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Political Science and Criminal Justice

Political Science Faculty Create the Consortium for Public Safety Research


An assessment by Professors Jon Caudill, Ryan Patten, Matt Thomas, and Sally Anderson found positive results to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office response to the shift of some felony offenders from state prisons to county jails. The state’s criminal justice realignment, triggered by Assembly Bill 109, began shifting the custody and supervision of low-level felons to the counties in October 2011. Shortly thereafter, Caudill, Patten, Thomas, and Anderson, formed the Consortium for Public Safety Research (CPSR) and partnered with Butte County to understand the impacts of additional offenders under county supervision because of AB 109. 

Two reports have been released by the CPSR: one in September 2012 and another in April 2013. The April 2013 report noted felons participating in the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Alternative Custody Supervision Program had a first-year recidivism rate of 14 percent, a lower rate than comparison group estimates. Alternative custody meant offenders served a portion of their sentences supervised outside of jail, wearing an electronic-monitoring ankle bracelet. Also, AB 109 offenders in Butte County were more likely to report needing rehabilitative and therapeutic services compared to those who were incarcerated for misdemeanors.

Finally, risk of program failure could be predicted by several social and criminal history factors along with attitudinal scores based on a survey of offenders. Caudill, Patten, Thomas, and Anderson have utilized the help of 13 student interns in collecting and analyzing the data. Their research will be presented at the European Society of Criminology Conference in Budapest, Hungary in September 2013 and at the American Society of Criminology Conference in Atlanta in November 2013. 

Information courtesy of CSU, Chico Public Affairs

Political Statements is the official newsletter of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at California State University, Chico.

With over 1,000 total majors, the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice is one of the largest departments at Chico State. Students choose courses from a rich curriculum, providing close student-faculty contact in each of the following majors of study: U.S. politics, legal studies, criminal justice, international relations, and public administration. The department also offers a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in Political Science.

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