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Actual and Perceived Social Supports of Offenders under Community Supervision


In 2011, California enacted realignment to decrease the prison populations by transferring the responsibility of monitoring certain felony offenders from the state to counties. Realignment shifted substantial criminal justice system funding from the state to counties, encouraged counties to use alternative sanctions, and aimed to keep community members safe through reliance on county social services and community programs. Social support, including services and programs, has been recognized as a key component of offender success, but with counties supervising traditional probationers and realigned offenders under community supervision, it is unclear which social supports lead to successful outcomes for traditional probationers and the higher risk realigned. Using survey and interview data gathered from San Diego County between October 2013 and March 2014, I investigate the relationship between objective and subjective measures of social support and engaging in illegal behavior and being taken into custody as well as perceptions of overall social support. Through understanding which social supports are associated with successful outcomes and why, we can create policy that can help provide offenders with the necessary resources for reintegration.

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