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This guide will help offenders in determining where they are at in terms of preparing for release and in creating a plan to succeed once they leave prison. This handbook contains ten chapters: identification; life skills; housing; education; transportation; living under supervision; family; health; money management; and employment.

This is an in-depth interview with an expert at manipulating jail and prison staff. The candidness of the inmate makes this presentation very educational. Some of his observations include the following:

  • “If I can manipulate you into making my time easier, I’m gonna do it. That’s my job in here.”
  • “You might get a little money, but you’ll get caught.”
  • "Once he’s done with you, he’ll sell you out to another inmate or the authorities."
  • “It can’t happen if you don’t allow it to…It’s always about that initial response.” The root of every setup is personal information. That’s power for the inmate.
Avoiding Inmate Setups 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

This “recent outcome evaluation of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (InnerChange), a faith-based prisoner reentry program that has operated within Minnesota’s prison system since 2002, showed the program is effective in lowering recidivism. This study extends research on InnerChange by conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the program. Because InnerChange relies heavily on volunteers and program costs are privately funded, the program exacts no additional costs to the State of Minnesota. As a result, this study focuse[s] on estimating the program’s benefits by examining recidivism and post-release employment” (p. 227). Results show that InnerChange substantially reduced recidivism, increased post-release employment, both at a savings of $8,300 per participant.

Estimating the Benefits Cover

This video is an excellent introduction to the use of podular direct supervision. Topics discussed include: the three types of jails in the United States—linear intermittent surveillance, podular remote surveillance, and podular direct supervision; the eight key principles of direct supervision; seven key direct supervision strategies; the housing unit officer; and education and activities.

"Podular direct supervision is a proven, viable, and economical alternative to more traditional methods." Scott County Jail is highlighted in this program.

Jails in America: A Report on Podular Direct Supervision

Results are presented from a norming and validation study of the Ramsey County Proxy assessment tool. “The Proxy is three-question screening instrument used to triage community corrections populations for the purpose of moving those at low risk to minimum supervision without further assessment” (p. 1). Sections of this document cover: background and methodology; individual Proxy items’ relative importance; further examination of offending patterns; development of the proposed assessment tool; and recommendations for the use of the misdemeanor court case assessment. Appended are copies of the “Ramsey County PROXY Data Collection Form for Completion by City DA staff/intern”, and the “Ramsey County PROXY Data Collection Form for Completion by Warrants Clerks”.

Ramsey County Proxy Tool Norming & Validation Results Cover

The influence visitation has on the recidivism of visited prisoners is examined. Sections of this report include: research summary; introduction; prison visitation policies; reentry and social support; prison visitation research; methodology; results for descriptive statistics, impact of visitation on time to first felony reconviction, impact of visitation on time to first revocation, and impact of inmate-visitor relationship on time to first reconviction; conclusion; and implications for correctional policy and practice. Visitation has a significant effect on recidivism. “Any visit reduced the risk of recidivism by 13 percent for felony reconvictions and 25 percent for technical violation revocations, which reflects the fact that visitation generally had a greater impact on revocations. The findings further showed that more frequent and recent visits were associated with a decreased risk of recidivism” (p. 27).

The Effects of Prison Visitation on Offender Recidivism Cover

This policy establishes the procedures defining how to collect and manage crime scene evidence. “All MCF-RC [Minnesota Correctional Facility - Rush City] staff must maintain the integrity and credibility of evidence to be used in disciplinary proceedings and/or criminal cases. Staff who confiscate contraband/evidence are responsible for it until they process it through the evidence procedures. The discipline unit must establish and maintain procedures for controlled access to evidence storage areas and make arrangements for the safe and secure disposal of evidence and contraband” (p. 1). Procedures cover: evidence collection; securing evidence--staff; evidence removal; securing evidence—discipline unit; checking out evidence; evidence disposal; and entry into the evidence room.

Title: Evidence Handling Cover

“This article considers racial disparities that occur nationally in the bail determination process, due in large part to the lack of uniformity, resources, and information provided to officials in bail proceedings. It argues that the almost unbridled decision making power afforded to bail officials is often influenced by improper considerations such as the defendant’s financial resources or the race of the defendant. As a result of these failures, the bail determination process has resulted not only in racial inequalities in bail and pretrial detention decisions, but also in the over-incarceration of pretrial defendants and the overcrowding of jails nationwide. The article looks to the example of the ongoing work of criminal justice officials in Saint Louis County, Minnesota to address racial disparities in bail determinations in their county.” (p. 919). This article is divided into four parts. Part I—Bail Determinations: Federal and State Laws and Practices. Part II—Racial Disparities in Bail Determinations: the first generation studies of race and bail from 1970-200; the second generation from 2001-2012; and the cause of racial disparities in bail determinations. Part III—The Racial Justice Improvement Project and Pretrial Racial Justice Reform. Part IV—A Formula for Pretrial Justice Reform: Lessons Learned from Duluth and Beyond.

“Give Us Free”: Addressing Racial Disparities in Bail Determinations Cover
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