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Evidence-based Practices (EBP) - EBP & Special Populations/Issues

The assessment, treatment, and risk management of persons who have sexually offended is of considerable interest to a wide variety of stakeholder groups, including legislators and policymakers, court and law enforcement personnel, corrections and community supervision staff, mental health clinicians, victim advocates, and the community-at-large, among others. Many of these stakeholders have expressed concerns regarding the potential for sexual recidivism and other harms posed by offenders released to the community. As a consequence, most jurisdictions have enacted legislative frameworks to manage those risks.

The past 40 years have been witness to significant growth in our understanding of the dynamics of sexual offending, the people who engage in these behaviors and how best to assess their risk for reoffending, and what treatment and supervision interventions are most likely to result in success. In this context, success may be defined as: (1) greater community safety, and (2) safe and humane reintegration opportunities for offenders returning to the community.

This report is intended to provide a comprehensive review of best practices in the assessment, treatment, and risk management of persons who have sexually offended. 

This report summarizes the first national review of the recidivism and post-release effects of the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) engaging state prison inmates in private sector jobs since 1979" (p. 6). Sections following an executive summary are: abstract; introduction; methods; key findings and discussion regarding how PIECP participation increases post-release employment and reduces recidivism; and policy recommendations.

Correctional Industries Preparing Inmates for Re-Entry: Recidivism & Post-Release Cover

 Results of a cost-benefit analysis of correctional industries programs are provided.

"This guide is intended to provide tribal probation personnel with information on how the screening and assessment process can facilitate and promote offender accountability and long-term behavior change" (p. 2). Sections comprising this publication are: community corrections in context; the screening and assessment process; benefits of screening and assessment tools; choosing a tool; challenges to using assessment instruments; using screening and assessment results; and conclusion. Appendixes describe various screening and assessment tools and domestic violence assessment tools.

Desktop Guide for Tribal Probation Personnel: The Screening and Assessment Process Cover

This is an article regarding the statewide implementation of evidence-based correctional practice. The Evidence-Based Practices Implementation for Capacity (EPIC) is a collaborative effort of five agencies in Colorado that “seeks to change the way correctional agencies conduct daily business by changing the ways that correctional staff interact with offenders” (p. 2). Mental Health First Aid training is one EPIC intervention aimed at detecting and helping people with mental health problems. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is another EPIC intervention and is described quite well. This article covers MI and corrections in the 21st century, the MI training and coaching process, stages of change, and the identification and addressing of criminogenic needs. Sections of this resource include: implementation science; selected interventions; EPIC accomplishments so far—1900 professionals trained for Mental Health First Aid and nearly 300 for MI, and and increase in offender “change talk” with declines in the use of multiple sequential questions (questions which lead to offender defensiveness).

Evidence-Based Practices Implementation for Capacity (EPIC) Cover

The integration of evidence-based principles, organizational development, and collaboration is investigated. Sections of this report are: introduction; background; literature review; methodology; document review; key informant interviews; interviews with probation officers (observations of current climate); quantitative analysis of intermediate measures; and findings. “The research on evidence-based principles in Maine … suggests that this concurrent model may not be a realistic strategy given its insistence on an integrated focus on evidence-based principles, organizational development, and collaboration” (p. 30).

Implementing Evidence-Based Principles in Community Corrections: A Case Study of Successes and Challenges in Maine Cover

“This guide is organized around policymakers’ common questions about people with mental illnesses under community corrections supervision and the type and effectiveness of strategies designed to respond to this population” (p.3). Sections include: executive summary; introduction; the extent and nature of the problem; strategies to improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses under community corrections supervision; future research questions and implications for policy and practice; and conclusion.

Improving Outcomes for People with Mental Illnesses Under Community Corrections Supervision: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice Cover

This article provides a general overview of EBP, particularly as it applies to treatment and other interventions for offenders with problems involving drugs (including alcohol). 

The goal of the proposed research is to improve understanding of risk of parole failure for California parolees with mental disorder, determine how well extant policies and procedures are addressing the problem, and build upon existing procedures and programs to improve the system.

Anyone concerned with keeping ex-offenders out of prison or jail, be they correctional professionals or concerned community members, should read this publication. “This report seeks to elevate the public discussion about recidivism, prompting policy makers and the public to dig more deeply into the factors that impact rates of return to prison, and into effective strategies for reducing them” (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary are: introduction—recidivism as a performance measure, overview of the study, and what a recidivism rate is; a closer look at recidivism rates—new figures show steady national recidivism rate, states vary widely, and how recidivism rates have changed; unpacking the numbers—how sentencing impacts recidivism rate, how community corrections policy impacts recidivism rate, and examples of how three states dealt with recidivism; and improving public safety and cutting correctional costs—strategies for successfully reducing recidivism, resources for developing effective reentry and supervision strategies, and a promising start.

State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America's Prisons Cover

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