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Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS)

Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS)

Multnomah County Department of Community Justice

Synopsis: EPICS combines the principles of effective intervention with core correctional practices to lead to more successful outcomes.


Problematic Behavior Or Activity

The Department of Community Justice (DCJ) implemented EPICS so that probation and parole officers can more effectively apply principles of effective intervention and core correctional practices to their supervision. These guiding standards are linked to more successful offender outcomes.

Impact On The Community

EPICS helps reduce recidivism among people on community supervision and reduce victimization in the community.


Program Description

EPICS combines the principles of effective intervention with core correctional practices.

The principles of effective intervention are guiding standards for agencies that are linked to more successful offender outcomes. The main principles of effective intervention are risk (assessing for risk to reoffend); need (focusing time on need factors linked to continued criminal behavior); and responsivity (matching staff style to how offenders learn).

Core correctional practices are the concrete skills professionals can use to improve outcomes. These skills include prosocial modeling, relationship skills, effective reinforcement, effective disapproval, effective use of authority, cognitive restructuring, structured skill building, and problem solving.

Combining these principles and practices helps staff make the best use of their time by targeting high-risk offenders and high-criminogenic-need areas, and by using cognitive behavioral interventions.

Based On Research

  • Does Training and Coaching Matter? An 18-Month Evaluation of a Community Supervision Model
  • Improving Probation Officers’ Supervision Skills: An Evaluation of the EPICS Model
  • Exploring the Perceptions of the Offender-Officer Relationship in a Community Supervision Setting
  • Targeting Antisocial Attitudes in Community Supervision Using the EPICS Model: An Examination of Change Scores on the Criminal Sentiment Scale


DCJ general funds


Program Impact

EPICS has helped our PPOs provide more effective case management for our clients and has also informed our department about the implementation of programs and services. We are better prepared to analyze and implement initiatives.

Critical Success Factors

We have one permanent coach and two coaches that rotate every six months. This rotation boosts knowledge and skill among the PPOs.

Train-the-trainer sessions took our department to a new level and are critical in ensuring the continuity and integrity of the model. We partnered with Marion and Umatilla Counties.

Lessons Learned

Invest in the success of your coaches. When the initial implementation ends, the coaches will step up and lead boosters, listen to tapes, and provide coaching. Their time and commitment is reflected in the officers’ time and commitment to this initiative.