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NIC Webinars

In line with directives from the White House, state authorities, and local officials, criminal justice agencies around the country have modified operations to comply with social distancing, travel restrictions, and mandatory health orders due to COVID-19. These policies have a significant impact on the judiciary, causing courthouse closures, the suspension of jury trials, and the halting or modification of court orders. It has required criminal justice decision makers to swiftly examine their pretrial populations and practices to comply with these modified operations.

In this webinar you will hear from decision makers who were responsible for upholding these recommendations. They will share their challenges and experiences in implementing these directives, as well as the opportunities they found for adopting long- term practice changes that focus on maximizing public safety, court appearances, and release of pretrial defendants.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Discuss the collaborative efforts among pretrial services, the courts, district attorney’s offices, and jails to manage the pretrial population during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Identify innovative approaches to support defendant court appearance and connection with pretrial service officers.
  • Highlight early challenges and opportunities.
  • Show how technology is playing a key role in the new normal.
  • Provide key resources to the field.

Greg Crawford, Correctional Program Specialist, National Institute of Corrections
Lori Eville, Correctional Program Specialist, National Institute of Corrections
Spurgeon Kennedy, Vice-President, National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies

Panel Members:
The Honorable Karen Thomas, Judge, 17th Judicial District of Kentucky
Tara Boh Blair, Executive Officer, Kentucky Court of Justice, Department of Pretrial Services
Kevin Burns, Captain, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico
Krista Lawrence, Division Director, 11th Judicial District and Magistrate Courts, New Mexico
Jon Tunheim, Prosecuting Attorney, Thurston County District Court, Washington
Marianne Clear, Director, Thurston County Pretrial Services, Washington

This webinar aired on September 3rd, 2020.


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COVID-19: How are Pretrial Service Agencies Dealing with the Coronavirus? [Webinar]

Did you know that 99% of all leadership occurs not from the TOP but from the MIDDLE of an organization? Join the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) to explore the qualities of effective leaders at all levels and the essential skills necessary to flourish in one’s own management style while respecting organizational structure and mission. Through a series of interactive activities, we will explore how current and future leaders can bring relevant tools, values, and influence to and from every level of a correctional organization. 

(PH)REAL: PHilosophy, Relationship, Equipping, Attitude and Leadership

This Session took place on November 13, 2018, 2 pm EST.

A 2016 report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education noted that incarcerated adults with access to library services other than a law library scored higher in literacy and numeracy than incarcerated adults without access on a survey conducted by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. While the study does not address why or how library services played a role in the success of incarcerated adults, it does highlight the question. In fact, the effect of library services on learning is an issue that academic libraries have attempted to address for years. In this DDLC webinar series session, representatives from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes and the Association of College Research Libraries share how their organizations have been tackling the issue.

NILOA begins by providing an introduction on current practices and future trends in assessing and documenting learning. They then uncover efforts that are unfolding to capture and document evidence of student learning outside of traditional curricular experiences. ACRL will then explain how they have been focusing on helping academic libraries and librarians demonstrate alignment with and impact on institutional outcomes.

By the end of this session, you learn how academic libraries have approached assessment in recent years and examine how some of these efforts may be adapted for use in a correctional setting.


Assessing Learning in Your Library [Webinar]

Expanding on Ranganathan’s five laws, we know that libraries are for use and that every library has its community (users). In order to ensure that a library is meeting the needs of its users, the library must be able to assess its services, including its collections, and understand how those are meeting the requirements of its community. This webinar will investigate the assessment activities that a library can utilize to determine the needs of its community, as well as those assessments which can help a library assure that a service is meeting its community’s desires. Specific assessments, which can be completed in any type of environment, will be discussed and examples given.

Assessment, Your Library, and Your Collections [Webinar]

Objectives: highlight federal resources available to community corrections and criminal justice agencies; define service needs of justice-involved individuals; showcase a local example of collaboration and resources utilization—San Diego County Probation; and engage the criminal justice system in a live discussion about the resources available, how to access funding, receive technical assistance, and to motivate our leaders to want to do more.

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This webinar was created for the Family Connections Project. On April 16, 2020, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) presented a 1.5-hour training webinar on strategies for staff to communicate with families and children in correctional facilities.
This webinar covered four major topics:
•    Communication 101: Basic Types and Everyday Challenges
•    Points of Contact and Communication with Families in Correctional Facilities
•    Best Practices on Communication and Active Listening
•    Tips for Staff on Interacting with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities

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Communicating with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities Webinar

This webinar is part of a series created for the Family Connections Project, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) invites you to attend a 1.5-hour training on how to communicate with families and children in correctional facilities. Installment two of the series will provide relevant information and strategies for staff. This webinar will cover three major topics:

• Communication 101: Basic Types and Everyday Challenges
• Workplace Culture and Practices: Interacting with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities
• Applicable Practices for Staff: Interacting with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities

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Communicating with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities: Part #2

The Community Corrections Collaborative Network (CCCN) hosted a live webinar event with our federal partners and national and local experts to highlight Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE), a collaborative strategy among the court, probation, prosecutors, defense, law enforcement and community treatment providers to effect positive behavioral changes in probationers. HOPE was first conceived of by Judge Steven S. Alm of the O’ahu First Circuit and began as a pilot program in 2004. The HOPE strategy targets higher risk/higher needs offenders, utilizing swift, certain, consistent, and proportionate consequences for non-compliance with probation conditions while maintaining a working alliance with the offender by both the probation officer and the judge. Within the framework of the National Institute of Corrections’ eight evidence-based principles for recidivism reduction, HOPE assists offenders in the change process in a caring and supportive environment to help probationers succeed on probation and in life. While seemingly a simple theoretical model, HOPE is hard to do, and requires shared leadership within the criminal justice system. Research has shown that the HOPE strategy, when done with fidelity, can be highly successful and is inspiring like efforts in thirty-one states across the country. The CCCN believes that individual jurisdictions can adopt the swift and certain philosophy while modifying it to fit the needs and resources available in local communities. Our network is committed to identifying promising and innovative practices and promoting the use of evidence-based practices. Objectives for the Webinar: Showcase the innovative HOPE Program and how it can be replicated stateside; Discuss HOPE's innovative programmatic design, implementation and evaluation characteristics including HOPE's collaboration and systems approach (Court/Probation/Law Enforcement/Community Treatment Providers working together for a common goal), buy-in from staff/engagement/inclusion/supporting each other, matching probationers to the right services instead of one-size fits all, succession planning and sustainability build to success, and research, randomized control trials, and high level scientific design proving the effectiveness of the program; and engage the criminal justice system in a live discussion about the HOPE Program, resources for the field, how to access funding through federal resources, ideas for replication of similar approaches, and how to motivate our leaders to want to do more.

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Sentencing alternatives for veterans? There are dozens of specialized courts across the country that employ therapeutic programs to help keep veterans out of jail. "Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance for Vets Who Have Lost Their Way" is a new publication that tells the story of these veterans and the judges, veterans advocates, and treatment professionals who are fighting to ensure a second chance for vets who find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system.

The publication was produced in partnership by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), a division of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Veterans Health Council of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). The report is based on a series of interviews and personal observations of the judges, veterans, and veterans advocates who have been intimately involved in the founding and operation of veterans treatment courts. In this book, they relay how veterans treatment courts are "the right thing to do" for justice-involved veterans who commit certain crimes associated with the lingering legacy of their wartime experiences.

Court staff and graduates of veterans treatment court programs describe, in often exquisite detail, what their roles are and how they have come to embrace the concept that these courts, which use a carrot-and-stick approach to rehabilitate rather than overtly punish veteran defendants, represent what one veteran in Buffalo, New York, a key player in the creation of the first of these courts in the nation, has called "the most profound change in the attitude of our criminal justice system towards veterans in the history of this country."

Objectives of this webinar are: Introduce NIC's new publication "Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance for Vets Who Have Lost Their Way" by Bernard Edelman, Deputy Director for Policy and Government Affairs, VVA, and consultant Dr. Tom Berger, Executive Director of VVA's Veterans Health Council; Describe the inception of veteran's treatment courts and their focus; Highlight successes and challenges of veteran's treatment courts; and Hear a veteran's personal story of the impact of veteran's treatment court on their life.

cover for webinar Veterans Treatment Courts

Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, is difficult to detect in a population often afflicted with other mental illnesses and maladaptive social behaviors. During this interactive webinar we will explore how symptoms and behaviors can be misconstrued and identify environmental risk factors that can contribute to costly accidents and injury for inmates with dementia.

We will also take an in-depth look at the Gold Coat program based at the California Men's Colony State Prison in San Luis Obispo. This model consists of healthy inmates specially trained to care for those with dementia and other cognitive impairments, who are designated by the gold smocks they wear.

The experiences of former Gold Coats will reveal a working rehabilitative program, a true model of reform that can provide skills for meaningful employment while caring for those who cannot help themselves. Every facility is different with unique needs. During the webinar, we will provide a foundation for developing a self-contained model to meet the needs of cognitively impaired inmates while healthy inmates gain valuable, marketable skills.

Utilizing images, narratives and interactive exercises, panelists will explore the challenges of aging in prison with a focus on dementia care.

Focus areas include: What Happens to the Brain When Dementia / Alzheimer's Strikes; 10 Warning Signs; Effective Communication Strategies; Activities of Daily Living (ADLs); Alternative Environmental Programming; and Building a Successful Dementia Program.

At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be able to: Paraphrase their own working knowledge of dementia, in particular Alzheimer's Disease; Describe how symptoms and behaviors can be misconstrued as maladaptive behavior; Identify environmental risk factors that can contribute to costly accidents and injury for inmates with dementia; and Give examples of tools to develop a method to reduce risk factors, promote effective programming and provide cost effective care.

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