De-escalation Training: What Works, Implementation Lessons, and Taking It to Scale; Plenary at the 2023 NIJ Research Conference
Police use of force, while infrequently used, is a tremendous concern to public safety in the United States when officers employ it excessively or inappropriately, causing injury or death and eroding public trust in law enforcement. This plenary from the 2023 NIJ Research Conference describes the Integrating, Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) de-escalation training program developed by the Police Executive Research Forum to guide officers in defusing critical incidents.
Inclusive Research: Engaging People Closest to the Issue Makes for Better Science & Greater Impact; 2023 NIJ Research Conference Plenary
This panel will discuss what inclusive research is, how to conduct it, and what issues and challenges exist about engaging in it. “Inclusive research” has its history as a participatory research method designed to ensure people closest to the issue or problem under study are authentically engaged in the research process rather than simply being “research subjects.” While community-based participatory research has begun to take on greater prominence in the criminal justice realm, such efforts are largely confined to qualitative research inquiries.
Meet the OJP Science Directors: Nancy La Vigne and Alex Piquero Discuss the Future of Research and Statistics at the 2023 NIJ Research Conference
The directors of the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics reflect on where they see the future of research and statistics and take questions from the audience, prioritizing those from student attendees.
Incarcerated individuals deserve opportunities for healing and growth, but they often lack the necessary resources for such opportunities. Additionally, organizational cultures that don’t support these outcomes often stand in the way. Researchers and practitioners gathered at NIJ’s 2023 National Research Conference to share ideas and projects that will increase opportunities for incarcerated populations around the country. This show continues their conversation.
Director of the National Institute of Justice Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D., and Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics Alex Piquero, Ph.D., discuss important topics, programs and initiatives related to reentry and recidivism.
NIJ Director Nancy La Vigne highlights the importance of evidence-based strategies for successful reentry. This strategy emphasizes the need for tailored and holistic support that starts during confinement and continues after release, with a focus on family involvement, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and community supervision.
NIJ hosted a webinar to discuss under-researched aspects of reentry: expungement of criminal records and the impact of those records. This webinar includes a presentation of ongoing research projects examining the impact of legal aid for expungement and past research projects studying the accuracy and permanency of criminal records and the prevalence of collateral consequences of conviction. A Q&A session will conclude this webinar.
Reauthorized in 2018, the Second Chance Act (SCA) aims to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities through the provision of federal grants. During this panel, National Institute of Justice-funded researchers will detail two ongoing evaluations of the SCA grant program:
- An evaluation of the effectiveness of the SCA grant program per Title V of the First Step Act.
- A longitudinal examination of the long-term impacts of the SCA program.
Taking Stock: An Overview of NIJ's Reentry Research Portfolio and Assessing the Impact of the Pandemic on Reentry Research
Over several decades, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has made significant contributions to the field of reentry, specifically what works for whom and when. In recent years, however, the global pandemic has made it increasingly difficult to conduct research on and with populations involved with the justice system. During this time, many researchers assessing various justice-related outcomes were unable to continue their inquiries as planned due to a lack of access to their populations of interest, forcing many to pivot and rethink their research designs.
Most scholars would agree that desistance from crime – the process of ceasing engagement in criminal activities – is normative. However, there is variability in the literature regarding the definition and measurement of desistance, the signals of desistance, the age at which desistance begins, and the underlying mechanisms that lead to desistance. Even with considerable advances in the theoretical understanding of desistance from crime, there remain critical gaps between research and the application of that research to practice.
What changes are you seeing in corrections and reentry?
Terri McDonald, chief probation officer, Los Angeles County Probation Department and John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections talk about recent changes in corrections and reentry. Wetzel elaborates on what the Pennsylvania DOC is facilitating with housing and how it individualizes its reentry programs. McDonald remarks on Los Angeles County’s systems approach to reentry and the idea of treating the whole person.
Alix McLearen, Ph.D., acting assistant director, Reentry Services Division, Federal Bureau of Prisons and John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections discuss programs and services that their agencies offer to help individuals overcome the challenges encountered when leaving incarceration. These various programs and services address the individuals’ needs in areas such as physical and mental health, addiction, education, vocation, and life skills.
How do you use data and science to measure program success?
John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Grant Duwe, Ph.D., director of research and evaluation, Minnesota Department of Corrections explain how their agencies evaluate programs using data and science. Duwe details how the most effective programs provided by the Minnesota DOC have been those that focus on known risk factors for recidivism.
What do we know about the use of restrictive housing in jails and prison in the U.S.? Leading practitioners and researchers discuss what the current evidence can tell us about how restrictive housing is used, who is in restrictive housing, its effects on inmate populations, and what else we need to learn to identify alternatives to restrictive housing.
Scientific studies have long documented the negative impact of a prison record on a person's ability to find employment. But what is the impact when gender and race/ethnicity are factored in? Also, most jobs are now advertised online — so how does this affect the ability of former prisoners to find a job?
Dr. Decker gave a seminar in NIJ's Research for the Real World series about his research on the impact of race, gender and prison records on finding employment.
Before the seminar, we sat down with Dr. Decker for an interview to discuss his findings and their policy implications.
Interview with Ron D'Amico, Social Policy Research Associates. Offender reentry into the community is a pressing social problem. The number of inmates released every year from the nation's prisons increased fourfold over the past three decades.
Since the Second Chance Act (SCA) was passed in 2008, more than $250 million has been awarded to government agencies and non-profits for programs to help offenders successfully reenter society. NIJ is doing an in-depth study of 10 sites to determine the effectiveness of these reentry programs.
Dr. Kirk discusses how Hurricane Katrina affected those formerly incarcerated persons originally from New Orleans and their likelihood of returning to prison. Kirk also discussed potential strategies for fostering residential change among those who were incarcerated, focusing specifically on parole residency policies and the provision of public housing vouchers.
The Evaluation of NIJ by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences: NIJ's Response
The National Academies conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the National Institute of Justice. This panel provides an overview of the evaluation and NIJ's response to it. NIJ has accepted many of the recommendations in the NRC report, and you will learn what the agency is doing to implement them. A few of the recommendations were challenging and created considerable debate within NIJ. Plans to address these thorny issues also are discussed.
Researchers have devoted considerable attention to mass incarceration, specifically its magnitude, costs, and collateral consequences. In the face of economic constraints, strategies to reduce correctional populations while maintaining public safety are becoming a fiscal necessity. This panel will present strategies that states have undertaken to reduce incarceration rates while balancing taxpayer costs with ensuring public safety.
Funded in part by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Pew Center on the States, the justice reinvestment project is a data-driven strategy aimed at policymakers to "reduce spending on corrections, increase public safety and improve conditions in the neighborhoods to which most people released from prison return." Representatives from two states where the justice reinvestment strategy is currently being implemented will discuss how it is being used to reduce the rate of incarceration and how states can reinvest in local communities.