Stephen J. Bahr, Department of Sociology, Brigham Young University, 06/17/2014
1. Evaluation of how well the academic objectives of the proposal were met
The purpose of this research was to evaluate a pre-trial services program designed to help first-time offenders adjust and reduce the risk of their re-arrest. The overall goal was to assess whether it would be cost effective and help reduce the jail population. A secondary purpose was to provide students with practical research experience working in the criminal justice system and conducting evaluation research.
The objectives were met in that (1) the evaluation was completed and a report was submitted to government officials in Utah County, and (2) the students gained valuable training and experience working in the criminal justice system and conducting evaluation research.
2. Evaluation of the mentoring environment
Ten students were involved in the project as research assistants. They helped review literature, prepare an interview schedule, conduct interviews, extract data from jail records, analyze data, and write the final report. All ten of the students gained valuable practical experience in designing and conducting evaluation research, writing a report for public officials, and in working in public agencies including the Utah County Jail and the Utah County Division of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment.
Particularly valuable were internships three of the students obtained because of their involvement in the project. First, Bryan Taylor served as an intern with the Utah County Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment. He conducted research and wrote a report on pre-trial services which served as the basis for later work. Because of the training and experience Bryan Taylor received during his internship, after graduation he was hired by the Pre-trial Justice Institute in Washington, DC. Second, Taylor Jackson and Steven Conklin served as student interns at the Utah County Jail for the winter semester of 2013. They were trained by jail staff and did pre-trial screening of all bookings in the jail over a two-month period.
3. List of students who participated
a. Bryan Taylor
b. John Whitney
c. Cyndi Lindsay
d. Myles England
e. Steven Conklin
f. Taylor Jackson
g. Jose Robledo
h. Charolotte Wease
i. Hana Germann
j. Ian Jacobsen
4. Academic Deliverables
The following two reports were completed and submitted to the Utah County Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment and to the Utah County Attorney.
Taylor, Bryan M. (2011). Utah County Pretrial Services: A Program Implementation Plan. Provo, Utah: Utah County Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment.
Bahr, Stephen J. and Wease, Charlotte Erin. (2014). The Feasibility of a Pretrial Services Program in Utah County. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University.
5. Description of the Results
The results of the project are detailed in the two reports. The major finding is that a pre-trial screening program would save money and reduce the jail population by releasing low risk offenders. It would also be cost effective by providing services to pre-trial offenders and by reducing the number who fail to appear in court.
6. Description of how the budget was spent
The budget was spent employing the 10 student research assistants 10 to 20 hours per week over the three years it took to complete the project. In addition, the project was supplemented by a paid internship to one student (Bryan Taylor).