U.S. Department of Justice
New in the Library
Civil Liability for the Use of Pepper Spray (OC), Tear Gas, and Chemical Agents, Part 1 [and] Part 2
Posted: 4 days ago
(2014) This article is an excellent resource for those who want a basic understanding of those civil issues impacting the use of pepper spray and other chemical agents by law enforcement and correctional officers. "Pepper Spray (OC) and other chemical weapons are intended and designed to be used as disabling agents, for law enforcement officers and correctional personnel to use to attempt to overcome resistance, and to subdue persons with minimal injuries to officers, arrestees and others. Chemical weapons can be used in situations in which a disturbance involves a number of people, but they also are effective against an actively resisting individual. This is not a technical article, and it does not survey the wide variety of specific chemical weapons available to law enforcement and correctional personnel, or to assess their pros and cons. Rather, the focus is to briefly look at how courts have discussed their use in the context of civil lawsuits for excessive force" (Part 1, p. 101). Sections of this article include: introduction; use by law enforcement, use on handcuffed persons; warnings; crowds and bystanders; the aftermath of their use; New Orleans Consent Decree; correctional settings; and suggestions to consider.
New in the Library
Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
Posted: 4 days ago
(2014) "The best way to help prevent a youth’s subsequent contact with the juvenile justice system is to prevent him or her from being involved with the system in the first place. The field has been engaged in significant efforts to divert status offenders and other low-risk youth from ever coming into contact with the system. The focus of this white paper is on what works to promote successful reentry for those youth who are under the supervision of a juvenile justice system, which encompasses a process that begins the moment any youth comes into contact with the system, no matter how brief or at what level, to support their successful transition from supervision to a crime-free and productive adulthood" (p. 3). This white paper is divided into two parts. Part One—Policies and Practices That Reduce Recidivism and Improve Other Youth Outcomes: Principle 1--base supervision, service, and resource-allocation decisions on the results of validated risk and needs assessments; Principle 2--adopt and effectively implement programs and services demonstrated to reduce recidivism and improve other youth outcomes, and use data to evaluate system performance and direct system improvements; Principle 3--employ a coordinated approach across service systems to address youth’s needs; and Principle 4--tailor system policies, programs, and supervision to reflect the distinct developmental needs of adolescents. Part Two—Key Implementation Strategies, Structures, and Supports: Principle 1--base supervision, service, and resource-allocation decisions on the results of validated risk and needs assessments; Principle 2-- adopt and effectively implement programs and services demonstrated to reduce recidivism and improve other youth outcomes, and use data to evaluate system performance and direct system improvements; Principle 3--employ a coordinated approach across service systems to address youth’s needs; and Principle 4--tailor system policies, programs, and supervision to reflect the distinct developmental needs of adolescents.
New in the Library
Civil Liability for the Use of Neck Restraints
Posted: 4 days ago
(2014) Neck restraints are a valuable but sometimes still controversial procedure for the use of force by police officers and correctional personnel … It is a procedure that is useful when police or correctional officers are in close proximity with suspects or prisoners. While it can be very effective, it requires motor skills training, and attempts at such holds without proper training can turn an improperly applied hold into an air choke. This is especially the case when a subject attempts to resist the hold, such as by attempting to turn around, inadvertently putting pressure on their airway when none was intended … Improperly applied neck restraints that turn into choke holds and restrict the intake of breath can and have in some instances resulted in tragic consequences including death or permanent disability” (p. 101-102). This two-part article looks at the liability issues related to neck restraint use. It is comprised of the following sections: introduction; the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding “City of Los Angeles v. Lyons” and aftermath; subsequent law enforcement cases; neck restraints in correctional settings; the 2007 study by the Canadian Police Research Centre; and suggestions to consider.
New in the Library
Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Guide for Drug Courts and Other Criminal Justice Programs
Posted: 4 days ago
(2014) "As resource constraints have tightened, the role of researchers in informing evidence-based and cost-effective decisions about the use of funds, labor, materials and equipment — and even the skills of workers — has increased. We [the authors] believe research that can inform decisions about resource allocation will be a central focus of criminal justice research in the years to come, with cost-benefit analysis (CBA) among the key tools" (p. 3). This is required reading for those individuals tasked with determining what the social impact of a criminal justice program will be (whether a benefit or not). It must be stressed that a CBA estimates social benefits not fiscal savings. This report is comprised of three sections: the basics of cost-benefit analysis—what and why, considerations in valuing time, what CBA can and can't do, and the four steps of a CBA; cost-benefit analysis in action—NIJ's Multi-site Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE); and results from the MADCE cost-benefit analysis.
New in the Library
Inventory of Evidence-Based and Research-Based Programs for Adult Corrections
Posted: 6 days ago
(2013) Evidence-based and research-based programs to be used by adult corrections in Washington State are inventoried. Three parts comprise this report: definitions—evidence-based, research-based, and cost-beneficial; updated reviews using a three-step research process (evidence, benefits and costs, and risk), effective practices in community corrections, sex offender treatment, and conclusion; and the inventory. “WSIPP identified two programs—sex offender treatment and EPICS—that were not previously included in WSIPP’s evidence- and research-based results. Our updated findings on the two topics in this report allowed us to incorporate the results in the adult corrections inventory. The weight of the evidence indicates that sex offender treatment, delivered in confinement or in the community, is evidence-based and generates benefits that exceed costs. Our findings on EPICS [Effective Practices in Community Supervision], however, are not as clear cut. While we find supervision based on RNR principles is effective, the evidence on the particular approach—EPICS—is still undetermined until further research becomes available” (p. 5-6).
New in the Library
Case Study: New York City Department of Probation’s Federal Partnership Efforts: Profile of a Successful Technical Assistance Collaboration With the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Corrections
Posted: 6 days ago
(2014) "The New York City Department of Probation (DOP)—the second largest probation department in the country—is advancing a process to infuse evidence-based policies and practices (EBPP) throughout the organization … What is significant for the purpose of this story is that the Federal agencies were able to thoughtfully, strategically, respectfully, and effectively apply the right dosage of technical assistance to the moving train in a way that made the most of the investment and the capacity that BJA and NIC had to marshal for the city" (p. 3-4). This brief explains how the NYC DOP Adult Operations Division partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Institute of Correction (NIC) to create an organizational culture within the division that was committed to using evidence-based practices. Lessons learned from this collaboration are also covered. This document is comprised of six sections: what the BJA and NIC technical assistance providers worked on with DOP, and how their work fit with other pilot programs, initiatives, and philanthropic support; what is unique about DOP from the perspective of Federal agencies that engage in technical assistance with local agencies; what is unique about what the partners brought to the table, what kind of technical assistance approach they developed together, and how it was managed and delivered; how the Federal agencies’ technical assistance advanced DOP’s EBPP goals; where New York City’s DOP evidence-based practice work is taking the department; and conclusion--what the rest of the field can learn from the DOP, BJA, and NIC technical assistance collaborative partnership, and why it does matter.
New in the Library
Oregon Prison Tackles Solitary Confinement with Blue Room Experiment
Posted: 7 days ago
(2014) Your agency might consider this amazingly innovative strategy or a similar one for addressing mental health in your supermax or administrative segregation units. "Prison officials across the United States have spent the last few years debating how to help tens of thousands of prisoners cope in solitary confinement, the housing of last resort for violent, combative, or escape-prone inmates. Many human rights groups condemn the highly restrictive cells as an incubator for mental illness. About 19 months ago, Snake River officials turned for help from an offbeat source, a globetrotting forest ecologist more familiar with the canopies of Costa Rica's rainforests than the internal struggles of prisoners kept month after month in isolated quarters. What emerged was a one-of-a-kind sanctuary known as the Blue Room. Inside a converted recreation room, prisoners deprived of wind and sunsets and trees can reconnect with sights and sounds of the natural world. A video projector casts images against a wall: Big Sur, a brook in a dark forest, a tropical beach and 30 other nature videos. The plan to calm prisoners and make them less violent shows promise." This article explains how a 5-minute TED (Technology, Education, Design) talk by Nalini Nadkarni resulted in the development and implementation of the Blue Room which is located in the IMU (Intensive Management Unit) – a 20 tier contained section of the Snake River Correctional Institution. The costs for this program run about $1,500. While the data is preliminary, the rate of disciplinary infractions is higher for those inmates who did not use the Blue Room compared to the rate for those inmates who did.
New in the Library
Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States: An Empirical Guide
Posted: 8 days ago
(2013) "Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers rely heavily on risk assessment tools as a way to direct resources and support recidivism reduction strategies. Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States: An Empirical Guide is a report designed to provide foundational knowledge and a working framework of risk assessment instruments for criminal justice and social service agencies, practitioners, and policymakers. Though variability exists across risk instruments and assessment procedures, these tools perform a critical role in helping correctional staff develop case plans informed by individual risk and need. As a practical guide, the report outlines the components and parameters of risk assessment instruments validated and implemented in correctional settings in the United States, provides a review of and catalogues the available knowledge regarding the accuracy and predictive validity of risk assessment instruments for adult offenders, and presents steps that might be taken to improve public safety outcomes associated with the implementation of criminal justice risk assessment tools. Reentry strategies that incorporate case management plans based on valid assessments have the potential to reduce recidivism." The "Empirical Guide" is an extensive executive summary based on the report "Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States". Sections of the guide include: reliable predictions and whether the instruments work—the impact on resources and relation to offender risk, need, and responsivity (RNR); risk assessment instruments—19 instruments reviewed, the Central Eight "most powerful risk factors for offenders and situations"; the risk instrument and prediction—approaches to conducting structured risk assessments and predictive validity; pragmatic considerations for implementation and practice; what isn't known—limitations and further research; and central/primary questions to consider in identifying which risk assessment you should use. Appendixes provide: "Summary of Findings by Instrument" which includes a list of jurisdiction-specific risk assessment instruments; and "Other Types of Instruments Used to Assess Recidivism Risk". The report "Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States" contains sections explaining: issues in risk assessment; methods of this review; summary of findings across instruments; summary of findings by instrument; and other types of instruments used to assess recidivism risk.
New in the Library
Tracking State Prison Growth in 50 States
Posted: 8 days ago
(2014) If you are looking for an excellent primer on the use of incarceration in the United States, you need to read this. "Over the last three decades of the 20th century, the United States engaged in an unprecedented prison-building boom that has given our nation the highest incarceration rate in the world. Among people with experience in criminal justice policy matters, the “hockey stick curve” of the national incarceration rate is well known; but until now more detailed data on the incarceration rates for individual states has been harder to come by. This briefing fills the gap with a series of more than 100 graphs showing prison growth (and sometimes decline) for every state in the nation to encourage states to confront how their criminal policy choices undermine our national welfare." The webpage explains with text and easily understood graphics: state policies that drive mass incarceration; what's the critical difference between incarceration rates and incarceration numbers; state prison incarceration rates for select states and overall; and state prison incarceration states by region (greater use to least)—south, west, midwest, and northeast. This brief refers to the "50 State Incarceration Profiles" interactive map which is a great resource for seeing how the incarceration rate has grown over time and what racial disparities exist for each state.
New in the Library
Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2011
Posted: 11 days ago
(2014) Results are presented from the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP). "CJRP presents a detailed picture of the young people in residential placement across the nation—including age, race, gender, offenses, adjudication status, and more … Although findings of the 2011 survey are generally positive—the population of juvenile offenders in residential placement has declined 42% since 1997, and the number of status offenders in residential placement was down 64% from 1997—this bulletin highlights several areas where improvement is needed, especially regarding rates of confinement for minority youth. Nationwide, the residential placement rate for black youth was more than 4.5 times the rate for white youth, and the rate for Hispanic youth was 1.8 times the rate for white youth" (p. 1).
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Corrections News
Spanish Translation of Thinking for a Change
Posted: 5 days ago
The National Institute of Corrections frequently receives requests for a Spanish translation of the Thinking for a Change cognitive curriculum. The 2002 version has been translated into Spanish and can be downloaded from the NIC website here. The current 3.1 version of Thinking for a Change is available in English only, however, NIC is pursuing a Spanish translation. The English package is available in two editions: Online Edition: This is an online-only edition that provides access to all lesson plans, slides, supplemental material and videos, needed to facilitate this program. This edition is always available and can be a great version to use if you just want to download specific pieces at time, would like to preview the program contents, or plan to deliver the lessons from a Internet-connected laptop or tablet. PC Edition: This edition is for use on a PC and must be ordered from the NIC Information Center. It works exactly like the online edition, but does not require In
Corrections News
New in the Library: Case Study of NYC Probation’s Successful Technical Assistance Collaboration with BJA and NIC
Posted: 5 days ago
From the New York City Dept. of Probation (DOP) and Fox Valley Technical College, Case Study: New York City Department of Probation s Federal Partnership Efforts: Profile of a Successful Technical Assistance Collaboration With the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Corrections, explains how the NYS DOP Adult Operations Division partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) to create an organizational culture within the division that was committed to using evidence-based practices. The brief concludes with how both BJA and NIC helped support the DOP s initiatives by helping the organization develop: Better tools: The Crime and Justice Institute s (CJI) work with DOP helped the organization implement and roll out tools like the LSI-R and the YLS instruments that helped leadership and staff to refocus their approaches to supervision and community engagement. Better skills: Training in motivation
Corrections News
Why Sheriffs Should Champion Pretrial Services
Posted: 6 days ago
By Gary Raney, Sheriff, Ada County, Idaho; Stan Hilkey, Sheriff, Mesa County, Colorado; and Beth Arthur, Sheriff, Arlington County, Virginia Posted with the permission of the National Sheriffs Association. This article was originally published in the May/June 2014 issue of Sheriff, the magazine of the National Sheriffs Association. About 60% of U.S. jail beds are occupied by pretrial defendants. The two purposes of jailing pretrial defendants are: 1) to ensure they appear in court, and 2) to protect the public. But what if those goals can be reached in a more cost-effective manner? The authors suggest an analogy between using jail beds more carefully and using outpatient medical care instead of hospitalization. In fact, the American public and a broad spectrum of professional associations support the use of pretrial services. The National Sheriffs Association passed a resolution in 2012 that supports and recognizes the value of high-functioning pretrial services agencies to
Corrections News
Register Now - Women Offenders: Developing an Agencywide Approach
Posted: 7 days ago
This revised blended learning program, Women Offenders: Developing an Agencywide Approach, with combined independent and on-site activities will total approximately 40 hours over the course of a year. Incorporated into the course requirements are blended-learning activities to include a webinar, an organizational readiness survey, independent reading and personalized coaching throughout the year to assist agencies in directing their planned change. On-site activities include a 2.5 day, in-class training at the National Corrections Academy in Aurora, Colorado. Overview Each member of an agency team will be expected to have completed the assignments in preparation for the in-class event in November. Participants who know they will not be able to participate in the scheduled webinar may not be eligible for the in-class event. As individual participants will bring with them various levels of experience and knowledge about managing justice involved women, the webinar and readings will
Corrections News
New in the Library: Responding to the Needs of Women Veterans Involved in the Criminal Justice System
Posted: 7 days ago
From the National Resource Center on Justice-Involved Women (NRCJIW), Responding to the Needs of Women Veterans Involved in the Criminal Justice System, focuses on the unique experiences and needs of women veterans who become justice-involved and offers a gender and trauma informed approach that criminal justice practitioners can use to more effectively manage this population . Highlighted from the report: Today, almost 15% of the individuals actively serving in the United States Armed Forces are women. In 2009, women comprised 8% of the total veteran population in the United States. Challenges facing female veterans may include: re-assuming parenting responsibilities, finding employment and housing, continued physical health care needs, and substance abuse and mental health problems such as: depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Access the full report This announcement is available at NIC s Gender-Responsive News for
Corrections News
NCYC Webinar: The Desktop Guide to Quality Practice
Posted: 8 days ago
Join this free webinar hosted by The National Center for Youth in Custody (NCYC). This webinar will discuss the desktop resource guide now available putting the answers to or guidance on many critical issues confronted by leadership, managers, and direct care staff in the daily operation of a facility tasked with the responsibility of caring for youth in confinement at your fingertips. Webinar Description: The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention s (OJJDP) National Center for Youth in Custody (NCYC) will present The Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement . Imagine a resource with the answers to or guidance on many critical issues confronted by leadership, managers, and direct care staff in the daily operation of a facility tasked with the responsibility of caring for youth in confinement. Now imagine that same resource just a few keystrokes away on your computer or mobile reading device with links across nineteen chapters so you c
Corrections News
Hot Topics in the NIC Knowledgebase Collection
Posted: 8 days ago
Accessing NIC Knowledgebase/Solutions is now easier than ever. Simply click on any of over 90 Hot Topics as they scroll across the top of our web pages. Each one provides a brief introduction to a topic that may include sample policies, program examples, evaluations, standards, or lesson plans. Not interested in the topic that is currently displayed on the page? You can see the entire list of 90+ topics by entering the word solutions in the search nicic.gov box immediately below the hot topic.. Sometimes the topic isn t a topic at all -- it s a web site: What are some good websites for locating criminal justice data? Where can I find a listing of all the prisons in the United States? State departments of corrections web-based policy and procedure manuals Examples of on-line jail policy and procedure manuals How can I find someone who is incarcerated and sometimes the topics are grouped around a common theme.....for instance personnel management: How c
Corrections News
Quick Facts on Women in the Federal Offender Population
Posted: 14 days ago
Recently released, this two-page flyer from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) provides key facts pertaining to women sentenced exclusively in the federal system. Highlighted Facts include: There were 80,035 cases reported to the USSC in fiscal year 2013. Of these cases, 9,400 involved female offenders. Female offenders accounted for 13.3% of offenders in fiscal year 2013. More than one-third were Hispanic (37.5%) followed by White (34.5%), Black (21.8%), and Other Races (6.2%). Most female offenders (70.8%) had little or no prior criminal history. Access the USSC flyer This announcement is available at NIC s Gender-Responsive News for Women and Girls. Feel free to forward to friends and colleagues. Subscribe to the newsletter at http://nicic.gov/go/subscribe. For additional resources on Justice-Involved Women go to NIC s Women Offenders.
Corrections News
Kansas DOC Selected for Training and Delivery of Staff Wellness Program
Posted: 14 days ago
In June, NIC announced a limited number of Technical Assistance events on the subject of corrections staff wellness. These Technical Assistance events include Instructor Training for the course From Corrections Fatigue to Fulfillment(tm), and a web-based Staff Wellness Survey. The Kansas Department of Corrections has been selected as one recipient to receive technical assistance to collaborate in training and delivering a program that supports staff as they cope with corrections fatigue, a result of the intrinsic challenges and stress of working in corrections. Excerpt From the Kansas DOC announcement: The men and women of the Kansas Department of Corrections perform a critical public safety function and, though that work is largely outside the public s view, their work makes a measurable difference in making Kansas safer, KDOC Secretary Ray Roberts said. Now as the population continues to grow, so does the need to help staff navigate the stressors and difficulties that co
Corrections News
NRRC Webinar Series: "What Works To Promote Success For Youth In the Juvenile Justice System"
Posted: 18 days ago
The National Reentry Resource Center is presenting a two-part webinar series on what works in the juvenile justice system titled What Works To Promote Success For Youth In the Juvenile Justice System . Webinar Part I Description: The first webinar in the series highlights key recommendations from the white paper, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System. Participants will learn about the four principles that must undergird any strategy to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Participants will also learn how to implement the principles effectively, and hear about how some state and local juvenile justice systems have operationalized the principles in practice. Date/Time: September 4, 2014 at 2:00-3:30 ETREGISTER FOR WEBINARWebinar Part II Description: The second webinar in the series summarizes the issue brief, Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform
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Training Opportunity
Executive Excellence Program
Register Before: March 31, 2015
(Begins May 31, 2015) This 10-month executive development program offers innovative learner-centered and competency-based training for future leaders of corrections agencies.
Training Opportunity
Executive Excellence Program
Register Before: December 31, 2014
(Begins March 15, 2015) This 10-month executive development program offers innovative learner-centered and competency-based training for future leaders of corrections agencies.
Training Opportunity
Orientation for Parole Board Chairs
Register Before: September 30, 2014
(Begins October 15, 2014) Parole board chairs, whether appointed by their governor, elected by their peers, or rotated into their role from their seat on the parole board, are in an influential position to lead efforts to improve and reform the transition and reentry system, as well as enhance their board’s capacity to use evidence-based principles in effective offender management. Being an effective chair requires clearly defined roles and strategies to ensure that informed decisions are made relative to the release and return of offenders.
Training Opportunity
Inmate Behavior Management - Partnership Program
Register Before: September 20, 2014
(Begins October 27, 2014) This 32-hour program teaches participants the information and skills necessary to develop a formal plan to manage inmate behavior in their respective jails.
Training Opportunity
Women Offenders: Developing an Agencywide Approach
Register Before: September 19, 2014
(Begins November 17, 2014) This revised blended learning program, with combined independent and on-site activities will total approximately 40 hours over the course of a year. Incorporated into the course requirements are Blended-learning activities to include a webinar, an organizational readiness survey, independent reading and personalized coaching throughout the year to assist agencies in directing their planned change. On-site activities include a 2.5 day, in-class training at the National Corrections Academy in Aurora, Colorado.
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