The Smart Policing Initiative presented a webinar on "Focused Deterrence and Offender Notification Meetings" on December 4, 2013 from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern Time. Dr. Scott Decker, SPI Subject Matter Expert and Director and Foundation Professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University facilitated this webinar. Offender notifications are an extension of focused deterrence approaches to dealing with offenders. Such approaches have become popular in dealing with high-rate or troublesome offenders who have not been "reached" through other means. By identifying such individuals in a public setting and the focus of a group process, such approaches seek to increase the levels of accountability they are held to. A core concept of the offender notification meeting is their public nature, exposing these offenders to the scrutiny, shame and expectations of family, criminal justice officials and social service agencies. Such approaches are most effective when balanced between sanctions and assistance. They are neither "hug a thug" programs, nor are they interventions built solely on more and more punishment.
This webinar focused on the steps needed to make offender notification meetings successful. It began (briefly) with a discussion of the logic model for such an approach and how it is consistent with the Smart Policing Initiative. The explicit emphasis throughout the webinar was on how to plan and execute a successful call in, from planning, to calling in, to scripting, to delivery, to follow up, and assessment. There was also a discussion of the potential pitfalls, how to anticipate them and how to respond if they arise.
Previous SPI webinar on Offender Notification Meetings