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Improving Probation Officers' Supervision Skills: An Evaluation of the EPICS Model
Journal of Crime and Justice (2012)
  • Paula Smith, University of Cincinnati
  • Myrinda Schweitzer, University of Cincinnati
  • Ryan M. Labrecque, University of Cincinnati
  • Edward J. Latessa, University of Cincinnati

Previous research suggests traditional probation and parole services perform less than optimally in reducing recidivism. In response to these findings, several attempts to integrate the principles of effective intervention and core correctional practices into community supervision have been made. Preliminary results from several jurisdictions suggest that the use of core correctional practices within the context of community supervision has been associated with meaningful reductions in offender recidivism. This research provided the impetus for the development of a new model by the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute, entitled Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS). The purpose of the EPICS model is to teach community supervision officers how to translate the principles of effective intervention into practice, and, more specifically, how to use core correctional practices in face-to-face interactions with offenders. Results indicated that officers trained in the EPICS model demonstrated more consistent use of core correctional practices. Remarkably, trained officers also became more proficient in their use of these skills over time as a result of participation in coaching sessions. These preliminary findings underscore the importance of training and coaching as an on-going process to assist agencies in gaining adherence to the principles of effective intervention and core correctional practices.
Publication Date
July, 2012
Citation Information
Smith, P., Schweitzer, M., Labrecque, R. M., & Latessa, E. J. (2012). Improving probation officers’ supervision skills: An evaluation of the EPICS model. Journal of Crime and Justice, 35(2), 189-199.