The impact of probation on the criminal activities of offenders

Doris Layton MacKenzie, Katharine Browning, Stacy B. Skroban, Douglas A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This study examines the impact of probation on the criminal activities of offenders using self-report and official records. In comparison to the year before arrest, the number of offenders self-reporting criminal activity declined, as did the rate of offending among those who continued to offend. Investigations of the different crime types revealed that the crime reduction effect of probation was mainly a result of its effect on property and dealing crimes. Probation was not significantly associated with reductions in person or forgery/fraud offenses. A Linear Structural Relationships (LISREL) analysis of the agent-response model investigated the impact of probation on self-reported criminal activities and probation violations during the first 6 months of probation. The analysis indicated that probation violations were associated with criminal activity. However, increases in the intrusiveness of conditions, in the agent's knowledge of misbehavior, or in how the agent responded to misbehavior were not associated with either criminal activity or violations of conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-453
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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