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Newly Released - Dosage Probation: Rethinking the Structure of Probation Sentences
NIC News & Updates



The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the Center for Effective Public Policy are pleased to announce the release of NIC’s publication, Dosage Probation: Rethinking the Structure of Probation Sentences, a document authored by Madeline M. Carter, Principal, Center for Effective Public Policy and the Honorable Richard J. Sankovitz, Milwaukee County Circuit Court. This document can be accessed at

This publication augments the growing body of evidence that supports a new model for sentencing and supervision decisions—one that considers the provision of needs-based interventions in the appropriate dose along with the risk, need, and responsivity principles, the importance of behavior change-oriented supervision (rather than supervision focused primarily on surveillance), the use of evidence-based interventions, and the application of core correctional practices by corrections professionals.

The Dosage Probation model was conceptualized in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, under NIC’s Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems (EBDM) Initiative. The key elements of the Dosage Probation Model include:

  • Incentivizing offenders’ engagement in risk-reducing activities by providing the opportunity for early termination from supervision when risk reduction goals have been met;
  • Ensuring offenders receive interventions and services that have been demonstrated effective in reducing recidivism; and
  • Tracking the amount of programming dosage hours and behavioral change indicators.

The Dosage Probation monograph provides a policy and practice framework upon which this new model of supervision can be constructed. It offers a review of evidence-based approaches to reducing recidivism in our communities, the most recent research on dosage, and its applicability to sentencing and community supervision practices. It describes the model’s promise for increasing community safety through recidivism reduction, as well as achieving fiscal savings by reducing periods of supervision. Finally, the monograph offers a summary of the work of Milwaukee County’s criminal justice stakeholders as they design and conduct the nation’s first dosage probation experiment.

NIC will be releasing a solicitation to the field to select at least two new jurisdictions to pilot test the Dosage Probation model. Please visit the NIC web site at or the Center for Effective Public Policy’s web site at for updates.

For more information, contact:

Greg Crawford, Correctional Program Specialist
Community Services Division
National Institute of Corrections


Madeline “Mimi” Carter, Principal
Center for Effective Public Policy



Posted Wed, Feb 26 2014 8:00 AM by Susan Powell


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