This study examines the effectiveness of the Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) in tackling multiple problems that contribute to crime, public safety, and quality of life in the local community. This report has chapters covering: the theoretical foundations and study context; evaluation data and methods; planning RHCJC; organizational structure and staffing; community and youth programs—Housing Court and the Housing Resource Center, youth programs, community programs and public outreach, walk-in services, and resident and offender population perceptions of RHCJC; criminal court processing and sanctioning practices at Red Hook—multi-jurisdictional courtroom, arraignments, criminal case outcomes, summons cases, and offender perceptions of procedural justice; drug treatment cases; Family Court; impact on recidivism and arrests; cost efficiency analysis; and conclusions and observations--principle findings, lessons for policy and practice, implementing community court principles in centralized misdemeanor courts, and priorities for future research on community courts. Appendixes include: Propensity Score Modeling, Criminal Court; Sampling and Propensity Score Matching, Family Court; Impact of Drug Treatment on Two-Year Re-arrests for Specific Charge Types; Change Point Analysis of Red Hook Arrest Series; and Ethnographic Report—The Red Hook Community Justice Center. “This comprehensive evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center demonstrates that a community court can reduce recidivism and achieve other key criminal justice objectives by improving upon the traditional model for processing misdemeanor offenses. Moreover, the evaluation demonstrates that those improvements can be cost-effective from the viewpoint of the taxpayer. These are impressive findings” (p. 189).
This study documented the positive impact of drug courts in New York on re-arrest and re-conviction both. If you are looking for ways to implement an effective drug court program or are looking to improve one you already have then you will find some helpful strategies to guide your efforts. This report contains eight chapter following an executive summary: introduction; research design and methodology; profile of drug court participant characteristics; profile of drug court policy characteristics and constructs; the impact of New York State adult drug courts; differential effects based on target population; differential effects based in drug court policies and practices; and conclusions. A few of the key elements in effective drug courts are: be sure to serve a higher-risk population; maximize legal leverage; impose certain sanctions for noncompliance; and use cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based practices (EBPs).
New York’s Better Living Center (BLC) (in Queens) is highlighted. “Regardless of an individual's reason for not seeking mental health treatment, their risk of recidivism increases greatly without the appropriate treatment. The Fortune Society’s innovative approach to addressing the problem of criminal justice-involved clients with mental illness not engaging in treatment was to create the Better Living Center” (p. 1). The Fortune society provides recently released inmate with a “one-stop model” that allows the individual to make a smooth transition from incarceration back into the community. This article describes the program’s development, implementation, funding, four critical keys to success, and future directions.
This report evaluates the New York City-based Arches Transformative Mentoring program, finding that participation in the program reduces one-year felony reconviction by over two-thirds, and reduces two-year felony reconviction by over half, with especially profound impacts for the youngest program participants. The program's evidence-based curriculum is completed over a 6-12-month period and delivered in a group setting by "credible messengers," direct service professionals with backgrounds similar to the populations they serve.
"The term [cultural competency training] has been used interchangeably with diversity education, cultural sensitivity training and multi-cultural workshops. Cultural competency is commonly understood as a set of congruent behaviors, knowledge, attitudes and policies that enable effective work in cross-cultural situations. Cultural competency training, therefore, aims to increase knowledge and skills to improve one’s ability to effectively interact with different cultural groups" (p. 5). This document explains how to effectively develop and deliver LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) cultural competency training. While it is intended for health and social service agencies, it is equally applicable to correctional agencies. Sections of this document include: introduction; defining cultural competency training; goals of LGBTQ cultural competency training—goals vs. objectives; preparing for a training—six trainer skills; training components—core topics; pros and cons of the following training methods—lecture with PowerPoint slides, guest speaker(s)/ panel discussion, media, interactive participation, print materials and learning aids, and Web-based learning; training evaluation—Kirkpatrick Model (Pyramid) of Learning, and Evaluation Planning Chart; resources and examples; and evaluation appendix—Kirkpatrick's Model of Evaluation is detail, tips on evaluation, sample training fidelity list items, sample survey items, and demographics.
"The New York City Department of Probation (DOP)—the second largest probation department in the country—is advancing a process to infuse evidence-based policies and practices (EBPP) throughout the organization … What is significant for the purpose of this story is that the Federal agencies were able to thoughtfully, strategically, respectfully, and effectively apply the right dosage of technical assistance to the moving train in a way that made the most of the investment and the capacity that BJA and NIC had to marshal for the city" (p. 3-4). This brief explains how the NYC DOP Adult Operations Division partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Institute of Correction (NIC) to create an organizational culture within the division that was committed to using evidence-based practices. Lessons learned from this collaboration are also covered. This document is comprised of six sections: what the BJA and NIC technical assistance providers worked on with DOP, and how their work fit with other pilot programs, initiatives, and philanthropic support; what is unique about DOP from the perspective of Federal agencies that engage in technical assistance with local agencies; what is unique about what the partners brought to the table, what kind of technical assistance approach they developed together, and how it was managed and delivered; how the Federal agencies’ technical assistance advanced DOP’s EBPP goals; where New York City’s DOP evidence-based practice work is taking the department; and conclusion--what the rest of the field can learn from the DOP, BJA, and NIC technical assistance collaborative partnership, and why it does matter.
This report empirically shows the benefits that can happen if a state reforms its excessively punitive drug control laws. "In 2009, the latest in a series of reforms essentially dismantled New York State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws, eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of a range of felony drug charges and increasing eligibility for diversion to treatment … [The] drug law reform, as it functioned in the city soon after the laws were passed, led to a 35 percent rise in the rate of diversion of eligible defendants to treatment. Although the use of diversion varied significantly among the city’s five boroughs, it was associated with reduced recidivism rates, and cut racial disparities in half." Sections of this report include: introduction; expanding access to treatment; differences in diversion within the city; beyond diversion—broader consequences of drug law reform; narrowing racial differences; improving public safety; the cost of drug law reform; and conclusion and recommendations.
This is an orientation video for new inmates. The film features experienced inmates and staff providing guidance based on the question "what do you wish you had known when you first got to prison" as part of DOCCS’ effort to prevent sexual abuse. The discussion includes information about what to do if you are sexually threatened or raped, and the sexual abuse investigation process. The film focuses on every inmate's right to be free from sexual victimization and provides tips to avoid the manipulation and tactics often used by the sexual predators within the prison system. The film emphasizes that inmates should report if they are abused or threatened, and distinguishes reporting abuse from "snitching." It also discusses the many ways a New York State inmate can report, discusses the importance of seeking medical attention right away, and emphasizes that every inmate has the right not to be sexually abused or harassed by other inmates or staff. Although the film itself can be very powerful, it is intended to be used as a tool to introduce this important topic. The film is used by trained staff and inmate peer educators to facilitate a conversation about DOCCS' sexual abuse and sexual harassment prevention polices." The accompanying Facilitator's Guide covers: an introduction; before the film; facilitating the film; film topic areas--discussion points; and after the film--questions and follow up.
"Although the pace of criminal justice reform has accelerated at both the federal and state levels in the past decade, current initiatives have had only a modest effect on the size of the prison population. But over this period, three states – New York, New Jersey, and California – have achieved prison population reductions in the range of 25%. They have also seen their crime rates generally decline at a faster pace than the national average" (p. 1). This brief describes how these outcomes were achieved and explains other states can significantly reduce their prison population while ensuring public safety. Sections contained in this brief are: key findings; a decade of evolving criminal justice reform; limited impact on incarceration to date; substantial prison population declines in three states; impact of prison populations reductions on crime; policies and practices that reduced the prison population in the three states; the limited relationship between incarceration and crime; international experience in prison population reduction; potential for substantial prison population reductions; three goals for expanding prison population reduction; and conclusion.
"It is the policy of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to recognize that Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a psychiatric diagnosis as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) and that the Department will address offender health care needs consistent with this diagnosis" (p. 1). This policy explains how the Department will do this. Procedures cover: verifying or establishing the diagnosis; GID hormone therapy; and state-issue bras. Documents attached to this policy are: "Female to Male Hormone Therapy Consent Form"; "Male to Female Hormone Therapy Consent Form"; and "Bra Measuring Instructions and Sizing".