon Pleas, County Executive and County Manager, and the directors of each court andcounty agency in criminal justice and human services), as well as conducting the baselineanalysis needed to understand the drivers of costs within the criminal justice system. This teamis now implementing a set of strategies that aim to lower those costs and redirect the savingsto high-quality, evidence-based programs.Receiving the technical assistance grant from the Vera Institute of Justice allowed AlleghenyCounty to work through its existing partnerships and data resources to create a system-widecost database to be used throughout the justice system when evaluating existing programsand planning new ones. In addition, this resource can be utilized by outside researchers andexperts to create more accurate estimates of the costs and benefits of various initiatives. Thistechnical assistance helped to create a common language around costs and benefits withinDHS, the justice system and the budget office that will be used to evaluate future funding andprogrammatic decisions.     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 7DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECTAllegheny County is committed to being more systematic in allocating resources in criminaljustice programs through utilization of evaluation and evidence-based programming, betterunderstanding of the costs and benefits of programs, and collaboration between the courts andcounty government that has been built through years of work on the Criminal Justice AdvisoryBoard. To further these efforts, Allegheny County applied for and received a technical assistancegrant from the Vera Institute of Justice to develop the capacity to conduct CBA throughout thejustice system.The Vera Institute of Justice assisted Allegheny County in utilizing CBA and the system-widecosts in the evaluation of two demonstration projects, Adult Probation Day Reporting Centersand the School-Based Probation program. School-based probation is an intensive supervisionmodel where probation officers have offices within local school buildings. They supervise juvenileswhile they are at school, meeting with the students, connecting them to social services, andworking with school officials to ensure that the students are getting the services and supervisionthey need to prevent future recidivism.The school-based probation program began in 1994 with three probation officers in publicschools in Allegheny County. By 2012, the program had grown to include a coordinator and33 probation officers in six supervisory units. There are probation officers in 13 PPS schools andin 20 other school districts in Allegheny County (Allegheny County is home to 43 school districtsin total).Discussions with key juvenile probation staff members and with budget officers helped toidentify three main hypothesized outcomes of this program:1)Improved educational outcomes2) Decreased out-of-home placements3) Reduced recidivismThis evaluation analyzes each of these outcomes for students participating in schoolbased probation within PPS, which encompasses about half of the students supervisedby Juvenile Probation.LITERATURE REVIEWStudies have shown that juveniles most likely to commit crimes in their adulthood begincommitting delinquent acts early in life (Chaiken and Johnson, 1988). By deterring juvenilesfrom future crime, and by providing them with options to improve their lives, future crimecan be averted, saving taxpayers money, reducing the number of victims and improving thelikelihood that the juveniles will be contributing members of society. Many evidence-basedjuvenile supervision strategies have emerged that attempt to reduce the likelihood of recidivismand future crime. These include intensive supervision programs like school-based probation,     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 8where a probation officer is stationed in a school building, thereby increasing contact betweenthe probation officer and youth and, hopefully, leading to more immediate and effectiveresponses to problems that occur (Juvenile Sanction Center, 2003). However, to date, rigorousevaluation of school-based probation programs has not been conducted.School-based probation programs are designed to be more intensive, in which probation officerssee juveniles under supervision on a daily basis and are able to check attendance and disciplinerecords, and discuss academic progress with teachers (Safe and Responsive Schools Project,2002). In addition, placing probation officers within schools may enhance school security, decreasedisruptive behavior, improve relationships and collaboration between schools and juvenile justiceorganizations, and intervene early when problems arise (Stephens and Arnette, 2000).School-based probation is still a relatively new concept, and no comprehensive evaluationhas been completed, although preliminary evidence suggests that it has a favorable impacton school attendance, day-to-day school conduct and recidivism (Clouser, 1995; Metzger, 1997;Griffin, 1999). There is also some evidence that school-based probation promotes improvedacademic performance (Clouser, 1995) and is cost-effective (Metzger, 1997). In a comparisonof 75 randomly selected school-based probation clients with 75 regular probation clientsmatched on age, race, gender, crime and county of supervision, Metzger (1997) found thatschool-based probation clients spent significantly more time in the community without beingcharged with new offenses or placed in custody and were less likely to be charged with seriouscrimes. Metzger also found several other important benefits — including closer overall supervision,better school attendance, fewer instances of serious recidivism, fewer placements and far fewerplacement days — resulting in an estimated cost savings of 6,665 for every case assigned toschool-based probation.This evaluation is designed to be a first step in understanding how school-based probationfunctions in Allegheny County, what appears to be effective, and where additional examinationmay be needed. In order to conclude that this program yields demonstrable positive results,a matched comparison study of students in school-based probation and those in traditionalcommunity-based probation should be completed to compare recidivism rates and educationaloutcomes.POPULATION3 Includes all students underschool-based supervision whowere adjudicated Delinquent/Probation or Consent Decree/Non-Placement.There were 1,502 students under school-based supervision3 in Allegheny County during the2010–2011 and 2011–2012 school years.DemographicsStudents under supervision are most likely to be male, between 15 and 17 years old, andAfrican American. Seventy-three percent (1,081) of the students were male, 57 percent (862)were African American, and 63 percent were between 15 and 17 years old.     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 9Highest ChargeSixty-five percent (975) of the students in school-based probation were charged with afelony. Seventy percent (601) of African American students were charged with a felonycompared to 48 percent of white students. Of the African American male students undersupervision, 74 percent (441) were charged with a felony compared to 54 percent (153) ofwhite male students under supervision.FIGURE 1: Students under Supervision by Highest Charge, by Gender and Ageat Start of First SupervisionNumber of Students under Supervision— Male Misdemeanor — Female Misdemeanor — Male Felony — Female Felony200150100500101112131415161718Age at Start of SupervisionHistory of Service InvolvementTo understand service involvement prior to and post-supervision, only students who had endedtheir supervision by the time of this study are included (N 1,298). Seventy-seven percent (998)of these students had a history of involvement with human services. Sixty-seven percent (871)of students under supervision were involved with human services within a year of the start oftheir supervision. During supervision, 53 percent (690) of the students were involved in humanservices, and 57 percent (740) were involved post-supervision. See Appendix, page 18, for abreakdown of specific program involvement.     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 10FIGURE 2: Involvement in Select Social Services for Students Pre-, During and Post-Supervisionn Pre-Supervision n During Supervision n 0%19%19%11%7%5%5%5%0%4 Only students who had atleast a year of exposuretime post-supervision wereincluded (N 968).Homeless and HousingSupportsDrug and AlcoholServicesMental HealthServicesChild WelfareServicesPlacementForty-six percent (598) of students had a prior JPO placement, and 25 percent (328) werein a JPO placement within a year prior to the start of their school-based supervision. Nineteenpercent (247) of the students had a prior CYF placement (247). Five percent (52) of studentsexperienced CYF placement within a year post-supervision, and 19 percent (183) were in anout-of-home JPO placement within a year after the end of supervision.4 Of the students with aprior CYF out-of-home placement, 61 percent (155) also had prior JPO out-of-home placement.     The Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Crime and Justice      School-Based Probation in Allegheny County: Examining the Costs and Benefits      October 2014page 11FIGURE 3: Percent of Students in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Placements,Pre-Supervision and Post-Supervisionn Ever in Placement n In Placement within a Year Prior to Supervision n In Placement within a Year P PlacementJPOPlacementCYF PlacementOUTCOMES5 1,298 students who completedsupervision by December 31,2012, were included in theanalysis.EducationTwenty-three percent (298) of all students under supervision in schools attended a PPSschool before, during and after their supervision.5 Educational outcomes, including changesin attendance rates, changes in GPA and changes in number of suspension days, were examined.Only students with data pre-, during and post-supervision were included in the analysis.Limitations in data availability may have skewed this analysis, as students with greater schoolstability may be included.Because school-based probation officers see the students they are super

CYF [Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of] Children, Youth and Families CYF Placement An out-of-home placement through CYF DHS [Allegheny County] Department of Human Services GPA Grade Point Average JPO [Allegheny County] Juvenile Probation Office JPO Placement An out-of-ho