“Are there connections between these three shifts – a decrease in crime, a decrease in the correctional population, and a sharp increase in controversial police practices? What factors contributed to these shifts? What about the costs of these shifts? Have they been evaluated and weighed against the benefits? In this report, leading criminologists James Austin and Michael Jacobson take an empirical look at these powerful social changes and any interconnections. Examining data from 1985 to 2009, they conclude that New York City’s “broken windows” policy did something unexpected: it reduced the entire correctional population of the state. As the NYPD focused on low-level arrests, it devoted fewer resources to felony arrests. At the same time, a lowered crime rate – as an additional factor – meant that fewer people were committing felonies. This combination led to fewer felony arrests and therefore fewer people entering the correctional system. Other policies – like programs that stopped punishing people with prison if not necessary – also contributed to this population drop” (p. 3). Sections of this report following an executive summary are: decline in New York prison population—drop in admissions and increase in statewide length of stay; decline in New York parole, probation, and jail populations; delayed effect on state corrections budget; accompanying drop in New York City’s crime rate and shift in arrest policy; and conclusion.
In five years, the Close to Home Initiative has transformed the experience of youth who come into contact with the justice system in New York City. By prioritizing investments in programs and resources within and around the neighborhoods in which youth live, Close to Home has begun to realign New York State’s youth justice system with research and nationally-recognized best practices that give youth the best chance of becoming productive and law-abiding members of society. As is expected with implementation of any initiative on the scale of Close to Home, ACS and its partners agencies have faced challenges over the past five years. However, the efforts described in this report to implement Close to Home and overcome those challenges have made New York City and New York State national models for reform (p. 28).
“This report details the effects of juvenile justice facility reform and deinstitutionalization on the ground, drawing from research about facilities in New York. This report seeks to educate policymakers and advocates about the effects of reforms on young people and staff. It examines why some staff members and their unions so strongly resist deinstitutionalization, and what the impact of reform practices and policies are on the individuals who live and work in the facilities” (p. 1). Topics discussed include: the critical role of frontline staff in organizational change; myths surrounding frontline staff; resistance to change greatly due to issues of fairness related to frontline staff; the relationship of violence and control; and the misperception that juvenile facility staff are against rehabilitative change.
This report focuses on LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning] youth who become involved in the commercial sex market to meet basic survival needs, describing their experiences with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and the child welfare system. Interviews with these youth reveal that over 70 percent had been arrested at least once, with many reporting frequent arrest for “quality-of-life” and misdemeanor crimes other than prostitution offenses. Youth described their experiences of being cycled in and out of the justice system as highly disruptive and generating far-reaching collateral consequences ranging from instability in the home and school to inability to pay fines and obtain lawful employment. This report is part of a larger three-year Urban Institute study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) engaged in survival sex. Sections of this report cover: highlights; literature review; study goals and methodology; LGBTQ youth interactions with and perspectives of law enforcement—youth demographics, what type of interactions, whom do youth turn to when in trouble, and concluding thoughts; criminal justice system responses to LGBTQ youth, YMSMS, and YWSW—LGBTQ affirming policies and practices, the challenges the criminal justice system must face in addressing this population, what stakeholders need to better serve theses youth, and the role the criminal justice system must play for LGBTQ youth engaged in survival sex; child welfare stakeholder perspectives—how the child welfare system responds to these youth; and the role the child welfare system faces addressing this population; LGBTQ youth perspectives on child welfare; LGBTQ youths' experiences in the child welfare system, perspectives on these experiences, concluding thoughts; discussion and summary; policy and practice recommendations; and how these agencies can be improved according to young people.
The need for a renewed effort in bringing the practice of juvenile justice back under the influence of the community is explained. Topics discussed include: history coming full circle—arrest, court, incarceration, the strong rationale for abandoning the status quo juvenile justice system, a systemic lack of cultural competence, and community-based justice that works; and Community-based Alternatives To Detention (ATDs) and Alternatives To Incarceration (ATIs)—restorative justice, and justice reinvestment. “’Nothing About Us Without Us!’ is an old adage of community organizing efforts, which provides a rallying cry for communities directly affected by an issue. Essentially, this adage asserts that lasting change can only occur when solutions to social problems are born from equal partnership and leadership from oppressed groups and impacted persons. Overwhelming evidence shows that the current juvenile justice system will not lead to safety, justice, cost-effectiveness, or positive life outcomes for anyone except possibly those corporations and officials who directly profit from it. Community-based approaches were utilized in the early years and can now be re-invigorated. They are more effective, socially responsible, affordable, culturally competent, and uphold human rights laws and norms” (p. 36).
If you are contemplating the use of another agency’s pretrial risk assessment tool without modification to your own organization’s needs you may want to read this report. The use of pretrial risk assessment and pretrial supervision are examined in this report. Since there has been little to no compatibility found between studies of risk assessment tool utilization, it is suggested that the application of an instrument from one jurisdiction to another probably will not work. The same applies to the use of pretrial supervision programs.
Pretrial rearrest among New York domestic violence (DV) defendants is examined. Sections contained in this article are: background; identifying DV and non-DV cases; offense patterns of DV and non-DV defendants; and conclusions. Since 9% of DV defendants are rearrested on a new DV offense, "victims may be at considerable risk of threats, intimidation, or retaliation during the pretrial period" (p. 38).
"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) and gender non-conforming inmates represent particularly vulnerable populations with unique medical, safety, and other needs. Though some of the concerns and vulnerabilities faced by these populations are similar, transgender and gender non-conforming inmates are distinct from gay, lesbian, and bisexual inmates in important respects. Basic principles of risk-based classification should be applied with LGBTI populations, accounting for unique characteristics that may affect their risk of victimization. For transgender inmates, this includes making individualized decisions regarding gender placement (i.e., whether the inmate will be housed in a facility for females or for males). Reception staff must have clear guidelines allowing for the consistent identification of LGBTI inmates and collecting key information relevant to individualized risk assessment. Like other important characteristics, an inmate’s sexual orientation or transgender status will not always be immediately obvious at reception, but can typically be identified with relatively simple procedures" (p. 1). This 60-minute training session explains how to improve the correctional intake and classification process for LGBTI inmates. Contents of this zip file include: "Respectful Classification Practices with LGBTI Inmates: Trainer’s Manual" comprised of the following four lessons—Why LGBTI Responsive Intake and Classification Matters, LGBTI Terminology, Implementing Promising Intake and Classification Practices, and Moving Forward; 14 "Myth or Truth" flash cards; and presentation slides.
You should be familiar with this report if you work with transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) youth. This guide "offers child welfare and juvenile justice practitioners concrete guidance, strategies for success, and resources that will enable staff to meet the specific needs of TGNC children and youth. The guide features an overview of the barriers that TGNC children and youth face in foster care and juvenile detention, a glossary of terms, an overview of affirming resources, policies, and best practices especially meaningful to staff to help affirm and support TGNC young people." Twenty-three focus areas comprise this publication. Topics discussed range from children's services non-discrimination policies and commitment to respective care to preferred name , pronouns, and identity language to medical transition to staff cultural competency training, to name a few. Appendixes include how to respectively ask identity questions, and a glossary.
“Those who harm themselves while in solitary confinement may be diverted from that punitive setting to a therapeutic setting outside solitary confinement, which may provide an incentive for self-harm. The purpose of this analysis was to better understand the complex risk factors associated with self-harm and consider whether patients might be better served with innovative approaches to their behavioral issues” (p. 442). Self-harm is strongly linked to being in solitary confinement. “Inmates punished by solitary confinement were approximately 6.9 times as likely to commit acts of self-harm after we controlled for the length of jail stay, SMI [serious mental illness], age, and race/ethnicity. This association also held true for potentially fatal self-harm with a slightly lower OR [odds ratio], 6.3. It is notable that acts of self-harm often preceded the actual time spent in solitary confinement. Both SMI (OR = 7.97) and aged 18 years or younger (OR = 7.5) were also predictive of self-harm; nonetheless, the risk of self-harm and potentially fatal self-harm associated with solitary confinement was higher independent of mental illness status and age group” (p. 445).