Departments of corrections
Identification and Mitigation of Robust Organizational Stressors and Mediators on Correctional Officer Health and Wellness
Evaluating Medicaid Access for Halfway House Residents: A Research Partnership With the Connecticut Department of Correction
Multi-site Randomized Controlled Trial of Comprehensive Trauma Informed Reentry Services for Moderate to High Risk Youth Releasing From State Prisons
The Experiences of Men with Substance Use Disorders Exiting Prison at the Height of the Opioid Crisis
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor Ed Latessa describes how his team and he assessed more than 550 programs and saw the best and the worst. Professor Latessa shared his lessons learned and examples of states that are trying to use evidence-based knowledge to improve correctional programs.
Dr. Kirk discusses how Hurricane Katrina affected ex-prisoners originally from New Orleans and their likelihood of returning to prison. Kirk also discussed potential strategies for fostering residential change among ex-prisoners, focusing specifically on parole residency policies and the provision of public housing vouchers.
The panel presentations from the 2009 NIJ Conference are based on an NIJ-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, which mandates community-based drug abuse treatment for drug possession by nonviolent offenders in lieu of prison.
Interview with Dora Schriro, Arizona Department of Corrections
Criminals are using cell phones illegally in prisons and jails to conduct their business and intimidate witnesses. Although technology solutions to this problem are available, they can create new challenges, such as legal and implementation issues associated with cell phone use in correctional facilities. Panelists will discuss various aspects to consider from how prisoners use cell phones, to day-to-day and operational aspects, to legal and regulatory concerns.
Familial DNA searching is the practice of creating new investigative leads in cases where DNA evidence found at the scene of a crime strongly resembles that of an existing DNA profile but is not an exact match. Panelists will explain how the technology works, provide examples of successful convictions obtained through familial searches, and discuss the various misconceptions and concerns regarding this practice.
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.
How can we prevent reoffending and reduce costs? Research points to a number of solutions. At the Tuesday plenary, Judge Steven Alm from Hawaii will describe his successes with hard-core drug offenders. “Swift and sure” is his motto. West Virginia Cabinet Secretary James W. Spears will discuss the issues from his state's perspective, and Adam Gelb, Director of the Pew Charitable Trust's Public Safety Performance Project, will lend a national overview.
NIJ's in-person seminar series is held periodically in Washington, D.C., and features research that is changing our thinking about policies and practices. Speakers have included:
This NIJ Conference Panel highlights findings from NIJ projects that evaluated strategies to enhance the supervision of offenders in the community. Researchers discuss the effectiveness of fair, swift and certain sanctions for high-risk probationers in the Hawaii HOPE program. Panelists also provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of electronic monitoring — including the use of GPS tracking — for medium- and high-risk offenders on supervision and upon completion of their supervision sentence.