Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services


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TITLE: Contact Standards


Levels of supervision are determined by the Iowa Classification Risk Score. Each level requires specific contact standards in order to protect the public and ensure the delivery of services. According to the principals of Best Practices, assessments should indicate the risk, need and responsivity factors as well as professional discretion when determining contact standards. In general, contact standards are established to ensure the proper dosage of treatment, and if needed, surveillance. Contact standards should be outlined in the case management plan with rationale for the dosage. It is recognized that treatment of an offender cannot be facilitated without quality contact with the offender and surveillance.


The purpose of contact standards shall be case plan driven, if applicable: The purpose of an office visit is to address the offender's case plan, court, Iowa Board of Parole (IBOP) and District ordered conditions. Skills learned by the offender through programming should be role-played in the office setting to demonstrate to the supervising officer that the offender is using the skills in his/her day-to-day life. It provides the supervising officer an opportunity to observe behavioral indicators internalized through pro-social cognitive changes. It also affords the supervising officer an opportunity to discuss any concerns or issues affecting the offender, enabling the supervising officer to assist and/or remove any barriers that inhibit successful completion of supervision. Conversations shall be directly related to addressing the offender's case plan and meeting his/her Court, IBOP, or District ordered conditions. Supervising officers shall give the offenders clear directions in meeting the requirements of their supervision.

The purpose of a home visit is to gain a better understanding of the environment in which the offender lives and gain rapport with the people he/she lives and associates with. Collateral information is used to verify the offender risks and needs and whether the skills learned through programming and/or treatment are being utilized in their day-to-day lives. It also provides an opportunity to build rapport within the community.

The purpose of collateral contacts is to gather and verify information provided by the offender from another source in determining if the offender is in compliance with supervision. It also affords the opportunity for the supervising officer to gain perspective on the offender's attitude and behavior in meeting their objectives and needs in the case plan.


Contact standards shall be based on the risk, needs, and responsivity of the offender as outlined in the case plan. The purpose for these contacts is to reduce risk and address the offender's needs. The offender shall be given a copy of the case plan. All contacts including collateral contacts shall be documented in Generic Notes in ICON. The following contact standards are suggested for standard supervision, but should be dictated by the case management plan, if applicable.

NOTE: Specialized caseloads may require different contact standards. Refer to the specialized unit's Policy and Procedures for more information.

Standard contact standards set by the Iowa Risk Classification or overridden to that supervision level:

  1. Intensive supervision - Iowa Risk score 15 and above:
    1. Two (2) face-to-face contacts a month.
      1. One of the face-to-face contacts may be substituted when attending programming within the District and/or the supervising agent has contact with the offender outside of the office setting.
    2. One (1) collateral contact a month.
    3. LSI, Jesness, and case plan are required
  2. High Normal supervision - Iowa Risk scores 12 thru 14:
    1. One (1) face-to-face contact a month.
    2. One (1) collateral contact a month.
    3. LSI, Jesness, and case plan are required.
  3. Low Normal supervision - Iowa Risk scores 8 thru 11:
    1. One (1) face-to-face contact every sixty (60) days.
    2. Collateral contacts as needed.
  4. Minimum - Iowa Risk score 3-7:
    1. One (1) face-to-face every six (6) months.
    2. Offenders will be required to send in monthly report forms during the months they are not required to meet face-to-face with their supervising officer.
  5. Administrative - Iowa Risk score of 2 or below
    1. Initial face to face
    2. Case will be reviewed every 6 months for compliance and appropriate action taken as needed

Definitions for Contact Standards

  1. Face to face contacts:
    1. An office contact with the offender by the supervising officer, group facilitator, or other District professional staff member who can provide supervision responsibilities in the supervising officer's absence. (This does not include support staff). Official contact shall be substantive in nature, addressing criminogenic needs, and focusing on behavioral and attitudinal changes.
  2. Collateral Contact:
    1. Gathering or verifying information about the offender by some source other than the offender. This contact includes but is not limited to: face-to-face, by telephone, e-mail or paper with a family member, significant other, or landlord. When an offender attends outside community resources, this information can be regarded as a collateral contact when verified. When counted as a collateral contact, the group facilitator must provide a written or verbal statement to the supervising officer that the offender was present in the group.
    2. The supervising officer is encouraged to vary the type of collateral contact used during the course of supervision. He/she is encouraged to ensure collateral contacts are substantive in nature by focusing on individual issues addressed in the case plan or court-ordered conditions.
    3. If a telephone contact is attempted and the supervising officer finds out the offender's current telephone number is disconnected, this contact can be regarded as a collateral contact.
    4. Examples of collateral contacts can include, but are not limited to: pay stubs, AA/NA attendance sheets, home work, treatment verifications, job contacts, phone contacts with significant others or family members, school schedules/report cards, and payment receipts.
  3. Home Visits are not required for standard supervision but may be required for specialized units. Home visits for standard supervision require supervisory approval.
    1. A successful home visit is a face-to-face contact with the offender, or a person who has significant information about the offender. Examples of acceptable contacts are family members, landlord, roommate, or neighbor. The contact must include discussing, gathering, or verifying information about the offender that will assist in supervision. Home visits may be announced or unannounced. The Fugitive Unit can be requested to accompany staff on home visits when the supervising officer believes the home visit poses a possible threat to his/her safety.
  4. Telephone contact with offenders:
    1. A telephone contact is successful when the supervising officer initiates and completes a telephone call to the offender. The telephone contact can be used to verify that the offender is home (curfew check), to remind the offender of appointments or other obligations or to share with or obtain information from the offender. If a telephone contact is attempted and the supervising officer discovers the offender's current telephone number is disconnected, the contact can be regarded only as a collateral contact.
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