|Probation and community-based sanctions have increased considerably in the last few years. Consequently, several studies have examined the viability of these sanctions in preventing crime and reducing recidivism, with mixed results. Recidivism, for example, had been recorded from a low of 20 percent in some studies to a high of almost 60 percent in others. Interestingly, most of these studies seldom examined violations beyond those that elicited formal responses. Violations that are informally dealt with are often ignored, consequently limiting our understanding of the impact of different types of informal interventions on probationers' subsequent behaviors and ultimately, recidivism. This paper examines multiple factors that can hypothetically affect the behaviors of probationers besides the static demographic and criminal history measures. Examined are probation terms, specifically the multiplicity of restrictions ordered, the types and numbers of offenders' violations, the types of informal interventions taken by probation officers for violations, and the deterrent effects of both formal and informal interventions on subsequent behaviors by probationers. Implications for policy are discussed.
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