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Corrections reform

"An extensive data analysis coupled with over 50 in-person interviews with local and state leaders led to the identification of key recommendations for reducing the number of people with behavioral health disorders cycling in and out of jail." Sections of this report include: background; summary of core challenges; funding for behavioral health treatment and services; "Franklin County, OH Criminal System Flow" chart; methodology; sources of data for the analysis chart; assessing behavioral health disorders and risk of recidivism in the jail population; measuring the population of homelessness; findings—more than half of all adults entering jail return within three years of release, information on risk and needs is not systematically collected and used to inform decision making, people who have behavioral health disorders stay longer in jail and return more frequently than those without behavioral health disorders, and many people with behavioral health disorders released from jail are not receiving the treatment and supports they need in the community; average length of stay in jail for people with behavioral health disorders chart; percentage of people with behavioral health disorders rebooked within three years of release chart; and eight recommendations.

Franklin County, Ohio: A County Justice and Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Project cover

"Ohio is at the forefront of national juvenile justice reform and realignment efforts and serves as a model for other states looking to “rightsize” their own institutional footprints by moving away from costly correctional placements to more effective, community-based options" (p. 1) "This brief documents the major strategies, events and conditions that created this fundamental and ongoing shift in how young people who enter the juvenile justice system are treated. While these efforts are still a work in progress, this milestone marks a critical fiscal realignment policy concerning the importance of creating and sustaining strategic investments in what works for justice-involved youth" (p. i). Sections of this report cover: beginnings; a shifting corrections footprint and the use of community corrections facilities (CCFs); timeline of major Ohio juvenile justice milestones and DYS (Department of Youth Services) initiatives; DYS state-local partnership with juvenile courts; alignment of key factors—facility closures, state budget, settlement agreement, and best practices—to advance what works; leveraging state policy to promote cost-effective outcomes; seizing opportunity in facility closure savings for long-term realignment and reinvestment—the evolution of RECLAIM (Reasoned and Equitable Community and Local Alternatives to the Incarceration of Minors) to competitive grants; and next steps.

Getting It Right: Realigning Juvenile Corrections in Ohio to Reinvest in What Works cover

“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.

Healthcare Reform and County Criminal Justice Systems: An Introduction to Health Care Reform and the Opportunities and Challenges for County Criminal Justice Cover

“Are there connections between these three shifts – a decrease in crime, a decrease in the correctional population, and a sharp increase in controversial police practices? What factors contributed to these shifts? What about the costs of these shifts? Have they been evaluated and weighed against the benefits? In this report, leading criminologists James Austin and Michael Jacobson take an empirical look at these powerful social changes and any interconnections. Examining data from 1985 to 2009, they conclude that New York City’s “broken windows” policy did something unexpected: it reduced the entire correctional population of the state. As the NYPD focused on low-level arrests, it devoted fewer resources to felony arrests. At the same time, a lowered crime rate – as an additional factor – meant that fewer people were committing felonies. This combination led to fewer felony arrests and therefore fewer people entering the correctional system. Other policies – like programs that stopped punishing people with prison if not necessary – also contributed to this population drop” (p. 3). Sections of this report following an executive summary are: decline in New York prison population—drop in admissions and increase in statewide length of stay; decline in New York parole, probation, and jail populations; delayed effect on state corrections budget; accompanying drop in New York City’s crime rate and shift in arrest policy; and conclusion.

How New York City

In five years, the Close to Home Initiative has transformed the experience of youth who come into contact with the justice system in New York City. By prioritizing investments in programs and resources within and around the neighborhoods in which youth live, Close to Home has begun to realign New York State’s youth justice system with research and nationally-recognized best practices that give youth the best chance of becoming productive and law-abiding members of society. As is expected with implementation of any initiative on the scale of Close to Home, ACS and its partners agencies have faced challenges over the past five years. However, the efforts described in this report to implement Close to Home and overcome those challenges have made New York City and New York State national models for reform (p. 28).

An introduction to an integrated model for the implementation of evidence-based principles in community corrections is provided. This document contains the following sections: overview; the project; the challenge of implementation; the Integrated Model; and conclusion.

Implementing Effective Cover

Outcome and process measures used to gage the effectiveness of the Integrated Model in reducing offender recidivism are presented. Each component found within a measure has information regarding its definition, tool/data source, description, frequency, and individual who collects the data. Components are organized into the following measures: recidivism; risk; proxy risk; supervision length; dosage; revocation and violation; program effectiveness; assessment; case plan; workload; violations; organizational climate; and collaboration.

Implementing Effective Cover

At the end of 2012, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) launched the Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Initiative (JJRRI) in three demonstration sites in Delaware, Iowa, and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The goal of JJRRI was to bring evidence and best practices to bear on juvenile justice operations. This was done through the use of empirically based risk and needs assessment, the development of dispositional matrices that provide evidence-based recommendations concerning dispositional options, and the implementation of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP™) rating system to assess and guide improvements in the programs delivered to juvenile justice youth. Together, these tools were intended to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of juvenile justice resources.

"There are few areas of American society where racial disparities are as profound and as troubling as in the criminal justice system. In fact, racial perceptions of crime and race influenced policy development have been intimately tied to the development of mass incarceration. Yet there is growing evidence that the high rate of minority imprisonment is excessive for public safety goals and damaging for family and community structures in high incarceration neighborhoods. This briefing paper provides an overview of racial disparities in the criminal justice system and a framework for developing and implementing remedies for these disparities." Six sections comprise this publication: incorporating racial equality as a goal in criminal justice reform; overview of racial equality in the criminal justice system; causes of racial disparity—socioeconomic inequality, handicapping of low-income people by resource allocation decisions, disparate racial impact of ostensibly race-neutral policies, and implicit racial bias among criminal justice professionals; best practices for reducing racial disparity; implementation strategies and metrics for success; and conclusion.

Incorporating Racial Equality Into Criminal Justice Reform Cover

The authors “sought to document knowledge, attitudes, and practices among a national sample of U.S. criminal justice leaders. In particular, we sought to understand the prevalence of innovation; the use of data and evidence to inform practice; the responses to disappointing results; and the barriers to widespread adoption of innovative practices” (p. 1). Six chapters follow an executive summary: introduction and methodology; respondent characteristics; prevalence of innovation; data-driven decision-making; barriers to innovation; and sources of new ideas. Fourty-six percent of respondents always use evidence-based decisionmaking, with 85% getting new information about criminal justice programs and/or reform initiatives from their colleagues.

Innovation in the Criminal Cover

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