Arnold Ventures: Reducing Revocations ChallengeDeadline: June 24, 2019
In September 2018, Arnold Ventures announced a major initiative to transform community supervision and reduce the failures of supervision that contribute to mass incarceration. Among its efforts is the launch of the Reducing Revocations Challenge (RRC), an initiative in which Action Research Teams (ARTs) in up to 10 jurisdictions will receive funding to 1) conduct in-depth research and data analysis on the drivers of probation failures and 2) identify policy and practice solutions based on the research findings.
Research will be carried out by ARTs comprised of a research organization—which will serve as the lead applicant—and a local probation agency or district office in a statewide system. Each ART will conduct an analysis of revocation drivers, and use it to propose a policy, programmatic, or practice intervention that is responsive to the probation agency’s unique challenges. In a potential second phase of the RRC, select jurisdictions will receive additional funding to further develop and implement their proposed interventions.
ART research studies should be comprehensive in nature, exploring a wide range of potential revocation drivers, with special emphasis placed on exploring the underlying behaviors that lead to violations and the outcomes of those violations (e.g., incarceration, revoked and restored with new conditions). More specifically, ARTs should consider the following factors and circumstances in their analyses:
1. Pathways toward revocation. How do behaviors and decisions at different process points move people toward or away from revocations? More specifically:
- What are the underlying behaviors associated with revocations and the violations that lead to them?
- What specific types of noncompliance occur? To what extent are they new crimes vs. technical violations vs. absconding?
- What graduated responses are employed prior to filing a violation?
- Who approves violations before they are filed? What do internal oversight mechanisms look like?
- What dispositions do probation officers recommend following a violation?
What are the outcomes of violations (including length of incarceration dispositions) and how do they align with probation officers’ recommendations?
- How long does it take to process and resolve probation violations and what are the implications for supervision success?
2. Policy and practice context. How do legal and administrative policies—and the way they are implemented—affect how probation clients move through these pathways? More specifically:
- What are the local policies around conditions set, violations, and revocations?
- What role do caseload type and size play in violation and revocation rates?
- What types of conditions are being violated when revocations occur? Are they standard conditions? Special conditions?
Amount: A total of $2,000,000 is available to make 10 awards of up to $200,000 each to cover a 16 month contract period. Awardees will also receive funding for travel to attend a cross-site summit in New York City.
Eligibility: Tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations. Organizations without 501(c)(3) status are required to have a fiscal sponsor in place upon proposal submission.