Mr. McMahon is a 25-year-old male sentenced to two years in prison for cocaine possession. However, Mr. McMahon’s sentence is suspended on special conditions that the court has imposed. The first special condition for a suspended prison sentence is that Mr. McMahon must serve two years’ probation. Second, Mr. McMahon must pay a fine, a total of $500. Mr. McMahon must also complete any drug treatment program that his probation officer directs. Moreover, Mr. McMahon must comply with any random drug test that the probation officer initiates. The special conditions imposed by the court underscore one primary condition that Mr. McMahon must not indulge in drug use during the duration of his probation.
Apart from special probation conditions, Mr. McMahon is also expected to adhere to standard probation conditions that apply to all offenders. The first condition is that he should report to the probation office in the federal judicial district close to his residence after a period not exceeding 72 hours. After reporting, Mr. McMahon must make contact with his probation officer. In line with this condition, he must seek permission from his probation officer if he intends to leave the federal judicial district; this also applies to when he wants to change his residence.
The next standard set of conditions for Mr. McMahon relate to involvement with any criminal activity. Mr. McMahon must not commit any crime in the duration of his probation, including possession or use of illegal substances. Specifically, Mr. McMahon is prohibited from owning any weapons; this includes firearms or any devices intended to cause harm. It is also important not to engage or associate with criminals or individuals with a criminal record (Vance, 2017). Mr. McMahon is obliged to report any contact between him and law enforcement within 72 hours to his probation officer.
Another standard condition is that Mr. McMahon should work full time; since he already works in the construction industry, Mr. McMahon must contact his probation officer if he wants to change jobs. Regarding his relationship with his probation officer, Mr. McMahon is expected to follow instructions. Moreover, he must honestly answer any questions posed by his probation officer. If the probation officer intends to search his premises for any illicit substances, Mr. McMahon should comply with the directive. A court-assigned probation work is designed to act as a supervisor and an assessor of Mr. McMahon in the duration of probation.
In the two years of Mr. McMahon’s probation, I plan to use evidence-based principles to ensure effective intervention. The first course of action is to assess Mr. McMahon’s risks and needs (Alarid, 2016). Before implementing any strategy, it is important to screen Mr. McMahon to determine the best-personalized intervention. The in-house risk assessment tool has already classified Mr. McMahon as a moderate-risk offender. From this assessment, my focus will seek to address Mr. McMahon’s risk needs, primarily drug abuse. However, the assessment process is continuous; I will also gather information in my informal interactions with Mr. McMahon and use observations to reinforce intervention.
Enhance Intrinsic Motivation
After the assessment, my next focus will be to enhance Mr. McMahon’s intrinsic motivation. I intended to use my interpersonal skills, such as clear communication, to relate with the offender. Any change will be effective only if Mr. McMahon is willing and motivated. If Mr. McMahon expresses ambivalence toward the process, I will conduct a motivational interview. The primary function of the interview will be to help Mr. McMahon identify the contradiction between his behavior and the change he expects to attain.
The most important step in Mr. McMahon’s supervision is to target interventions. Since Mr. McMahon is a moderate risk offender, he requires supervision every 72 hours. The supervision will involve random residence checks as well as meetings in the probation office. Also, it is crucial to visit Mr. McMahon at his workplace to ensure he is keeping busy and adhering to the conditions of probation.
Targeting interventions also require classifying Mr. McMahon’s criminogenic needs. In this case, the most destructive criminogenic need is drug abuse. Therefore, all services will be geared to ensure Mr. McMahon does not relapse into substance abuse. In the initial three months of probation, Mr. McMahon will attend a compulsory drug treatment program that utilizes cognitive-behavioral therapy. The treatment schedule will take place during Mr. McMahon’s free time. The aim is to ensure the offender is constantly engaged and following a strict routine.
When Mr. McMahon makes significant progress with behavior change, I plan to give him a positive appraisal to motivate him and make him accountable for his decisions. A successful intervention also requires Mr. McMahon to undergo a drug test. The best solution is to conduct random drug tests whenever Mr. McMahon illustrates impulsive behavior or mood changes. Mr. McMahon will also be joining a local substance abuse support group that meets regularly to introduce others around him that reinforces behavior change.
Alarid, L. F. (2016). Community-based corrections. Cengage Learning.
Vance, S. E. (2017). Conditions of Supervision in Federal Criminal Sentencing: A Review of Recent Changes. Fed. Probation, 81, 3.