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Hidalgo County Emerging Adult Strategy: A Swift, Certain, Fair Approach to Supervising Emerging Adults

Wed, Nov 14, 2:00 to 3:20pm, Marriott, M105, Marquis Level


Emerging adults (EA) (i.e., 18-25) present an array of developmental issues including impulsivity, the inability to regulate emotions, and being less likely to consider future consequences of their behavior (Sheidow et al., 2015). Despite the need for probation services to address the developmental and age-related processes (Schiaraldi et al., 2015), relatively few agencies offer services for the unique needs of EA. Thirty-one percent of the nearly 10,000 individuals supervised by the Hidalgo County Probation Department are 18-25 years old and they make up nearly half of all revocations. The Hidalgo County Emerging Adult Strategy (HCEAS), operating since April 2017, is a specialized probation caseload designed to use swift, certain, and fair incentive and sanctions to promote positive behaviors by addressing key EA developmental issues during supervision. In this presentation, HCEAS’s design and processes will be discussed. Additionally, a quasi-experimental design examining the program’s impact in the first year of operation will be presented, as well as the evaluation plan for a randomized controlled trial testing the program moving forward.