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Female offenders

Issue contents are: “Foreword” by Kermit Humphries; “An Overview of NIC’s Transition from Prison to the Community Initiative” by Peggy B. Burke; “Rising to the Challenge of Applying Evidence-Based Practices Across the Spectrum of a State Parole Board” by Sherry Tate and Catherine C. McVey; “Collaboration and Partnership in the Community: Advancing the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative” by Le’Ann Duran; “Providing Tools for Risk Reduction Case Management in Parole and Community Corrections” by Keven Pellant and Margie Phelps; “Improving Parole Outcomes with Performance Leadership and Data: Doing What Works” by Danny Hunter, George Braucht, and John Prevost; “Working Together to Improve Reentry: Bridging Budgets and Programs, Public and Private, Prison and the Community” by Ginger Martin; “Ensuring Successful Offender Reentry: Umatilla/Morrow County “Reach-In” Services” by Mark Royal; “Creating Better Transitions at Indiana’s Plainfield Reentry Educational Facility” by Michael Lloyd; “Gender-Responsive Reentry in Rhode Island: A Long and Winding Road” by Bree Derrick; and “Missouri Makes Its Move Toward a New Reentry Philosophy” by Julie Boehm.

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"This training curriculum, together with the UNODC Handbook on Women and Imprisonment, aims to assist legislators, policymakers, prison managers, staff and non-governmental organizations to acquire knowledge and skills to address the gender-specific needs of women prisoners and to explore and utilize ways to reduce their unnecessary imprisonment, in line with the provisions of the Bangkok Rules" (p. 9). The twelve modules comprising this training program are: identifying the needs of women prisoners and addressing discrimination; admission, registration, and allocation; health care; safety and security; contact with the outside world; prisoner rehabilitation; pregnant women and women with children in prison; special categories of women prisoners; preparation for release and post-release support; staff working with women prisoners; research, planning, and evaluation; and non-custodial measures. Appendixes cover: handout materials for participants; test questions and answers; training of trainers—background material; background on mental health and related issues in prisons; and End-of-Workshop Evaluation.

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The impact of trauma on girls involved in the juvenile justice system is examined. Sections of this fact sheet cover: why there are increasing numbers of girls in the juvenile justice system; prevalence of trauma-exposure among justice-involved girls; prevalence of PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) among justice-involved girls; potential consequences of trauma for girls; impact of the juvenile justice system on traumatized girls; and gender-responsive programming. This review suggests that trauma-informed and gender-responsive programming and intervention models are needed in order to address girls’ needs and to prevent retraumatization of girls in the juvenile justice system. Experiences of trauma, maltreatment, and victimization play a role in placing many girls on the pathway toward delinquency. Further, girls who participate in delinquent activities are at risk for retraumatization and the additional long-term consequences associated with polyvictimization (p. 8).

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"This bibliography attempts to offer a compilation of information on trauma-informed care by reviewing general information about trauma as well as focusing on the criminal justice system and corrections (women, adults, and younger people), peer support, and screening/assessment for trauma. In addition, definitions of many of these tools are provided" (p. 3). Eighty-four resources are organized into the following areas: trauma-informed care in general; trauma-informed care in the criminal justice system and in corrections; trauma-informed care for youth in the criminal justice system; peer-to-peer trauma-informed care; trauma; gender neutral screenings and assessments; and trauma and/or gender informed screenings and assessments.

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“In the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that addressing trauma requires a multi-agency, multi-pronged approach. Public education, prevention, early identification, and effective trauma assessment and treatment are all necessary to break the cycle of trauma and violence. Significant progress has been made in creating organizational cultures based on knowledge of trauma and its impact (“trauma-informed approaches”), strategies to prevent or reduce rates of violence and trauma, and effective treatment interventions (“trauma-specific treatments”). Trauma-informed approaches are particularly suited to collaborative strategies because they transcend traditional organizational boundaries and professional roles, providing a common framework for working together. This document reflects how the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma’s efforts to promote, adopt, and implement trauma-informed approaches have enhanced the effectiveness of a wide range of government services and supports. It also demonstrates the impact of the Committee’s coordinated cross-agency efforts” (p. 7-8). The twenty-four U.S. federal groups are from the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Education (ED), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the Peace Corps, and the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

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This “event focused on the importance and implementation of trauma-informed approaches to girls in the system, while providing an opportunity to learn about programs that have proven effective across the country. Mr. Robert Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) reaffirmed his office’s commitment to developing more information and tools about girls in the justice system in order to better meet their unique needs. The event featured Dr. Stephanie Covington, Co-Director at the Center for Gender and Justice, and her work on trauma-informed approaches to girls. As a nationally recognized clinician, Dr. Covington articulated the need for more gender-responsive and trauma-informed treatment services for women and girls in the public, private, and institutional settings.” The agenda included: Keynote Address: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Girls: What It Is and Why It’s Needed” by Dr. Covington; Discussion of Keynote—The Importance of a Trauma-Informed Approach to Girls; Panel 1—Implementation of Trauma-Informed Approaches in Public Systems; and Panel 2—Exposure to Violence and Trauma at Home and in the Neighborhood. The second link takes you to the slides for Dr. Covington’s presentation.

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Concerns with the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force's (USPSTF) recommendations for mammogram breast cancer screening and how these could impact prison screening mammography in prisons are explained. Sections of this article cover: what the USPSTF suggested for mammograms; what evidence the USPSTF reviewed; whether other respected organizations came to the similar conclusions after reviewing the evidence as USPSTF did; what the benefit is of screening mammography in women aged 40-49; what the harms of mammography are—false positives and overdiagnosis; types of breast cancers; putting it all together—comparing benefit to harm—women only need to have a screening mammogram every other year starting at age 50 (biennial exams will "reduce the harms of overdiagnosis by 50% but will preserve 80% of the benefits"), yet ultimately leaving the decision to those women under 50; and the complexity of issuing screening mammograms to female inmates.

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The "use of jail exit surveys as an effective data collection tool for creating [a] picture of the characteristics of women in contact with the local jail" is described (p. 1). Sections of this bulletin are: introduction; how one jurisdiction used data to inform responses to women offenders; reasons for conducting a jail exit survey; what a jail exit survey entails; tips for getting started; designing a jail exit survey; understanding jail exit survey information; comprehensive listing of major data elements to include in a jail exit survey; and lessons learned. A sample questionnaire is also included.

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"In the wake of significant research on trauma and the interventions required to address it, a number of correctional agencies have made efforts to increase the use of trauma-based services and curricula … This document provides a brief overview of trauma and its effects on women offenders, and specifically defines trauma-informed practices for women’s correctional facilities.3 It also provides key actions that facility administrators, managers, and staff can take to better align their operational practices with the research on trauma and to create a more trauma-informed facility culture" (p. 1-2). This publication contains these sections: introduction; what we know about the experience of trauma among women inmates; trauma's impact on brain and body; what the prevalence of trauma among females means for women's correctional institutions; what the benefits of creating a more trauma-informed institutional culture are; creating a trauma-informed culture in women's correctional facilities; opportunities for implementing trauma-informed practices in correctional settings; eight action steps for building a trauma-informed facility culture; and conclusion.

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This website provides access to TEDx videos given at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) "Does Gender Matter" event on March 14, 2015. Topics range from the "Northern Cree Women's Honor Song" by the Broken Wing Center, "Tell Me You Don’t See" by Tiffany Williams, "Summon Your Courage" by Cathryn Cummings, "The Hard Stuff" by Felice Davis, "Judging Societie by Women's Prison" by Emily Salisbury, to "Coming to a Neighborhood Near Your" by Marriam Oliver". There are 21 talks.

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