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Evaluation

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

Findings from a telephone assessment of state and federal practices for classifying women offenders are presented. In addition to an executive summary, this report has the following chapters:

  • Introduction;
  • Issues in classifying women offenders -- the literature;
  • Approach;
  • Findings;
  • And discussion.

Most states still apply a male-based classification system to women.

 

Classification of Women Offenders:  A National Assessment of Current Practices 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

“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

The effectiveness of "Thinking for a Change" -- a cognitive behavioral program for adult probationers -- is investigated. Following an abstract, this dissertation contains these chapters: introduction; literature review; study purpose and major aims; method; results; and discussion. While "results for changes and improvements in criminal sentiments found in the present study [are] disappointing and counter to expectation," there are significant positive changes in social skills and social problem-solving (p. 90). More importantly, new criminal offense rates for group completers dropped 33%.

Evaluation of the Efficacy of a Cognitive Behavioral Program for Offenders on Probation:  Thinking for a Change Cover

Results from an evaluation of Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) programs are presented. “Automated victim notification (AVN) is often touted as an effective and efficient means for providing victims timely and accurate information of their offenders’ court events and status changes at reduced burden to the criminal justice system. AVN systems, first introduced in 1994, operate by receiving electronic data (e.g., case number, offender demographics) from participating branches of the criminal justice system, coding the data to determine what type of notification is most appropriate based on the offenders’ status change (e.g., release, transfer), and then transmitting the data to registered users using standardized language. AVN systems also allow users to proactively check offender status through a secured website or by calling into a toll-free hotline where additional information and referrals may be available” (p. i). The evaluation consisted of three phases—the landscape (prevalence) of AVN; use and experience with AVN; and considerations for practice. Several of the study’s findings include: 74% of respondents use AVN; AVN systems are found to be extremely beneficial to victims; the most common challenge is delayed or outdated notifications; and manual notifications are still being provided by the majority of AVN service providers.

Evaluation of the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification Program Cover

The integration of evidence-based principles, organizational development, and collaboration is investigated. Sections of this report are: introduction; background; literature review; methodology; document review; key informant interviews; interviews with probation officers (observations of current climate); quantitative analysis of intermediate measures; and findings. “The research on evidence-based principles in Maine … suggests that this concurrent model may not be a realistic strategy given its insistence on an integrated focus on evidence-based principles, organizational development, and collaboration” (p. 30).

Implementing Evidence-Based Principles in Community Corrections: A Case Study of Successes and Challenges in Maine Cover

"This article describes the evolution of the Georgia Parole Board's business-oriented data and performance leadership model" (p. 35). Topics covered include: business is data driven, government should be, too; Georgia's data-driven TCPI (Transition From Prison to the Community Initiative) plan; computerized information systems -- essential data to support accountability measures; managing with the right data; effective reports -- easy to access, read, and understand the causal link; performance leadership -- speak mission and what works language at every opportunity; and TPCI -- how to do what works.

Improving Parole Outcomes Cover

The use of the Mental Health Pretrial Release Program (MHPTR) by the Orange County Jail, in order to identify those individuals with mental illness who can be safely supervised in the community prior to their trials, is discussed. Seven sections comprising this case study are: introduction; summary of initiatives; first steps -- 1999-2004; beyond the Central Receiving Center -- 2004-2006; assessing the impact of new initiatives; looking ahead -- challenges; and dimensions of collaboration. Successful completion of the MHPTR program results in a 17% reduction in costs over 18 months.

Increasing Collaboration Cover

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