AK DOC Today

News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

PACE Plans for Expansion

Because the data from the Anchorage pilot project tracked the Project HOPE data so closely,and because expansion appeared feasible from the standpoint of each agency’s workload, the PACE team agreed to add more participants in the next three months, with a goal of seventy participants. As of November 8, Probation had identified 37 more people, which includes a participant group of fifteen, a control group of fifteen, and seven additional probationers who could fill in if one or more of the participants becomes ineligible before the scheduled warning hearings. The team set warning hearings in November for November 1 (four probationers), November 9 (seven probationers), and November 16 (four probationers). No new probationers will be added in December because of reduced staff in all agencies during that month.

Judges and other criminal justice agency staff people throughout the state have expressed strong interest in the pilot program. At its November 3, 2010 meeting, members of the Criminal Justice Working Group (CJWG) emphasized the pilot nature of Anchorage PACE, and were encouraged by the interest in the program. Members agreed to the following time table, which allows time for a preliminary evaluation of the program before its expansion to other communities.

TIME LINE FOR PACE:

November 2010: PACE will add 15 new probationers randomly selected from a group of 37 identified by Probation. The remaining probationers will comprise a control group.

December 2010: No new probationers added to PACE

January 2011: 15 more probationers added, again randomly selected from a group of at least 30 identified by probation.

February 2011: Ten to 15 probationers added.

March to May 2011: Data collected on all probationers in the program followed by a preliminary evaluation of PACE.

June 2011: Court at CJWG stakeholders may consider expanding PACE to other communities.

From the Criminal Justice Working Group: PACE Update after Three Months

PACE data after three months:

The Anchorage program held its first set of warning hearings for twenty-nine probationers starting in mid-July. Three months have elapsed, allowing time for a preliminary report to see how closely the pattern of Anchorage matches that found in Project HOPE. The data here are those reported in mid-October at the PACE team meeting.

  • Thirteen of the 29 probationers originally assigned have gone for two months with no violations, and have had the frequency of their random testing reduced.
  • One probationer was at large with an outstanding warrant for arrests (as of November 9).
  • Of the probationers rearrested and sanctioned, most have only been rearrested once. Two probationers are being held on new charges, and Probation is working to get at least one other (who has failed several tests) into residential treatment. Thus, the data available from our first group track Hawaii’s data very closely.

PACE process and resources after three months

At the October 19, 2010 meeting, the PACE team members discussed their ability to handlethe present PACE participants and considered adding more.

  • Court staff reported that processing PACE cases requires some additional work on the part of clerks, but they are able to accommodate it. The need to schedule sanction hearings with relatively short notice requires some attention, as does scheduling the warning hearings, but they have managed these issues satisfactorily.
  • Probation staff reported that they are able to handle the PACE caseload. If more than 70 probationers enter the program, additional resources will be needed for drug testing. Acouple of probationers have challenged their positive drug tests; no information wasavailable on the outcomes of the retesting.
  • Law enforcement reported that they have had no problem serving the warrants, and did not anticipate any problem with handling more PACE participants.
  • Mr. Campion (DA’s office) and Mr. Cashion (PD’s office) said that they appreciated the program, and that they could handle more participants.
  • Judge Morse said that his schedule was flexible enough to allow time for more PACE hearings.
  • The Judicial Council provided funding to ISER for interns to enter the data for the first 29probationers, including their history of probation revocations in the past year. The interns will enter data about new participants, and about a randomly selected control group. The Council will fund ISER’s analysis of data about all of the participants, with a report scheduled for May.

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