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.
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.
Extending Dynamic Mapping to Reentry Practitioners: An Exploration of Rhode Island's Community Supervision Mapping System
Reintegrating Juvenile Offenders Into the Community: OJJDP's Intensive Community-Based Aftercare Demonstration Program
Evaluating Medicaid Access for Halfway House Residents: A Research Partnership With the Connecticut Department of Correction
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.
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.
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.