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U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) (Washington DC)

"Building on the Administration¹s commitment to criminal justice reform, the convening will bring together federal officials, state legislators and judges, advocates and academics to discuss criminal justice system practices that too often contribute to the cycle of poverty and create significant barriers to reentry. Co-hosted by the Department of Justice, the convening will provide a collaborative environment to discuss and share ideas on how State and local stakeholders across the United States can implement common sense reforms so that financial obligations imposed by the government do not lead to unnecessary involvement in the criminal justice system or exacerbate poverty." Critical issues addressed during this meeting include: the increasing use of fines, fees, and bail; the disproportionate impact on low-income individuals and families; fines and fees—an ineffective way to raise funds for incarceration costs. This website provides access to both versions of this White House convening, transcript of Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, report from the President's Council of Economic Advisors on Fees, Fines, and Bail, a National Journal article about the event, and background materials.

A Cycle of Incarceration: Prison, Debt, and Bail Practices [Webinar] Cover

“Dr. Chandler will discuss why punishment alone is an ineffective response to the problem of drug abuse in the criminal justice system … Dr. Chandler will also highlight evidence-based principles of addiction treatment based on an integrated public health/public safety strategy.” Topics discussed include: drugs of abuse and crime are linked; smoking in criminal justice; mental health disorders among incarcerated populations; key participants in the criminal justice system and intervention opportunities; what addiction is—a disease of the brain; reward circuits; dopamine; memory circuits; cocaine craving; treatments for relapse prevention—medications and behavioral; evidence-based principles of drug abuse treatment for criminal justice populations; what recovery looks like on average; assessing risks, needs, and progress; criminal justice CEST (Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment); and tailoring supervision to fit the needs of the individual is important.

Addiction, The Brain, and Evidence Based Treatment Cover

This video presentation will enable readers to:

  • Understand the problem of jail suicide--rates of suicide in certain groups, the decrease in jail suicide rates, what makes jails risky environments, and challenges of prevention.
  • Describe suicide risk factors, warning signs, and suicide myths that increase ones risk.
  • Discuss intervention best practices--the qualities of a suicide prevention program (a written suicide prevention policy and a culture of prevention among others), the process of suicide prevention, the use of wise correctional techniques, emergency response, and practice, practice, practice. Lessons learned from two case studies and two legal cases are also covered.


Basics and Beyond Cover

"Social media sites have become useful tools for the public and law enforcement entities, but criminals are also using these sites for wrongful purposes. Social media sites may be used to coordinate a criminal-related flash mob or plan a robbery, or terrorist groups may use social media sites to recruit new members and espouse their criminal intentions. Social media sites are increasingly being used to instigate or conduct criminal activity, and law enforcement personnel should understand the concept and function of these sites, as well as know how social media tools and resources can be used to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and investigate criminal activity. To ensure that information obtained from social media sites for investigative and criminal intelligence-related activity is used lawfully while also ensuring that individuals' and groups' privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are protected, law enforcement agencies should have a social media policy (or include the use of social media sites in other information-related policies). This social media policy should communicate how information from social media sites can be utilized by law enforcement, as well as the differing levels of engagement--such as apparent/overt, discrete, or covert--with subjects when law enforcement personnel access social media sites, in addition to specifying the authorization requirements, if any, associated with each level of engagement. These levels of engagement may range from law enforcement personnel 'viewing' information that is publicly available on social media sites to the creation of an undercover profile to directly interact with an identified criminal subject online. Articulating the agency's levels of engagement and authorization requirements is critical to agency personnel's understanding of how information from social media sites can be used by law enforcement and is a key aspect of a social media policy" (p. 1-2).

Developing A Policy Cover

Biased practices, as the Federal government has long recognized, are unfair, promote mistrust of law enforcement, and perpetuate negative and harmful stereotypes. Moreover—and vitally important—biased practices are ineffective … Law enforcement practices free from inappropriate considerations, by contrast, strengthen trust in law enforcement agencies and foster collaborative efforts between law enforcement and communities to fight crime and keep the Nation safe. In other words, fair law enforcement practices are smart and effective law enforcement practices. Even-handed law enforcement is therefore central to the integrity, legitimacy, and efficacy of all Federal law enforcement activities. The highest standards can—and should—be met across all such activities. Doing so will not hinder—and, indeed, will bolster—the performance of Federal law enforcement agencies’ core responsibilities. This new Guidance applies to Federal law enforcement officers performing Federal law enforcement activities, including those related to national security and intelligence, and defines not only the circumstances in which Federal law enforcement officers may take into account a person’s race and ethnicity … but also when gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity may be taken into account. This new Guidance also applies to state and local law enforcement officers while participating in Federal law enforcement task forces" (p. 1). Guidance is provided for: routine or spontaneous activities in domestic law enforcement; all activities other than routine or spontaneous law enforcement activities—never rely on generalized stereotypes, only on specific characteristic-based information, information must be relevant to the locality or time frame, information must be trustworthy, characteristic-based information must always be specific to particular suspects or incidents, reasonably merited under the totality of the circumstances, actions related to national security, homeland security, and all other intelligence activities, training, data collection, and accountability.

Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity Cover

<p>Instructions are provided to state governors on how to show their state is in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The two attached forms are to be used to indicate their state’s compliance with PREA or the state’s intent not to use more than 5% of certain federal grants to achieve full compliance. The grants involved are the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Formula Grant Program, and the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program. Attached are copies of the “Certification Regarding Adoption and Full Compliance with the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape” and the “Assurance to Utilize Department of Justice Grants to Achieve Full Compliance with the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape”.</p>

Guidance for Governors Cover

This is necessary reading for anyone involved with educating incarcerated youth. "Providing high-quality education in juvenile justice secure care settings presents unique challenges for the administrators, teachers, and staff who are responsible for the education, rehabilitation, and welfare of youths committed to their care … The more than 2,500 juvenile justice residential facilities across the country need support from federal, state, and local educational agencies; the broader juvenile justice system (particularly the juvenile justice agencies that oversee facilities); and their communities to improve services for committed youths. The services provided to them in secure care facilities should be developmentally appropriate and focus on the youths’ educational, social-emotional, behavioral, and career planning needs so that their time within a secure care facility is a positive experience during which they attain new skills and move on to a more productive path. Building on prior guidance from ED and DOJ, this report focuses on five guiding principles recommended by the federal government for providing high-quality education in juvenile justice secure care settings" (p. iv). Briefly, the five guiding principles and supporting core activities are: the need of a safe, healthy, and facility-wide climate that supports all youth; necessary funding; recruitment, employment, and retention of qualified staff; rigorous and relevant curricula; and formal processes and procedures. The report expands and describes each principle in detail. A list of relevant federal laws, with links to the documents, is also included.

Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings Cover

This report describes how four law enforcement agencies, selected as learning sites, utilized the principles described in “Planning and Assessing a Law Enforcement Reentry Strategy”. “The goals of the learning site project were not to identify a gold standard or the most comprehensive law enforcement-driven reentry program in the nation, but rather to report how diverse agencies implemented strategies in key areas of reentry that many professionals on the front lines of this work face. Although the intended audience is primarily practitioners who have been charged with developing a reentry strategy for their agencies, it is also meant to have value for those individuals and agencies that partner with or hope to partner with law enforcement agencies to ensure that more individuals reenter communities safely and successfully” (p. 3). Three sections follow an executive summary: collaboration—coordination and partnerships; program terms—activities and scope; and data collection and analysis—process and outcome. Also included are profiles of the four law enforcement agencies evaluated.

Lessons Learned Cover

"This Report presents the findings of the Review Panel on Prison Rape (Panel), along with its recommendations, that are the result of its 2014 hearings in Washington, District of Columbia, based on two national surveys of correctional facilities by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS): Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011-12 (May 2013) and Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012 (June 2013) … Consistent with the Panel’s prior reports, the Panel identified institutional practices that either prevent the sexual victimization of inmates and juveniles or place them at risk. To assist the reader in quickly comparing the factors associated with high- and low-incidence prisons, jails, and juvenile correctional facilities, the Panel prepared three tables that summarize this information" (p. v-vi). 

Review Panel on Prison Rape Report on Sexual Victimization in Prisons, Jails, and Juvenile Correctional Facilities, April 2016 Cover

The impact of sanctions, whether threatened or applied, on deterrence of crime by high-risk adolescents is examined. Sections of this bulletin include: background; key terms; increasing deterrence through severity—institutional placement and length of stay; increasing deterrence through certainty—offenders' perceptions of risk; increasing certainty though arrest; behavioral responses to changes in risk perceptions—the certainty effect; the deterrent effect of ambiguity in offender risk perceptions; policy implications; and conclusion. Some of the results are: There was no meaningful reduction in offending or arrests in response to more severe punishment (e.g., correctional placement, longer stays); Policies targeting specific types of offending may be more effective at deterring youth from engaging in these specific offenses as opposed to general policies aimed at overall crime reduction; In response to an arrest, youth slightly increased their risk perceptions, which is a necessary condition for deterrence; Creating ambiguity about detection probabilities in certain areas or for certain types of crime may have a deterrent effect by enhancing the perceived risk of getting caught" (p. 1).

Studying Deterrence Among High-Risk Adolescents cover


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