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McGarry, Peggy

This "guide spells out a practical team-based approach to envisioning the kind of criminal justice system a community wants, assessing the current system, and planning and implementing strategies for 'getting it right'" (p.ix). Five sections comprise this manual: an overview of a comprehensive planning process; establishing the policy team and the process; keeping the focus on outcomes; building an understanding of your system; and moving from understanding to change.

Getting It Right: Collaborative Problem Solving for Criminal Justice Cover

"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.

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

These guidelines were developed “to screen for risk of sexual victimization and for abusiveness, including questions to be asked of inmates, residents, and detainees, and the best use of the information from the screening to inform housing decisions … While specifics will vary by type of facility, including the age and gender of the individuals, these general principles will hold true in a wide range of contexts” (p. 2). Sections of this publication address: what the purpose of screening is and what are its limitations; what the key elements of a screening instrument are; requirements for different facility types such as prisons and jails, lockups, community confinement facilities, and juvenile facilities; developing a screening instrument; screening women for vulnerability; what the appropriate ways to use PREA screening information are--whether facilities should base housing decisions on the information gotten from the screening instrument; and what is needed for a successful rollout of a screening instrument.

Screening for Risk of Sexual Victimization and for Abusiveness: Guidelines for Administering Screening Instruments and Using the Information to Inform Housing Decisions Cover

“As the size and cost of jails and prisons have grown, so too has the awareness that public investment in incarceration has not yielded the expected return on public safety. Today, in the United States, an opportunity exists to reexamine the wisdom of our reliance on institutional corrections—incarceration in prisons or jails—and to reconsider the role of community-based corrections, which encompasses probation, parole, and pretrial supervision … States and counties are moving to shift the burden from institutional to community corrections, sending greater numbers of offenders to supervision agencies with heightened expectations of success but often without the additional resources necessary to do the job that is being asked of them … There is considerable variability within and across states in the way community corrections is organized and financed. Agency responsibilities and accountability also differ” (p. 2). Since this report explains what the current state of and emerging strategies for community corrections, anyone working to strengthen the field or seeking to understand the potential of community corrections to reduce the recidivism of offenders should read this report. Sections cover: what community corrections is; its current state; emerging best practices; current practices that need more research; recent policy changes in community corrections; and moving forward—recommendations to the field.

The Potential of Community Corrections Cover
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