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Gender responsive

This two-hour training session is for correctional managers wanting to implement risk and needs assessments for adult female offenders. Participants will: become familiar with gender-responsive assessments and approaches; and receive information regarding the adoption of the Women’s Risk and Needs Assessment instrument. Topics discussed include: evidence-based practice; risk/needs assessment; gender-neutral risk assessment; women offenders; gender-responsive concepts; risk assessment validation; developing a gender-responsive risk assessment; seamless classification; and implementation considerations.

Gender Responsive Classification Instruments for Women Offenders: What Do They Look Like and How Will They Improve Practice?  Cover

"The Guide is designed to assist corrections professionals in revising discipline and sanctions policies and practices to more effectively manage women inmates, and create safer facilities for staff and inmates. It builds on a growing body of research and practice that supports an approach to discipline and sanctions tailored to women inmates. It also provides a synopsis of American Correctional Association (ACA) standards, and case law relevant to discipline and sanctions policies and practices for women … The Guide is a new and innovative approach for applying what is known about women (i.e., research and practitioner experience) to discipline and sanctions policies and practices. Its primary purpose is to inform corrections work in this area, and contribute to the growing body of knowledge and research to achieve more successful outcomes with women offenders." This guide is comprised of the following sections: overview; process; research implications; integrating research and practice with ACA standards; legal issues; and research findings.

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This monograph underscores the need for policymakers and practitioners to understand the fundamentals of research in order to guide their work with justice involved women. 

Operational Practice in the Management of Women's Prisons

The needs of women in a correctional setting pose unique challenges for operational practices that may have been designed without their gender differences in mind. This course addresses issues like these and more.

Participants will gain an understanding about how to apply evidence-based, gender-responsive tools and practices helpful to providing better services, implementing effective management and achieving successful outcomes for women offenders.

Module topics include medical and mental health, legal issues, communication differences, women’s pathways to prison, gender responsive principles, and staff sexual misconduct. 

"Correctional policy and procedure drives decisions in the management and rehabilitation of offender populations. The continuously emerging research on female offenders highlights differences from their male counterparts, particularly in the areas of health, mental health, substance abuse and risk. Yet correctional policies rarely reflect those differences and where adaptations are made it is often not in policy or directive, contributing to tremendous inconsistency in the management of women offenders. One of the most common requests received from the women offender initiative at the National Institute of Corrections is assistance in revising policy that is consistent with the department mission but reflects the differences between men and women. This bulletin, based on survey data and focus groups with women, is an initial step to determine the existence of gender-informed policy within correctional agencies. The findings of this bulletin provide an overview of the current state of gender-responsive policies for women and define a focus for future research, training and technical assistance in the effort to create a more effective, and efficient correctional approach for women offenders" (p. 1). Sections of this bulletin include: introduction to the issue of gender-informed correctional policy; what gender-responsive means; methodology; limitations of the study; key findings—while the majority of correctional policies are still gender neutral, 73% of responding jurisdictions have developed some gender-responsive polices for their female offenders involving health care, programming, allowable properties, searches, and restraints; challenges to gender-responsive policy development; recommendations for gender-responsive policy development from the survey respondents; recommendations for becoming more gender-responsive from focus group participants; discussion regarding study results; and conclusion. "Research suggests that justice-involved women have different pathways to crime when compared to men, which result in unique needs. The criminal justice system can address those unique or more frequently occurring needs through further development of gender-responsive policies" (p. 6).

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“The Gender-Responsive Program Assessment tool is an instrument by which program administrators, program evaluators, agency monitors and staff can evaluate the gender responsiveness of programs for women and girls and obtain feedback that can be used to improve the quality of a program’s services” (p. 1). This tool allows one to evaluate these program elements: theoretical foundation and mission statement; site and facility; administration and staffing; program environment and culture; treatment planning; program development; and program assessment.

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Gender-responsive offender reentry efforts for female offenders in Rhode Island are discussed. Sections contained in this article are: introduction; reentry -- a statewide focus; women's issues past and present; consciously implementing a gender-responsive approach -- assessments, program examination and updates, and field services; and challenges in reentry.

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Guidance for those individuals "seeking to more effectively respond to the behavior and circumstances of the female offender" is offered (p. iv). An executive summary and the following four chapters comprise this manual: characteristics of women in the criminal justice system -- a descriptive summary; women offenders and criminal justice practice; the context of women's lives -- a multidisciplinary review of research and theory; and a new vision -- guiding principles for a gender-responsive criminal justice system. An appendix provides information regarding legal considerations with regard to women offenders.

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“’Why are girls so much more likely than boys to be petitioned and incarcerated for a status offense?’ This brief explores the complex answer to this question, and previews steps that can be taken to unravel, understand, and better address the complex needs of girls who engage in status offense behaviors” (p. 1). This is an excellent resource for people who work with girls who are status offenders. Sections of this publication cover: the prevalence of status offenses for girls; how different expectations of girls lead to a double standard; the need for gender-responsive services; defiance or self-defense; girls, structural racism, and implicit bias; the pathways girls take into the juvenile justice system are different from boys—they need different interventions not the same ones for boys painted pink; judicial leadership in Nevada; moving toward a less punitive and more empowering approach; and implications for further juvenile justice reform.

Girls, Status Offenses and the Need for a Less Punitive and More Empowering Approach Cover

"This webinar will focus on both the violence and aggression – including interpersonal and domestic violence – women have experienced as well as when they have perpetrated … Beyond Violence is the first manualized intervention for women that focuses on anger and utilizes a multi-level approach and a variety of evidence-based therapeutic strategies (i.e., psycho-education, role playing, mindfulness activities, cognitive-behavioral restructuring, and grounding skills for trauma triggers). This four-level model of violence prevention considers the complex interplay between individual, relationship, community, and societal factors. The program is designed to assist women in understanding trauma, the multiple aspects of anger, and emotional regulation." This webinar will: describe violent female offenders; define trauma-informed and gender-responsive services; describe the social-ecological model of violence; describe the theoretical foundation of Beyond Violence; discuss the evidence-base and research on Beyond Violence; and introduce the Beyond Violence curriculum.

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