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The Probation Communities of Practice Project

Applications for the 2021 Probation Communities of Practice Project are closed.


NDCI, in partnership with the American Probation and Parole Association, has launched a communities of practice project for adult drug treatment courts that wish to lead the field in applying the skills of core correctional practices (CCP) and integrated case management to improve operations and enhance positive outcomes for clients.

Three adult drug treatment courts will be selected to participate in this two-year project through a competitive application process.

This project is funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

Participation Requirements and Eligibility

Over the two-year project, selected programs will analyze operations to align with probation and integrated case management best practices. Each team will be assigned an NDCI coach to serve as its primary point of contact and who will design and deliver services, to include virtual and in-person site visits, training, technical assistance, and strategic planning. There will also be opportunities for networking with other selected sites to help each court align operations.

  • Complete the BeST court self-assessment tool.

  • Analyze current practices related to probation, case management, and treatment integration.

  • Engage in feedback and coaching sessions with NDCI and experts from the American Probation and Parole Association.

  • Receive in-depth training and coaching on Core Correctional Practices (CCP).

  • Be willing to integrate CCP practices within the treatment court model (e.g., how such practices can be used to apply incentives and sanctions).

  • Participate in assessment of practices and operations, both pre-and post-training and coaching (process evaluation).

  • At least three (3) years of operation.

  • Acceptance of clients on probation violation orders.

  • Utilization of a standardized, validated risk assessment tool.

  • Acceptance of participants diagnosed as high risk on a criminogenic assessment tool

  • Acceptance of clients with moderate or severe substance use disorder.

  • Agreement to participate from all core ADTC team members (e.g., judge, prosecution, defense, coordinator, treatment provider, probation).

  • Willingness to engage in change processes and measure outcomes.

Each court will assemble a change team to shoulder the bulk of this work. This team will be responsible for implementing the changes identified through assessment, training, and technical assistance. This will be a learning environment, where sites will use data to determine if the changes made result in measurable improvements for clients.

About CCP

Research has shown that using certain relational and cognitive behavioral techniques with probation clients can positively impact their behavior and lead to recidivism reductions. These skills are considered “present-focused” and are used by probation officers in their daily interactions. The use of these skills allows a probation officer to build a therapeutic alliance, collaborate with clients to shape behavior, and develop integrated case plans. Individuals trained in CCP learn how to:

  • Maximize behavioral change opportunities with justice-involved individuals.

  • Use relationship skills to apply reinforcement, disapproval, punishment, and authority effectively.

  • Use cognitive restructuring techniques to address antisocial cognitions with justice-involved individuals.

  • Incorporate relapse prevention and collaborative problem-solving techniques to help justice-involved individuals learn to reduce their risk.

  • Identify skill deficits and use a structured learning approach to help develop the necessary skills to impact successful outcomes.

  • Increase dosage hours in a meaningful way to meet the unique needs of each justice-involved person.

Sacramento Co Probation-2

Probation officers who use CCP build a therapeutic alliance with participants.