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  • Practice Guide: Creating a Juvenile Justice LGBTQ Task Force

    Practice Guide: Creating a Juvenile Justice LGBTQ Task Force Cover
    Practice Guide: Creating a Juvenile Justice LGBTQ Task Force

    "In an effort to adopt policies and/or establish community relationships so that LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning] youth and their families have access to supportive resources, some jurisdictions convened LGBTQ task forces or workgroups. The purpose of this practice guide is to provide instruction regarding how to establish a task force along with guidance on handling possible challenges to this work. This guide is directed toward the individual or group of individuals within a jurisdiction who are charged with convening and facilitating such a task force" (p. 1). Sections of this guide include: introduction; the role of the task force; intersecting identities; recruitment and retention; facilitating the task force; drafting a comprehensive policy; challenges within and outside of the task force; policy implementation; and conclusion. "Convening an LGBTQ task force in the juvenile justice system is, by no means, an easy endeavor. Collaborations are not perfect, but the ability of government systems, CBOs [community-based organizations], and community members to come together to create reform is worthwhile. The potential benefits for youth and families are numerous and oftentimes immeasurable" (p. 16).

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  • Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System [Webinar]

    Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System [Webinar] Cover
    Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System [Webinar]

    This webinar covers significant recommendations explained in the white paper "Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System". "Participants learn about the four principles that must undergird any strategy to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Participants also learn how to implement the principles effectively, and hear about how some state and local juvenile justice systems have operationalized the principles in practice." The four principles are: base supervision, service, and resource-allocation decisions on the results of validated risk and needs assessments; adopt and effectively implement programs and services demonstrated to reduce recidivism and improve other youth outcomes, and use data to evaluate system performance and direct system improvements; employ a coordinated approach across service systems to address youth’s needs; and tailor system policies, programs, and supervision to reflect the distinct developmental needs of adolescents. The final part of this presentation, "Translating Theory into Practice" shows how the Oregon Youth Authority uses its comprehensive statewide integrated Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS) to enhance the agency's decisions through the use of data.

    Webinar
  • Finding Work: A Smartphone Study of Job Searching, Social Contacts, and Wellbeing after Prison

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    Finding Work: A Smartphone Study of Job Searching, Social Contacts, and Wellbeing after Prison

    "The immediate months after prison are a critical transition period, which can determine future trajectories of successful reintegration or recidivism. Finding employment after prison is considered a key, if not the most important, condition to prevent recidivism; however, individuals face numerous obstacles to finding work. Although many of these barriers have been documented, methodological difficulties prevent a thorough understanding of how they impact the actual job searching and working experiences of individuals at reentry" (p. iii). The author explains how she used smartphones to address this gap in the knowledge. This document is comprised of six chapters: introduction; pounding the pavement—searching and working after prison; whether going it alone—social connectivity and finding work after prison; job search and emotional wellbeing at reentry; utilizing smartphones to study disadvantaged and hard-to-reach groups; and conclusions. "Analyses of detailed smartphone measures reveal a reentry period characterized by very short-term, irregular, and poor-quality work … In contrast to prevailing notions in reentry scholarship, individuals are not social isolates or deeply distraught about their job searches; rather, they are highly connected to others and feel happier while searching for work. These results indicate that the low employment rates of reentering individuals are not due to person-specific deficiencies of low social connectivity and poor emotional wellbeing. Reentering individuals, however, remain deeply disadvantaged in the labor market, where they compete for work within a structure of deteriorated opportunities for low-skill, urban, and minority jobseekers more generally. Relegated to the lowest rungs of the market, reentering individuals obtain jobs that are very sporadic and precarious. These findings challenge the established idea that finding suitable employment in today’s labor market is an attainable goal for reentering individuals" (p. iii).

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  • Personal Safety inside Prison

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    Personal Safety inside Prison

    This article should be necessary reading for all correctional staff and administration. "We are constantly reminded that our prisoners can and do have history of violent behaviors and must never forgo or forget they may turn violent on a moment’s notice due to well planned, spontaneous actions or provoked situations. Critical incidents can turn into lethal situations in seconds and security is necessary to deter such ideas or occurrences daily. The issue of personal safety can be covered by using basic security habits or procedures to remain safe to some degree. We can escort employees, watch over them by using virtual electronic technologies, lock them in designated areas or control access to areas by using a controlled movement procedures that identifies authorized personnel only in those areas. Regardless and no matter what security element we use, we must always have a basic awareness or vigilance about ourselves and others to establish the very basic point of being safe. This is achieved by effectively training you for the job assigned and giving you the tools required to carry out such an assignment" (p. 1). Topics discussed include; the fluidity of managing risk; reduced staffing; specialized populations; nine basic multi-dimensional requirements for personal safety; and fourteen strategies addressing staff safety required of prison administration.

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  • Vermont Community Justice Center Reparative Panel Programs: Outcome Evaluation Final Report

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    Vermont Community Justice Center Reparative Panel Programs: Outcome Evaluation Final Report

    "This outcome evaluation is specifically focused on Community Justice Center (hereafter, “CJC”) Reparative Panel programs. CJC Reparative Panel programs work with community members to meet with those affected by crime and those who committed the offense to develop agreements about how to repair the harm caused by the offense, including to affected relationships. This outcome evaluation of CJC Reparative Panel programs was designed to answer four questions associated with the post-program behavior of offenders who completed a CJC Reparative Panel program from May 2, 2007 to April 19, 2011" (p. 1). Findings are presented for the following four research areas: who are the individuals convicted of additional crimes after participating in a CJC Reparative Panel program; when were they convicted; what crimes did they commit; and what county did they commit the crimes in. The CJC Reparative Panel program appears to reduce the recidivism of both pre- and post-adjudication participants: the recidivism rate for pre-adjudication participants is 18.1% compared to 30.1% for non-participants; 27.1% vs. 41.4% for post-adjudication participants.

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  • Using Evidence-Based Interventions with Youth Who Have Committed Sexual Offenses

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    Using Evidence-Based Interventions with Youth Who Have Committed Sexual Offenses

    "Despite a growing body of research challenging traditional assumptions about youth who sexually offend, few jurisdictions have made a systematic effort to use this research to re-engineer the way in which they respond to these youth. One jurisdiction that has undertaken such a task is DuPage County, Illinois. With Models for Change support, the DuPage County juvenile court has taken steps to strengthen its responses to sexual offending by youth and, along the way, learned valuable lessons from which other jurisdictions can benefit" (p. 1). Sections cover: the research—youth are different, family and community contexts, low risks of reoffending, and small numbers of offenders; innovations—Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism (ERASOR), specialized caseload, risk-based supervision and case management, individualized treatment expectations based on best practices, and qualified treatment providers; results and next steps; and impact—overall placement costs have dropped 89%.

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  • Programs that Promote Positive Development Can Help Young Offenders Grow Up and Out of Crime

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    Programs that Promote Positive Development Can Help Young Offenders Grow Up and Out of Crime

    Issues related to the impact of an adolescent's level of maturity on future offending are discussed. In particular, ways to help serious juvenile offenders acquire the skills they need to live crime-free in the community. This report explains why: serious juvenile offenders, like their non-offending counterparts, vary in their patterns of development; most serious juvenile offenders are not on the road to persistent adult offending; multiple components of maturity are related to reduced offending; and reducing offending means not simply restricting opportunities to offend but expanding opportunities to grow. "Analyses of the Pathways study confirm that, while part of the equation involves natural changes in thinking, such as impulse control and considering the consequences of one’s actions, other factors also play important roles. It appears that programs that promote an examination of one’s thoughts and actions (such as cognitive behavioral therapy), combined with opportunities to practice and internalize that thinking (such as employment), can help young offenders mature and significantly reduce their offending" (p. 1).

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  • Justice Reinvestment in West Virginia: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety

    Justice Reinvestment in West Virginia: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety Cover
    Justice Reinvestment in West Virginia: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety

    Efforts in West Virginia "to employ a data-driven "justice reinvestment" approach to develop a statewide policy framework that would reduce spending on corrections and would reinvest savings in strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism" are described (p. 1). Sections of this report cover: background; summary of challenges; Justice Reinvestment Policy Framework; projected impacts of policy framework on savings, reinvestment, and assumptions; Goal 1--Strengthen-Community-Based Supervision, types of community-based supervision in West Virginia, understanding risk assessment, and three policy options; Goal 2—Improve Accountability—three policy options; Goal 3—Reduce Substance Use—three policy options. Net savings is estimated to be $116.3 million over the next five years.

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  • Performance Incentive Funding for Prison Diversion: An Implementation Study of the DuPage County Adult Redeploy Illinois Program

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    Performance Incentive Funding for Prison Diversion: An Implementation Study of the DuPage County Adult Redeploy Illinois Program

    "Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) was designed as a response to the high numbers of non-violent offenders incarcerated in Illinois’ prisons at great cost to the state. Participating ARI counties divert non-violent offenders from prison and into community corrections programs. These programs are less expensive than prison and designed to be more effective at reducing recidivism" (p. i). Sections of this report include: key findings; introduction; about Adult Redeploy Illinois; methodology; findings—client data; findings—program planning; findings—program implementation; findings—client interviews; implications for policy and practice; and conclusion. "With 127 diversions, the DuPage County ARI program exceeded its goal of reducing prison commitments of the non-violent target population by 25 percent. Probation officers reported offering clients evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral supervision and services. Overall, clients highly regarded the ARI program and their probation officers" (p. iii).

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  • Why Americans Don't Care About Prison Rape And What Happens When the Problem Escapes from Behind Bars

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    Why Americans Don't Care About Prison Rape And What Happens When the Problem Escapes from Behind Bars

    This article is an excellent analysis of why the general public accepts prison rape. It also address the impact prison rape has on the community. Topics discussed include: the housing of juveniles in adult facilities and their rape by those inmates; toleration and subtle appreciation of prison rape; the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003; more sexual assaults due to staff than other inmates according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); factors that make the risk of victimization greater; the effectiveness of PREA as reflected in these statistics; the iconic shower scene; Scared Straight; the weirdly comical presentation of prison rape on television; bad people deserve prison rape; the majority of those raped are released from prison; reentry focused on employment not sexual trauma services; rehabilitation being negatively impacted by post-traumatic shock from prison rape; prison rape as a barrier to HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted disease treatment resulting to their transmission in the community; and the "ubiquity of prison rape nonchalance in popular culture, which promotes a rape-as-punishment framework and normalizes rape itself. There is no other element of carceral life so frequently referenced" in society. "If PREA is mostly toothless, it is only because it is allowed to be. It is difficult to conjure up similar legislation applied to any other population that would be met with such a resounding shrug. It appears that prison rape, by insinuating itself into the very punitive and rehabilitative functions of prison, has produced a deadly nonchalance. We have become a culture that tolerates and potentially lauds the rape and sexual exploitation of hundreds of thousands of people every year, many of them minors, mothers, mentally ill."

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  • Drivers of Growth in the Federal Prison Population

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    Drivers of Growth in the Federal Prison Population

    "The federal prison population has grown by 750 percent since 1980, resulting in rapidly increasing expenditures for incarceration and dangerous overcrowding. In response, Congress created the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections to examine trends in correctional growth and develop practical, data-driven policy responses" (p. 1). The biggest driver of this growth is the population of drug offenders doubling in the last 20 years. This increase is compounded by the length of their sentences. While the number of imprisoned drug offenders has been fairly constant, the population has increased due to these offenders serving longer statutory mandatory minimum penalties.

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  • Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism

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    Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism

    This is essential reading for those people working or interested in offender reentry efforts. The report looks at correctional systems in the United States, the federal government's involvement in offender reentry programs, and the Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199). Sections of this report include: correctional system statistics—population in correctional facilities, offenders under community supervision, and recidivism; a brief literature review for offender reentry—offender reentry defined, and program effectiveness--the "What Works" literature; federal offender reentry programs—Department of Justice , other federal agencies, and coordination between federal agencies; and conclusion.

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  • The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in the Lives of Juvenile Offenders

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    The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in the Lives of Juvenile Offenders

    While the negative influence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on adults has been studied, the prevalence and impact of ACEs on juvenile offenders is less well known. This study aims to address this lack of knowledge. "Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) refer to the following 10 childhood experiences researchers have identified as risk factors for chronic disease in adulthood: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, violent treatment towards mother, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and having an incarcerated household member" (p. 2). Sections following an abstract include: introduction; adverse experiences and justice-involved youth; gender differences in ACE exposure and repercussions; the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) risk/needs assessment; use of PACT data to create ACE composite scores; results—prevalence of ACE indicators and ACE composite score by gender; discussion; and conclusion. Juveniles with ACEs are at increased risk for justice system involvement and risk for re-offense.

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  • Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned

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    Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned

    "The recent emergence of body-worn cameras has already had an impact on policing, and this impact will only increase as more agencies adopt this technology. The decision to implement body-worn cameras should not be entered into lightly. Once an agency goes down the road of deploying body-worn cameras—and once the public comes to expect the availability of video records—it will become increasingly difficult to have second thoughts or to scale back a body-worn camera program … Body-worn cameras can help improve the high-quality public service expected of police officers and promote the perceived legitimacy and sense of procedural justice that communities have about their police departments. Furthermore, departments that are already deploying body-worn cameras tell us that the presence of cameras often improves the performance of officers as well as the conduct of the community members who are recorded" (p. v). Three chapters comprise this report: perceived benefits of body-worn cameras; considerations for implementation; and body-worn camera recommendations. An appendix provides a Recommendations Matrix.

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  • Justice Reinvestment in North Carolina: Three Years Later

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    Justice Reinvestment in North Carolina: Three Years Later

    "Three years after North Carolina enacted justice reinvestment legislation, this report reviews the policies the state enacted and their impact on North Carolina’s correctional and criminal justice system. Through transforming the state’s probation system, reinventing how treatment is delivered, and expanding supervision, the state has seen declines in its prison population, the number of probation revocations, and releases from prison without supervision." Sections of this report include: background; transforming probation supervision; reinventing how treatment is funded and delivered; reserving prison space for the most serious offenders; crafting a win-win for counties and the state; supervising the reentry process; impact on the prison population, public safety, and costs; and summary of North Carolina's Justice Reinvestment Act.

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  • Justice Reinvestment in Kansas: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety

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    Justice Reinvestment in Kansas: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety

    Kansas policymakers "sought to employ a data-driven “justice reinvestment” approach to develop a statewide policy framework that would reduce spending on corrections and reinvest resulting savings in strategies that increase public safety" (p. 1). This report explains how three key issues and their related challenges can be addressed. Sections comprising this report include: background; summary of challenges; justice reinvestment policy framework; projected impact of policy framework—savings and reinvestment; Objective 1—Stronger Probation Supervision and four policy options; Objective 2—Successful Reentry and four policy options; and Objective 3—Safer Communities and two policy options.

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  • Understanding Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

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    Understanding Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

    Concerns with the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force's (USPSTF) recommendations for mammogram breast cancer screening and how these could impact prison screening mammography in prisons are explained. Sections of this article cover: what the USPSTF suggested for mammograms; what evidence the USPSTF reviewed; whether other respected organizations came to the similar conclusions after reviewing the evidence as USPSTF did; what the benefit is of screening mammography in women aged 40-49; what the harms of mammography are—false positives and overdiagnosis; types of breast cancers; putting it all together—comparing benefit to harm—women only need to have a screening mammogram every other year starting at age 50 (biennial exams will "reduce the harms of overdiagnosis by 50% but will preserve 80% of the benefits"), yet ultimately leaving the decision to those women under 50; and the complexity of issuing screening mammograms to female inmates.

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  • How Much Time Should Prisoners Serve?

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    How Much Time Should Prisoners Serve?

    This is an excellent exploration regarding the impacts of increased length of stay (LOS) on the population of incarcerated individuals and the subsequent recidivism of those offenders. Sections of this article address: drivers of prison, parole, probation, and jail populations; justifications for longer prison terms—general or specific deterrence, and general and selective incapacitation; what the evidence shows; and policy implications. "The science on how much time prisoners should serve from a public safety perspective is very clear. Increasing or decreasing prisoner LOS has no impact on recidivism or crime rates. But it has an extremely dramatic impact on the size of the prison population. Were we to return the LOS that existed in the 1990s and that now exists in many states, the nation’s state prison population would decline by more than 500,000 inmates. It would not impact existing recidivism or crime rates. If we truly want to reduce the nation’s prison populations, we will have to reverse and nullify all of the legislative and agency policies that have served to fuel the historic increases in the nation’s prison population by increasing time served. This means reducing the lengths of imprisonment for all inmates — not just nonviolent offenders" (p. 76).

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  • Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety

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    Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety

    "This report summarizes the CSG Justice Center’s findings and describes the data-driven policy framework that was provided to state policymakers and the legislation that was ultimately enacted to address key issues in Hawaii. The 10 distinct policy options outlined in this report are organized around the 3 priorities that emerged from the analyses" (p. 1). Sections included report are: background; summary of challenges; justice reinvestment framework; projected outcomes; key findings—crime and arrest, pretrial, sentencing, corrections, and probation and post-release supervision; Objective 1—Increase efficiency; Objective 2—Reduce Recidivism; Objective 3—Ensure Accountability; understanding risk assessment; and the projected impact of the enacted legislation.

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  • One Strike and You're Out: How We can Eliminate Barriers to Economic Security and Mobility for People with Criminal Records

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    One Strike and You're Out: How We can Eliminate Barriers to Economic Security and Mobility for People with Criminal Records

    "Today, a criminal record serves as both a direct cause and consequence of poverty. It is a cause because having a criminal record can present obstacles to employment, housing, public assistance, education, family reunification, and more; convictions can result in monetary debts as well. It is a consequence due to the growing criminalization of poverty and homelessness. One recent study finds that our nation’s poverty rate would have dropped by 20 percent between 1980 and 2004 if not for mass incarceration and the subsequent criminal records that haunt people for years after they have paid their debt to society. Failure to address this link as part of a larger anti-poverty agenda risks missing a major piece of the puzzle. It is important to note that communities of color—and particularly men of color—are disproportionately affected, and high-poverty, disadvantaged communities generate a disproportionate share of Americans behind bars … Indeed, research shows that mass incarceration and its effects have been significant drivers of racial inequality in the United States, particularly during the past three to four decades. Moreover, the challenges associated with having a criminal record come at great cost to the U.S. economy. Estimates put the cost of employment losses among people with criminal records at as much as $65 billion per year in terms of gross domestic product. That’s in addition to our nation’s skyrocketing expenditures for mass incarceration, which today total more than $80 billion annually" (p. 1-2). This report explains how all levels of government (local, state, and federal), employers, and academic institutions can work to ensure that criminal records do not lead to structural racism and poverty. This report includes the following sections: introduction and summary; background; barriers to employment; barriers to housing; barriers to public assistance; barriers to education and training; barriers to economic security and financial empowerment; and conclusion.

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  • Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report from the Field

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    Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report from the Field

    "This e-bulletin provides brief descriptions of some of the innovative practices used by VOCA victim assistance and compensation programs. It draws on the firsthand experiences of state administrators and program staff in responding to victims’ needs, addressing gaps in services, and promoting awareness of crime victims’ rights. It is designed to spark dialogue among states and localities and encourage them to replicate these innovative practices … While some of the initiatives highlighted here involve upfront expenditures and significant time to implement, others are simple, low-cost strategies that can be adapted and replicated easily." Programs covered in this e-bulletin are organized according to: needs assessment; systems advocacy and coordination; compensation; underserved populations; victims' rights and services; and technology.

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  • Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiative

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    Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiative

    This brief covers results from the report "Evaluation of Phase II Technical Assistance for Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems" by Janeen Buck Willison, Pamela Lachman, Dwight Pope, and Ashleigh Holand (issued June 2012) available at https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/029768.pdf. It "describes the EBDM Phase II technical assistance approach and presents findings and themes from the process evaluation and outcome assessment of the technical assistance delivered to the seven sites selected under Phase II of the EBDM initiative. In doing so, we [the authors] explore the effect of Phase II technical assistance on the sites’ readiness for implementation and examine the broader impacts of Phase II participation for these communities. The report concludes with a discussion of implications and recommendations for future technical assistance efforts, informed by the lessons learned as part of this assessment … Evaluation results offer ample evidence that Phase II training and technical assistance enhanced site capacity in critical areas (i.e., strengthened collaboration, increased EBDM and system knowledge, increased support for EBDM principles and practices, identified change targets, and facilitated strategic planning) essential for successful implementation. Furthermore, stakeholders generally rated the TA positively, giving it high marks on relevance, quality, responsiveness, and utility" (p. 2, 3).

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  • Evaluation of Phase II Technical Assistance for Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems

    Evaluation of Phase II Technical Assistance for Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Cover
    Evaluation of Phase II Technical Assistance for Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems

    "This report describes the EBDM [Evidence-Based Decision-Making] Phase II technical assistance approach and presents findings and themes from the process evaluation and outcome assessment (conducted from October 2010 to February 2012) of the technical assistance delivered to the seven sites selected under Phase II of the EBDM initiative … The Phase II technical assistance approach sought to facilitate both the Framework’s goals of recidivism reduction and harm reduction. This involved the adoption of well-evaluated principles and practices, while also allowing for some level of adaptation of these principles and practices to other parts of the criminal justice system … Evaluation results offer ample evidence that Phase II training and technical assistance enhanced site capacity in critical areas (i.e., strengthened collaboration, increased EBDM and system knowledge, increased support for EBDM principles and practices, identified change targets, and facilitated strategic planning) essential for successful implementation. Furthermore, stakeholders generally rated the TA positively, giving it high marks on relevance, quality, responsiveness, and utility" (p. VI-VII). This report is divided into five sections: introduction; evaluation approach—design and methods; EBDM Phase II technical assistance approach; examining the broader impact of Phase II--key findings from the evaluation: findings from the process analysis, findings from the cross-wave, cross-site stakeholder survey, agency collaboration, stakeholder engagement and coordination among key leaders, perceived benefits of technical assistance, implementation readiness, level of involvement in EBDM, stakeholder sphere, and summary; and conclusions and implications. The related NIC Evaluation Brief "Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiative" is available at https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/029768.pdf.

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  • Environmental Scan 2014

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    Environmental Scan 2014

    “Beginning in the late 1990’s, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Information Center began scanning social, economic and corrections issues to inform the development of programs and services offered by NIC. This report, now in its 9th edition, has continued to evolve into a popular tool that corrections practitioners also use to inform their work in jails, prisons and community corrections. Because there are many issues beyond what is addressed in this environmental scan that potentially will influence corrections, this report is intended to give a broad overview of selected current and anticipated trends and not intended to be comprehensive” (p. 3). Sections of this report are: introduction; international developments; demographic and social trends; the workforce; technology; public opinion; the economy and government spending; criminal justice trends; corrections populations and trends; and cost of incarceration and changing corrections policy.

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  • What Caused the Crime Decline?

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    What Caused the Crime Decline?

    This report "examines one of the nation’s least understood recent phenomena – the dramatic decline in crime nationwide over the past two decades – and analyzes various theories for why it occurred, by reviewing more than 40 years of data from all 50 states and the 50 largest cities. It concludes that over-harsh criminal justice policies, particularly increased incarceration, which rose even more dramatically over the same period, were not the main drivers of the crime decline. In fact, the report finds that increased incarceration has been declining in its effectiveness as a crime control tactic for more than 30 years. Its effect on crime rates since 1990 has been limited, and has been non-existent since 2000. More important were various social, economic, and environmental factors, such as growth in income and an aging population. The introduction of CompStat, a data-driven policing technique, also played a significant role in reducing crime in cities that introduced it" (website). This report is divided into two parts following an executive summary. Part I—State-Level Analysis of Crime: criminal justice policies—increased incarceration, increased police numbers, use of the death penalty, and enactment of right-to-carry gun laws; economic factors—unemployment, growth in income, inflation, and consumer confidence; and social and environmental factors—decreased alcohol consumption, aging population, decreased crack use, legalization of abortion, and decreased lead in gasoline. Part II—City-Level Analysis of Crime: policing—introduction of CompStat.

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  • Improving Illinois’ Response to Sexual Offenses Committed by Youth: Recommendations for Law, Policy, and Practice

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    Improving Illinois’ Response to Sexual Offenses Committed by Youth: Recommendations for Law, Policy, and Practice

    While this report comments on issues related to youth who sexually offend in Illinois, its recommendations are applicable to any state. “The increased availability of high-quality, reliable, youth-specific research findings presents an exceptional opportunity to align law and practice with expert consensus about best practices for responding to youth sex offenses. Most importantly, research over the last few decades has conclusively established that youth are highly amenable to treatment and highly unlikely to sexually reoffend. Research also indicates that strategies used with adults—principally sex offender registries and residency/employment restrictions—are not only unnecessary as applied to youth, but also counterproductive, as they often jeopardize victim confidentiality and can interfere with youth rehabilitation to an extent that undermines the long-term safety and well-being of our communities. In recognition of this research and the vital need to identify evidence-based best practices with regard to this very serious issue, the General Assembly charged the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission with making recommendations to ensure the effective treatment and supervision of youth who are adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense” (p. 6). While some of Illinois’ practices related to sex offending by youth are based on “what works” research, some are not. Thus, the Commission has made three recommendations to align law, policy, and practice with research on effective interventions for juvenile sex offenders: Recommendation 1--Develop and implement professional best practice standards and provide current, objective, and evidence-informed training for professionals who work with youth offenders and victims of sexual abuse; Recommendation 2--Equip courts and communities to intervene effectively with individualized, community-based, family-focused services and supervision; and Recommendation 3--Remove young people from the state’s counter-productive sex offender registry and the categorical application of restrictions and collateral consequences. This website provides access to: the full report (150 pages); the report without Appendices (61 pages); the Executive Summary; the Fact Sheet; the Press Release; and audio from the March 25, 2014 Report Release Conference Call.

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  • Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex

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    Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex

    This is "the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter. The report documents these youth’s experiences and characteristics to gain a better understanding of why they engage in survival sex, describes how the support networks and systems in their lives have both helped them and let them down, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of this vulnerable population " (website). Sections of this report include; highlights; youths' engagement in the commercial sex trade for survival; current study goals and methodology; findings regarding the characteristics of LGBTQ youth, YMSM, and YWSW engaged in survival in New York City, the pathways into the survival-sex trade for this population, the characteristics of the commercial sex market, how much the youth earn and how they spend these earnings, the physical risks to them and how they protect themselves, the ways others help the youth find customers, the number of youth involved in exploitative situations, the composition of the youths' network, and the youths' perceptions of engaging in survival sex; discussion and summary; policy and practice guidelines; and main findings.

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  • Because Kids are Different: Five Opportunities for Reforming the Juvenile Justice System

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    Because Kids are Different: Five Opportunities for Reforming the Juvenile Justice System

    "As broader acceptance of recent findings in the field of adolescent development has opened the way for change, juvenile justice policymakers, stakeholders, practitioners, and advocates across the country have not been slow to champion numerous innovations in policy and practice, generating remarkable momentum for reform. This momentum can be leveraged to change policy in five areas where current practice is fundamentally incompatible with healthy adolescent development … This document seeks to concisely frame these policies in light of the research on adolescent development, and thereby aid the juvenile justice reform field in taking strategic action to create a developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system that keeps everyone safer" (p. 4). Sections of this report cover: what we know about adolescent development and juvenile justice interventions—research findings showing that juveniles are different, fairness demands a new approach to youth offending, a developmental approach makes communities safer, and treating youth differently costs less; four recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings stating youth must be treated differently than adults; four lessons for juvenile justice policymakers from the National Research Council; five opportunities for developmentally appropriate policy change with descriptions of current practice, the developmental perspective, and the characteristics of a model system—prosecution of youth in the adult criminal system, solitary confinement, safeguarding confidentiality, registries for youth who commit sex offense, and courtroom shackling; and towards an age-appropriate justice system for young people.

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  • Corrections and Reentry: Protected Health Information Privacy Framework for Information Sharing

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    Corrections and Reentry: Protected Health Information Privacy Framework for Information Sharing

    "This resource was designed to enable correctional entities to comply with HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2 in the receipt or sharing of PHI [public health information], whether the correctional entity meets HIPAA’s designation of a “covered entity,”17 is determined by 42 CFR Part 2 to be a “federally assisted program,”18 or does not meet either criteria. The tools within the resource may be used by any correctional entity interested in articulating its commitment to protecting PHI and implementing the components of a privacy framework." This publication is made up of three chapters: introduction; overview of HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2 regulations—HIPAA regulations regarding medical and mental health information, and 42 CFR Part 2 regarding substance abuse information; and PHI policy development template. Appendixes include: glossary; listing of applicable federal laws; release of information—consent authorization guidance; contractual agreements; court orders; 42 CFR 2.22—Notice to Patients of Federal Confidentiality Requirements; PHI Privacy Policy Review Checklist; and standards and resource list.

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  • Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings

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    Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings

    This is necessary reading for anyone involved with educating incarcerated youth. "Providing high-quality education in juvenile justice secure care settings presents unique challenges for the administrators, teachers, and staff who are responsible for the education, rehabilitation, and welfare of youths committed to their care … The more than 2,500 juvenile justice residential facilities across the country need support from federal, state, and local educational agencies; the broader juvenile justice system (particularly the juvenile justice agencies that oversee facilities); and their communities to improve services for committed youths. The services provided to them in secure care facilities should be developmentally appropriate and focus on the youths’ educational, social-emotional, behavioral, and career planning needs so that their time within a secure care facility is a positive experience during which they attain new skills and move on to a more productive path. Building on prior guidance from ED and DOJ, this report focuses on five guiding principles recommended by the federal government for providing high-quality education in juvenile justice secure care settings" (p. iv). Briefly, the five guiding principles and supporting core activities are: the need of a safe, healthy, and facility-wide climate that supports all youth; necessary funding; recruitment, employment, and retention of qualified staff; rigorous and relevant curricula; and formal processes and procedures. The report expands and describes each principle in detail. A list of relevant federal laws, with links to the documents, is also included.

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  • Prisoner Reentry, Parole Violations, and the Persistence of the Surveillance State

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    Prisoner Reentry, Parole Violations, and the Persistence of the Surveillance State

    "The increasing reliance on revocation as a standard tool of parole supervision has created a "separate path to prison for large numbers of former prisoners" … Despite the routine use of parole violations and sanctions – collectively referred to as “back-end sentencing” – as a means of surveillance and punishment, policymakers and reentry scholars are only just starting to explore the contribution of this process to the reentry recycling of offenders through the correctional system" (p. 1-2). This dissertation examines how parole revocation impacts offenders' abilities to successfully reenter their communities. Five chapters make up this dissertation: introduction to parole violations and the three stages of prison's revolving door; the role of social service proximity in prisoner reentry—"how neighborhood contextual conditions shape the likelihood that parolees receive violation reports"; institutional sanctions in context—the impact of county-level characteristics on parole outcomes; the effects of short-term custodial sanctions on labor market outcomes among former prisoners; and conclusion.

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  • Envisioning the Next Generation of Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Interventions

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    Envisioning the Next Generation of Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Interventions

    "The purpose of this paper is to cast a vision for the next generation of behavioral health and criminal justice interventions by presenting a set of empirically informed individual and environmental factors that directly and indirectly contribute to criminal justice involvement for individuals with SMI and are, therefore, critical targets for intervention. Although justice-involved persons with SMI bear unique stressors attributable to their mental illness, they also have many “normal” risk factors for criminal behavior. Attending to these shared risk factors, when combined with those associated directly with mental illness, provides a richer, more nuanced foundation for the next generation of interventions, which will likely improve their performance in reducing recidivism and psychiatric relapse" (p. 428). Sections of this article include: introduction; first-generation mental health and criminal justice intervention, such as "jail diversion programs, mental health courts, specialized probation and parole caseloads, and forensic mental health services emphasizing psychiatric rehabilitation" (p. 427); the next generation of behavioral health and criminal justice interventions—person-place framework attributes of criminality, person-level factors (mental illness, criminogenic risk, addictions, and trauma), place-level factors (social and environmental disadvantages), stress as a mediating catalyst, and identifying "intervenable" risk factors; recommendations for the next generation of interventions; and conclusions.

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  • Screening Out Family Time: The For-Profit Video Visitation Industry in Prisons and Jails

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    Screening Out Family Time: The For-Profit Video Visitation Industry in Prisons and Jails

    This is the most comprehensive website you will find about the for-profit video visitation industry. It is essential reading for anyone considering using a for-profit video visitation system in their correctional facility. "Video technology like Skype or FaceTime can be a great way to stay together for people who are far apart. It is not the same as being there in person, but it is better than a phone call or sending a letter. Given that there are 2.2 million people who are incarcerated, often many hundreds of miles from their homes, it should be no surprise that prison and jail video visitation is quietly sweeping the nation" (p. i). This website provides access to the full report, an executive summary, and a press release. Sections of the report include: introduction; reviewing the promises and drawbacks of video visitation; video visitation reaches critical mass in 2014; why families are unhappy with the for-profit industry; what this industry is doing--major themes; broken promises from the industry; how are Securus video contracts different from other companies; possible problems with correctional and policy best practices; video visitation can be a welcome step forward—HomeWAV and Telmate systems compared to Securus and other large companies; and recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state regulators and legislatures, correctional officials and procurement officials, and for-profit companies . Also supplied is an incredible array of exhibits that include: Facilities with Video Visitation; Fee Breakdown; Counties with Bans on In-person Visits; various legal complaints; and copies of contracts for Securus (11 different contracts), Telmate (2), ICSolutions (1), Global Tel (1), HomeWAV (2), TurnKey (2), and Tele Coin (1).

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  • A Confinement in Texas Solitary Failure: The Waste, Cost and Harm of Solitary

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    A Confinement in Texas Solitary Failure: The Waste, Cost and Harm of Solitary

    "The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) confines 4.4 percent of its prison population in solitary confinement. Texas locks more people in solitary-confinement cells than twelve states house in their entire prison system. On average, prisoners remain in solitary confinement for almost four years; over one hundred Texas prisoners have spent more than twenty years in solitary confinement. The conditions in which these people live impose such severe deprivations that they leave prison mentally damaged; as a group, people released from solitary are more likely to commit more new crimes than people released from the rest of the prison system. Yet in 2013, TDCJ released 1,243 people directly from solitary-confinement cells into Texas communities. These prisoners return to society after living for years or decades in a tiny cell for twenty-two hours a day, with no contact with other human beings or access to educational or rehabilitative programs. As documented in this report, this dangerous and expensive practice is making our state less safe" (p. 2). Section of this report following an executive summary discussing findings and recommendations: background—the early failure of solitary confinement, the misguided return to solitary confinement in the late Twentieth-Century, and the renewed consensus that solitary is a dangerous and expensive correctional practice; solitary confinement increases crime—solitary permanently damages people who will one day return to Texas communities, and the consequences of overusing solitary is more crime in Texas communities; Texas overuses solitary confinement at tremendous cost to taxpayers—costs are at least $46 million a year; TDCJ increases prison violence by overusing solitary confinement—solitary makes Texas prisons less safe, solitary deprives officers of the option to incentivize good behavior, violence escalates when officers deny people in solitary basic necessities, and other states improved prison safety by reducing solitary; mentally ill people deteriorate in solitary confinement-the universal consensus is that you should never place the seriously mentally ill in solitary, Texas sends thousands of people with mental illness to solitary, and TDCJ inadequately monitors and treats people with mental illness in solitary; and conclusion—values and commitments as Texans.

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  • On the Road Again: The Dangers of Transporting Ailing Inmates

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    On the Road Again: The Dangers of Transporting Ailing Inmates

    "Every day, in communities throughout America, correctional officers, sheriff’s deputies and federal marshals must transport inmates from secure facilities to medical clinics and hospitals for treatment. Every transport is a risky venture for corrections officials, medical staff and the public, because the possibility that the inmate may seize an opportunity to escape is ever-present. This article will examine the problems posed and the risks inherent anytime an inmate is removed from the security of a correctional institution and taken to a medical facility where proper security is difficult to maintain" (p. 77). Sections cover: inmate medical needs; medical transportation; the dangers of transporting inmates to medical facilities; general best practices for transporting inmates; medical transportation practices; transporting officer preparedness; collaboration between EMS, hospital personnel, and correctional officers (i.e., security plans, weapons safety, telemedicine, and learning from past experiences); and five recommendations to increase safety during inmate medical transport.

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  • Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews

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    Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews

    In this publication, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) explores the feasibility of mobilizing an “organizational accident,” learning-from-error approach in the criminal justice system. We introduce the notion of the “sentinel event”: a bad outcome that no one wants repeated and that signals the existence of underlying weaknesses in the system.

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  • Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor for Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety

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    Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor for Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety

    "This guide has two principal purposes. The first is to inform law enforcement, corrections and other public safety agencies in the development of sound policies and procedures concerning body armor from its procurement to its disposal. The second is to provide officers a better understanding of the importance of wearing body armor, wearing it correctly and caring for it properly … The heart of the guide – how to proceed to select and purchase body armor – begins with chapter 4 and includes chapters explaining how to assess the level of protection needed, things to think about when selecting armor and ways to keep it in proper working order" (p. 1). Ten chapters are contained in this guide: reasons to wear body armor; what body armor is; NIJ Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor Standards and Testing Program; selection considerations; measurement, fit, and coverage; purchasing and procurement considerations; development and procurement specifications; inspection and care; training and administration; and what to do when an officer wearing body armor is shot. Appendixes include: armor sizing templates; and example procurement specifications.

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  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit

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    Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit

    "Justice policymakers must make tough choices with limited resources. To help weigh their options, decision makers are increasingly turning to cost-benefit analysis (CBA), an economic tool that compares the costs of programs or policies with the benefits they deliver. This emerging demand for justice CBA means that many researchers are being called upon to conduct these studies for the first time and are looking for resources to help them get started. A common misconception is that you can perform CBA by inputting data into a common set of formulas. In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all template. Each analysis must be tailored to the investment being studied. There is, however, a common CBA methodology, or series of steps, you must follow to produce cost-benefit results. The purpose of this toolkit is to guide justice analysts through these steps. It is not intended to be a comprehensive treatment of CBA methods" (p. 4). Sections cover: introduction; overview of cost-benefit analysis; before you get started; Step 1: Identify the investment’s potential impacts; Step 2: Quantify the investment’s impacts; Step 3: Determine marginal costs; Step 4: Calculate costs, benefits, and net present value; Step 5: Test the assumptions; Step 6: Report the results; and using CBA to inform policy and practice.

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  • Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America

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    Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America

    "Local jails, which exist in nearly every town and city in America, are built to hold people deemed too dangerous to release pending trial or at high risk of flight. This, however, is no longer primarily what jails do or whom they hold, as people too poor to post bail languish there and racial disparities disproportionately impact communities of color. This report reviews existing research and data to take a deeper look at our nation’s misuse of local jails and to determine how we arrived at this point. It also highlights jurisdictions that have taken steps to mitigate negative consequences, all with the aim of informing local policymakers and their constituents who are interested in in reducing recidivism, improving public safety, and promoting stronger, healthier communities."

    Sections of this report include: gateway to the criminal justice system—what a jail is; decades of growth; portrait of the jailed (mental illness); costs and consequences—worse case outcomes and decreased public safety, differential racial impact, accumulation of criminal justice debt, declining health, and harm to families and communities; diagnosing Los Angeles County's overcrowded jails; six key decision points that influence the use and size of jails—arrest (Broken Windows policing, and alternatives to arrest and detention), charge (in lieu of prosecution, and right-sizing the Jail in New Orleans), pretrial release and bail (what risk assessment is, facilitating pretrial release, and diversion and release opportunities during the typical criminal case trajectory flowchart), case processing (case processing reforms), disposition and sentencing (investing in alternative dispositions, and reentry and community supervision (using administrative data to prioritize jail reentry services, and improving community supervision and restructuring criminal justice debt); and conclusion. This website provides access to the full report, report summary, and a very good infographic.

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  • Occupational Stressors in Corrections Work Annotated Bibliography

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    Occupational Stressors in Corrections Work Annotated Bibliography

    "Corrections work of all disciplines, whether in institutional or in community-based settings, has been recognized as being exceptionally stressful. Traditionally, this has been regarded as a consequence of staff’s exposure to multiple organizational stressors and also operational stressors. Examples of organizational stressors are role problems, demanding interactions with other staff or justice-involved individuals, and low organizational support. Examples of operational stressors are shift work, high workloads, and mandatory overtime. The effects of these types of stressors have also been thought to result in “burnout.” "Recently, a more insidious source of occupational stress has been recognized in the corrections profession—that of exposure to potentially traumatic events and material. Such exposure can be direct (first hand), such as while responding in person to incidents of violence, injury or death, or being assaulted on the job. Traumatic exposure can also be indirect (second hand), such as while hearing about or viewing videos of critical incidents or reading presentencing investigation reports. "This annotated bibliography was developed in an effort to provide current and useful information to corrections professionals regarding possible effects of traumatic and other high-stress exposure on staff health and wellness. In addition to literature on traumatic stress in corrections, research on organizational stress, operational stress and burnout in corrections is included. The reason for this is that exposure to traumatic stress frequently co-occurs with operational and organizational stressors, and contributes to the overall outcome of traumatization and burnout. Non-corrections literature is referenced on the subject of psychological trauma and resilience in the general population and in other high-risk occupations to provide a context for and meaningful comparisons with the corrections-related findings" (p. x). Seventy-seven (77) citations are organized into the following sections: Occupational Traumatic Exposure of Corrections Professionals; Depression in Corrections Professionals; Corrections Officer Suicide; Health Issues of Corrections Professionals; Operational Stress, Organizational Stress, and Burnout in Corrections Professionals; Traumatic Stress and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder; Traumatic Stress and PTSD in High-trauma Occupations; Secondary Traumatic Stress/Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma; Burnout; and Resilience.

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  • Gender-Responsive Policy Development in Corrections: What We Know and Roadmaps for Change

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    Gender-Responsive Policy Development in Corrections: What We Know and Roadmaps for Change

    "Correctional policy and procedure drives decisions in the management and rehabilitation of offender populations. The continuously emerging research on female offenders highlights differences from their male counterparts, particularly in the areas of health, mental health, substance abuse and risk. Yet correctional policies rarely reflect those differences and where adaptations are made it is often not in policy or directive, contributing to tremendous inconsistency in the management of women offenders. One of the most common requests received from the women offender initiative at the National Institute of Corrections is assistance in revising policy that is consistent with the department mission but reflects the differences between men and women. This bulletin, based on survey data and focus groups with women, is an initial step to determine the existence of gender-informed policy within correctional agencies. The findings of this bulletin provide an overview of the current state of gender-responsive policies for women and define a focus for future research, training and technical assistance in the effort to create a more effective, and efficient correctional approach for women offenders" (p. 1). Sections of this bulletin include: introduction to the issue of gender-informed correctional policy; what gender-responsive means; methodology; limitations of the study; key findings—while the majority of correctional policies are still gender neutral, 73% of responding jurisdictions have developed some gender-responsive polices for their female offenders involving health care, programming, allowable properties, searches, and restraints; challenges to gender-responsive policy development; recommendations for gender-responsive policy development from the survey respondents; recommendations for becoming more gender-responsive from focus group participants; discussion regarding study results; and conclusion. "Research suggests that justice-involved women have different pathways to crime when compared to men, which result in unique needs. The criminal justice system can address those unique or more frequently occurring needs through further development of gender-responsive policies" (p. 6).

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  • Civil Liability for Inadequate Prisoner Medical Care: Eye and Vision Related

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    Civil Liability for Inadequate Prisoner Medical Care: Eye and Vision Related

    "Jails and prisons are constitutionally mandated to provide adequate medical care to those in their care, since prisoners and detainees cannot seek medical treatment on their own. Deliberate indifference to the need for treatment of a known serious medical problem can result in civil liability. A number of cases have made it clear that included in this requirement is treatment for eye and vision problems" (p. 1). This article looks at the case law related to the mandated provision of eye and vision care. Sections cover: cataracts; glaucoma; the impact of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer ion eyes and vision and the need for treatment; other medical conditions; physical injury; self-injury; eye and vision specialists; and seven recommendations.

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  • What Works to Promote Educational Success for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System [Webinar]

    What Works to Promote Educational Success for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System [Webinar] Cover
    What Works to Promote Educational Success for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System [Webinar]

    "Presenters in this webinar discuss key strategies for providing high-quality education for youth in confinement, and strategies for helping youth to successfully transition from confinement to schools in their community … Additionally, presenters discuss the most recent research on how to reduce recidivism and improve educational outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system, and will provide practical examples of how education and juvenile justice systems have worked together to achieve these goals." Sections comprising this presentation are: a brief overview and context; federal efforts to address needs of youth in the juvenile justice system—strategies for employing a coordinated approach across service systems to address youth's needs; and the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings Youth Development Center at Laurel, Maryland--how recommendations for promoting educational success look in practice.

    Webinar
  • Paying for Your Time: How Charging Inmates Fees Behind Bars May Violate the Excessive Fines Clause

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    Paying for Your Time: How Charging Inmates Fees Behind Bars May Violate the Excessive Fines Clause

    If you are thinking of implementing pay-for-stay, then you need to read this article. "With the explosive correctional growth, state correctional costs have skyrocketed in the last four decades. While it is understandable that governments would look to recoup these costs, advocates and scholars have long argued that it represents bad policy. However, less work has been done to challenge the legality of this practice, perhaps because courts have historically been so unfriendly to these types of challenges. This essay suggests that exploring the constitutional implications of charging inmates for goods, services, and even their stay behind bars could help to build the case for policy change around the nation. Specifically, legal academics could provide persuasive support for this area of advocacy by reexamining the legality of the current systems of fees and fines under the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause. Even if courts continue to strike down these legal arguments, policymakers may finally take heed of such compelling evidence that this practice may potentially violate the U.S. Constitution" (p. 1). This article is divided into these parts: "introduction"; "History of Inmate Fees"--history of inmate fees and pay-to-stay practices, rationales for implementing inmate fees, types of pay-to-stay, and policy objections; "Toward a New Litigation Strategy"—Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment, forfeiture cases examined under the Excessive Fines Clause, the seminal constitutional case in jail fee jurisprudence being Tillman v. Lebanon County Correctional Facility, and further litigation inquiries; and conclusion.

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  • First Step to Integrate Trauma-Informed Care: Ask Youths

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    First Step to Integrate Trauma-Informed Care: Ask Youths

    If you work with traumatized youth, you need to read this brief. "PbS [Performance-based Standards] shares the first national results about youths’ perceptions of the current level of trauma-informed care in residential facilities and programs in this issue brief. The information offers baseline data to begin work to increase and deepen the positive impacts of integrating trauma-informed care into youth facility practices" (p. 4). Sections cover: integrating trauma-informed care into PbS; PbS and the Maine Division of Juvenile Services; PbS Youth Climate Survey; and what the youths said--46% of the youth remarked that they were told what trauma is and why it is important, 53% said someone asked them whether they had experienced any bad or upsetting things, 79% felt that staff respected them, and 53% believed that confidential conversations could not be overheard.

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  • Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for the U.S. Corrections Sector

    Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for the U.S. Corrections Sector Cover
    Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for the U.S. Corrections Sector

    "The agencies of the U.S. corrections enterprise manage offenders confined in prisons and jails and those who have been released into the community on probation and parole. The enterprise is one of the three central pillars of the criminal justice system, along with police and the courts. Corrections agencies face major challenges from declining budgets, increasing populations under supervision, problems of equity and fairness in administrating justice, and other concerns. To better achieve its objectives and play its role within the criminal justice enterprise, the sector needs innovation in corrections technology, policy, and practice. This report draws on published literature and new structured deliberations of a practitioner Corrections Advisory Panel to frame an innovation agenda. It identifies and prioritizes potential improvements in technology, policy, and practice in both community and institutional corrections" (RAND). Six chapters are contained in this publication: introduction—the need for innovation in corrections, and building an innovation agenda for corrections; the state of corrections today; corrections technology and practice today; from corrections today to corrections tomorrow—identifying needs in community and institutional corrections; prioritizing needs to develop an innovation agenda for corrections; conclusions—fostering innovation in corrections. Appendixes provide full lists for community and institutional corrections needs. "Some of the top-tier needs identified by the panel and researchers include adapting transcription and translation tools for the corrections environment, developing training for officers on best practices for managing offenders with mental health needs, and changing visitation policies (for example, using video visitation) to reduce opportunities for visitors to bring contraband into jails and prisons. Such high-priority needs provide a menu of innovation options for addressing key problems or capitalizing on emerging opportunities in the corrections sector" (RAND).

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  • Know Your Rights: Laws, Court Decisions, and Advocacy Tips to Protect Transgender Prisoners

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    Know Your Rights: Laws, Court Decisions, and Advocacy Tips to Protect Transgender Prisoners

    "This guide identifies laws, court decisions, advocacy tips, and other resources that may be helpful for adult transgender prisoners. Each transgender person’s experience in prison and jail is different, in part because the conditions vary a great deal from one prison to another and change over time. However, the safety and health of every transgender prisoner in the United States is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution no matter where the prisoner is held" (p. 2). Sections cover: the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); safety and protection from violence; medical care; housing and administrative segregation; searches and privacy; safely preserving and enforcing your rights; and additional resources—legal and advocacy organizations, and links to useful documents.

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  • Best Practices in Bond Setting: Colorado’s New Pretrial Bail Law: Revised Edition

    Best Practices in Bond Setting: Colorado’s New Pretrial Bail Law: Revised Edition Cover
    Best Practices in Bond Setting: Colorado’s New Pretrial Bail Law: Revised Edition

    Colorado's new pretrial bail law, H.B. 13-1236, "represents an important step forward in Colorado pretrial justice as well as significant movement toward creating a model bail statute; the process used to create it, and even the compromises contained therein, may also serve as a template for other states struggling to address global issues in bail reform. This article summarizes the new law, factors and events leading to its creation, and the research behind the CCJJ’s recommendations underlying the statutory changes. By doing so, the author of this paper hopes to help guide those involved in the administration of bail through the process of moving from a primarily cash-based system toward more rational, transparent, and fair pretrial practices … In 2014, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 14-212 (“Concerning Clarifying Changes to the Provisions Related to Best Practices in Bond Setting,” effective July 1, 2014), which made several modifications to the Colorado bail statute as redrafted pursuant to H.B. 13-1236" (p. 1-2). Sections of this report include: introduction; a brief history of Colorado pretrial bail laws; Colorado constitution; Colorado statutes; the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ); motivation for reform; CCJJ Bail Subcommittee and its three recommendations; legislative debate; Colorado's new pretrial bail provisions; Definition of Bail - Paragraph 16-1-104 C.R.S. (2013); Eligibility/Bailable Offenses – Paragraph 16-4-101 C.R.S. (2013); Right to Bail – Paragraph 16-4-102 C.R.S. (2013); Setting and Selection Type of Bond/Criteria - Paragraph 16-4-103 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Types of Bond - Paragraph 16-4-104 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Conditions of Release - Paragraph 16-4-105 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Pretrial Services Programs - Paragraph 16-4-106 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Hearing After Setting of Monetary Conditions - Paragraph 16-4-107 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; additional provisions and 2014 legislative changes; and conclusion.

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  • Medical Problems Of State And Federal Prisoners And Jail Inmates, 2011-12

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    Medical Problems Of State And Federal Prisoners And Jail Inmates, 2011-12

    This report "[p]resents the prevalence of medical problems among state and federal prisoners and jail inmates, highlighting differences in rates of chronic conditions and infectious diseases by demographic characteristic. The report describes health care services and treatment received by prisoners and jail inmates with health problems, including doctor's visits, use of prescription medication, and other types of treatment. It also explains reasons why inmates with health problems were not receiving care and describes inmate satisfaction with health services received while incarcerated. Highlights: In 2011–12, an estimated 40% of state and federal prisoners and jail inmates reported having a current chronic medical condition while about half reported ever having a chronic medical condition; Twenty-one percent of prisoners and 14% of jail inmates reported ever having tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C, or other STDs (excluding HIV or AIDS); Both prisoners and jail inmates were more likely than the general population to report ever having a chronic condition or infectious disease. The same finding held true for each specific condition or infectious disease; Among prisoners and jail inmates, females were more likely than males to report ever having a chronic condition; High blood pressure was the most common chronic condition reported by prisoners (30%) and jail inmates (26%); About 66% of prisoners and 40% of jail inmates with a chronic condition at the time of interview reported taking prescription medication; [and] More than half of prisoners (56%) and jail inmates (51%) said that they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the health care services received since admission" (BJS).

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  • Reducing Incarceration for Technical Violations in Louisiana: Evaluation of Revocation Cap Shows Cost Savings, Less Crime

    Reducing Incarceration for Technical Violations in Louisiana: Evaluation of Revocation Cap Shows Cost Savings, Less Crime Cover
    Reducing Incarceration for Technical Violations in Louisiana: Evaluation of Revocation Cap Shows Cost Savings, Less Crime

    In order to ensure that limited jail and prison beds are maintained for high-risk offenders while lower-risk offenders are placed in more effective and cheaper options, the Louisiana legislature passed a law that limits the incarceration time of first-time probation or parole violators to 90 days. "Louisiana’s 90-day revocation limit has: Reduced the average length of incarceration for first-time technical revocations in Louisiana by 281 days, or 9.2 months; Maintained public safety, with returns to custody for new crimes declining from 7.9 percent to 6.2 percent, a 22 percent decrease; Resulted in a net savings of approximately 2,034 jail and prison beds a year; Saved taxpayers an average of $17.6 million in annual corrections costs" (p. 1)

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