"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).
This three-hour national discussion and broadcast by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) focuses on the unique opportunities and challenges of including victims in the offender reentry process. Current points in the criminal justice reentry continuum where victims can and should have a voice are explored. By including victims we can obtain more balanced information about the offender and their offense history which can positively impact reentry decisions. This approach can result in better outcomes for the community, offenders and victims through enhanced offender accountability, increased victim satisfaction, and community safety.
During this program, presenters will: identify the value of involving victims throughout the offender reentry process, while ensuring victims’ rights are addressed; address corrections professionals concerns regarding interacting with victims and addressing issues of confidentiality; provide tips, tools and strategies for integrating victims into the reentry process; and identify resources, collaborative partnerships and funding opportunities for including victims in reentry programs.
"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) and gender non-conforming inmates represent particularly vulnerable populations with unique medical, safety, and other needs. Though some of the concerns and vulnerabilities faced by these populations are similar, transgender and gender non-conforming inmates are distinct from gay, lesbian, and bisexual inmates in important respects. Basic principles of risk-based classification should be applied with LGBTI populations, accounting for unique characteristics that may affect their risk of victimization. For transgender inmates, this includes making individualized decisions regarding gender placement (i.e., whether the inmate will be housed in a facility for females or for males). Reception staff must have clear guidelines allowing for the consistent identification of LGBTI inmates and collecting key information relevant to individualized risk assessment. Like other important characteristics, an inmate’s sexual orientation or transgender status will not always be immediately obvious at reception, but can typically be identified with relatively simple procedures" (p. 1). This 60-minute training session explains how to improve the correctional intake and classification process for LGBTI inmates. Contents of this zip file include: "Respectful Classification Practices with LGBTI Inmates: Trainer’s Manual" comprised of the following four lessons—Why LGBTI Responsive Intake and Classification Matters, LGBTI Terminology, Implementing Promising Intake and Classification Practices, and Moving Forward; 14 "Myth or Truth" flash cards; and presentation slides.
This Guide provides a comprehensive overview of available information on victims' rights and services. It is informed by the foundational work of many advocates, academics and community corrections professionals. While the Guide will outline specific tools and resources to inform your work, it is worth noting that there is no one size fits all approach that will work across all scenarios. There may be information in the Guide that will require you to self-reflect on your practice as it relates to the needs of victims, however, you are the best judge on how and when to use this resource.
The Guide is intended to: Develop your knowledge and expertise in working with victims, advocates and related service providers within the boundaries of your role as a Probation and Parole Officer (PPO); Inform professional development and staff training; Build capacity of PPO supervisors to coach and guide decision making related to victims' rights and needs; and Support presentations to other criminal justice system professionals about the intersection of PPO roles and victims' rights and needs.
Sections comprising this guide are: Introduction; Community Corrections and Crime Victims; Victims' Rights; Working with Victims of Crime; Building Partnerships; and Tools and Materials. A Glossary is also provided.