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  • Administrative Segregation, Degrees of Isolation, and Incarceration: A National Overview of State and Federal Correctional Policies

    Administrative Segregation, Degrees of Isolation, and Incarceration: A National Overview of State and Federal Correctional Policies Cover
    Administrative Segregation, Degrees of Isolation, and Incarceration: A National Overview of State and Federal Correctional Policies

    “This report provides an overview of state and federal policies related to long-term isolation of inmates, a practice common in the United States and one that has drawn attention in recent years from many sectors. All jurisdictions in the United States provide for some form of separation of inmates from the general population. Prison administrators see the ability to separate inmates as central to protecting the safety of both inmates and staff. Yet many correctional systems are reviewing their use of segregated confinement; as controversy surrounds this form of control, its duration, and its effects” (p. 1). Sections following an overview of findings include: criteria for placement in administrative segregation; procedures and processes for placement; periodic review; and conditions, step-down programs, visitation, and degrees of isolation.

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  • The Role of Corrections Professionals in Preventing Suicide

    The Role of Corrections Professionals in Preventing Suicide Cover
    The Role of Corrections Professionals in Preventing Suicide

    This report discusses the role correctional officers must play in dealing with inmate suicides. Especially, those officers in jails. The suicide rate for local jails is about four times that of the U.S. as a whole with the rate for jails of 100 beds or less being nearly 10 times greater. Sections of this publication cover: inmates and suicide risk; recognizing the warning signs; responding to the warning signs; and procedures addressing suicide prevention in correctional facilities.

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  • Parents in State Prisons

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    Parents in State Prisons

    “Today, the parents of 1 in every 50 children in the United States are in prison. 1 Over half of those parents are serving time for non-violent offenses.2 The gains in public safety benefits stemming from incarcerating a record number of parents are dubious, but the potential adverse consequences for children are clear. More than 40 percent of parents in prison lived with their children before they were sent to prison and half were the main source of financial support for their children.3 Sending parents to prison contributes to single-parent households, damages family ties, and exacerbates chronic childhood poverty” (p. 1).

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  • Making Detention Reform Work for Girls

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    Making Detention Reform Work for Girls

    This practice guide will stress that efforts to safely reduce the inappropriate detention of low-risk girls must be rooted in JDAI’s [Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative’s eight] core strategies, but with an added intentional focus on applying those core strategies to girls’ unique needs and circumstances. These efforts require a strong and collaborative leadership team with the will and capacity to undertake meaningful reforms in the treatment of girls at the detention stage. The work must be rooted in careful analysis of detention management reports and individual case files to pinpoint policies or practices that may result in girls’ inappropriate or unnecessary detention, and they must lead to action as local leaders design, test and continually revise new strategies to meet girls’ needs (p. 2-3). Four chapters comprise this publication: understanding the challenge—the importance of focusing on girls in detention; getting started; using data to reduce inappropriate detention of girls; and developing a Girls Detention Reform Work Plan. Appendixes provide: Barnes County quantitative data analysis, Barnes County case file review, Girls Detention Facility Self-Assessment, and Making Detention Reform Work for Girls Research Question Worksheet.

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  • Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction: The Future of 17-Year-Olds in Illinois’ Justice System

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    Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction: The Future of 17-Year-Olds in Illinois’ Justice System

    Findings are reported for why 17-year-olds should be in juvenile court: their brain development, behavior, and the law; safety benefits; and economic benefits. An analysis is also presented regarding the impact of raising the age in Illinois: predicted effect; impact of raising the age for misdemeanors; eight steps for registering system responses to jurisdiction change—investigation and arrest, diversion programs and community-based services, prosecution/court proceedings/plea arrangement, detention, probation, sentencing, incarceration, and recordkeeping and expungement; and the broader themes of disproportionality and discretion, clear guidelines for implementation, and transfer and accountability. “To promote a juvenile justice system focused on public safety, youth rehabilitation, fairness, and ?scal responsibility, Illinois should immediately adopt legislation expanding the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds charged with felonies … It is counterproductive and cruel to impose the lifelong collateral consequences of felony convictions on minors who are likely to be rehabilitated. Illinois can achieve better long-term outcomes for 17-year-olds, public safety, and the state economy by expanding juvenile jurisdiction. In doing so, it is critical to ensure the juvenile justice system is robust, by adequately funding and supporting diversion, probation, and community-based services, as well as the public educational, health, and human service infrastructure upon which many at-risk youth must rely. E?orts at reducing the extent of youth contact with the juvenile justice system by focusing on front-end services are working; in order to be most e?ective, however, these services must be fully-funded, available, and extended through all developmentally-appropriate ages” (p. 60).

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  • The Bridge to Somewhere: How Research Made its Way into Legislative Juvenile Justice Reform in Ohio: A Case Study|Revised [edition]

    The Bridge to Somewhere: How Research Made its Way into Legislative Juvenile Justice Reform in Ohio: A Case Study|Revised [edition] Cover
    The Bridge to Somewhere: How Research Made its Way into Legislative Juvenile Justice Reform in Ohio: A Case Study|Revised [edition]

    The instrumental use of evidence-based research for influencing the passage of reform efforts affecting the juvenile justice system in Ohio is explained. “Many states across the country face the challenges posed by young people in the juvenile justice system. Ohio is among the few states that has created and implemented innovative funding strategies and relied on research and evaluation to improve its approach” (p. i). Sections following an executive summary are: introduction—case study as a learning tool and overview of partners and policy change with a focus on child well-being; leveraging the policy window—political climate, juvenile justice landscape in Ohio pre-reform and key stakeholders; juvenile justice as a compelling social problem—the role of policy research in making the case for reform; agenda-setting and framing solutions to “invest in what works”—using research to inform a policy reform plan; spheres of influence model—core team and collaborative strategy for juvenile justice policy reform; juvenile justice policies achieved within House Bill 86 reflect research-based, child development, and well-being perspective; and principles and implications for future policy reform efforts.

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  • Prisoner Recidivism Analysis Tool

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    Prisoner Recidivism Analysis Tool

    “This analysis tool allows users to calculate recidivism rates for persons released from state prisons. Recidivism rates may be generated for the entire sample of released prisoners or for released prisoners with specific demographic, criminal history, and sentence attributes.” The selected criteria used to generate tables and charts customized for your agency are age at release, sex, race, ethnicity, number of prior arrests, prior imprisonment, sentencing offense (homicide, rape, other sexual assault, robbery, assault, other violent crime, burglary, larceny (theft and motor vehicle), other property crime, drug possession, drug trafficking, DUI, and other public order crime); and time served (in months).

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  • Mastering Your Role As a Front-Line Effective Supervisor: 10 Keys To Build Towards Success

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    Mastering Your Role As a Front-Line Effective Supervisor: 10 Keys To Build Towards Success

    This is an excellent overview of what it takes for you to be a truly successful front-line supervisor. The 10 essential things that you need to do are: realize it begins with you; take the time to get to know your staff; learn what drives your staff; educate and train; build team work; allow different ways for your staff to talk to you; teach your staff how to solve problems; promote self-confidence and leadership skills among your staff; learn the power of being flexible (like a “liquid”); and defend, encourage, and support your staff—have their back. The article ends with 10 reasons why it is important to be a front-line supervisor.

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  • Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment Tools: A Review

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    Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment Tools: A Review

    “The purpose of this report is to provide an understanding of intimate partner violence risk assessment tools and of the issues that assessors should consider when choosing an assessment instrument” (p. 1). It is an excellent resource for individuals looking for an introduction to the process of assessing the risk of another violent encounter by an intimate partner. The beginning of this report provides a clear description of what risk assessment and intimate partner violence are. This is followed by an explanation of how a risk assessment tool is used following a violent attack by an intimate partner. The majority of this publication is taken up by a discussion of: the types of intimate partner violence risk assessment instruments based on either unstructured clinical decision making, structured clinical judgment, actuarial approaches or other approaches involving the consultation of the victim or the use of general risk assessment tool; factors to consider when choosing a risk assessment too; and the strengths and weaknesses of these tools. An appendix presents a very nice overview of the various tools according to: structured clinical judgment tools—the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide (SARA), the Domestic Violence Screening Inventory (DVSI), and the Danger Assessment (DA); actuarial tools—the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA), and the Domestic Violence Risk Appraisal Guise (DVRAG); and risk assessment tools for general and violent offending—the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG), and the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R).

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  • Guidance to States: Recommendations for Developing Family Drug Court Guidelines

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    Guidance to States: Recommendations for Developing Family Drug Court Guidelines

    This publication “provides guidance for implementing an FDC [Family Drug Court], including the development of FDC partnerships and a common vocabulary for describing FDC components, with a focus on improving services to families who are involved with the child welfare system and are affected by substance use disorders. The authors hope that this document will help jurisdictions select and improve practices and, ultimately, outcomes for children and families” (p. 2). The recommendations made are: create a shared mission and vision; develop interagency partnerships; create effective communication protocols for sharing information; ensure cross-system knowledge; develop an early identification and assessment process; address the needs of parents; address the needs of children; garner community support; implement funding and sustainability strategies; and evaluate shared outcomes to ensure accountability. Appendixes provide: description of an arrangement for a multi-disciplinary or collaborative structure; a facilitator’s guide with sample tools and exercises that will help organizations in the collaborative process; and the evidence for the effective strategies for each recommendation.

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  • Women and Reentry

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    Women and Reentry

    This brief describes the accomplishments to date and agenda moving forward for this group. “The Cabinet-level Reentry Council is working to enhance community safety and well-being, assist those returning from prison and jail becoming productive citizens, and save taxpayers dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration” (p. 1).

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  • National Institute of Corrections Report to the Nation FY 2012: Learn, Achieve, Perform

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    National Institute of Corrections Report to the Nation FY 2012: Learn, Achieve, Perform

    “This document is the 2013 edition of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Report to the Nation. With many new programs and agency initiatives unlike any we have experienced in the recent past, this fiscal year (FY) 2012 report is one I am very pleased to present. Despite our small budget and size, we continue to operate with agility, responding to the needs of local areas around the country to safeguard communities while providing training and professional development opportunities to correctional professionals throughout the country. Our staff meet with officials to assist them with some of the toughest problems facing our nation’s criminal justice system. This document is evidence of our dedicated work. We accomplished a great deal in FY 2012. We successfully hosted two widely attended public hearings. The first was held on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, against the backdrop of realignment and corrections reform occurring throughout the state. Invited guests shared testimony on the current status of corrections while providing hopeful remarks, suggesting that recent changes in sentencing, reentry programming, and others are signals of reform. The second hearing, held in Washington, DC, at the U.S. Department of Justice, captured concerns among practitioners about the ever-rising cost of corrections in America, its cause, and what we can begin to do about it. Also in FY 2012, NIC hosted two very important national symposia—one for states involved in the Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative and another for pretrial agencies. These symposia and a national summit for states involved in the Transition from Jail to Community Initiative were landmark events. They were the first of their kind for NIC.” These remarks were made by Morris L. Thigpen, Director, National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Topics reported upon include NIC’s reaching out to the field of corrections, supporting corrections in the field, training of corrections leaders for the future, continuing to supply the field with information resources, and the provision of technical assistance.

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  • Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration

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    Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration

    Sesame Workshop's initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, provides much-needed bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia tools for families with young children (ages 3-8) who have an incarcerated parent. These FREE resources include a resource kit with A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, a Children's Storybook, and a new Sesame Street video; an Incarcerated Parent Tip Sheet; and the Sesame Street: Incarceration mobile app for smart phones and tablets, all of which can be accessed at SesameStreet.org/Incarceration.

    Mixed Media
  • Connecting the Dots Among People, Budgets and Missions

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    Connecting the Dots Among People, Budgets and Missions

    Issues impacting the management of federal workforce are reviewed. In particular, “[b]y tapping into knowledge management and understanding the distinctions among generation cohorts, managers can connect the dots between succession planning, human capital management, strategic planning, and fiscal responsibility” (p. 1). Topics discussed include: generation cohorts—Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials; current research on federal succession planning efforts; and failure to plan has many costs. “Succession planning is an investment in leadership training, and must begin in lower levels of the workforce. Leaders must prepare for succession to harness workforce costs and national security” (p. 1).

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  • The Top 5 Facts About Women in Our Criminal Justice System

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    The Top 5 Facts About Women in Our Criminal Justice System

    The top five facts about women incarcerated in the United States are discussed. These are: the number of women in correctional facilities has increased 800% over the last 30 years; a majority of these women have experienced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; many incarcerated girls have also experienced such abuse; pregnant mothers are often shackled during labor and delivery; and following release, ex-offenders face a lot of barriers to successful reentry.

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  • Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive. Unsafe. Unneccessary

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    Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive. Unsafe. Unneccessary

    “Presented before a House of Representatives briefing sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado on September 13, 2012, [this report] … chronicles the May 2012 Adams County Correctional Center uprising in Natchez, Mississippi, a private for-profit facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America [CCA], under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.” Sections of this publication address: how lucrative federal prison contracts enrich Wall Street corporations; deadly conditions; the route to a for-profit private prison in Mississippi; prison health care disaster; May 20, 2012—the prisoner uprising; FBI investigation—prisoners were protesting mistreatment—lack of adequate food and health care, and abuse by guards; another private prison under contract with the BOP had similar problems—GEO at Pecos, Texas; a brief history if prison privatization in the U.S.; the industry’s close ties to politicians and public officials; the bubble breaks for the private prison market; a case in point—CCA at Youngstown, Ohio; the private prison industry bubble reinflates after 9/11; a convoy of CARS (criminal alien requirements) arrives just in time to rescue CCA from bankruptcy; the CARS lurch forward; and the post-9/11 crackdown on immigrants trumps unfavorable findings regarding substandard conditions in private prisons.

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  • School Engagement and Juvenile Offending Among Maltreated Youth Who Vary by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Type of Child Maltreatment

    School Engagement and Juvenile Offending Among Maltreated Youth Who Vary by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Type of Child Maltreatment Cover
    School Engagement and Juvenile Offending Among Maltreated Youth Who Vary by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Type of Child Maltreatment

    “Child maltreatment is a pervasive social problem affecting millions of children and their families every year. While past research has documented the short and long-term deleterious outcomes of abused and neglected children, variations in outcomes based on type of maltreatment, race/ethnicity, and gender are not well understood. This study explored the interrelationships of these variables on youths’ school engagement and juvenile criminal offending in a large, diverse sample followed prospectively from the time of maltreatment until youths’ sixteenth birthday” (p. 2). Results are provided for: school engagement—truancy for females, truancy for males, academic credits for females, academic credits for males, suspension and expulsions for females, and suspensions and expulsions for males; juvenile crime—misdemeanors by females, misdemeanors by males, felonies by females, felonies by males, violent felonies by females, and violent felonies by males. It appears that American Indian, Black, and Hispanic youth tend to have poorer outcomes that Asian and White boys and girls.

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  • Caged Birds Sing: A Report by Girls on the A Unit at Waxter

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    Caged Birds Sing: A Report by Girls on the A Unit at Waxter

    This report will give those individuals working with incarcerated girls an insight into what their charges are feeling and thinking. “The voices in this report are those of the girls on the A Unit at the Thomas J. S. Waxter Children’s Center in Laurel, Maryland. This report, which describes the girls’ experiences in the juvenile justice system, grew out of an advocacy workshop I conduct with them on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland” (p. 2). This publication addresses the frustrations the girls have with Maryland’s juvenile justice system. Sections of this document discuss: who the incarcerated girls are; how they got to Waxter; what it is like in the facility; staff, medical, and educational services; visitation and how the girls miss their families; the Waxter six month program; the girls needing to be heard; the need for better food and clothing; the feelings of girls on the detention unit; recommendations by the girls such as, how to manage them and facility operation; and how one can take action to improve the conditions at Waxter.

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  • A Resource Pack for Working with Older Prisoners

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    A Resource Pack for Working with Older Prisoners

    If you are involved with older inmates, you should read this publication. While it is focused on Great Britain, it contains a wealth of information pertinent to the management of elderly offenders. “This resource pack was created so that peer support workers, disability liaison officers, older offender and wing officers could use its contents to implement good practice ideas and set up activities in their establishments for older prisoners … The pack should also be used to raise awareness among colleagues of the health problems the older prisoner population is prone to and of some of the practical things they can do to make their lives easier” (p. 5). It is divided into four parts. Part 1. Background: facts and figures; what it is like to be an older person in prison; and reviews of conditions for older prisoners. Part 2. Health and Health Aging: normal ageing and its symptoms; what is affected by normal ageing; how to age healthily; and recognizing and responding to illnesses common among older prisoners—back pain, cancer, breast cancer, prostrate cancer, skin cancer, dementia, depression, diabetes, glaucoma, hypertension, incontinence, menopause, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, and shingles. Part 3. Good Practice Ideas: environment adaptations, visits and visitors, and an officer for older prisoners; activities; healthcare; and resettlement. Part 4. Information and Advice: general; activities, learning, and exercise; disability and rehabilitation; employment; finance; health, illness, and disease; housing; and welfare.

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  • Memorandum of Agreement Regarding the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County

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    Memorandum of Agreement Regarding the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County

    This Memorandum of Agreement (MOM) addresses the practices of the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (JCMSC) in its administration of juvenile justice and conditions of confinement for detained youth. Agencies involved in detaining youth should read this document in order to evaluate their own practices and deal with deficiencies that may exist. This document is divided into eight parts: introduction; definitions; substantive remedial measures—due process, DMC and equal protection, and protection from harm in the detention facility; community outreach; technical assistance; implementation and monitoring; enforcement and termination; and general provisions regarding policies and procedures and reporting requirements. “On April 26, 2012, the United States issued its Report of Findings, which concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe that JCMSC failed to protect the constitutional rights of Children appearing before it on delinquency matters by failing to provide constitutionally required due process, administer justice in a non-discriminatory manner, and provide reasonably safe conditions of confinement. JCMSC immediately responded by expressing its intention to thoroughly address each of the United States’ conclusions and to promptly correct any deficiencies in the areas of due process and conditions of confinement. Any deficiencies in the equal protection accorded to Children appearing before JCMSC will be addressed; however, JCMSC sought to maintain non-discriminatory practices in its administration of justice. JCMSC has actively pursued and participated in multiple efforts to reduce disproportionate minority contact (“DMC”) for several years” (p. 3).

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  • Legal Responses to Sexual Violence in Custody: Using Existing State Mandatory Reporting Statutes to Improve Disclosure of Sexual Violence in Correctional Settings

    Legal Responses to Sexual Violence in Custody: Using Existing State Mandatory Reporting Statutes to Improve Disclosure of Sexual Violence in Correctional Settings Cover
    Legal Responses to Sexual Violence in Custody: Using Existing State Mandatory Reporting Statutes to Improve Disclosure of Sexual Violence in Correctional Settings

    “This publication provides an introduction to mandatory reporting laws, and how these laws can help corrections officials respond to sexual abuse in custodial settings, both offender-on-offender and staff sexual misconduct. The importance of mandatory reporting laws cannot be overstated, given recent scandals involving the abuse of vulnerable populations, including youth. This publication provides insight into the utility of mandatory reporting laws, in light of the enactment of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA).” Sections comprising this paper are: introduction; background—the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003; mandatory reporting and juveniles—who a juvenile is, who the mandatory reporter is, what the standard of proof is, and consequences of failing to report; mandatory reporting and vulnerable persons—who a vulnerable person is, who the mandatory reporter is, what the standard of proof is, and consequences for failing to report; bringing correctional settings in line with state mandatory reporting requirements—reporting procedures, and other issues to consider such as what to report and retaliation; and conclusion.

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  • Common Ground: Lessons Learned from Five States that Reduced Juvenile Confinement by More than Half

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    Common Ground: Lessons Learned from Five States that Reduced Juvenile Confinement by More than Half

    This report is for anyone interested in the challenges associated with incarcerated youth. The Justice Policy Institute “discovered that adjusting funding schemes was just one of many successful strategies for juvenile confinement reform and, in fact, there are many states that have significantly reduced their juvenile confined populations without fiscal reform. States have initiated top-down policy changes, requiring police and courts to treat juveniles differently, resulting in fewer youth confined. Others have simply closed their state’s juvenile correctional facilities, forcing judges to adopt less restrictive responses to juvenile delinquency. What follows is a critical analysis of those elements that appeared to contribute to the greatest reductions in rates of confinement over the past decade” (p. 3). Sections of this report include: introduction; measuring reform—focus on juvenile confinement; the national perspective in confinement, 2001 to 2010; common elements among states that were the “top performers”; brief data analysis of these five states—Connecticut, Tennessee, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Arizona; and recommendations.

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  • UWB Enhanced Time Difference of Arrival System: Summary [and] Final Report

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    UWB Enhanced Time Difference of Arrival System: Summary [and] Final Report

    Anyone dealing with the challenges associated with cell phone use by inmates should be aware of this project. “The purpose of the proposed technology development and evaluation effort is to design, implement and test an effective system for the detection and localization of cellular phones in correctional facilities. Correction officials have identified the problem of cell phones in prisons as one of the toughest issues they face. The phones, smuggled in by guards or family members and activated with hard-to-trace prepaid calling plans, are a lifeline for criminals and gang members to order hits, buy drugs and plan escape attempts from behind bars. We are developing a prototype Time Difference Of Arrival (TDOA) emitter detection and location system, and ultimately will demonstrate the system at Lawrenceville Correctional Center. The demonstrated system will be capable of detecting and locating cell phones in real time” (p. 2).

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  • Final Report Outcome and Process Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts

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    Final Report Outcome and Process Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts

    “This study adds to the existing juvenile drug court literature by providing a national multi-site outcome and process evaluation of nine juvenile drug courts from across the U.S. This study assesses the relative effect of each court, as well as their combined effectiveness in reaching the overall goal of reducing recidivism and improving youths' social functioning. It also identifies, where possible, the characteristics of youth and programs associated with successful outcomes” (p. 6). Five sections follow an executive summary: research problem and study overview; background and literature review; research questions and objectives; results according to a sample description, site-by-site descriptives and results for nine juvenile drug courts, Evidence-Based Correctional Program Checklist – Drug Court (CPC-DC) results, and major outcomes; and summary and discussion. The drug courts did not reduce recidivism; in fact, they increased the level of risk that participants would experience new referrals and adjudication.

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  • Youth Incarceration in the United States Infographic

    Youth Incarceration in the United States Infographic Cover
    Youth Incarceration in the United States Infographic

    This publication presents graphics regarding: the number of incarcerated youth from 1975-2010; disparities in confinement by race from 1997 to 2010; of those youth incarcerated, only 25% of them are committed due to violent offenses; the decline of juvenile incarceration rates by state; and recommendations for continuing with de-incarceration of youth.

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  • PREA Data Collection Activities, 2013

    PREA Data Collection Activities, 2013 Cover
    PREA Data Collection Activities, 2013

    Activities of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) related to prison rape during the 2012 calendar year are documented.

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  • National Institute of Corrections: Serving Jails for More Than 30 Years

    National Institute of Corrections: Serving Jails for More Than 30 Years

    <p>Anyone interested in the history of the National Institute of Corrections' Jails Division (since its creation in 1976) will find this article very interesting. Topics covered include: jail administration training programs and networks, documents and DVDs, and technical assistance; inmate behavior management training, documents and DVDs, and technical assistance; new jail planning technical assistance and training and documents and DVDs; and jail standards and inspections.</p>

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  • Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice

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    Measuring Success: A Guide to Becoming an Evidence-Based Practice

    This is a great introduction to the process by which an organization can evaluate whether a program is evidence-based is explained. “Although this guide grows out of and is targeted to juvenile justice practitioners, it is generally applicable to programs in other social service fields as well. It also bears noting that the steps described here are neither simple nor easy. Nevertheless, they are worth undertaking—even if a program does not complete the entire process, any progress along the way is likely to be beneficial” (p. 3). This publication explains: what an outcome evaluation is; why you need an outcome evaluation; who to prepare for an outcome evaluation; conducting an outcome evaluation; process evaluation—step one—whether the program is true to its original plan, step 2—the elements of an outcome evaluation, and step 3—the next steps after an outcome evaluation; and what statistical significance means.

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  • Behavior Modification 101 for Drug Courts: Making the Most of Incentives and Sanctions

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    Behavior Modification 101 for Drug Courts: Making the Most of Incentives and Sanctions

    “Drug Courts improve outcomes for drug-abusing offenders by combining evidence-based substance abuse treatment with strict behavioral accountability. Participants are carefully monitored for substance use and related behaviors and receive escalating incentives for accomplishments and sanctions for infractions. The nearly unanimous perception of both participants and staff members is that the positive effects of Drug Courts are largely attributable to the application of these behavioral contingencies … Scientific research over several decades reveals the most effective ways to administer behavior modification programs. Drug Courts that learn these lessons of science reap benefits several times over through better outcomes and greater cost-effectiveness” (p. 1). This publication describes the following science-based practices (also known as evidence-based practices): the carrot and the stick; trust but verify; timing is everything; staying centered; fishing for tangible resources; do due process; whether sanctions or therapeutic consequences; first things first; and phase advancement. Practice Pointers are also provided for each behavior modification strategy.

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  • Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012

    Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012 Cover
    Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012

    “This report provides state- and national-level estimates of juvenile sexual victimization by type of activity, including estimates of youth-on-youth nonconsensual sexual contact, staff sexual misconduct, and level of coercion. It also explores sexual victimization by the characteristics of both the perpetrator and youth at high risk of victimization, location and time of incidents, and nature of the relationship between youth and facility staff prior to sexual contact.” Approximately 9.5% of the youth surveyed were sexually victimized one or more times-- 2.5% involving another youth, 7.7% involving facility staff.

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  • Six Steps to Improve Your Drug Court Outcomes for Adults with Co-Occurring Disorders

    Six Steps to Improve Your Drug Court Outcomes for Adults with Co-Occurring Disorders

    “One of the biggest challenges for drug courts is effectively working with participants with co-occurring disorders. By definition, persons with the dual diagnosis of both substance use disorders and mental illnesses have co-occurring disorders … every adult drug court can achieve positive outcomes for persons with co-occurring disorders—if the court is committed to doing so. With some creativity and thoughtful planning, most persons with co-occurring disorders can successfully participate in drug courts” (p. 1). This publication explains very clearly how to ensure this by utilizing six critical steps. Topics covered include: three treatment court models; the need for flexibility; overlapping populations; step 1—know who your participants are and what they need by using the quadrant model, screening, and assessment; step 2—adapt your court structure; step 3--expand your treatment options; step 4--target your case management and community supervision; step 5—expand mechanisms for collaboration; and step 6—educate your team.

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  • Bureau of Prisons: Improvements Needed in Bureau of Prisons' Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact of Segregated Housing

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    Bureau of Prisons: Improvements Needed in Bureau of Prisons' Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact of Segregated Housing

    The segregated housing unit practices of the United States Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and compliance with them are reviewed. Sections comprising this report are: background to the investigation; Segregated Housing Unit population and number of cells have increased since Fiscal Year 2008; BOP’s monitoring of segregated housing policies varies by type of unit, and some facilities’ documentation is incomplete; BOP estimates that segregated housing costs more than housing inmates in the general population; BOP has not evaluated the impact of segregated housing units on institutional safety or the impacts of long-term segregation on inmates; concluding remarks; recommendations for Executive Action; and BOP comments and GAO evaluation. “GAO recommends that BOP (1) develop ADX-specific monitoring requirements; (2) develop a plan that clarifies how BOP will address documentation concerns GAO identified, through the new software program; (3) ensure that any current study to assess segregated housing also includes reviews of its impact on institutional safety; and (4) assess the impact of long-term segregation. BOP agreed with these recommendations and reported it would take actions to address them.”

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  • Local Youth Justice Websites: Peer Court, Student Court, Youth Court, Teen Court

    Local Youth Justice Websites: Peer Court, Student Court, Youth Court, Teen Court Cover
    Local Youth Justice Websites: Peer Court, Student Court, Youth Court, Teen Court

    This website provides access to hundreds of youth court websites. Peer, Student, Youth, and Teen Courts are listed by state. It is an excellent resource if you are looking for other juvenile courts to contact for information related to courts your own agency may be thinking of developing.

    Web Page
  • Statistical Briefing Book

    Statistical Briefing Book Cover
    Statistical Briefing Book

    <p>"The OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book (SBB) enables users to access online information via OJJDP's Web site to learn more about juvenile crime and victimization and about youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Developed for OJJDP by the National Center for Juvenile Justice, SBB provides timely and reliable statistical answers to the most frequently asked questions from policymakers, the media, and the general public. In addition, the data analysis and dissemination tools available through SBB give users quick and easy access to detailed statistics on a variety of juvenile justice topics. Points of entry on this website are: about SSB; FAQs (frequently asked questions); publications; data analysis tools; national data sets; other resources; and ask a question.</p>

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  • “Cuff Key to Door Key: A Systems Approach to Reentry: NIC’s Inaugural Virtual Conference

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    “Cuff Key to Door Key: A Systems Approach to Reentry: NIC’s Inaugural Virtual Conference

    If you or your agency wants or needs information about improving or creating and implementing a new reentry program, then attending this virtual conference is a must. “On June 12, 2013, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) will launch its first-ever virtual conference, “Cuff Key to Door Key: A Systems Approach to Reentry.” Topics covered during the conference will include mental health, sentencing, a review of successful reentry programs, Thinking for a Change (T4C), and a look at the challenges of reentry and transforming corrections culture. Edward Latessa, the interim dean and professor at the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati, will deliver the keynote address” (p. 90). This article explains the reasoning behind the virtual conference, how to view it, and the complexities of successful reentry programming. This article is used with permission from the American Correctional Association. Any further reprinting, altering, copying, transmitting, or use in any way needs written permission from ACA.

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  • Sexual Abuse in Custody: A Case Law Survey

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    Sexual Abuse in Custody: A Case Law Survey

    “Under certain circumstances correctional officers and their supervisors can be subject to civil liability for sexual abuse of inmates and detainees under their care. Liability for sexual abuse can attach whether the abuse was perpetrated by a correctional officer, facility employee or volunteer, or by a fellow inmate or detainee. This document provides an overview of sexual abuse cases in both state and federal courts, focusing on what types of conduct most often result in individual and supervisory liability. It does not address other issues that may arise in sexual abuse litigation, such as exhaustion requirements under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, qualified immunity for officers acting in an official capacity, or Eleventh Amendment immunity for states and their employees. Facilities should be mindful that these issues can complicate sexual abuse litigation”. Cases are organized into the 11 Circuits (with their corresponding states) and the D.C. Circuit. Citations are listed according to a successful inmate claim or a successful agency defense for male correctional staff/male inmate, female correctional staff/male inmate, male correctional staff/female inmate, inmate on inmate, juvenile, juvenile—detainee on detainee, juvenile—correctional staff/detainee, or juvenile—male correctional officer/female detainee.

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  • A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adults/Adolescents: Second Edition

    A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adults/Adolescents: Second Edition cover
    A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adults/Adolescents: Second Edition

    “A timely, high-quality medical forensic examination can potentially validate and address sexual assault patients’7 concerns, minimize the trauma they may experience, and promote their healing. At the same time, it can increase the likelihood that evidence collected will aid in criminal case investigation, resulting in perpetrators being held accountable and further sexual violence prevented. The examination and the related responsibilities of health care personnel are the focus of this protocol. Recognizing that multidisciplinary coordination is vital to the success of the exam, the protocol also discusses the responses of other professionals, as they relate to the exam process” (p. 4). Sections contained in this publication are: Section A. Overarching Issues—coordinated team approach, victim-centered care, informed consent, confidentiality, reporting to law enforcement, and payment for the examination under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); Section B. Operational Issues—sexual assault forensic examiners, facilities, equipment and supplies, sexual assault evidence collection kit, timing considerations for collecting evidence, and evidence integrity; and Section C. The Examination Process—initial contact, triage and intake, documentation by health care personnel, the medical forensic history, photography, exam and evidence collection procedures, alcohol and drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexually transmitted infection (STI) evaluation and care, pregnancy risk evaluation and care, discharge and follow-up, and examiner court appearances. Appendixes include: Developing Customized Protocols: Considerations for Jurisdictions”; “Creation of Sexual Assault Response and Resource Teams”; and “Impact of Crawford v. Washington, Davis v. Washington, and Giles v. California”.

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  • Anti-Fraternization Policies and their Utility in Preventing Staff Sexual Abuse in Custody

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    Anti-Fraternization Policies and their Utility in Preventing Staff Sexual Abuse in Custody

    “Many custodial facilities have implemented anti-fraternization policies that regulate contact between staff and inmates. These policies either limit, or altogether prohibit, interactions between employees and current or former inmates and their families. Correctional employees who are adversely affected by their agency’s anti-fraternization policies most often challenge these polices under the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to freedom of association. Courts generally uphold the agency’s anti-fraternization policy against such challenges, and cite the agency’s interest in maintaining a safe and secure facility. This document provides an overview of how courts across various jurisdictions have responded to employees’ challenges to anti-fraternization policies.” Cases are organized according to cases upholding agency anti-fraternization policies or cases not upholding agency anti-fraternization policies by Circuit and its related states.

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  • Cross-gender Searches: A Case Law Survey

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    Cross-gender Searches: A Case Law Survey

    “Inmates and detainees retain a limited privacy right when detained in correctional settings, particularly in the context of cross-gender searches. Jurisdictions have approached the competing interests of privacy and cross-gender searches quite differently, finding liability for correctional officers, supervisors, and facilities under a variety of circumstances. These decisions are highly fact-sensitive, and the jurisprudence has evolved rapidly. This document provides an overview of cross-gender search cases in both state and federal courts, focusing on what types of conduct most often result in individual and supervisory liability.” Cases are organized into the 11 Circuits (with their corresponding states) and the D.C. Circuit. Citations are listed according to a successful inmate claim or a successful agency defense for female correctional staff/male inmate or male correctional staff/female inmate.

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  • How New York City Reduced Mass Incarceration: A Model for Change?

    How New York City
    How New York City Reduced Mass Incarceration: A Model for Change?

    “Are there connections between these three shifts – a decrease in crime, a decrease in the correctional population, and a sharp increase in controversial police practices? What factors contributed to these shifts? What about the costs of these shifts? Have they been evaluated and weighed against the benefits? In this report, leading criminologists James Austin and Michael Jacobson take an empirical look at these powerful social changes and any interconnections. Examining data from 1985 to 2009, they conclude that New York City’s “broken windows” policy did something unexpected: it reduced the entire correctional population of the state. As the NYPD focused on low-level arrests, it devoted fewer resources to felony arrests. At the same time, a lowered crime rate – as an additional factor – meant that fewer people were committing felonies. This combination led to fewer felony arrests and therefore fewer people entering the correctional system. Other policies – like programs that stopped punishing people with prison if not necessary – also contributed to this population drop” (p. 3). Sections of this report following an executive summary are: decline in New York prison population—drop in admissions and increase in statewide length of stay; decline in New York parole, probation, and jail populations; delayed effect on state corrections budget; accompanying drop in New York City’s crime rate and shift in arrest policy; and conclusion.

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  • Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety and Outcomes for Youth

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    Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety and Outcomes for Youth

    “Perhaps more than any other state, Connecticut has absorbed the growing body of knowledge about youth development, adolescent brain research and delinquency, adopted its lessons, and used the information to fundamentally re-invent its approach to juvenile justice. As a result, Connecticut’s system today is far and away more successful, more humane, and more cost-effective than it was 10 or 20 years ago. This report will describe, dissect, and draw lessons from Connecticut’s striking success in juvenile justice reform for other states and communities seeking similar progress” (p. 1). Sections of this report include: introduction—seizing the opportunity; seven major accomplishments made in Connecticut’s juvenile justice reform; timeline of change—transformation over two decades—a deeply flawed system (1992), growing attention but few solutions (2002), and a transformed system (2012); Connecticut’s array of evidence-based family interventions; keys to success—state of change, Connecticut’s chemistry for reform; and lessons learned—strategies that could help boost success in other jurisdictions.

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  • The Changing Racial Dynamics of Women’s Incarceration

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    The Changing Racial Dynamics of Women’s Incarceration

    “Scholars are beginning to analyze the relative contributions of changes in crime rates, criminal justice policies, economics, and demographics to the slowing growth rate of the prison system, but one area that has gone largely unexplored is the impact of such changes on racial disparities in imprisonment. As is well known, black/white disparities in the use of incarceration have been profound for quite some time. Since the 1980s a series of analyses have documented these trends at the national level as well as examining variation in disparity among the states. As prison populations fluctuate, though, the relative rate of incarceration among racial groups may or may not reflect prevailing patterns. Further, as the prospect of a declining prison population has now become a distinct possibility for the next decade, it will become increasingly important to monitor whether reduced incarceration is experienced in similar ways across racial/ethnic groups” (p. 1). This report is an initial look at whether this trend of decreasing prison populations is reflected in the numbers of minority women being incarcerated. Sections of this report cover: slowing growth in incarceration; race and gender disparity in incarceration; changing racial composition of women’s incarceration—analyzing changes, changes in offending, prison population by offense, and changing socioeconomics; conclusion; and recommendations to address racial disparities.

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  • Intelligent Justice: Balancing the Effects of Community Sentences and Custody

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    Intelligent Justice: Balancing the Effects of Community Sentences and Custody

    While this report addresses the problems with the impact of austerity on the prison system in the United Kingdom, it offers a valuable source of information on how to combat budget cuts in correctional spending. “This paper revisits the much argued question about the relative merits of prison and community sentences. We decided to write it out of a sense that debate has become trapped in an unproductive Punch and Judy fight about which of the two sentences ‘works’ better. To anticipate our conclusions, assessed in narrow instrumental terms the arguments are more finely balanced than either side usually recognise. However, pro- and anti-prison camps are really arguing – in an oblique sort of way – about broader values, and if this paper helps to promote a more mature debate about penal policy that recognises this, we shall have succeeded in our task.” (p. 5). Sections of this publication include: introduction; who is right—general deterrence, the impact of punishment on the punished and differences in reconviction rates, keeping people who offender out of circulation and incapacitation, and cost-benefit analysis; and community or custodial sentences and what is their purpose.

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  • Making the Transition: Rethinking Jail Reentry in Los Angeles County

    Making the Transition: Rethinking Jail Reentry in Los Angeles County Cover
    Making the Transition: Rethinking Jail Reentry in Los Angeles County

    “The significant challenges faced by those leaving jail and the high price of continued offending underscore the importance of capitalizing on jail contact to link individuals with services both while in the jail and as they return to the community. However, providing supportive interventions in jail settings is extremely challenging. While a number of innovative practices exist, there is much progress to be made in the design of services that can support people as they leave jail and return home” (p. 5). The effectiveness of the Los Angeles County Jail to provide reentry services to individuals being released is evaluated. Other jails can find valuable suggestions for improving their own jail reentry services by reading this report. Sections of the technical report include: executive summary; introduction; profiles of interviewees in jail custody; reentry service delivery and engagement including the Community Transition Unit (CTU); operations and efficiency; coordination between the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and other agencies and organizations; and conclusion. Some of the 11 recommendations to maximize the efficiency of reentry services provided by the jail are: expand awareness of the CTU to potential clients; integrate risks and needs assessments into reentry services; individualize reentry service plans; and strengthen the ties between the jail and community-based providers. You can download the technical report, summary report, and/or fact sheet at this website.

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  • Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011–12

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    Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011–12

    This report presents statistics regarding the sexual victimization of prison and jail inmates by other inmates or staff. Sections of this publication cover: highlights; National Inmate Survey; incidents of sexual victimizations; facility-level rates; demographic and other characteristics; special inmate populations—inmates ages 16 to 17; special inmate populations—inmates with mental health problems; and special inmate populations—inmates with a non-heterosexual sexual orientation. Some of the key findings include: 4% of prison inmates and 3.2% of jail inmates reported being sexually victimized; 1.8% of juveniles ages 16 to 17 reported being victimized by another inmate, with 3.2% reporting staff sexual misconduct; 6.3% of mentally ill inmates in prison reported sexual victimization by another inmate, with those in jails at 3.6%; and non-heterosexual inmates having the highest sexual victimization rates by another inmate of 12.2% in prison and 8.5% in jail, 5.4% and 4.3% respectively by staff.

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  • Reinventing the Criminal Justice System--Justice Reinvestment

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    Reinventing the Criminal Justice System--Justice Reinvestment

    “The program interviews Dr. Nancy G. La Vigne Director, Justice Policy Center, The Urban Institute regarding Justice Reinvestment. With state and local governments grappling with growing corrections costs and budget shortfalls, they are asking how they can reduce costs and get a better return on criminal justice investments while maintaining public safety. One answer is Justice Reinvestment, a collaborative, data-driven approach to criminal justice planning that yields savings that can be invested in evidence-based, prevention-oriented activities. Dr. La Vigne describes this complex but compelling model highlighting the experiences of 17 states and 16 localities.”

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  • The Implications of the Affordable Care Act on People Involved with the Criminal Justice System

    The Implications of the Affordable Care Act on People Involved with the Criminal Justice System Cover
    The Implications of the Affordable Care Act on People Involved with the Criminal Justice System

    “This brief provides an overview of the implications of the ACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] for adults involved with the criminal justice system, as well as information about how professionals in the criminal justice field can help this population access the services now available to them” (p. 1). Sections of this publication cover: the opportunity to increase access to community health for offenders by removing financial barriers to obtaining health insurance; what ACA means to people involved with the criminal justice system—the range of provisions relevant for offenders; the “individual mandate” of ACA—the prescribed minimum level of health insurance; and the role of criminal justice agencies—determine eligibility, facilitate enrollment, and collaboration. The preparation of Illinois for the newly eligible correctional population for Medicaid is also highlighted.

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  • Collection of Evidence-based Practices for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs: 6th Edition

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    Collection of Evidence-based Practices for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs: 6th Edition

    Effective mental health treatments which have undergone testing in both controlled research trials and real-world settings are available for a wide range of diagnosed mental health disorders. The Collection 6th Edition is designed to encourage use of these treatments by professionals providing mental health treatments. The Collection 6th Edition is also designed to inform parents, caregivers, and other stakeholders by providing general information about the various disorders and problems affecting children and adolescents.

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  • A Guide to Calculating Justice-System Marginal Costs

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    A Guide to Calculating Justice-System Marginal Costs

    "Any economic study of a justice-related investment needs to use the right cost information in its calculations. The type of cost used makes a difference in the accuracy of a study’s findings, as well as its relevance for policymaking, budgeting, and practice. Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit has published this guide to help technical users and general readers understand marginal cost—the amount of change in total cost when a unit of output changes." “This guide [in particular] instructs policy analysts how to calculate a particular kind of taxpayer costs called marginal costs for use in CBAs (cost-benefit analyses) of criminal justice programs and policies … A cost-benefit analysis aims to measure the net benefit to society, but this guide covers only costs to taxpayers and not societal costs of crime, which include fear of crime, avoidance costs, and emotional and physical harm to victims” (p. 4). Sections cover: introduction; what marginal costs are—types of government costs, short-run and long-run marginal costs, and taxpayer benefits versus taxpayer savings; how to calculate marginal costs—methods, and data collection; examples in the justice system—prisons and jails, probation and parole, courts, law enforcement, and programs; recommendations for analysts and justice agencies; resources for methods and data.

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  • The Problem of Gangs and Security Threat Groups (STG’s) in American Prisons and Jails Today: Recent Findings from the 2012 NGCRC National Gang/STG Survey

    The Problem of Gangs and Security Threat Groups (STG’s) in American Prisons and Jails Today: Recent Findings from the 2012 NGCRC National Gang/STG Survey Cover
    The Problem of Gangs and Security Threat Groups (STG’s) in American Prisons and Jails Today: Recent Findings from the 2012 NGCRC National Gang/STG Survey

    This is an excellent publication containing a wealth of information about problems associated with gangs and security threat groups (STGs) in American jails and prisons. Sections of this report include: introduction; prior research; definitions; methodology; characteristics of the responding correctional facilities; scope and extent of the gang/STG problem in American corrections; the issue of gang recruitment behind bars; the issues and controversies about religious worship for inmates and prisoners; the issue of racial extremism and racial conflict behind bars; the issue of gang renunciation—getting out of the gang behind bars; housing gang inmates separate or together—which is best; the politics of gang/STG problems in American corrections; gang/STG abuse of mail and telephone communications in American corrections; other types of problems behind bars caused by gangs/STGs; strategies to control gangs/STG’s behind bars; what should be done to respond to the gang/STG problem; and summary and conclusions. 

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