This is an exhaustive study regarding the use of body-worn cameras in correctional facilities. "Like much of today’s modern video technology, PVRDs [personal video recording devices aka body-worn cameras] are not a perfect solution. They have limitations such as battery life, video storage capacity and reliability. Yet, without question, PVRDs use in LASD [Los Angeles Sheriff's Department] has the potential to capture video and audio recordings of high liability and rapidly unfolding events that may occur within our custody facilities. The presence of video evidence has the potential to increase agency transparency, thereby increasing community trust and positive public perception of law enforcement. Additionally, video evidence has the potential to increase officer professionalism and accountability, mitigate citizen complaints against officers, reduce civil liability, increase efficiency in the handling of many types of cases and deter criminal activity. The LASD has produced a comprehensive PVRD report through an examination of LASD T&E [test and evaluation] results, LASD user input, review of empirical research, interviews with law enforcement agencies across the United States who are currently using or are considering the use of PVRD technology in patrol and/or custody environments, as well as numerous other metrics. The information captured and analyzed may be used to assist in the decision making process regarding establishing standards, best practices and deployments of PVRD technology and will further assist in capitalizing on the benefits of PVRD technology while minimizing potential pitfalls" (p. 6). Fourteen chapters follow an executive summary: introduction; empirical research; fixed infrastructure surveillance cameras; PVRD test and evaluation; lessons learned; outside agencies; legal considerations; policy considerations; infrastructure/video, storage considerations; video management team; cost; the human factor; and conclusion and recommendations. Body-worn camera policies from 78 law enforcement agencies are also included.
<p>"In Fall 2014, the Alameda County Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (ACCIPP) and the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (SFCIPP) worked in partnership with their respective Sheriffs’ Departments to survey more than 2,000 individuals incarcerated within the local county jails. The focus of the survey was to identify whom within the jails is a parent, their perceptions of how their incarceration affects their children, and what types of resources are needed for children to maintain contact and relationships with their parents during their parents’ incarceration and after release. This report presents the findings from these surveys" (p. 1).</p>
"To determine if a structural intervention of providing one condom a week to inmates in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail MSM [men who sex with men] unit reduces HIV transmissions and net social cost, we estimated numbers of new HIV infections (1) when condoms are available; and (2) when they are not … The discounted future medical costs averted due to fewer HIV transmissions exceed program costs, so condom distribution in jail reduces total costs." (p. 2695).
This publication highlights California’s successful efforts to build public higher education access for thousands of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students, both in custody and on college campuses throughout the state.
While this article looks at the death penalty in California, it gives other states good suggestions for dealing with problems in their own death penalty systems. Sections of this paper include: bulldozing barriers and unearthing hidden costs—how much California taxpayers are really paying for the State’s illusory death penalty; paved with good intentions—the legislative history of the death penalty in California; hazardous conditions ahead—potential state and federal constitutional issues arising out of California’s current death penalty scheme; the road not taken—“Remedies” revisited; roadmap for reform; and conclusion. “It is the authors’ view that unless California voters want to tolerate the continued waste of billions of tax dollars on the state’s now-defunct death penalty system, they must either demand meaningful reforms to ensure that the system is administered in a fair and effective manner or, if they do not want to be taxed to fund the needed reforms, they must recognize that the only alternative is to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole” (p. S41).
"Although the pace of criminal justice reform has accelerated at both the federal and state levels in the past decade, current initiatives have had only a modest effect on the size of the prison population. But over this period, three states – New York, New Jersey, and California – have achieved prison population reductions in the range of 25%. They have also seen their crime rates generally decline at a faster pace than the national average" (p. 1). This brief describes how these outcomes were achieved and explains other states can significantly reduce their prison population while ensuring public safety. Sections contained in this brief are: key findings; a decade of evolving criminal justice reform; limited impact on incarceration to date; substantial prison population declines in three states; impact of prison populations reductions on crime; policies and practices that reduced the prison population in the three states; the limited relationship between incarceration and crime; international experience in prison population reduction; potential for substantial prison population reductions; three goals for expanding prison population reduction; and conclusion.
The strength of this article is in its discussion of an often forgotten part of greening a facility—the use of environmentally safe cleaning products and practices. The Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, California is the green facility that has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
“This course provides an overview of how upcoming changes to California’s health care system will impact local criminal justice systems. Speakers compare and contrast health care in the county corrections systems today with health care in the years to come under the Affordable Care Act. A framework for providing health care to the criminal justice population is presented to facilitate preparations at the county level that can help to maximize criminal justice resources. Highlights include: How improving access to health care can reduce recidivism; Health care for the criminal justice population today and tomorrow--How it will work in 2014 and beyond; [and] Laying out a framework: An overview of the steps criminal justice systems can take to take advantage of health care reform opportunities.” The home website provides access to: course materials including slides from the following presentations: “Public Health and Public Safety: Explaining the Critical Intersection of Healthcare and Recidivism” by Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS); “Covered California: Understanding Health Benefits” by David Panush; “Counties and Medi-Cal for Inmates: Current Rules – Future Considerations” by Cathy Senderling-McDonald; “Health Care Reform and Medi-Cal: Looking to 2014” by Leonard J. Finocchio; “Covered California: Understanding Health Benefits” by California Health Benefit Exchange; “Public Health and Public Safety: Explaining the Critical Intersection of Healthcare and Recidivism” by Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS); and “Counties and Medi-Cal for Inmates: Current Rules – Future Considerations” by Cathy Senderling-McDonald; links to course related materials about public health and public safety, healthcare for today and tomorrow, and framework development; and links to other resources.
“In 2011, California adopted AB 109 Public Safety Realignment requiring counties to assume responsibility for low-level offenders. In a post-Realignment California, counties must implement population management strategies that reserve bed space for high-risk individuals and efficiently allocate resources. This fact sheet lists four available deliberate interventions that counties can employ to alleviate jail bed space and improve public safety outcomes” (p. 1). These recommendations may also be useful for other jails looking to reduce their own bed space. Strategies for decreasing the need for bed space while ensuring public safety are: expand county use of split sentences; limit county compliance for non-mandatory Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold requests; develop and expand alternatives to pretrial detention; and create and use community-based supervision alternatives.
“The significant challenges faced by those leaving jail and the high price of continued offending underscore the importance of capitalizing on jail contact to link individuals with services both while in the jail and as they return to the community. However, providing supportive interventions in jail settings is extremely challenging. While a number of innovative practices exist, there is much progress to be made in the design of services that can support people as they leave jail and return home” (p. 5). The effectiveness of the Los Angeles County Jail to provide reentry services to individuals being released is evaluated. Other jails can find valuable suggestions for improving their own jail reentry services by reading this report. Sections of the technical report include: executive summary; introduction; profiles of interviewees in jail custody; reentry service delivery and engagement including the Community Transition Unit (CTU); operations and efficiency; coordination between the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and other agencies and organizations; and conclusion. Some of the 11 recommendations to maximize the efficiency of reentry services provided by the jail are: expand awareness of the CTU to potential clients; integrate risks and needs assessments into reentry services; individualize reentry service plans; and strengthen the ties between the jail and community-based providers. You can download the technical report, summary report, and/or fact sheet at this website.