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Urban Institute (Washington, DC)

This report focuses on LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning] youth who become involved in the commercial sex market to meet basic survival needs, describing their experiences with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and the child welfare system. Interviews with these youth reveal that over 70 percent had been arrested at least once, with many reporting frequent arrest for “quality-of-life” and misdemeanor crimes other than prostitution offenses. Youth described their experiences of being cycled in and out of the justice system as highly disruptive and generating far-reaching collateral consequences ranging from instability in the home and school to inability to pay fines and obtain lawful employment. This report is part of a larger three-year Urban Institute study of 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) engaged in survival sex. Sections of this report cover: highlights; literature review; study goals and methodology; LGBTQ youth interactions with and perspectives of law enforcement—youth demographics, what type of interactions, whom do youth turn to when in trouble, and concluding thoughts; criminal justice system responses to LGBTQ youth, YMSMS, and YWSW—LGBTQ affirming policies and practices, the challenges the criminal justice system must face in addressing this population, what stakeholders need to better serve theses youth, and the role the criminal justice system must play for LGBTQ youth engaged in survival sex; child welfare stakeholder perspectives—how the child welfare system responds to these youth; and the role the child welfare system faces addressing this population; LGBTQ youth perspectives on child welfare; LGBTQ youths' experiences in the child welfare system, perspectives on these experiences, concluding thoughts; discussion and summary; policy and practice recommendations; and how these agencies can be improved according to young people.

Locked In: Interactions with the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Systems for LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Who Engage in Survival Sex Cover

“This report lays out ways that departments of corrections can consider to reduce inmate medical costs without affecting high standards for inmate medical services. Strategies for cost savings are presented that might be used by a department of corrections directly or included in contracts for outsourcing inmate health care. One or more prisons or jails across the nation use each strategy identified” (p. 4). This report is divided into two sections. Section 1—Summary: the issue of why so much money is spent on inmate health care; and the most promising cost-reduction approaches. Section 2—Detailed Analysis: reduce demand/need for medical care (i.e., improve the health of the inmate population, reduce unnecessary consumption of medical services, and divert/release sick individuals; reduce the cost for treating an inmate (i.e., reduce cost of pharmaceuticals, reduce cost of using outside medical care, use in-house medical services when less expensive, and tighten contracting and auditing); and synergistic approaches to health care cost reduction.

Opportunities for Cost Savings in Corrections Without Sacrificing Service Quality: Inmate Health Care Cover

“This report was designed as a resource for the justice and health fields to: Identify the full range of beneficial information exchanges between the criminal justice and healthcare systems; Provide detail on specific information exchanges within the context of routine criminal justice and health operations; Serve as a guide to policymakers and practitioners seeking to implement information exchange, by offering detail on workflow and implementation issues; and, Offer a “blueprint” to certain specific information exchanges through the development of technical use cases” (p. 13). Sections comprising this document are: executive summary—issue overview, key findings according to beneficial uses by the criminal justice system and by healthcare providers, types of information to be exchanged, and implementation of information exchange, and next steps; background; implementation issues and potential challenges—privacy and consent, technical considerations, cost, and organizational factors like trust and leadership; catalog of beneficial criminal justice and health information exchange—criminal justice and health connections Matrix, and 34 information exchange synopses; implementation scenarios for reentry into the community after incarceration, and community-based treatment with effective criminal justice supervision; and next step recommendations. Appendixes provide: a list of acronyms and abbreviations; contributors; Phase II recommendations; additional implementation challenges information (HIPAA, HITECH Act, and 42 CFR Part 2); related information, standards, and guidelines; and success stories for SMART and WITS, BHIPS/CMBHS, and the Hampton County Sheriff’s Department.

Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes: A Report by the Criminal Justice and Health Collaboration Project, Version 1 Cover

“A new way to fund what works by bringing communities together to scale what works, pay for success can help improve the lives of people in need … Pay for success (PFS) is an innovative financing mechanism that shifts financial risk from a traditional funder—usually government—to a new investor, who provides up-front capital to scale an evidence-based social program to improve outcomes for a vulnerable population. If an independent evaluation shows that the program achieved agreed-upon outcomes, then the investment is repaid by the traditional funder. If not, the investor takes the loss." Points of entry are: Get Started; Library; Events; Blog; FAQS; and Ask an Expert.

Pay for Success Cover

"People leaving prison often return to the community lacking health insurance and thus access to appropriate health care. Many have mental illness, substance abuse, and other health issues that need treatment and compound reintegration challenges. Left untreated, they are at risk of falling into a cycle of relapse, reoffending, and reincarceration. Providing Medicaid coverage upon release has the potential to improve continuity of care that may interrupt this cycle. This report examines whether efforts to enroll people in Medicaid prior to their release from prison are successful in generating health insurance coverage after release. Urban Institute (Urban) researchers analyzed data from Oregon’s pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid program to determine the extent to which released prisoners successfully gained coverage" (p. 1). The results from this study my help your state in ensuring continuity of care for newly released offenders.

Prison Inmates' Prerelease Application for Medicaid Cover

“In the past decade, attention to the challenges associated with people exiting state and federal prisons has increased tremendously. This increased attention is for good reason, as the impact of prisoner reentry on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities is well documented. Yet for every person released from prison annually, approximately 12 people exit local jails … NIC [National Institute of Corrections] launched the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) initiative in 2007 to address the specific reentry challenges associated with transition from jail … More comprehensive than a discrete program, the TJC model is directed at long-term systems change and emphasizes a collaborative, community-based orientation … This report describes the TJC initiative, discusses the implementation experiences in all six learning sites, and presents findings from the implementation and systems change evaluation” (p. 9). Sections of this report include: the TJC model and its development; technical assistance and evaluation approach; model implementation in the learning sites; implementation and systems change approaches and evaluation findings; and conclusion. Appendixes provide: TJC Implementation Roadmap; case flow graphics; Triage Matrix Tool; Core Performance Measures Tool; baseline measures; intervention inventory; and TJC Scale Key.

Process and Systems Change Evaluation Findings from the Transition to Jail Community Initiative Cover

Nearly three million children under the age of 18 have a parent in jail or prison, and millions more have experienced their parents being arrested. Due to their parent’s criminal justice involvement, a growing body of research indicates that these children often experience trauma, family disruption, and the loss of their primary caregiver, which can lead to financial hardship, residential instability, and an array of emotional and behavioral problems.

In response, several community-based organizations and government agencies across the country have implemented programs and practices aimed at reducing this trauma and mitigating the potentially harmful outcomes associated with parental criminal justice involvement. The Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections hosted a live webinar highlighting these promising and innovative programs and practices.

This webinar is four sessions:

  1. Parental Arrest Protocols—"Focuses on protocols that police departments can use to manage the arrest of a parent to minimize the trauma and harm to their children";
  2. Family Impact Statements—"Focuses on how probation departments can use family impact statements in their presentence investigation reports to account for the needs of family and children";
  3. Family-Focused Jail Services—"Focuses on a few family-focused programs and services that jail administrators can offer to parents in their jails to help them stay connected to their family and children";
  4. and Successful Collaboration—"Provides information on how to collaboratively think about and address the many issues facing children of incarcerated parents, using a diverse group of interested stakeholders".

Presentation slides for these sessions are provided. Access is also provided to four publications that complement the webinar sessions and aim to guide criminal justice organizations and stakeholders in developing and implementing promising practices for children of justice-involved parents. The products include three toolkits on parental arrest policies, family-focused jail programs, and family impact statements, as well as a framework document that synthesizes what we have learned about promising practices and provides information about the context surrounding children and their families.

The products provide key challenges and recommendations for the field and help organizations and stakeholders

  1. understand the importance, scope, and effect of the issues facing children of justice-involved parents;
  2. learn how to talk about these issues with their constituencies; and
  3. appreciate how changes in practice can make meaningful differences by strengthening the relationship between children and their parents and reducing the trauma children experience when their parents are arrested, detained, and sentenced.
Practices for Children of Incarcerated Parents: Arrest through Pre-Adjudication [Webinar] cover

“The program interviews Dr. Nancy G. La Vigne Director, Justice Policy Center, The Urban Institute regarding Justice Reinvestment. With state and local governments grappling with growing corrections costs and budget shortfalls, they are asking how they can reduce costs and get a better return on criminal justice investments while maintaining public safety. One answer is Justice Reinvestment, a collaborative, data-driven approach to criminal justice planning that yields savings that can be invested in evidence-based, prevention-oriented activities. Dr. La Vigne describes this complex but compelling model highlighting the experiences of 17 states and 16 localities.”

Reinventing the Criminal Justice System Cover

This report summarizes findings from the Urban Institute’s replication validation of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Employment Retention Inventory (ERI). This study was conducted under NIC Cooperative Agreement Award 16CS04GKU7 to determine the ERI’s ability to identify workforce detachment risks for employed and unemployed justice-involved populations in Indiana, New York, and Massachusetts. This study also examined practitioners’ use of the ERI in diverse community correctional settings.

From June 2017 to July 2018, 185 employed and 148 unemployed people participated in the study, completing the ERI during check-in meetings with NIC-trained Employment Retention Specialists. Most study participants were living in the community under probation or parole supervision or with a history of justice involvement; others were incarcerated in state prison. ERI baseline responses were quantitatively compared with employment outcomes approximately 3 to 6 months later for all participants. The relationship between employment and recidivism was also examined. Qualitative interviews with ERI-trained professionals provided insight into the instrument’s use in practice

Items in the ERI showed strong content and construct validity, meaning the tool conceptually covered the key domains related to employment retention, particularly for community-based participants. Predictive validity analyses demonstrated that the ERI yielded “good” and “excellent” performance ratings in predicting unemployment 3 to 6 months later for those in community settings. Analyses of the ERI’s validity for incarcerated participants were insufficient due to small sample sizes. For all participants, bivariate analyses supported a linkage between employment experiences and recidivism. ERI practitioners expressed that the instrument had strong utility and potential for their work.

Overall, validation analyses coupled with practitioners’ feedback suggests that the ERI, when implemented with motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral techniques learned through NIC’s Employment Retention Specialist training, could be a useful case management tool for community correctional populations.

“The federal prison population has risen dramatically over the past few decades, as more people are sentenced to prison and for longer terms. The result? Dangerously overcrowded facilities and an increasing expense to taxpayers. In [this] new Urban Institute report, the authors project the population and cost savings impact of a variety of strategies designed to reduce the inmate population without compromising public safety. They find that the most effective approach is a combination of strategies, including early release for current prisoners and reducing the length of stay for future offenders, particularly those convicted of drug trafficking.” Sections of this publication following an executive summary include: introduction to the impact of federal prison growth; understanding the federal prison population and drivers of growth—the main drivers being who goes to prison and for how long; policy options to ease growth and reduce costs—front-end changes and back-end changes; and conclusion.

Stemming the Tide Cover

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