Realignment, Re-Entry, and Recidivism: A Mixed Methods Impact Evaluation of the Riverside County Probation Department’s Day Reporting Centers
This project evaluates the effect of attending a Riverside County day reporting center (DRC) as an alternative to traditional custodial sentencing and as a mechanism for reducing recidivism rates among felony offenders. Using a mixed-methods design, four questions are addressed:
- Do Riverside County’s DRCs reduce recidivism among AB-109 offenders when compared to those assigned to traditional supervision?
- How do DRC clients assess these programs’ strengths and weaknesses?
- How can DRCs be improved?
- Does DRC participation produce any specific skills and benefits for clients?
Using data provided by the Riverside County Probation Department and California Department of Justice, we estimate the causal effect of attending a DRC on the likelihood of rearrest or reconviction for a new crime within two years of referral. We also collect original data through surveys and interviews with DRC clients to provide insight into questions two, three, and four.
Participating in a DRC decreases the likelihood of being arrested for a new offense and decreases the likelihood of being reconvicted for a new offense, relative to the arrest and convictions of offenders who were referred but did not attend a DRC due to scheduling conflicts. Clients highlight strengths of the DRC experience, including support in attaining goals, navigating services post-release, accountability, and more generalized social support. Clients also report DRCs make re-entry easier than traditional supervision and they recognize specific changes in themselves and their environment that benefit their overall well-being. Potential areas for improvement—including enhanced vocational and employment services, and an environment that feels less like a traditional law enforcement setting—are also raised by those receiving services.
*Supported by funding from the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, administered by the Riverside County Probation Department