This is an update on previously published articles about the Day Reporting Center (DRC) in Nevada. The DRC is a program offered through Sentinel Offender Services by the State of Nevada which provides people on parole and probation access to life-changing skills and counseling services.
Earlier this month the Center for Crime and Justice Policy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, published a research brief on the Day Reporting Center (DRC) program operated by Sentinel Offender Services. This was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted among approximately 400 program participants. The group was selected from Nevada’s probation and parole program.
The Nevada Division of Parole and Probation opened the first DRC in partnership with Sentinel on October 31, 2017. Subsequently, a second DRC has opened in Reno. The DRC includes classes on anger management, family values, employment preparation, GED preparation, substance abuse and related topics. According to the research brief, primary objectives of a DRC are to:
- Reduce recidivism among at-risk parolees and probationers
- Provide an alternative to incarceration
- Reduce the cost of offender management
Results at the one year mark
The results of this RCT after 12 months suggest that DRCs can achieve these objectives. The study is ongoing. Overall, DRC participants (as compared to those who did not go through the DRC):
- Exhibited better outcomes
- Were significantly less likely to abscond
- Tended to have lower proportions of new charges and violations
- Were significantly more likely to be successfully discharged
- Were more likely to attain and maintain employment and a stable residence
The positive results of these programs thus far are driven by many factors. Many DRC graduates comment on the importance of personal interactions and personalized services and programs they receive.
Melissa Starr has been heavily involved with the Nevada DRC program since the very start. As Sentinel’s Vice President of Field Operations, she has seen the program evolve. She has also seen how individuals have progressed. She shares her perspective:
“The use of progressive methods as an alternative to traditional incarceration is highly effective with stakeholders who are invested in positive outcomes. When community corrections agencies pivot from a reactive to a proactive approach, data supports the idea that providing positive cognitive skills training will reduce recidivism.”
Officials are optimistic
Officials from the state of Nevada who are involved with the DRC stated optimism with these promising results. According to Natalie Wood, Chief of Nevada’s Department of Public Safety, Parole and Probation Division, if even one person completed the Day Reporting Center (DRC) and committed one less crime with one less victim it would be a success. Thus far more than 150 people have graduated. She estimates the DRC has saved Nevada well over $3 million.
Sentinel Offender Services has been a leader in community-based offender management solutions for more than 25 years. We support all stakeholders – the local community, the authorities responsible for programs and the offenders who are working diligently to reenter society as positive, law abiding citizens.