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  • A Portrait of Boundary Violations: Former Female Employees of Corrections Who Have Established a Relationship With an Inmate

    A Portrait of Boundary Violations: Former Female Employees of Corrections Who Have Established a Relationship With an Inmate Cover
    A Portrait of Boundary Violations: Former Female Employees of Corrections Who Have Established a Relationship With an Inmate

    "The correctional profession struggles to prevent boundary violating behavior by correctional employees with inmates. Examples of boundary violations that have occurred in correctional institutions include aiding an inmate in an escape, providing weapons to inmates, and engaging in sexual contact with an inmate. Any type of boundary violating behavior between an inmate and an employee has the potential of threatening the stability of the institution as well as creating a public safety risk. This study examined the process that permits a female correctional employee to develop a relationship with a male inmate" (p. iv). Five chapters comprise this dissertation: introduction and purpose of this study; literature review covering the environment inside a correctional facility, organizational components, organizational response, boundary violations in mental health treatment settings and in correctional facilities, consequence of boundary violations, strategies to address boundary violations, values and characteristics of employees, women in corrections, love and attraction in the workplace, and women in love with inmates; methodology—origins and purposes, perspective taking, voice, context, relationship, emergent themes, and shaping the story and composing the narrative; the portraits—portraits of four former female correctional officers, emerging themes, and review of research questions; and discussion and conclusions—Boundary Violation Model, and implications for correctional leaders.

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  • Medicaid: Information on Inmate Eligibility and Federal Costs for Allowable Services

    Medicaid: Information on Inmate Eligibility and Federal Costs for Allowable Services Cover
    Medicaid: Information on Inmate Eligibility and Federal Costs for Allowable Services

    "Financing health care for inmates can be a significant portion of state correctional spending for some states with health care costs ranging from an estimated 6 percent to 33 percent of institutional corrections spending in 2008, the most recent estimate available. The combination of expanded Medicaid eligibility and enhanced funding for those newly eligible as allowed under PPACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] gives states additional incentives to enroll inmates in Medicaid and obtain federal matching funds, and increases the federal responsibility for financing allowable services for inmates. Questions exist about the potential costs to the federal government, because little is known about how many inmates are eligible for Medicaid or the extent to which states are obtaining federal matching funds for allowable services … In this report, we provide information on the proportion of inmates eligible for Medicaid, and state efforts to enroll inmates in Medicaid and obtain federal matching funds for allowable services" (p. 2). While a large percentage of inmates will be eligible for Medicaid in the 27 states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility, only a very small percentage will be eligible for federal Medicaid funds. The impact to federal spending will be extremely limited.

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  • CJ-TRAK Knowledge Translation Tool Suite

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    CJ-TRAK Knowledge Translation Tool Suite

    "Moving knowledge about evidence-based practices (EBPs) from research into practice in the justice and treatment systems is essential for improving both offender (client-level) and system-level outcomes. The Criminal Justice Targeted Research and Application of Knowledge (CJ-TRAK) website is home to several decision-support tools designed to facilitate knowledge translation in the justice/treatment system for justice-involved populations." The RNR Simulation Tool can be used to figure out what programing is needed by your agency to effectively reduce recidivism. This tool is composed of three portals: Assess an Individual; The RNR Program Tool for Adults; and Assess Jurisdiction's Capacity. SOARING2 is an e-learning program that provides corrections professionals with knowledge and skills they need to use EBP effectively in managing offenders. The training system is comprised of five modules: Risk-Need-Responsivity; Motivation and Engagement; Case Planning; Problem Solving; and Desistance. The final instrument is the Evidence Mapping (EMTAP) Tool. The EMTAP synthesizes meta-analyses and systematic reviews on what works in correctional health services. It "allows users to examine the outcomes, settings, populations studied, and methods at a glance" that match their selected offender area.

    Web Page
  • The Fourth Wave: Juvenile Justice Reforms for the Twenty-First Century

    The Fourth Wave: Juvenile Justice Reforms for the Twenty-First Century Cover
    The Fourth Wave: Juvenile Justice Reforms for the Twenty-First Century

    "Over the past decade or more, virtually every state in the union has taken steps to create a juvenile justice system that is not just tough on crime but smart on crime—fair and just practices that protect communities and help all kids become responsible adults. The systems now taking shape embrace the best ideas from earlier waves of reform—society’s responsibility to its youth, the need to create safe communities—and put them in a new framework: a scientific understanding of child and adolescent development, the tools to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, and the determination to put our scarce taxpayer dollars where the evidence is" (p. 9). This report discusses how the fourth wave of reform will influence the juvenile justice system. Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; a brief history of juvenile justice—the "discovery" of childhood, enter the child savers, a second wave of reform, the third wave of backlash, the consequences, and the fourth wave; reducing incarceration and its harms; treating kids as kids, not as adults; diverting youths from the system; ensuring equal treatment and due process; balancing youth development, personal accountability, and public safety; and into the future.

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  • National Institute of Corrections Report to the Nation FY 2013: Protecting the Promise: Serving America's Correctional Systems

    National Institute of Corrections Report to the Nation FY 2013: Protecting the Promise: Serving America's Correctional Systems Cover
    National Institute of Corrections Report to the Nation FY 2013: Protecting the Promise: Serving America's Correctional Systems

    “We’re in the people business. As much as we like to talk about numbers—rates of recidivism, caseloads, population growth, etc.—the real story behind the work we do is the lives we save, the people we help, and the communities we keep safe. That’s the nature of corrections. In this year’s annual report to the nation from the Nation Institute of Corrections (NIC), we hope that the stories of the lives we’ve touched and the jurisdictions we’ve helped come through. More than just the numbers, it’s the training, information, and technical assistance that we’ve provided throughout the fiscal year that truly matters, because it is those stories and those successes that best illustrate what we do … Make no mistake, however, that while we’re sharing with you our proudest moments, we’ve weathered the same effects of the stormy economy that each of you have. We have been challenged by travel restrictions, training cancellations, and delays and denials of requests for technical assistance due to economic forces. In our Jails Division alone, 11 training events were canceled. But in this adversity, we continue to make a difference and serve the field of corrections. We have enjoyed being of service to the country this fiscal year, and we look forward to being part of more of the positive, inspiring stories in corrections that are still to come." These remarks were made by Robert M. Brown, Jr., Acting Director, National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Chapters of this report focus on: NIC's mission and strategic outcomes; operations; mission-focused training; outreach; evidence-based practices; information services; and technical assistance.

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  • Improving Recidivism as a Performance Measure

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    Improving Recidivism as a Performance Measure

    "Performance measurement—establishing metrics for success and assessing results—is a crucial first step in making informed decisions in all areas of government, including criminal justice policy. Understanding the outcomes of funding and policy decisions is critical to improving government performance and providing the best return on taxpayer investments … Recidivism, the most commonly used definition of correctional success, is one example of a performance measure that many states use. Broadly defined as reengaging in criminal behavior after receiving a sanction or intervention, recidivism is an important performance measure for justice agencies and should be at the heart of any effort to evaluate JRI outcomes. Unfortunately, recidivism is most frequently reported as a single, statewide rate, which is too imprecise to draw meaningful conclusions and insufficient for assessing the impact of changes to policy and practice" (p. 2). This brief shows how your agencies can use recidivism data to make better decisions beyond the system-level. The four steps explained are: definition—use multiple measures of success; collection—develop protocols to ensure data are consistent, accurate, and timely; analysis—account for the underlying composition of the population; and dissemination—package the findings to maximize impact and get the results into the hands of decision-makers.

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  • Victim Services and PREA: A Trauma-Informed Approach

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    Victim Services and PREA: A Trauma-Informed Approach

    This training program "was designed to prepare corrections staff to develop and implement a victim services program that is both trauma-informed and victim-centered. The curriculum includes material that involves aspects of the following PREA standards: 115.16, 115.21–.22, 115.51, 115.53–.54, 115.61–.68, 115.73, 115.81–.83, and 115.86. The curriculum guides officials, step-by-step, through the process of establishing victim services programs in a variety of confinement settings; prepares staff members to carry out trauma-informed, victim-services programs, including collaboration with community advocacy agencies; helps create a corrections culture where reporting sexual abuse and sexual harassment is perceived as a viable option; and contributes to efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment." The curriculum is made up of an Instructor’s Guide and Lesson Plans, pre- and post-tests, and presentation slides for the following seven modules: Developing a Victim-Centered Response to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Understanding the PREA Standards on Victim Services; Understanding Sexual Abuse and Trauma; Reporting Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART); and Collaborating With Prosecuting Authorities.

    Web Page
  • PREA Employee Training

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    PREA Employee Training

    "This curriculum was developed to assist agencies in addressing training requirements found in PREA standards 115.31, 115.131, 115.231, and 115.331. Because each correctional setting represents distinct differences that cannot be captured easily in a one-size-fits-all training, it is anticipated that trainers will customize this training to more fully meet the specific needs of a particular facility or agency. To that end, it is essential that trainers work diligently with the agency PREA coordinator to collect appropriate policies and procedures referenced in the facilitator guides for each unit. Understanding and fulfilling agency policy requirements is a vital part of addressing requirements of the PREA standards .. Due to the sensitive topics covered in these training modules, it is recommended that the trainer identify a mental health practitioner or a local resource who can work with any staff who may be triggered when discussing or hearing about the topics covered in the trainings. It is important to identify the mental health provider prior to beginning each training unit or at the beginning of each day of training." This curriculum package includes presentation slides and lesson plans for the following units: Unit 1—PREA Overview and Your Role; Unit 2--Inmates’ Rights to be Free From Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment and Inmates’ Rights to be Free From Retaliation for Reporting; Unit 3.1--Prevention and Detection of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Unit 3.2--Response and Reporting of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Unit 4--Professional Boundaries; and Unit 5--Effective and Professional Communication With Inmates.

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  • Ending Silence: Demanding Safety from Sexual Assault Graphic Novel Series

    Ending Silence: Demanding Safety from Sexual Assault Graphic Novel Series Cover
    Ending Silence: Demanding Safety from Sexual Assault Graphic Novel Series

    This is an excellent "series of graphic novels for adult inmates in custodial settings. These graphic novels are intended to educate inmates about how to identify and address incidents of sexual assault. The plot lines in these graphic novels dramatize situations we know occur in custodial settings. The use of graphic novels in community education projects is well established. Through presenting information through an illustrative medium, these novels aim to disseminate information about the sexual abuse reporting process to inmates at all literacy levels. These novels were developed with Inmate Education standard 115.33 of the Prison Rape Elimination Act National Standards in mind. These graphic novels are a first step in reaching out to inmates in order to help them identify, address, and respond to incidents of sexual abuse by staff or other inmates". The three books in the series are: "I Reported It" which focuses on gender non-conforming inmates; "Don't Touch Me" for male inmates; and "The Barter" for female inmates.

    Web Page
  • Sam Survives [Graphic Novel]

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    Sam Survives [Graphic Novel]

    This publication is an excellent graphic novel for male youthful inmates, those under 18 years of age, which provides them vital information about possible exposure to sexual abuse in adult correctional settings. "The novel raises several important issues including: (1) the code of silence among inmates and correctional staff in a facility; (2) beliefs about protective pairing; (3) the experience of gender non-conforming inmates; and (4) and female staff as perpetrators of sexual abuse". It is a prime educational tool developed with the Inmate Education Standard, § 115.33 of the National PREA Standards released on May 17, 2012. A separate set of discussion questions are also available.

    Web Page
  • Gender Nonconforming Youth: Discipline Disparities, School Push-Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

    Gender Nonconforming Youth: Discipline Disparities, School Push-Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline Cover
    Gender Nonconforming Youth: Discipline Disparities, School Push-Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

    This report provides an excellent explanation of why some gender nonconforming youth end up involved with the juvenile justice system. "Gender nonconformity, or GNC, is a term used to describe a person’s identity or expression of gender. A GNC person may express their gender through the clothes they wear, the activities they engage in, the pronouns they use, and/or their mannerisms. This expression may embrace masculinity, femininity, neither, or both. GNC is also an umbrella term used to describe various gender identities such as genderqueer, gender fluid, boi, gender neutral, and/or transgender. In general, GNC youth do not conform to stereotypical expectations of what it means to be and to look like a male or a female" (p. 1). The term school push-out refers to students being marginalized in school and/or forced out of school before they graduate. Sections of this report cover: gender nonconforming youth and school climate; GNC youth and the school-to-prison pipeline (STPP); GNC youth report incidents of harsh school discipline and biased application of policies; they report being blamed for their own victimization; and the multiple challenges that GNC youth have to deal with.

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  • LGBTQ Youth of Color: Discipline Disparities, School Push-Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

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    LGBTQ Youth of Color: Discipline Disparities, School Push-Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

    This is an excellent report about an issue that is little known—the involvement of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) youth of color in the juvenile justice system. Topics discussed include: LGBTQ youth of color and the school-to-prison pipeline (STPP); school push-out—the marginalization in school and/or forcing out of school of these youth before they graduate; LGBTQ youth of color report increased surveillance and policing; these youth report incidents of harsh school discipline and biased application of policies; these youth report being blamed for their own victimization; and the immense challenges LGBTQ youth of color have to contend with.

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  • Facts and Fictions about Islam in Prison: Assessing Prisoner Radicalization in Post-9/11 America

    Facts and Fictions about Islam in Prison: Assessing Prisoner Radicalization in Post-9/11 America Cover
    Facts and Fictions about Islam in Prison: Assessing Prisoner Radicalization in Post-9/11 America

    This report explains how violence due to prison radicalization by Muslims is a rare event. "This report assesses the radicalization of Muslim prisoners in post-9/11 America. In the last decade, Muslim prisoners have been scrutinized for ties to terrorist and other extremist organizations, not to mention characterized as both a “threat” and a “danger” to national security, due to the influence of foreign jihadist movements. However, closer scrutiny shows that these fears have failed to materialize—indeed, despite the existence of an estimated 350,000 Muslim prisoners, there is little evidence of widespread radicalization or successful foreign recruitment, and only one documented case of prison-based terrorist activity. Nonetheless, some prison systems have implemented an aggressive posture toward these inmates and have made suppressive tactics their bedrock policy. This approach unfortunately overlooks Islam’s long history of positive influence on prisoners, including supporting inmate rehabilitation for decades " (p. 5). Sections of this report following an executive summary include: introduction to the politics of Islam and radicalization in American prisons—social fears vs. social science; how Islam operates in American prisons—effects of Islamic values and beliefs on inmate behavior, and the role of social networks; investigating extremist views and violence among Muslim inmates—failure to define terms and the problem, whether prisons are factories for extremists, and understanding the challenges of extremist ideology; and conclusion—false alarms, toward best practices, fostering an Islamic marketplace, and stabilizing prisoner re-entry.

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  • Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Probation Revocation: Summary Findings and Implications from a Multisite Study

    Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Probation Revocation Cover
    Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Probation Revocation: Summary Findings and Implications from a Multisite Study

    "Racial and ethnic disparity is pervasive in the American criminal justice system. This is particularly stark for blacks, who despite constituting just 13 percent of the US population, account for 30 percent of adult probationers, 37 percent of jail inmates, 38 percent of prisoners, and 40 percent of parolees. Such disparities have broad consequences, from impacts on the health and functioning of minority communities to perceptions of the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. There are more probationers than parolees, prisoners, and jail inmates combined. Probation practice and outcomes thus affect the lives of more adults than any other criminal justice sanction. Further, probation supervision represents an important fork in the road for justice-involved individuals, with failure on probation setting a path for more severe sanctioning, particularly incarceration. Disparities in probation revocations could then contribute to disparities in incarceration. Yet, few studies examine racial and ethnic disparities at this decision point. This brief discusses Urban’s study examining the degree of disparity in probation revocation outcomes and the drivers of that disparity" (p. 1). Sections include: key findings—revocation rates for Black probationers are the greatest with risk assessment scores and criminal history being major factors in revocation; findings regarding probation stakeholder perceptions of bias in the criminal justice system, higher revocation rates for Black probationers, disparity observed when controlling for nonracial and non-ethical characteristics, and contributors to disparity; discussion and policy implications; and ten policy recommendations such as committing to monitor disparity, investing in cultural competency training (CCT), utilizing alternatives to revocation, and reexamining risk assessments and their impact on decisionmaking.

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  • Cross Gender Supervision and Legal Liability [Webinar]

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    Cross Gender Supervision and Legal Liability [Webinar]

    "This webinar focuses on the legal liability of agencies and staff when engaging in cross gender supervision and searches of people in custody." Topics discussed include: important factors for cross gender searches and supervision; the legal framework—Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards and DOJ guidance, Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Prison Litigation Reform Act, Violence Against Women Act amendments, PREA exhaustion of administration remedies, Federal Torts Claims Act, U.S. Constitution claims, state claims, and international legal claims; forms of liability—municipal, official, individual, personal and qualified immunity; case law digest—issues raised by inmates, residents, or detainees—First Amendment, Fourth Amendment , Fourth regarding privacy, visual body cavity searches, pat downs (searches), and the Eighth Amendment; the impact of cross gender supervision and searches on youthful inmates; case law regarding employment—Title VII; women in corrections; men in corrections; gender non-conforming staff in corrections; and conclusions regarding the current state of the law.

    Webinar
  • Jail Time and Violent Juvenile Offenders

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    Jail Time and Violent Juvenile Offenders

    If you are interested in the sentencing of juveniles to life imprisonment you should listen to this excellent radio program. "Fighting for life without parole for young offenders. Tough states do not want to back down – or re-open old cases … For years, courts tried such minors as adults. Many were given tough life sentences. Then the U.S. Supreme Court said no. Said children – even underage killers – deserve a chance at redemption. No mandatory life sentences without parole. Now states are wrestling with that ruling. Some complying. Some pushing back. This hour On Point: juvenile offenders, life sentences, and the law."

    Mixed Media
  • Statewide Ban the Box: Reducing Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records

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    Statewide Ban the Box: Reducing Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records

    This is a great update on what is happening in the United States regarding Ban the Box initiatives. Correctional reformers, offender advocates, and probation officers should be aware of this movement. “Nationwide, over 50 cities and counties—including New York City—have now taken the critical step of removing unfair barriers to employment in their hiring policies. Widely known as “ban the box,” these initiatives typically remove the question on the job application about an individual’s conviction history and delay the background check inquiry until later in the hiring process … In an era of extreme mass incarceration, ban-the-box campaigns provide a platform to educate the public about the stigma of a criminal record and the real consequences to our society of depriving millions of Americans with past convictions of economic stability” (p. 2). Sections of this brief cover: the ten states that have embraced statewide ban the box; current state policies; legislation introduced in 2013; and related fair hiring standards—laws prohibiting discrimination based on a criminal record.

     

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  • SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach

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    SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach

    "Trauma is a widespread, harmful and costly public health problem. It occurs as a result of violence, abuse, neglect, loss, disaster, war and other emotionally harmful experiences. Trauma has no boundaries with regard to age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, geography or sexual orientation. It is an almost universal experience of people with mental and substance use disorders … The purpose of this paper is to develop a working concept of trauma and a trauma-informed approach and to develop a shared understanding of these concepts that would be acceptable and appropriate across an array of service systems and stakeholder groups. SAMHSA puts forth a framework for the behavioral health specialty sectors, that can be adapted to other sectors such as child welfare, education, criminal and juvenile justice, primary health care, the military and other settings that have the potential to ease or exacerbate an individual’s capacity to cope with traumatic experiences … The desired goal is to build a framework that helps systems “talk” to each other, to understand better the connections between trauma and behavioral health issues, and to guide systems to become trauma-informed" (p. 2-3). Sections of this publication include: introduction; purpose and approach—developing a framework for trauma and a trauma-informed approach; background—trauma—where we are and how we got here; SMAHSA's concept of trauma; SAMHSA's trauma-informed approach—key assumptions and principles; guidance for implementing a trauma-informed approach; next steps—trauma in the context of community; and conclusion.

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  • Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

    Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief Cover
    Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

    "Firearms are one of the leading causes of deaths for law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the line of duty … Since FY1999, Congress has provided funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to help them purchase armor vests for their officers through the Matching Grant Program for Law Enforcement Armor Vests (also referred to as the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Initiative, hereinafter “the BPV program”). Congress is considering legislation that would reauthorize the program through FY2018. S. 933, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2013, would, among other things, reauthorize the BPV program until FY2018" (p. 1). This report provides an overview of the BPV program and covers issues relevant to a debate regarding the reauthorization of BPV. Sections following a summary are: background; Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S. 933); authorization and appropriations; the use of armor vests by law enforcement; the life cycle of armor vests; effectiveness of armor vests; and selected issues for Congress.

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  • Preventing Juvenile Suicide through Improved Collaboration: Strategies for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Agencies

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    Preventing Juvenile Suicide through Improved Collaboration: Strategies for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Agencies

    Recommendations are presented for effectively preventing suicide among youth in the juvenile justice system. These can be successfully achieved through the combined collaboration of juvenile justice, law enforcement, mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, and education agencies and organizations. Sections of this report include: introduction; overview of 10 overarching priorities; overview of 12 strategies; overarching priorities and related strategies to improve collaboration in detail; "Matrix of Overarching Priorities and Strategies"; conclusion; and "Appendix A: Environmental Scanning Tool". "In recognition of the higher rate of suicide and suicidal behaviors among youth involved in the juvenile justice system who have mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, and other relevant risk factors for suicide (e.g., a history of child sexual and physical abuse and other forms of trauma), it is urgent that all youth-serving systems effectively collaborate across all levels of government. This collaboration will likely save the lives of vulnerable youth by creating opportunities to intervene prior to the youth engaging in suicidal behavior and greatly enhance the provision of appropriate and effective supports and services. Implementing the strategies recommended in this paper will enable systems and practitioners to reduce the risk of youth suicide while achieving the collaborations necessary for sustained positive suicide prevention strategies" (p. 18).

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  • Screening and Assessment for Suicide Prevention: Tools and Procedures for Risk Identification among Juvenile Justice Youth

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    Screening and Assessment for Suicide Prevention: Tools and Procedures for Risk Identification among Juvenile Justice Youth

    Identifying suicide risk among young people is a critical component of the comprehensive approach that the juvenile justice system must adopt to prevent suicide. Ideally, this identification is done with research-based screening and assessment instruments. To select effective instruments, it is necessary to be aware of the juvenile justice system’s responsibilities in preventing suicide, the contexts in which screening and assessment instruments are used, current standards for screening instruments and assessment tools used in mental health and juvenile justice settings, and specific instruments that are available to advance suicide prevention efforts. These facets of suicide prevention are explored in this paper (p. 1). Sections of this publication include: introduction; measuring suicide risk; screening and assessment procedures; current standards for instrument selection; four screening tools; five assessment tools; implementation of suicide risk screening and assessment; and conclusion.

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  • Suicidal Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Review of the Literature

    Suicidal Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Review of the Literature Cover
    Suicidal Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Review of the Literature

    What is currently known about suicidal ideation and behavior among youth involved in the juvenile justice system is reported. "Based on findings of this review, between 13,500 and 20,600 detainees may have considered suicide in the past year and 11,000 delinquent youth may have attempted suicide in the past year. With proper screening and intervention, these estimates can be lessened and the risk of suicide among this vulnerable population can be minimized" (p. 10). Sections of this report include: introduction; findings from the first national survey on juvenile suicide in confinement (2009); suicidal ideation and behavior among youth in the juvenile justice system; review methodology; results according to recent, past-year, and lifetime suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior (attempts), or gender and ethnic disparities in suicidal ideation and behavior; variables associated with suicidal ideation and behavior; discussion about prevalence of and associated variables for suicidal ideation and behavior; and six recommendations for future research. An appendix shows "Studies of Prevalence of Suicide Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System" organized according to studies of youth sampled at post-arrest, intake to detention, in detention, post-adjudication, at different points of contact in the juvenile justice system, or undefined.

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  • Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment: 2014 Update

    Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment: 2014 Update Cover
    Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment: 2014 Update

    "The [Annie E. Casey] Foundation has issued this revised version of the [Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)] standards to acknowledge and incorporate regulations that affect the full range of facility operations. This includes the U.S. Department of Justice regulations for the prevention, detection and response to sexual misconduct in juvenile facilities as part of its implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act." Five sections are contained in this guide: introduction; about the revised JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards; guidelines to conducting a facility assessment; facility assessment "How To" tools which provide practical recommendations for reviewing written documents and other materials, observing, and interviewing youth and staff at the facility according to each section of the standards; and JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards (Revised June 2014)—classification and intake, health and mental health care, access, programming, training and supervision, environment, restraints/room confinement/due process and grievances, safety, and glossary.

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  • Swift, Certain, & Fair

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    Swift, Certain, & Fair

    This is an excellent website for learning about this innovative approach to reducing recidivism. "About one-third of probationers and parolees fail the terms of their supervision. Over three-quarters of parolees are re-arrested within five years, and over half return to prison. High failure rates for people on probation and parole—whether for new offenses, revocations, or individuals who abscond from supervision—result in increased crime, crowded prisons and jails, and strained public budgets … Why Swift Certain and Fair? Because—if the conditions are right—a SCF program can take high-risk individuals in your jurisdiction and substantially reduce their drug use, revocation and re-arrest rates, and the subsequent reliance on incarceration." Points of entry contained on this website are: why SCF; current programs; ingredients for success; stakeholders' roles; and what's happening now.

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  • Controversy, Litigation and Performance Problems Plague Private Probation Services

    Controversy, Litigation and Performance Problems Plague Private Probation Services Cover
    Controversy, Litigation and Performance Problems Plague Private Probation Services

    This is a good overview of the problems inherent in private probation. Sections cover: the controversy—probation for profit; litigation against private probation companies; and performance problems reported.

    Web Page
  • Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement

    Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement Cover
    Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement

    Recent successful juvenile justice and juvenile detention reforms have resulted in better and more meaningful public policy on the use of custody facilities and have triggered significant reductions in juvenile detention and corrections populations. However, a secondary—and perhaps unintended—consequence has been a parallel reduction in the resources available to continue providing much needed training and technical assistance to facilities that still must confine the most troublesome youth. As history continues to show, juvenile detention and corrections remain the “forgotten” elements of the juvenile justice system. We now must add adult facilities that are responsible for the care and custody of youthful offenders to this list of isolated elements …

    "The purpose of the Desktop Guide is to provide practitioners—line staff, supervisors, and administrators—along the various points on the youth-custody continuum with an operational resource that describes promising and effective practices that are rooted in theory and tested by research. Accordingly, the Desktop Guide will serve as a core resource for staff development and training as well as for academic course work …

    "The Desktop Guide has two parts. Part I: Principles and Concepts explores the background principles, concepts, and knowledge at the core of juvenile justice and services for youth in confinement. Part II: Daily Practice identifies what is quality practice, including the skills needed to effectively serve youth in confinement."

    Part I: Principles and Concepts contains: Chapter 1: Historical Perspective, by Michele Deitch, J.D., M.Sc., in partnership with a number of her students at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin; Chapter 2: Types of Facilities, by Pam Clark, MSM, LSW, CYC-P; Chapter 3: Physical Plant Design and Operations, by Jim Moeser; Chapter 4: Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce, by Pam Clark; Chapter 5: Rights and Responsibilities, by Michael Umpierre, Esq.; Chapter 6: Adolescent Development, by Rodney Erwin, MD; and Chapter 7: Emerging Issues, by Charles Kehoe.

    Part II: Daily Practice contains: Chapter 8: Management and Facility Administration, by Anne M. Nelsen, MSW, MPA; Chapter 9: Admission and Intake, by Anne Nelsen; Chapter 10: Effective Programs and Services, by Wayne Liddell in collaboration with Kathy Starkovich, M.S., and Pam Clark; Chapter 11: Mental Health, by Lisa Boesky, MD; Chapter 12: Healthcare, by Michelle Staples-Horne, MD, MS, MPH, CCHP; Chapter 13: Education, by Randall W.Farmer, M.Ed., in collaboration with Carol Cramer Brooks; Chapter 14: Behavior Management, by Michele Deitch; Chapter 15: Service and Treatment Plans, by Dr. Nelson Griffis, Ph.D., LMSW, in collaboration with Jennifer Sloan, MSM, Wayne R. Liddell, and James Moeser; Chapter 16: Behavior Observation, Recording, and Report Writing, by Anne Nelsen; Chapter 17: Quality Assurance, by Kelly Dedel. Ph.D.; Chapter 18: Transition Planning and Reentry, by Joyce Burrell; and Chapter 19: Challenging and Vulnerable Populations, by a panel of experts and professionals.

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  • Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System

    Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System Cover
    Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System

    "Despite positive trends regarding juvenile interactions with the justice system, racial disparities remain as a persistent problem. African-American youth comprise 17 percent of the population, but comprise 31 percent of all arrested youth. This briefing paper explains how disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the juvenile justice system is measured and takes a close look at drug offenses, property crimes, and status offenses. Racial disparities weaken the credibility of a justice system that purports to treat everyone equally." Sections cover: what "contact" is; the extent of the problem; measuring DMC using the Relative Rate Index (RRI); encounters with the justice system—disproportionate arrest rates for status offenders, property crime arrests, and drug offenses; how policy choices worsen disparities—school discipline as a law enforcement issue, valid court order (VCO), and geography and population density; disproportionate minority confinement—RRI for pre- and post-adjudication detention and placement; and eliminating disproportionate minority contact by reauthorizing and strengthening the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

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  • Measuring Juvenile Recidivism: Data Collection and Reporting Practices in Juvenile Corrections

    Measuring Juvenile Recidivism: Data Collection and Reporting Practices in Juvenile Corrections Cover
    Measuring Juvenile Recidivism: Data Collection and Reporting Practices in Juvenile Corrections

    "Reducing recidivism is a key indicator of success for juvenile corrections agencies." This interactive map is an excellent resource for finding out about juvenile offender recidivism across the United States. Information provided for each responding state shows its definition of recidivism (measure(s) of reoffending, length of follow up, and whether offenders are followed in to the criminal justice system), how performance (recidivism) is measured (compare to previous year release cohorts, and compare rates by offender risk), reporting (frequency of reporting, and target audience), and the source of the state's data. One may get all the information provided in the interactive tool in one PDF table.

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  • A Review of Probation Home Visits: What Do We Know?

     Review of Probation Home Visits: What Do We Know? Cover
    A Review of Probation Home Visits: What Do We Know?

    "Although home visits are seen as a critical tool employed by probation officers, recent evidence demonstrates that home visits are rarely conducted, even for high-risk offenders who might benefit from them the most … Because there are costs (such as probation officer time and safety risks) associated with conducting field work, we need to understand the role of home visits in modern probation agencies and determine best practices of how they should be implemented to meet intended goals. This article highlights the historical importance of home visits as a key element of probation and suggests future avenues to inform the field about their full potential and utility" (p. 32). Sections cover: a brief history of probation—from rehabilitation to crime control and back again; the role of home visits in supporting probation goals; expansion of probation to higher-risk offenders—retaining a role for home visits; and addressing gaps in our knowledge about home visits—officer and offender goals for home visits, opening the "black box" of home visits, impact of home visits on family and communities, dosage—how often and how many home visits are needed, and desistance among high-risk offenders.

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  • TIP 59: Improving Cultural Competence

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    TIP 59: Improving Cultural Competence

    "The development of culturally responsive clinical skills is vital to the effectiveness of behavioral health services. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), cultural competence “refers to the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, languages, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services, as well as staff members who are providing such services … This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) uses Sue’s (2001) multidimensional model for developing cultural competence. Adapted to address cultural competence across behavioral health settings, this model serves as a frame-work for targeting three organizational levels of treatment: individual counselor and staff, clinical and programmatic, and organizational and administrative. The chapters target specific racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations along with the core elements of cultural competence highlighted in the model. These core elements include cultural awareness, general cultural knowledge, cultural knowledge of behavioral health, and cultural skill development. The primary objective of this TIP is to assist readers in understanding the role of culture in the delivery of behavioral health services (both generally and with reference to specific cultural groups)" (p. xv). These six chapters follow an executive summary: introduction to cultural competence; core competencies for counselors and other clinical staff; culturally responsible evaluation and treatment planning; preparing organizational cultural competence; behavioral health treatment for major racial and ethnic groups—African and Black Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, and White Americans ; drug cultures and culture of recovery. Appendixes included: Instruments to Measure Identity and Acculturation; Tools for Accessing Cultural Competence; Screening and Assessment Instruments; Cultural Formulation in Diagnosis and Cultural Concepts of Distress; Cultural Resources; and glossary.

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  • Issues in Defining and Applying Evidence-Based Practices Criteria for Treatment of Criminal-Justice Involved Clients

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    Issues in Defining and Applying Evidence-Based Practices Criteria for Treatment of Criminal-Justice Involved Clients

    If you are looking for an introduction to the use of evidence-based practice (EBP) in corrections based drug treatment, then this is for you. EBP "applies the principles and techniques of evidence-based decision making to interventions intended to improve, or ameliorate, the social or clinical problems of affected individuals, including offenders with drug abuse problems. This article provides a general overview of EBP, particularly as it applies to treatment and other interventions for offenders with problems involving drugs (including alcohol). The discussion includes a definition of EBP, notes the implications of using EBPs to make policy and clinical decisions, lists the various efforts by government and academic organizations to identify practices that can be considered evidence based, describes the criteria used by such organizations to evaluate programs as being evidence based, raises some cautions about the use of EBPs, and ends with some challenges in disseminating and implementing EBPs" (p. 10). Following an abstract, this article covers: a definition and implications; evidence-based practice initiatives; meta-analyses of treatment programs for offenders; limitations of randomized designs for evidence-based practices; challenges in disseminating and implementing EBPs; and EPBs having valid yet tentative knowledge about "what works".

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  • Body-Worn Cameras for Criminal Justice: Market Survey, Version 1.0

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    Body-Worn Cameras for Criminal Justice: Market Survey, Version 1.0

    "The use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by criminal justice practitioners (e.g., patrol, corrections, SWAT and other tactical responders) offers potential advantages in keep¬ing officers safe, enabling situational awareness, improving community relations and accountability, and providing evidence for trial. These products are also sometimes called officer-worn or wearable cameras. In the last couple of years, there has been a dramatic increase in the criminal justice use, public and media attention and commercial offerings of BWCs. This market survey report aggregates and summarizes information on commercial BWCs to aid criminal justice practitioners considering planning, acquisition and implementation of the technology in their agency" (p. 1). Profiles are provided for 18 BWCs. Also included is the "BWC Technical Summary Comparison".

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  • Women's Risk Factors and New Treatments/Interventions for Addressing Them: Evidence-Based Interventions in the United States and Canada

    Women's Risk Factors and New Treatments/Interventions for Addressing Them: Evidence-Based Interventions in the United States and Canada Cover
    Women's Risk Factors and New Treatments/Interventions for Addressing Them: Evidence-Based Interventions in the United States and Canada

    This paper describes assessments of female offenders used by correctional agencies and the programs and resources provided by these agencies to meet female offenders' needs. "The two, assessments and programs/services go together. The assessments tell us what is needed and the programs address identified needs" (p. 43). Topics discussed include: gender-responsive risk assessments and the risk factors they identify; women's pathways to crime—child abuse pathway, relational pathway, and the social and human capital pathway; mental health, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and parental stress; risk factors by correctional setting—prisons, pre-release, and probation; translating the gender-specific research into practice; interventions for women offender populations; and the Gender-Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA) 12 domains.

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  • Locked Up In America: Solitary Nation

    Locked Up In America: Solitary Nation Cover
    Locked Up In America: Solitary Nation

    If you are looking for a balanced approach to the use of solitary confinement by prisons then this program is for you. The strength of this film is that it presents an excellent look at the extremely difficult working conditions correctional officers face in managing inmates in segregation while it also shows why inmates end up in solitary and how inmates react to this segregation. Topics discussed include: the flooding of the unit; extraction of a self-abusive inmate who has seriously cut himself; reasons inmates are housed in segregation--judged too dangerous to be around other people, for their own protection, or for disruptive behavior; passing of notes between cells; cleaning/disinfecting a cell of blood; the use of solitary confinement as reform in the 1800s till it was determined it drove the prisoners mad; the reemergence of segregation in the 1980s to stamp out violence in institutions; states are rethinking use of segregation; senior prison staff concerns about releasing some of extremely dangerous inmates into the general population; inmate manipulation; the mental health unit; tough choices on who to release--leave inmates in too long potential to make them more disturbed, yet move out soon they could endanger staff, other prisoners, or themselves; and the step down unit transferring individuals from solitary to general population—beginning with a lot of restrictions that are reduced as good behavior is exhibited. This film contains scenes of self-harm and violence.

    Video
  • Podcast: How to Fix America's Solitary Problem

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    Podcast: How to Fix America's Solitary Problem

    "Critics say it’s expensive, ineffective and even dangerous, but the U.S. puts more people in prolonged isolation than most other countries in the world. Now, some officials at the state and federal level are beginning to review the practice. FRONTLINE brought together some of these officials for a conversation about the use of solitary confinement in the state and federal prison system today. We wanted to understand what’s happening on the ground, what works, what doesn’t, and what the future looks like for America’s prisons." The corrections professionals involved in this roundtable are Jim Austin, Bob Hood, and Bernie Warner. Topics discussed include: how inmates get placed in segregated housing; litigation resulting in legislative changes; special administrative measures (SAMs); length of stay; release back into the general population; gang influence; and the future.

    Audio
  • What's the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice?

    What's the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice? Cover
    What's the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice?

    This article explains why one must be cautious with implementing an evidence-based program. You must "understand the basics of evaluation research, including the statistical methods used to generate evidence of program effectiveness. A study that reports statistically significant results is not necessarily evidence of effectiveness, and being evidence-based does not mean a program is guaranteed to work … understanding these basic principles of evaluation research is part of every practitioner’s job" (p. 1). This publication clarifies: how evaluation research is limited; statistics are not always significant; effect size is a better assessment metric than statistical significance—effect size combines substantive importance and statistical significance; and while evaluation research should play a role, it cannot utterly have the last word; and some programs will be effective but not evidence-based because there is not enough money to invest in determining the efficacy of every justice program.

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  • SAC Publication Digest

    SAC Publication Digest Cover
    SAC Publication Digest

    "The SAC Publication Digest is a comprehensive collection of abstracts of state Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) reports, including reports produced for the SACs by outside authors or organizations … The Digest briefly describes the research, data collection, evaluation, and analysis projects and programs of each SAC, and covers a wide array of justice topics and analysis approaches not available from any other source. The Digest is a resource for anyone concerned with understanding the current major justice issues, as well as the administration of justice, in the states. The SACs are units or agencies at the state government level that collect and analyze information from all components of the justice system to contribute to the development of sound public policies and assess their impact." The Digest is divided into two parts: one part containing abstracts organized alphabetically by state; and the other part having the items arranged by topic.

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  • Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice

    Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice Cover
    Critical Elements of Juvenile Reentry in Research and Practice

    The research on “what works” with youth involved in the juvenile justice system has grown substantially in the last two decades. Taking account of this new research, a number of states and jurisdictions have made significant changes to their juvenile justice policies and practices. To further this pursuit, this article offers guidance that draws from the most recent research and promising practices based on the new evidence. This article focuses primarily on juvenile justice policies and practices for youth returning to their communities from out-of-home placements (e.g., secure confinement, residential placements). Topics discussed include: the reentry continuum; overarching case management; and six critical elements of juvenile reentry. Addition information and program examples are provided for each of the six elements—assessment of risk for reoffending, strengths, and needs; cognitive-behavioral interventions; family engagement; release readiness; permanency planning; and staffing and workforce competencies.

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  • Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention

    Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention Cover
    Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention

    "Around the world, millions are effectively punished before they are tried. Legally entitled to be considered innocent and released pending trial, many accused are instead held in pretrial detention, where they are subjected to torture, exposed to life threatening disease, victimized by violence, and pressured for bribes. It is literally worse than being convicted: pretrial detainees routinely experience worse conditions than sentenced prisoners. The suicide rate among pretrial detainees is three times higher than among convicted prisoners, and ten times that of the outside community. Pretrial detention harms individuals, families, and communities; wastes state resources and human potential; and undermines the rule of law … Presumption of Risk examines the full consequences of the global overuse of pretrial detention. Combining statistical analysis, first-person accounts, graphics, and case studies of successful reforms, the report is the first to comprehensively document this widespread but frequently ignored form of human rights abuse." Sections following the Executive Summary and Recommendations are: introduction; the scope of pretrial detention around the world—its extent and cost; who the world's pretrial detainees are; circumstances of detention and impact on detainees and their communities; the causes of arbitrary and excessive use of pretrial detention; the implications for the rule of law; reducing the arbitrary and excessive use of pretrial detention; and conclusion.

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  • Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation

    Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation Cover
    Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation

    "To understand to what extent states currently track recidivism data for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and use that information to inform policy and funding decisions, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project, and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators surveyed juvenile correctional agencies in all 50 states. This issue brief highlights the key findings of the survey and provides state and local policymakers with five recommendations for improving their approach to the measurement, analysis, collection, reporting, and use of recidivism data for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. In addition, examples are provided of how select states have translated these recommendations into policy and practice" (p. 1).

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  • Policy Implications of Police-Probation/Parole Partnerships: A Review of the Empirical Literature

    Policy Implications of Police-Probation/Parole Partnerships: A Review of the Empirical Literature Cover
    Policy Implications of Police-Probation/Parole Partnerships: A Review of the Empirical Literature

    This article examines the benefits and challenges of interagency collaboration between law enforcement and community corrections. "The primary assumption of these programs is that both entities possess distinct intelligence and resources that if combined should better address, prevent, or intervene in the violence perpetuated by this criminogenic population" (p. 2). Sections cover: history of police-probation/parole partnerships; research and evaluation on partnerships; problems associated with partnership; and seven recommendations for policy and practice on police-probation/parole partnerships.

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  • Colorado Reference Guide: Juvenile Screening and Assessment Instruments: Behavioral Health, Trauma, and Risk/Classification

    Colorado Reference Guide: Juvenile Screening and Assessment Instruments: Behavioral Health, Trauma, and Risk/Classification Cover
    Colorado Reference Guide: Juvenile Screening and Assessment Instruments: Behavioral Health, Trauma, and Risk/Classification

    "One of the most important elements in any service delivery system is the identification of needs, risks and strengths of children, youth and families. The accurate screening and assessment of these individuals and family systems are necessary to develop appropriate, individualized service packages. The use of valid screening and assessment tools will assure that safety risks (either to the public or the youth) are identified accurately and appropriate interventions are implemented, that urgent needs are recognized and dealt with quickly, and that services provided will likely result in positive outcomes … Specifically, the decision to include each instrument is based on the following: 1) The instrument must be directly related to behavioral health, trauma and/or risk classification; and 2) The instrument must be age and developmentally appropriate; and 3) The instrument must be quantitative; and 4) The instrument must be researched-based; and 5) The instrument must have empirical evidence that supports its utility. All screening and assessment instruments in this reference guide have acceptable reliability and validity data associated with them and all have, to some degree, been independently evaluated" (p. 4). There are 12 juvenile screening instruments and 11 juvenile assessment instruments described. Information provided for each instrument is: a brief description of the instrument; the Colorado agency using it; the juvenile population being targeted; the instrument's purpose; when the instrument is administered; the decisions that can be made using the instrument; skills needed by those who give the assessment or screening; training required by this person; cost; and contact information with website (if available).

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  • Rethinking the Use of Community Supervision

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    Rethinking the Use of Community Supervision

    "This Article examines the reasons why community supervision so often fails and challenges popular assumptions about the role community supervision should play in efforts to reduce overreliance on imprisonment. While probation and post-release supervision serve important purposes in many cases, they are often imposed on the wrong people and executed in ways that predictably lead to revocation" (p. 1015). Six sections make up this article: introduction; history and structures of community supervision—probation and post-release supervision; the dynamics of revocation—conditions of release, methods of supervision, and responses to rule violations; responses to the problem of revocation; the different approach of limiting community supervision—limiting the sanction, limiting release conditions, and limiting terms of supervision; and conclusion.

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  • Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies

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    Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies

    "To guide and give greater momentum to recent calls for reform, this report examines a key driving force of criminal justice outcomes: racial perceptions of crime. A complex set of factors contributes to the severity and selectivity of punishment in the United States, including public concern about crime and racial differences in crime rates. This report synthesizes two decades of research establishing that skewed racial perceptions of crime – particularly, white Americans’ strong associations of crime with racial minorities – have bolstered harsh and biased criminal justice policies" (p. 3). Eight sections follow an executive summary: introduction; public support for punitive policies—historical changes in punitive sentiment, and the racial gaps in punitiveness and victimization; racial perceptions of crime—overestimating Black and Hispanic crime rates, and implicit biases against people of color; racial perceptions of crime linked to punitiveness; sources of racial perceptions of crime; punitiveness linked to other racial gaps in views and experiences—Whites' limited and favorable criminal justice contact, racial prejudice, and individualistic accounts of crime; consequences of a biased and punitive criminal justice system—eroded perceived legitimacy, and undermining public safety; and remedies and recommendations for the media and researchers, policymakers, and practitioners and other stakeholders.

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  • The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth's Behavior and School Performance: Findings from the Families as Partners Project

    The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth's Behavior and School Performance: Findings from the Families as Partners Project Cover
    The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth's Behavior and School Performance: Findings from the Families as Partners Project

    The relationships between family visitation and an incarcerated youth's behavior and performance in school are examined. The project studied was Families as Partners, a collaboration between the Vera Institute and Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Sections of this brief include: introduction; background about the collaboration; data and methodology for this study; findings regarding the impact of visitation on behavior and school performance—youth characteristics, family contact frequency, behavior incidents, and school performance; and conclusion. "Vera researchers found that family visitation of incarcerated youth was associated with improved behavior and school performance. These findings highlight the importance of visitation and suggest that juvenile correctional facilities should try to change their visitation policies and related practices to promote more frequent visitation with families" (p. 1).

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  • Through Their Eyes: How Prisoners Make Sense of Their Incarceration

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    Through Their Eyes: How Prisoners Make Sense of Their Incarceration

    This is an excellent article if you want to understand how inmates feel about incarceration. "A new theoretical framework looks at punishment from the prisoner's perspective and reveals how the lived experience of punishment differs from the punishment conceived by lawmaker" (p. 1). Sections cover: what punishment is; the salience and severity of punishment; narratives of penal consciousness; the role of supervision style and gender; and potential policy implications.

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  • A Comparison of Risk Assessment Instruments in Juvenile Justice

    A Comparison of Risk Assessment Instruments in Juvenile Justice Cover
    A Comparison of Risk Assessment Instruments in Juvenile Justice

    This study examined the validity, reliability, equity, and cost of nine juvenile justice risk assessment instruments. Though many researchers and practitioners believe that risk assessment is critical to improving decision making in the juvenile justice system, the range of options currently available makes the selection of the most appropriate instrument for each jurisdiction a difficult choice. This study was designed to provide a comprehensive examination of how several risk assessments perform in practice (p. 1). Findings are reported: according to eight risk assessment instruments; and through a comparison of results across jurisdictions and assessments by way of reliability, validity, equity, revised risk assessment instruments constructed in the study, and efficiency and cost. A discussion covers: instruments developed for general use; risk instruments developed for a specific agency; and comments from Advisory Board members and responses from the authors of this report. Risk assessment should be a simple process that can be easily understood and articulated. This study’s findings show that simple, actuarial approaches to risk assessment can produce the strongest results. Adding factors with relatively weak statistical relationships to recidivism—including dynamic factors and criminogenic needs—can result in reduced capacity to accurately identify high-, moderate-, and low-risk offenders (p. vi).

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  • Disproportionate Minority Contact and Status Offenses

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    Disproportionate Minority Contact and Status Offenses

    This report looks at the significant overrepresentation of minority youth among juvenile status offenders. Sections of this publication includes: issue background; the need to focus on non-delinquent youth; addressing disproportionality among status offenders; new data on status offenses and disproportionality; and implications for juvenile justice reform.

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  • The Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Project: A Potentially Worthwhile Correctional Reform

    The Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Project: A Potentially Worthwhile Correctional Reform Cover
    The Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Project: A Potentially Worthwhile Correctional Reform

    “Probation is a long-standing feature of the criminal justice system and is found in every state. Unfortunately, however, probation has not been as successful as its original proponents hoped that it would be: Approximately one-third of offenders placed on probation wind up in prison or abscond. In 2004, a Hawaii state court judge developed a new way of managing probationers that has shown the promise of reforming offenders and reducing costs borne by the criminal justice system and the public. That project—known as Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement, or HOPE—uses a fundamentally different approach to traditional probation supervision. The federal and state governments should look to this program as a potentially valuable criminal justice reform” (p. 1). HOPE uses a swift and certain consequence for a violation of a probationer’s conditions for release. This has been shown to promote a greater degree of deterrence in the offender. Sections that follow an abstract are: key points; traditional probation; the HOPE project; areas for reform; and conclusion.

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  • "Swift and Certain" Sanctions in Probation Are Highly Effective: Evaluation of the HOPE Program

    "Swift and Certain" Sanctions in Probation Are Highly Effective: Evaluation of the HOPE Program Cover
    "Swift and Certain" Sanctions in Probation Are Highly Effective: Evaluation of the HOPE Program

    “The HOPE program — Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement — is an experimental probation program that emphasizes the delivery of "swift and certain" punishment when a probationer violates conditions of probation.” Sections of this brief cover; the positive effects of swift and certain sanctions; how HOPE works; why HOPE effectively reduces probation violations; the impact of HOPE on courts and officers of the courts—process evaluation; and additional research is needed. At the one year mark, 61% of probationers are less likely to skip meetings with their probation officers, and 53% are less likely to have their probation revoked.

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