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Corrections reform

This paper expertly describes the Healing Corrections Framework. "The Healing Corrections Framework focuses on the nuts and bolts of the organizational cultures of jails and prisons, how they work, and ways to transform them. It assumes that the primary vehicle for transforming corrections is through meeting the needs of correctional staff to better equip them to work with each other and with those they supervise in jails, prisons, or the community. The logic of this is simple; the work of corrections is done by correctional workers and to change the way corrections works, correctional workers must change how they do their jobs. This will require correctional staff at all levels to communicate with each other and with people under their supervision in more constructive and compassionate ways. In the Healing Corrections framework, “how things are done,” especially how roles and expectations are continuously defined and redefined among the actors within a system, is the working definition of culture" (p. 5). Topics discussed in this document include: capacity versus opportunity; cultural context; cultural fragmentation of systems, the key concept of the Framework, versus coherence; development of the Healing Corrections Framework—its empirical foundation in the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Prison Culture Project, and the Norval Morris Project, and cycles of engagement and interaction; the Healing Corrections Framework which dialogue as cultural change; Healing Corrections and "mass incarceration"; American culture and American Justice; talking about punishment; and gazing into the abyss. This website provides access to the paper and the presentation slides.

Can Jails and Prisons be Healed? cover

This report is for anyone interested in the challenges associated with incarcerated youth. The Justice Policy Institute “discovered that adjusting funding schemes was just one of many successful strategies for juvenile confinement reform and, in fact, there are many states that have significantly reduced their juvenile confined populations without fiscal reform. States have initiated top-down policy changes, requiring police and courts to treat juveniles differently, resulting in fewer youth confined. Others have simply closed their state’s juvenile correctional facilities, forcing judges to adopt less restrictive responses to juvenile delinquency. What follows is a critical analysis of those elements that appeared to contribute to the greatest reductions in rates of confinement over the past decade” (p. 3). Sections of this report include: introduction; measuring reform—focus on juvenile confinement; the national perspective in confinement, 2001 to 2010; common elements among states that were the “top performers”; brief data analysis of these five states—Connecticut, Tennessee, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Arizona; and recommendations.

› Common Ground: Lessons Learned from Five States that Reduced Juvenile Confinement by More than Half Cover

Topics discussed include: Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice (DACJJ) base budget; community corrections base budget; average daily costs; what community corrections is; probation, parole, and post-release defined; purpose of post-release supervision (PRS); why JRA expanded PRS; Parole and Post-Release Supervision Commission; Judicial Service Coordinators; probation and parole officers; caseload averages; the changing role of probation officers; risk-needs assessment components; supervision levels; electronic monitoring; community supervision programs; Treatment for Effective Community Supervision (TECS); reinvestment; Confinement in Response to Violation (CRV) Centers; and results for prison readmission by type, for probation revocation rate, and for "quick dips" (2-3 day confinement).

Community Corrections and the Justice Reinvestment Act cover

A “framework that identifies the characteristics and competencies that paroling authorities must have to be effective in implementing evidence-based practices in the context of transition programs and services” is presented (p.8). These sections follow an executive summary: introduction; the impact of history on current reform efforts; the key elements of the parole process—the institutional, reentry, community, and discharge phases; the foundation of system effectiveness—evidence-based practice, organizational development, and collaboration; moving forward; and conclusion. An appendix lists intermediate and process measures for implementation.

Comprehensive Framework for Paroling Authorities in an Era of Evidence-Based Practice Cover

The impact of external and internal forces on “corrections policy innovation in which measures to control prison populations and enhance service delivery were implemented despite challenging institutional and social environments” is examined (p. 2). This is good reading for those agencies looking to implement their own strategies for correctional system reform. This report contains these sections: introduction; the context and dynamics of corrections reform—expanding capacity (1980 to early 1990s), addressing prison growth (early 1990-2005), and implementing broader correctional reforms (2006 to the present); context and design of the Kansas Offender Risk Reduction and Reentry Program (KOR3P) and Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative (MPRI); documenting organizational change—domains of change within the DOC and beyond and similarities and differences in design and implementation of the reforms; emerging challenges and constraints; and conclusion and recommendations.

Context and Impact of Organizational Changes in State Corrections Agencies: A Study of Local Discourses and Practices in Kansas and Michigan Cover

Budget reductions don’t discriminate. Correctional agencies are being hit hard in these tough economic times with no relief from mandates. Prisons, jails, and community corrections are all faced with increasing workloads, combined with diminishing resources. Amid the worsening financial crisis, there are opportunities to implement evidence-based strategies that can maximize resources while preserving public safety.

This 3-hour program provides an overview of opportunities that can help correctional organizations stay afloat in the current environment. Participants will be able to: explore the events and decisions that have contributed to the current fiscal crisis facing corrections; identify strategies for successfully managing operations with evidence-based practices; describe safe, effective criminal justice models that maximize resources while maintaining public safety; and identify partnerships for accessing community resources that can help corrections address challenges.</p>

Corrections Budgets in Free Fall: Finding Opportunities in Turbulent Times Cover

This article examines the major considerations to be taken when performing a cost-benefit analysis (CBA). This process is illustrated by showing how the costs and benefits are determined for the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation. Sections discuss: the market for crime; cost-benefit analysis in criminology--alternative explanations, or counterfactuals, whose benefits count, and variable estimates; the MADCE; what the MADCE impact evaluation found; measuring the costs and benefits of drug courts; adding up the costs and benefits; what the MADCE CBA found; and improving CBAs in criminology. “The CBA performed in the MADCE study demonstrates that criminal justice reforms can have tangible, positive benefits, including fewer crimes and more savings in victimization costs” (p. 6).

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Criminal Justice Reforms Cover

This Article considers legislative decriminalization of juvenile misconduct, an underutilized method for juvenile justice reform (p. 5).

This report empirically shows the benefits that can happen if a state reforms its excessively punitive drug control laws. "In 2009, the latest in a series of reforms essentially dismantled New York State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws, eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of a range of felony drug charges and increasing eligibility for diversion to treatment … [The] drug law reform, as it functioned in the city soon after the laws were passed, led to a 35 percent rise in the rate of diversion of eligible defendants to treatment. Although the use of diversion varied significantly among the city’s five boroughs, it was associated with reduced recidivism rates, and cut racial disparities in half." Sections of this report include: introduction; expanding access to treatment; differences in diversion within the city; beyond diversion—broader consequences of drug law reform; narrowing racial differences; improving public safety; the cost of drug law reform; and conclusion and recommendations.

End of An Era? The Impact of Drug Law Reform in New York City Cover

"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.

Fewer Prisoners, Less Crime: A Tale of Three States Cover


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