Factors to Consider for Optimal Span of Control in Community Supervision Evidence-Based Practice Environments

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Abstract

In the face of budgetary constraints, legislative discussions in Iowa have focused on fiscal savings through an increased probation/parole supervisor to officer ratio, resulting in a reduced number of supervisory staff. Ramifications of this change, given the concurrent implementation of evidence-based practices (EBP), are unknown, given the lack of existing research on rubric for span of control decisions within community corrections agencies. Interviews with stakeholders in both Iowa and a national convenience sample led to a development of factors that should be considered in the future, including an agency's level of task complexity, the workforce skill level, and the work environment, such as the dynamic nature of assigned tasks. Participants perceived high span of control ratios in a typical community corrections environment would challenge the initial implementation of an effective EBP approach. Policy and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-446
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

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Keywords

  • community supervision
  • evidence-based practices
  • probation
  • span of control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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