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  • Handbook on Women and Imprisonment

    Handbook on Women and Imprisonment Cover
    Handbook on Women and Imprisonment

    "The main focus of the "Handbook" is female prisoners and guidance on the components of a gender-sensitive approach to prison management, taking into account the typical background of female prisoners and their special needs as women in prison" (p. 1). The text is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1—The Special Needs of Female Offenders: challenges in accessing justice; history of victimization and mental health-care needs; gender-specific and health-care needs; safety in prison; accommodation and family contact; pregnancy and women with children; and post-release reintegration. Chapter 2—Management of Women's Prisons: gender-sensitive prison management; staff; allocation; admission and registration; assessment and classification; safety and security; prisoner activities and programs; health care; access to legal assistance; contact with the outside world; preparation for release and post-release supervision; pregnant women and women with children in prison; special categories; and monitoring women's prisons. Chapter 3—Reducing the Female Prison Population by Reforming Legislation and Practice—Suggested Measures: legal assistance on arrest; diversion from prosecution; pretrial detention; sentencing; discriminatory legislation and trail procedures; and foreign national women. Chapter 4—Research, Planning, Evaluation, and Public Awareness-Raising: research, planning, and evaluation; and raising public awareness and training. Appendixes provide key recommendations for management of women's prisons, reducing the female prison population, and research, planning, evaluation, and public awareness-raising.

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  • Using Family Mapping Tools to Enhance Outcomes for Tribal Members under Community Supervision

    Using Family Mapping Tools to Enhance Outcomes for Tribal Members under Community Supervision Cover
    Using Family Mapping Tools to Enhance Outcomes for Tribal Members under Community Supervision

    "This fact sheet is designed to serve as an overview of two family tools that help people visualize the connections within families and the connections families have to their community: genograms and ecomaps. This fact sheet also provides ideas for tribal probation officers about how they can incorporate family mapping tools into their work. Tribal probation officers may find that family mapping tools are useful for a number of reasons. Drawing a family map with a client can encourage them to open up and further develop a cooperative relationship with you as their probation officer. Seeing family and other connections represented visually can help probationers recognize links that may not otherwise be apparent to them. Visual tools can also be a source of pride, as probationers can chart changes to their maps, consolidate information about key contacts, and identify the supports they can access" (p. 2). A genomap is basically a family tree which shows the relationships between members in a probationer's family. An ecomap visually shows the links of resources and service providers that exist outside the family that can offer assistance to a probationer. The ways to make both of these family maps are provided.

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  • End of An Era? The Impact of Drug Law Reform in New York City

    End of An Era? The Impact of Drug Law Reform in New York City Cover
    End of An Era? The Impact of Drug Law Reform in New York City

    This report empirically shows the benefits that can happen if a state reforms its excessively punitive drug control laws. "In 2009, the latest in a series of reforms essentially dismantled New York State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws, eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of a range of felony drug charges and increasing eligibility for diversion to treatment … [The] drug law reform, as it functioned in the city soon after the laws were passed, led to a 35 percent rise in the rate of diversion of eligible defendants to treatment. Although the use of diversion varied significantly among the city’s five boroughs, it was associated with reduced recidivism rates, and cut racial disparities in half." Sections of this report include: introduction; expanding access to treatment; differences in diversion within the city; beyond diversion—broader consequences of drug law reform; narrowing racial differences; improving public safety; the cost of drug law reform; and conclusion and recommendations.

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  • Gender Responsive Discipline and Sanctions Policy Guide for Women’s Facilities

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    Gender Responsive Discipline and Sanctions Policy Guide for Women’s Facilities

    "The Guide is designed to assist corrections professionals in revising discipline and sanctions policies and practices to more effectively manage women inmates, and create safer facilities for staff and inmates. It builds on a growing body of research and practice that supports an approach to discipline and sanctions tailored to women inmates. It also provides a synopsis of American Correctional Association (ACA) standards, and case law relevant to discipline and sanctions policies and practices for women … The Guide is a new and innovative approach for applying what is known about women (i.e., research and practitioner experience) to discipline and sanctions policies and practices. Its primary purpose is to inform corrections work in this area, and contribute to the growing body of knowledge and research to achieve more successful outcomes with women offenders." This guide is comprised of the following sections: overview; process; research implications; integrating research and practice with ACA standards; legal issues; and research findings.

    Web Page
  • The Reentry of Adults Convicted of Sexual Offenses: A National Survey of Reentry Professionals

    The Reentry of Adults Convicted of Sexual Offenses: A National Survey of Reentry Professionals Cover
    The Reentry of Adults Convicted of Sexual Offenses: A National Survey of Reentry Professionals

    Results are presented from "a national survey of stakeholders invested in the successful reentry of adults convicted of sexual offenses … The survey findings reveal variability regarding the extent to which respondents’ beliefs about various sex offender-related matters align with current research." Findings are provided for: applied reentry strategies; understanding relevant research about recidivism, risk factors, principles of effective correctional intervention, sex offender-specific risk assessment tools, longer sentences, community supervision, violations of post-release conditions, community supports, sex offense-specific treatment, residence restrictions, GPS or electronic monitoring, and registration and notification; reported barriers to reentry; and reported priority needs for additional training or technical assistance.

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  • NCJA Webinars

    NCJA Webinars Cover
    NCJA Webinars

    "Online learning is an important tool to access the latest criminal justice information, promising practices and trends. The National Criminal Justice Association [NCJA] hosts a number of webinar series focusing on a variety of topics. Our webinars focus on innovative and data-driven programs and practices to keep you ahead of the learning curve."

    1. NCJA/BJA Webinar Series: "NCJA in cooperation with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) hosts a monthly webinar series on topics of interest to our members which seek to help participants learn from experts and stay connected to trends and practices at all levels of government." 2. Pretrial Webinars: "In an effort to help educate the field on the importance and impact that pretrial services can have at the state and local level, NCJA is hosting a three part pre-trial webinar miniseries. The purpose of this webinar miniseries is to help criminal justice practitioners at the state and local level understand the evidence base behind pretrial risk assessment, release and supervision." 3. State & Tribal Collaboration Webinar Series: This “webinar series aims to enhance state and tribal collaboration and highlight the benefits of intergovernmental coordination.

    Each webinar in this series focuses on a different aspect of state and tribal collaboration”. Of particular importance is the focus of most of these webinars on Tribal –State-Local partnerships regarding criminal justice issues. 4. JISP Webinars. 5. State Justice Information Sharing (JIS) Technology Enhancement Webinars. There is also access to presentation from the previous year's NCJA National Forum and Regional Meetings.

    Webinar
  • Correctional Industries: A Guide to Reentry-Focused Performance Excellence

    Correctional Industries screenshot
    Correctional Industries: A Guide to Reentry-Focused Performance Excellence

    This guide "is specifically designed to empower each Correctional Industries organization, no matter the size or structure, to design and implement its program with an emphasis on maximizing system impact. The model supports implementing effective strategies through the context of work. The results are focused on increasing an individual’s success after release. The model provides a holistic approach to evaluating where you are and how to proceed with recommendations based on promising and evidence-based practices. Implementing this model will result in long-term sustainability for the organization and reduced recidivism for the system. It will develop a culture of offender development and employability, preparing an individual for gainful attachment to the workforce."

    "The guide was developed using a systems approach to achieve the following: Reduce Recidivism; Increase Public Safety; Improve Offender Success; Ensure Sustainability; [and] Enhance Operations."

    Access is provided to the following sections: About This Guide--systems thinking and focus, why a correctional industries program should use this model, components at a glance, the journey begins, and a glossary of terms; Components—incorporate strategic planning, maintain financial sustainability, recruit/develop/retain staff, engage stakeholders, replicate private industry environment, implement certificate based soft skills training, provide certified technical skills training, maximize offender job opportunities, create a culture of offender employment readiness and retention, and provide post release employment services; and Resources—studies, articles and reports, and websites.

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  • Equipment and Technology Research on Body-Worn Cameras and Law Enforcement

    Equipment and Technology Research on Body-Worn Cameras and Law Enforcement Cover
    Equipment and Technology Research on Body-Worn Cameras and Law Enforcement

    "To date, little research is available to help law enforcement executives decide whether and how to implement the use of body-worn cameras in their departments." This website provides access to information that will help in making these decisions. Topics discussed on this website are organized according to: research on body-worn cameras and law enforcement; ongoing NIJ-funded research on body-worn cameras; Primer on Body-Worn Cameras for Law Enforcement; market survey of body-worn cameras for criminal justice; and other resources.

    Web Page
  • Civil Liability for Use of Distraction Devices Part 1 [and] Part 2

    Civil Liability for Use of Distraction Devices Part 1 [and] Part 2 Cover
    Civil Liability for Use of Distraction Devices Part 1 [and] Part 2

    Distraction devices (such as flashbangs) are especially useful when "correctional personnel are dealing with unruly prisoners or detainees who must be brought under control or extracted from their cells in a safe and controlled manner … Such devices must be properly used by adequately trained personnel, skilled in both legal aspects and practical tactical considerations surrounding their intelligent deployment. Their deployment is a use of force. Although non-lethal in most instances, improper use can result in injury to both members of the public and officers themselves" (p. 1). The use of distraction devices and civil lawsuits associated with them are discussed. Sections of this series include: introduction; use in a home or building entry; use in correctional settings; use in street settings; damage awards; injuries to officers; and some suggestions worth considering.

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  • National PREA Resource Center

    National PREA Resource Center Cover
    National PREA Resource Center

    "The PRC’s aim is to provide assistance to those responsible for state and local adult prisons and jails, juvenile facilities, community corrections, lockups, tribal organizations, and inmates and their families in their efforts to eliminate sexual abuse in confinement. The PRC serves as a central repository for the best research in the field on trends, prevention, and response strategies, and best practices in corrections … This website consists of an extensive library, stories of efforts at compliance from around the country, information about national trainings, webinars, resources including tool kits and model policies." Points of entry include: library—legal, policy and practice, resources (curricula, training materials, toolkits and handbooks, relevant websites, resources for survivors, and tribal facilities), news coverage, research and statistics, and standards; training and technical assistance—PREA Essentials (standards for prisons and jails, lockups, community confinement facilities, and juvenile facilities), curricula, PREA in Action (readiness, embracing the standards, youthful inmate implementation, partnerships, and LGBTI youth and adults in confinement), upcoming and archived webinars, BJA demonstration sites, and Request for Assistance; audit—online system, paper instruments, process and appeals, auditor qualifications and application, list of certified auditors, trainings, Auditor Field Training Program, and Auditor Feedback Form; news and events—news of interest, and upcoming events; and FAQ.

    Curricula include: Specialized Training--Investigating Sexual Abuse in Confinement Settings; Specialized Training--PREA Medical and Mental Care Standards; Preventing and Addressing Sexual Abuse in Tribal Detention Facilities--The Impact of the Prison Rape Elimination Act; Inmate Education Video; Inmate Education Resource Guide; Human Resources and Administrative Investigations Employee Training; Victim Services; Gender Responsive Strategies – Adults; Gender Responsive Strategies – Juveniles; Employee Training; Guidance on Cross-Gender and Transgender Pat Searches; and NIC E-learning Courses.

    Web Page
  • 51-Jurisdiction Survey of Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems

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    51-Jurisdiction Survey of Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems

    This "survey provides an overview of policies governing the solitary confinement of juveniles in 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey allows the reader to understand each state’s approach to imposing this punishment or employing alternatives. This accompanying memo discusses the trends that emerge from the survey, caveats to keep in mind while reading the survey … The survey distinguishes between states that use confinement as a punishment for past actions and states that use confinement non-punitively, to reduce the threat from the juvenile’s behavior to himself, others, or the security of the facility" (p. 1, 2). Each state and the District of Columbia include a long summary which provides in-depth reporting of the state's solitary confinement practices for juveniles and the supporting validation; and a short summary which provides highlights and the source of the law (whether by consent decree, court decision/rule, policy, regulation, self-assessment, settlement agreement, statute, or policy). Attachments include: "Time Limits on Length of Punitive Isolation" bar chart showing the number of states that have no punitive confinement, eight or fewer hours, between 34 and 36 hours, three days, four days, five days, over five days, and no limit; chart showing jurisdictions not allowing punitive confinement for more than a few hours a day, states limiting the amount of time a juvenile may spend in confinement, and states placing no limit on the amount of time a juvenile may spend in confinement; and the map "Limiting Punitive Isolation: Reforming Practices in Juvenile Detention Facilities" showing those states that do not use isolation for over eight hours a day as punishment, and those states that do use isolation for over eight hours as punishment.

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  • Statewide Risk Assessment in Juvenile Probation

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    Statewide Risk Assessment in Juvenile Probation

    This is the first "thorough systematic scan of the U.S. to determine the extent to which these [risk assessment] tools have been adopted across the country" (p. 1). Sections of this report address" statewide uniform assessment; layered/regional assessment; locally administered assessment; and design variation in assessment tools. An excellent chart shows the use of these tools by state with information supplied according to: state; probation administration; authority—state statute, probation agency policy, state agency recommended, or local policy; risk assessment tool used; and statewide implementation.

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  • Keeping Vulnerable Populations Safe under PREA: Alternative Strategies to the Use of Segregation in Prisons and Jails

    Keeping Vulnerable Populations Safe under PREA: Alternative Strategies to the Use of Segregation in Prisons and Jails Cover
    Keeping Vulnerable Populations Safe under PREA: Alternative Strategies to the Use of Segregation in Prisons and Jails

    "The purpose of this guide is to provide prison and jail administrators and staff with strategies for safely housing inmates at risk of sexual abuse without isolating them. Inmates at risk for sexual victimization—whether identified through screening or victimized in confinement—need protection from abusers, equal access to programming and health and mental health services, and congregate opportunities" (p. 3). Sections of this document include: introduction; a brief look at the use of segregated housing and protective custody in the U.S.; why the use of segregation matters—conditions, impacts, and fiscal costs of isolation; managing people who screen at risk for sexual abuse in general population—incorporating PREA screening requirements into internal classification systems, using case management systems to manage vulnerable inmates, open housing units in general population, mission-specific housing, and key considerations for managing people who screen at risk for sexual abuse in general population; managing particularly high-risk populations—women, youthful inmates, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) inmates (e.g., targeted intake and screening, housing and programming placement, monitoring and safety, and commitment and training); and conclusion.

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  • The Processing and Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System: A Scan of Practice and Background Analysis

    The Processing and Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System: A Scan of Practice and Background Analysis Cover
    The Processing and Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System: A Scan of Practice and Background Analysis

    This "background analysis examines how individuals with mental illness are processed and treated in the criminal justice system and discusses the implications of insufficient or inadequate care for these individuals. In particular, the main objectives of this paper are to review current practice in the processing of mentally ill offenders, assess societal and economic costs associated with recidivism and insufficient care for this population, and highlight promising strategies to tackle challenges involved in the reintegration of mentally ill offenders into society" (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary are: introduction; research objective and focus—severe mental illness among individuals involved in the criminal justice system; data and methodology; findings related to the scope of the problem, costs associated with managing mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system, current practice and policy, and criminal justice programs and interventions for mentally ill individuals; research and policy recommendations; and conclusion.

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  • Relief in Sight? States Rethink the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction, 2009-2014

    Relief in Sight? States Rethink the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction, 2009-2014 Cover
    Relief in Sight? States Rethink the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction, 2009-2014

    "For millions of Americans, the legal and life-restricting consequences of a criminal conviction continue even after they’ve repaid their debt to society as barriers to voting, housing, jobs, education, and a raft of social services limit their ability to provide for their families and successfully reenter society. In recognition of the damaging effects these collateral consequences can have, 41 states have enacted legislation since 2009 that allows certain individuals to move beyond their convictions. This report reviews that legislative activity, discusses the limitations of current approaches, and offers recommendations to states and localities considering similar reforms." Sections of this report include: introduction; background; new approaches to collateral consequences—expungement and sealing remedies, certificated of recovery, offense downgrades, building relief into the criminal justice process, ameliorating employment-related collateral consequences, access to information, and addressing discrete collateral consequences (i.e., housing, immigration, health care, family issues, financial health, education, public assistance, enfranchisement, sex offender registries, and driving privileges); limitations of reform; recommendations; and conclusion. Appendixes provide these tables: Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation by Year, 2009-2014; Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation by State, 2009-2014; Discrete Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation, 2009-2014; and Collateral Consequences Reform Legislation by Reform Type, 2009-2014. This website provides access to the full report, summary, and related infographic.

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  • Corrections-Based Victim Services 2016 National Directory

    Corrections-Based Victim Services 2016 National Directory screenshot
    Corrections-Based Victim Services 2016 National Directory

    "This is a national directory of all known corrections-based victim service providers, maintained by the National Association of Victim Service Professionals in Corrections (NAVSPIC)." Information provided includes (if available): contact person, title, state correctional agency, phone number, email address, postal address, and website.

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  • The State of Juvenile Justice: A National Conversation about Research, Results, and Reform

    The State of Juvenile Justice: A National Conversation about Research, Results, and Reform Cover
    The State of Juvenile Justice: A National Conversation about Research, Results, and Reform

    Based on recent scientific and legal developments, there’s an urgent need to ensure that adolescent development research is incorporated into existing practices and future polices pertaining to youth … [this is an excellent] series of research-based, educational briefings on adolescent brain research, the systemic causes of youth contact with the justice system, and the implications for future legal standards and best practices … seven “deep dive” policy briefing … will each focus on a specific topic, where Vera will bring in noted experts and practitioners in the field." These topics cover status offenses, risk and needs, behavioral health, defense, family involvement, reentry, and interagency collaboration. This website provides access to the video recording of each event:  'Kick Off Event: Adolescent Development Expert Science and Legal Perspective, followed by a screening of 'Kids for Cash'”; "Making Court the Last Resort: Youth and Expert Voices on System Change"; "Examining the First Point of Contact: Youth Risk and Needs Assessment Tools"; "Meeting their Needs: Identifying and Treating Youth with Behavior Health Disorders"; "Raising the Bar: The Lawyer’s Role in Promoting Youth Justice"; "Working Together: Family Engagement with the Juvenile Justice System"; "Returning Home: Creating Paths for Success in Communities"; "Connecting the Dots: How Interagency Collaboration Can Better Serve Vulnerable Youth"; and "Wrap Up Event: Narrowing the Net, Plugging the Pipeline and Expanding Consideration of Special Populations".

    Web Page
  • PoliceArmor.org

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    PoliceArmor.org

    This is a great place to find up to date information about law enforcement body armor. Access is provided to these sections: wear your armor; selection and fit; care and replacement; levels of body armor; information for chiefs and executives—legislative actions, in support of mandatory wear, and purchasing body armor; corrections—body armor, and shanks; features such as the history of soft body armor, female fit, and body armor in the news; Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program—three easy steps, program resources, other resources, and FAQs; Body Armor Safety Initiative; and the compliant product list.

    Web Page
  • How Effective is Correctional Education, and Where Do We Go from Here? The Results of a Comprehensive Evaluation

    How Effective is Correctional Education, and Where Do We Go from Here? The Results of a Comprehensive Evaluation Cover
    How Effective is Correctional Education, and Where Do We Go from Here? The Results of a Comprehensive Evaluation

    This study examines the effectiveness of correctional education for adults and for juveniles, and the challenges associated with this programming. Five chapters are contained in this report: introduction; whether correctional education for incarcerated adults is effective; a systematic review of correctional education programs for incarcerated juveniles—results for corrective reading, computer-assisted instruction, personalized and intensive instruction, other remedial instruction programs, vocational/career technical education, and GED completion; RAND Correctional Education Survey—results for correctional education programs today, funding and the impact of the 2008 recession, postsecondary education, use of technology and preparedness for implementation of the 2014 GED exam, and outcome indicators and postrelease measures of success; and conclusion and recommendations. "The results of the meta-analysis are truly encouraging. Confirming the results of previous meta-analyses—while using more (and more recent) studies and an even more rigorous approach to selecting and evaluating them than in the past—the study shows that correctional education for incarcerated adults reduces the risk of postrelease reincarceration (by 13 percentage points) and does so cost-effectively (a savings of five dollars on reincarceration costs for every dollar spent on correctional education). And when it comes to postrelease employment for adults—another outcome key to successful reentry—researchers find that correctional education may increase such employment … Overall, this study shows that the debate should no longer be about whether correctional education is effective or cost-effective but rather on where the gaps in our knowledge are and opportunities to move the field forward" (p. iii-iv).

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  • Corrections Technology and Practice Taxonomy

    Corrections Technology and Practice Taxonomy Cover
    Corrections Technology and Practice Taxonomy

    "Criminal justice professionals face immense challenges today to make communities safer and to equitably apply the law. Their mission is further complicated by the acceleration of technological change that fuels an urgent demand to improve the safety and effectiveness of and access to new law enforcement technology. Budgets to fund these objectives are typically small in comparison to the resources available, making it necessary to engage in strategic planning that will allow units and departments to make the best investments possible … RAND has developed a technology and practice taxonomy to assist in identifying and categorizing potential corrections innovations … Upon viewing the Corrections Technology and Practice Taxonomy, users will see tabs at the upper left-hand corner that will allow them to access information about community or institutional corrections. Once the type of corrections information is selected, a list of parent terms that are representative of major corrections technologies and practice areas will be visible. By clicking on a parent term, descending layers of more specific child terms appear."

    Web Page
  • Corrections Innovations Needs Tool

    Corrections Innovations Needs Tool Cover
    Corrections Innovations Needs Tool

    "Institutional and community corrections agencies face increasingly complex tasks and challenges today. It is important, therefore, to identify opportunities where changes in tools, technology, practices, or approaches can help agencies respond more effectively to solve problems and mitigate risks in their role to protect the public. Given resource constraints, setting priorities among many possible innovations is necessary … This interactive tool allows users to leverage the research in the report and also to see how the identified priorities would change, based on their own policies and/or organizational priorities. The interactive tool for ranking corrections innovations can be used by corrections professionals, policy makers, or interested members of the public to identify the highest priority correction needs informed by their own views of the goals and missions of corrections agencies … This tool allows users to view how the results would change if the relative importance of the corrections goals was different. Users can increase or decrease the weight given to the different goals using the Adjust Ranking Priorities slider bars (left is lower relative importance, right is higher) and the innovation needs will move up and down, with the highest ranked needs appearing at the top."

    Web Page
  • Health Coverage and County Jails: Suspension vs. Termination

    Health Coverage and County Jails: Suspension vs. Termination Cover
    Health Coverage and County Jails: Suspension vs. Termination

    "Medicaid allows for—and the federal government encourages—continued eligibility for coverage for a person who is incarcerated. Although the ACA [Affordable Care Act] did not address suspension versus termination, for states that are expanding Medicaid the number of inmates eligible for coverage will increase dramatically and the benefits to counties of suspending instead of terminating their coverage will be substantial" (p. 1). This brief addresses issues associated with suspending Medicaid coverage for prisoners. Sections cover: why ensuring access to Medicaid post-release is important to counties; access to treatment positively impacts public safety; what the difference is between suspension and termination of Medicaid coverage; states that suspend rather than terminate; what counties can do with highlights from Maricopa County (AZ), Salt Lake City (UT), California, and Oregon.

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  • What Works and What Doesn’t in Reducing Recidivism with Youthful Offenders

    What Works and What Doesn’t in Reducing Recidivism with Youthful Offenders Cover
    What Works and What Doesn’t in Reducing Recidivism with Youthful Offenders

    This is a great introduction about how to effectively reduce youthful offender recidivism. Topics discussed include: the meaning of evidence based practice (EBP); five things EBP requires; what research tells us; principles for effective interventions—risk (who), need (what), treatment (how), and fidelity (how well); risk principle—"Risk refers to the risk of reoffending not the seriousness of the offense", target higher risk youth, provide most intensive interventions to higher risk youth, and providing intensive treatment for low risk youth will often increase their recidivism; risk and need factors; the necessity for assessments--Youthful Level of Service/Case Management Inventory, Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI), and the Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS); dynamic and static factors; treatment principle—most effective are behavioral models (i.e., structured social learning, family-based intervention, and cognitive intervention); ineffective approaches with youthful offenders; fidelity principle—ensuring the program is implemented as it was designed; a new model of probation officer (PO) and offender interaction--Effective Practices in Correctional Supervision (EPICS); and some lessons learned from research.

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  • Incorporating Racial Equality Into Criminal Justice Reform

    Incorporating Racial Equality Into Criminal Justice Reform Cover
    Incorporating Racial Equality Into Criminal Justice Reform

    "There are few areas of American society where racial disparities are as profound and as troubling as in the criminal justice system. In fact, racial perceptions of crime and race influenced policy development have been intimately tied to the development of mass incarceration. Yet there is growing evidence that the high rate of minority imprisonment is excessive for public safety goals and damaging for family and community structures in high incarceration neighborhoods. This briefing paper provides an overview of racial disparities in the criminal justice system and a framework for developing and implementing remedies for these disparities." Six sections comprise this publication: incorporating racial equality as a goal in criminal justice reform; overview of racial equality in the criminal justice system; causes of racial disparity—socioeconomic inequality, handicapping of low-income people by resource allocation decisions, disparate racial impact of ostensibly race-neutral policies, and implicit racial bias among criminal justice professionals; best practices for reducing racial disparity; implementation strategies and metrics for success; and conclusion.

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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

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

    Personal Safety inside Prison Cover
    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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  • Programs that Promote Positive Development Can Help Young Offenders Grow Up and Out of Crime

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

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

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

    Justice Reinvestment Cover
    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

    Justice Reinvestment Cover
    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

    Understanding Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations Cover
    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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  • Justice Reinvestment in Hawaii: Analyses & Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections & Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety

    Justice Reinvestment Cover
    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

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

    Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report from the Field Cover
    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

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

    Environmental Scan 2014 Cover
    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?

    What Caused the Crime Decline? Cover
    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

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

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