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“Most assessment systems target high-risk offenders. However, standard risk and needs assessments do not necessarily identify needs that are truly criminogenic for each individual; nor do they address responsivity. This is because these systems do not inherently identify either specific strategies and programs that reflect the learning style of the offender or approaches and programs most likely to motivate each offender to change behavior. This paper describes a comprehensive approach to assessment, developed by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), that successfully addresses all three objectives listed above. This methodology was originally embedded in the Client Management Classification (CMC) system and Strategies for Juvenile Supervision (SJS) assessment and supervision systems. It currently is embedded in the Correctional Assessment and Intervention System (CAIS) and Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS) … Evaluation outcomes from six separate studies have shown that this methodology significantly reduces recidivism for both probationers and parolees and reduces institutional infractions when used in institutional settings. Results from these studies, which were conducted by different research teams in different jurisdictions across a 25-year timeframe, are summarized in this paper.” Sections included in this report are: introduction; what separates CAIS and JAIS from other assessment models; how CMC and SJS were developed; evaluations of CMC; the Texas Study, 1987; the Wisconsin Study, 1986; Council of State Governments, 2011; the emergence of CAIS and JAIS; supervision strategies; enhancing responsivity through case planning; and conclusion.

Beyond Risk and Needs Assessments Cover

“Interest in using cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to help in criminal justice policymaking and planning has grown in recent years as state and local budgets have become increasingly strained. Most jurisdictions, however, have not been able to create a sustained capacity to produce and use CBA in decision making and budgeting. The Vera Institute of Justice organized a roundtable discussion to examine what factors might help jurisdictions build lasting capacity to use and perform CBA … The discussion highlighted the need for expertise in conducting cost-benefit studies. It also highlighted the need for trusted, credible organizations that can house this expertise. And participants talked about structures and processes that would help bring cost-benefit information to policymakers and integrate CBA as part of decision making” (p. 1). Topics covered include: organizations that can house CBA capacity—credibility, newly established organizations, location, and administration and funding (or covering your costs); staffing—advertising positions and searching for staff, characteristics of good staff, and other ways to staff; and making CBA part of the process—the importance of integrating CBA, CBA and the budgeting barrier, forecasts and feedback, putting your money where your mouth is, and other activities.

Building Cost Benefit Analysis Cover

The segregated housing unit practices of the United States Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and compliance with them are reviewed. Sections comprising this report are: background to the investigation; Segregated Housing Unit population and number of cells have increased since Fiscal Year 2008; BOP’s monitoring of segregated housing policies varies by type of unit, and some facilities’ documentation is incomplete; BOP estimates that segregated housing costs more than housing inmates in the general population; BOP has not evaluated the impact of segregated housing units on institutional safety or the impacts of long-term segregation on inmates; concluding remarks; recommendations for Executive Action; and BOP comments and GAO evaluation. “GAO recommends that BOP (1) develop ADX-specific monitoring requirements; (2) develop a plan that clarifies how BOP will address documentation concerns GAO identified, through the new software program; (3) ensure that any current study to assess segregated housing also includes reviews of its impact on institutional safety; and (4) assess the impact of long-term segregation. BOP agreed with these recommendations and reported it would take actions to address them.”

Bureau of Prisons: Improvements Needed in Bureau of Prisons' Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact of Segregated Housing Cover

The development of improved strategies for classifying female offenders is addressed. Sections of this report include:

  • Issues in classifying women offenders -- the literature review;
  • National assessment of current female offender classification practices;
  • Focus groups with corrections professionals and women offenders;
  • Directions for technical assistance (TA);
  • TA -- Hawaii Department of Public Safety;
  • TA -- Nebraska Department of Correctional Services;
  • TA -- Colorado Department of Corrections;
  • And lessons learned -- female offenders can be classified using instruments currently utilized with some adjustments, measures of offender needs offer substantial contributions to the validity of a custody classification system, precise definitions and accurate measurement are important considerations, the cooperative agreement reduced over-classification but did not nullify it, and over-classification is not only found in the classification system.
Classification of Women Offenders:  A National Assessment of Current Practices and the Experiences of Three States Cover

Cost per day information for various adult and juvenile correctional populations is determined. Sections of this report include: introduction—reporting guidelines and highlights; Texas Department of Criminal Justice—overview, Correctional Institutions Division (state-operated facilities), Parole Division, and Community Justice Assistance Division; and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department—state services and facilities, and community juvenile justice. Appendixes provide: uniform cost project methods; program descriptions; and comparisons to other cost per day figures—national comparison.

Criminal Justice Uniform Cost Report: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2012 Cover

"Prisoners experience high rates of drug dependence, health problems and premature mortality. Without intervention, they often come into further contact with the criminal justice system, creating further health risk. Opioid dependence is common among prisoners, yet treatment with opioid substitution therapy (OST) may reduce or prevent morbidity, mortality and offending … The results highlight that the prison setting provides an important opportunity to engage people in OST. Notably, OST treatment in prison and immediately post-release was found to be highly protective against mortality both while incarcerated and after release. Considering some of the known benefits of OST, this study provides strong evidence to support the value of OST programs within the criminal justice system" (p. 1). Results are provided for: the natural history of criminal justice system involvement among opioid-dependent people, 1993–2011; the extent of imprisonment of opioid-dependent people, 2000–12; potential differences in the impacts of buprenorphine and methadone on treatment retention and mortality; gender differences in opioid substitution therapy engagement; The association between retention in opioid substitution therapy and crime among opioid-dependent people; the impact of opioid substitution therapy provision in prison upon in-prison mortality; the impact of opioid substitution therapy on mortality following release from prison; and cost effectiveness of opioid substitution therapy in reducing mortality post-release among this group.

Determining the Impact of Opioid Substitution Therapy upon Mortality and Recidivism among Prisoners: A 22 Year Data Linkage Study cover

Results from two studies regarding the effectiveness of batterer intervention programs are relayed. Sections of this report include: Broward County -- does stake-in-conformity matter most?; types of batterer interventions; Brooklyn -- is longer treatment more effective?; program and research issues; and new directions for protecting victims (e.g., rethinking intervention, linking batterer programs to other programs and responses, and improving evaluations). "Neither program changed subjects' [male batterers] attitudes toward domestic violence (p. 1)."

 Do Batterer Intervention Programs Work? Two Studies Cover

“Repeat offenders pose a significant threat to public safety and reducing DWI [driving while impaired] recidivism is an important goal of DOCCR. The first step in achieving that goal is the identification of those DWI offenders who are at higher risk to reoffend by the use of a valid screening process, one that is predictive of subsequent DWI offenses” (p. 1). This study looks to determine the validity of the Research Institute on Addiction Self-Inventory (RIASI) in risk screening DWI offenders. It appears that the RIASI Subscale, comprising 15 items compared to the total 52 items in the full RIASI, is best suited for screening first time DWI offenders for risk.

DOCCR Validation Study of the Research Institute on Addiction Sefl-Inventory (RIASA) Cover

“The objective of this review is to systematically review quasi-experimental and experimental (RCT) evaluations of the effectiveness of drug courts in reducing recidivism, including drug courts for juvenile and DWI offenders. This systematic review critically assesses drug courts’ effects on recidivism in the short- and long-term, the methodological soundness of the existing evidence, and the relationship between drug court features and effectiveness” (p. 6). Results are provided for: a description of eligible studies; overall mean effects by type of drug court; robustness of findings to methodological weaknesses; drug courts’ long-term effects; features of the drug court; and additional sensitivity analysis. Overall, research shows that adult drug courts are effective in reducing recidivism, DWI drug courts moderately successful, and juvenile drug courts having small impact.

Drug Courts' Effects on Criminal Offending for Juveniles and Adults Cover

“In this report, we [the authors] examine the evidence about the effectiveness of correctional education for incarcerated adults in the United States. By correctional education, we mean the following: adult basic education (ABE): basic skills instruction in arithmetic, reading, writing, and, if needed, English as a second language (ESL); adult secondary education (ASE): instruction to complete high school or prepare for a certificate of high school equivalency, such as the General Education Development (GED); vocational education or career and technical education (CTE): training in general employment skills and in skills for specific jobs or industries; and postsecondary education (PSE): college-level instruction that enables an individual to earn college credit that may be applied toward a two-year or four-year postsecondary degree. Although some may consider life skills programs a part of correctional education, our project focuses specifically on the four types of academic and vocational training programs summarized above. We also limit our focus to correctional education programs provided in the institutional setting, as opposed to postrelease or community-based programs. Finally, our focus is on correctional education programs provided at the state level” (p. 1). Six chapters comprise this report: introduction; study methodology; the relationship between correctional education and recidivism; the relationship between correctional education and employment; the relationship between computer-assisted instruction and academic performance; and conclusions. Inmates who participated in correctional education programs recidivated 43% less, were 13% more likely to find jobs post-release, and learned just as well using computer-assisted instruction as being taught face-to-face. Appendixes provide summaries of the studies included in the recidivism, employment, and computer-assisted instruction meta-analyses.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education: A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults Cover


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