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Pennsylvania

"Across the country, students in the juvenile justice system are struggling in school. Research suggests that many enter the juvenile justice system well behind grade-level. In the absence of thoughtful programming, once they enter the juvenile justice system, they may fall further behind. Too many end up dropping out of school upon return to their communities. This publication examines one particular initiative that has shown great success in combating this problem—the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT)—and provides suggestions for replication in juvenile justice programming across the country. It also sets forth ideas for collecting data to measure the success of initiatives like PACTT and embedding in policy the general reform principles PACTT identified" (p. 5). The following parts are contained in this toolkit: introduction—the national context, and launching a project; PACTT practice components—creating a rigorous and relevant academic program, supporting students in career-readiness, seamless transitions and effective re-entry, and tracking data to serve individual students, improve programs, and inform policy; complying with the law and pursuing policy change; and conclusion. Tools included are: "Tool I: PACTT Components Checklist";" Tool II: A Checklist for Policies that Support PACTT Principles"; "Tool III: PACTT Data Logic Model" by Michael Norton and Tracey Hartmann; "Tool IV: PACTT Data Measures" by Norton and Hartmann; Tool V: Digest of Key Federal Laws"; :Tool VI: Desk Manuals on PACTT for Career and Technical Education Specialists and for Academic Specialists" by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services; "Tool VII: Sample PACTT Affiliate Agreement"; "Tool VIII: PACTT Employability/Soft Skills Manual" by Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT); and "Tool IX: Federal Policy Recommendations" by Juvenile Law Center, Open Society Foundations, Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance, the Racial Justice Initiative, and the Robert F. Kennedy Juvenile Justice Collaborative.

Building Brighter Futures: Tools for Improving Academic and Career/Technical Education in the Juvenile Justice System Cover

"In this paper, we [the authors] explore the use of mental health peer support services as one way to support recovery, improve continuity of care, and reduce recidivism for inmates with mental illness during the re-entry process. We present a successful peer support re-entry program model, established in Pennsylvania, and offer preliminary suggestions for a Texas pilot project. We also offer policy recommendations that, if implemented, would broadly improve access to mental health services, ease re-entry transitions for inmates with mental illness, and enhance the viability of peer support re-entry programming" (p. 1). Sections of this report include: key concepts; peer support works—recovery is process of change, benefits of peer support, and peer support in Texas; Texas inmates with mental health needs—high cost of incarceration, community re-entry and the revolving door, and barriers to successful community re-entry; forensic peer support is a growing field—forensic peer specialists, peer support throughout the criminal justice system, peer support and criminal justice in Pennsylvania, hat Peerstar, LLC is, program model, client criteria, peer criteria, forensic pee specialist training curriculum, funding and cost, human stores and success, and tracking Peerstar's success from high risk to high reward; the Texas re-entry landscape for inmates with mental illness—continuity of care in Texas, mental health screening in local jails, program eligibility and service limitations, the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI), TCOOMMI re-entry programs for inmates with mental illness, and barriers to TCOOMMI service eligibility; leading the way by designing a Texas pilot program—six recommendations, concepts and considerations, and developing a forensic peer support curriculum; clearing the way by supporting inmate re-entry and forensic peer support through five policies; and next steps—engage, establish, and explore. Appendixes include: "The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Peer Inmate Training Program"; and "Re-entry Programs and Policies for Inmates with Mental Illness in Texas".

From Recidivism to Recovery: The Case for Peer Support in Texas Correctional Facilities Cover

“Violence, vandalism, and other unwanted inmate behaviors prevail in many jails nationwide, and they frustrate jail practitioners who must ensure the safety and security of inmates, staff and the public … Effectively managing inmate behavior creates a safer environment for the inmates and staff and allows the jail to provide a valuable service to the public. Community safety is enhanced by strong jail management and facilities should aspire to create environments where compliance, respect, and cooperation are fostered. In an attempt to create a system of strong management, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) introduced an initiative that was designed to teach administrators, managers, and corrections officers the most effective methods to control inmate behavior and optimize operational efficiency. NIC calls the initiative Inmate Behavior Management or IBM. The comprehensive management system has six identifiable elements that work together to control inmate behavior and create an efficient and effective organization” (p. 1). These are: assessing risks and needs; assigning inmates to housing; meeting inmates’ basic needs; defining and conveying expectations for inmates; supervising inmates; and keeping inmates productively occupied. This report explains how the Northampton County Jail implemented IBC. Within less than two years decreased 69%, from four formal misconducts per month to just one.

Inmate Behavior Management Cover

“At the heart of the Models for Change story in Pennsylvania is the partnership between the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee (JJDPC), Pennsylvania's state advisory group (SAG). This monograph highlights some of the ways that Pennsylvania's SAG combined people, vision and dollars with those of Models for Change. It shows how the Foundation identified and collaborated with a key state agency to improve Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system. The JJDPC and Models for Change supported many separate lanes on the highway of reform, but some of those lanes merged to create a smoother, faster pathway to common goals.” This publication is composed of five chapters: introduction—setting the stage; Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system; the partnership targets reform; reflections on the JJDP-MacArthur partnership; and conclusion—a partnership creates the future. Appendixes include: Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Joint Policy Statement; and a sample request for proposal (RFP)—aftercare pilot counties entitled “Development of Comprehensive Model Aftercare Approaches”.

Pennsylvania and McArthurs Cover

The effectiveness of Pennsylvania Correctional Industries (PCI), a state-run prison business, in planning efforts and managing operations is assessed, while identifying obstacles to mission statement fulfillment and operational efficiency. This audit is comprised of the following sections: results in brief (executive summary); introduction and background; objectives and methodology; seven findings and recommendations; and observation. Appendixes include: results of surveys of potential PCI customers and existing and former PCI customers; and responses from the DOC. PCI "let sales slide, charged higher prices, and used irregular accounting to help its own Department of Corrections" (p. iv).

Performance Audit of Pennsylvania Correctional Industries of the Department of Corrections Cover

“As ever-increasing numbers of offenders are supervised in the community — witness the massive “realignment” of prisoners in California — parole and probation departments must find the balance between dwindling dollars and the lowest possible risk to public safety. The good news is that researchers and officials in Philadelphia, Pa., believe they have developed a tool that helps find that balance” (p. 4). This article explains how your jurisdiction can use a random forest risk-forecasting tool. Sections of this article cover: what random forest modeling is; pre-random forest times; getting started; forecast begin- and end-points; determining an acceptable error rate; accuracy; the benefits of random forest modeling; resources, equity, and fairness; the role of ethics in statistical forecasting; the key—a strong partnership; and recommendations from the research.

Predicting Recidivism Risk: New Tool in Philadelphia Shows Great Promise Cover

The use of evidence-based practices to improve discretionary parole system is explained. This article is comprised of these sections: releasing the right offender at the right time; shifting to a case management model for reentry; designing a new technical parole violator (TPV) management program; development of statewide and local performance measures; and building a case for additional budget resources.

Rising to the Challenge Cover

The purpose behind the “establishment of Pennsylvania's Motivational Boot Camp [is] to address the prison-overcrowding problem and to offer an alternative program to enable offenders to desist from crime”. This website provides access to information about this program. It could come in useful if your agency is looking to develop or retool your own boot camp program. The latest report is “What We Have Learned Over the Past 17 Years? 2011 Report to the Legislature”.

State Motivational Boot Camp Cover

This report is written for those individuals working with ex-offenders reentering the community. They are people who want “to understand what the experience of reentry is like for the people behind the statistics — the men and women who are in the midst of their transition from jail … to hear their stories, including the struggles, their reflections and their advice for others … Their memories of their experiences in jail are still fresh, and they spoke openly with [the author] about the help they received and the challenges they faced during jail and since their release” (p. 1-2). There is also a brief description about the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative’s Reentry Program.

› Stories of Transition: Men and Women in the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative’s Reentry Program Cover

“In an effort to introduce approaches that reduce both recidivism and court costs, Philadelphia District Attorney (DA) Seth Williams spearheaded the development and testing of an alternative-to-incarceration program for first-time, nonviolent felony drug dealers facing one to two-year minimum mandatory state prison sentences. The program, known as The Choice is Yours (TCY), diverts these offenders away from prison into both 1) TCY court (essentially a problem-solving Philadelphia Municipal Court featuring a dedicated judge who has repeated contact with program participants to monitor their progress and motivate compliance using rewards and sanctions and 2) a suite of community-based social services and supports directed by JEVS Human Services (JEVS) and their partner agencies, the Pennsylvania Prison Society (PPS) and the Center for Literacy (CFL)” (p 1). Sections of this report include: introduction; the Choice is Yours program model—eligibility determinations, TYC Court, TYC community-based program (orientation phase, enrollment phase, and graduation), and the connection between stakeholders; TCY participants—who they are, early successes, program completion, program services, employment and education, and recidivism; key lessons learned from early implementation—communication, ongoing data collection, analysis, and reflection; and conclusion with final thoughts. The re-arrest rate for program graduates is 4.6 percent.

The Choice is Yours: Early Implementation of a Diversion Program for Felony Offenders Cover

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