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  • 443
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    Jail Library Group Works to Bring Reading to Dane County Inmates

    by Sean Kirkby, University of Wisconsin-Madison Communications Reading is a positive use of inmates’ time as well as being correlated with improved academic achievement. This article describes how a volunteer program in Dane County, Wisconsin, collects donated books and magazines and provides them to jail inmates in weekly deliveries. Volunteer librarians also locate specific books in response to inmate requests, and they conduct an annual fundraiser. The Jail Library Group is a community effort...
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    PREA and LGBTI Rights

    By Terri Schuster This article focuses on both the basic and the more progressive best practices available for safely managing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBGTI) inmates. Effective management sometimes means that stereotypes need to be torn down through education and training. For example, LBGTI inmates are far more likely to be victims of abuse in jail than to be the perpetrators, despite beliefs to the contrary among some corrections personnel. Transgender inmates in particular...
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    New NIC Resources on Inmate Behavior Management

    Managing inmate behavior is the core function of jails. But jails often have tended to focus on the physical containment of inmates (“care, custody, and control”) rather than developing the ability to actively supervise inmates and manage their behavior. Many problems commonly associated with jails are allowed to occur because staff lack the skills for productive personal interaction, an understanding of what motivates inmate behavior, and the ability to leverage incentives and disincentives...
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    Alternatives to Incarceration: A Snapshot of Mental Health Jail Diversion in Johnson County, Iowa

    By Jessica Peckover, Jail Alternatives Coordinator, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa City, Iowa The Jail Alternatives Program was launched in 2005 after voters in Johnson County, Iowa, turned down the county’s proposal to fund a jail expansion that would alleviate crowding. Instead, voters preferred to reduce the need for jail beds by diverting from jail custody eligible individuals with behavioral health disorders and ensuring they would receive treatment in the community. This...
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    A Matter of Duty: The Continuing War Against PTSD

    Video produced by Maine Public Broadcasting Network, 2013. 56 minutes. Jennifer Rooks and Charles C. Stuart, producers. Charles C. Stuart, writer and director. This program provides a look into the worlds of both jail personnel and inmates who served in the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. It recounts the experiences of Kennebec County (Maine) Sheriff Randall Liberty, who served in Iraq after 24 years of law enforcement experience and returned home to face the effects of post-traumatic stress...
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    The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Intersex Inmate Population: “A 21st Century Dilemma!”

    By Adam E. Hopkins, Lieutenant, and Margaret A. Dickson, Classification Specialist, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Reno, Nevada. Any jail, whether in a metropolitan area or not, must be ready to respond appropriately when it receives detainees who openly identify as homosexual or who do not fit society’s “easy” definitions of male or female. Jail personnel need to understand the principles and legal issues that underpin appropriate management of these inmates. This article...
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    The Road to an Effective RTC Program

    By Wendelyn Pekich, Wexford Health Sources, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This article appeared in Corrections Forum magazine, September/October 2013, pp. 38-40. It is featured here with the permission of the publisher. Jails carry an obligation to help mentally ill detainees regain their legal competency to stand trial. In larger cities and counties, providing the necessary care can be manageable, but the challenges are much greater in rural areas of the country. This article describes how officials...
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    10 Facts About Women in Jails

    By Becki Ney, Principal, the Center for Effective Public Policy. This article appeared in American Jails, January-February, 2014, Vol. 27, no. 6. and is posted here courtesy of the American Jail Association. Noting that more than 90,000 women were being held in U.S. jails as of 2012, Ms. Ney explains the top 10 reasons why a gender-informed perspective on women in jail improves individual women’s outcomes and helps break generational cycles of justice system involvement. A brief discussion...
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    The Unseen Provider: Health Care in Our Jails

    Source: Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS) This 8-minute video presents the case for implementing electronic health information exchanges (HIEs) that bridge the gap between jails and public health agencies, with the twin goals of cost savings and improving services to vulnerable populations. With Camden, New Jersey, as a backdrop, the video features local and national experts in community and jail-based health care, who discuss the HIE solution. Without an exchange, jails can...
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    County Jails and the Affordable Care Act: Enrolling Eligible Individuals in Health Coverage

    by Anita Cardwell and Maeghan Gilmore, National Association of Counties. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will provide new health insurance coverage options for millions of individuals by expanding Medicaid eligibility and establishing state-level health insurance exchanges. The authors explain the ACA’s eligibility requirements and examine the potential role of jails in helping detainees enroll for coverage, either while they are in pre-adjudicated status and/or when inmates...
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    Two North’s Transition Project

    By Lt. Michael Esters, Jail Operations Section Commander, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Collins, Colorado One year ago, Larimer County chose to take on the issue of managing difficult inmate behavior. The agency was dealing with tougher inmates and more disturbances after putting systems in place to divert low-level offenders away from jail. The author describes how he asked the jail’s entire supervisory staff to research other agencies’ practices via site visits and to...
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    The Technology Advantage: Using Shoulder-Mounted Cameras Within a Detention Facility

    By Major Timothy L. Smith, Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, North Charleston, South Carolina This article describes how the detention center in Charleston County, South Carolina, came to equip its special operations tactical teams with shoulder-mounted video cameras that record situations as they unfold. Because partner team members each wear a camera, two views are captured of every incident. The recordings have proven to be very helpful in after-action...
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    NIC Assesses Jail’s Mental Health Issues

    The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) regularly provides Technical Assistance to respond directly to the needs, problems, and individual requirements of state and local correctional agencies. This article provides a brief look at an NIC assessment of how the McLean County Jail handles mentally ill inmates. It also links to an excellent podcast with NIC Consultants Ken Ray and Mark Goldman and Sheriff Mike Emery. During this interview various topics were discussed such as: why NIC is there;...
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    Cook County, Ill. Holds Expungement Summit

    By Charlie Ban, Staff Writer, National Association of Counties, County News, June 17, 2013 - Vol. 45 No. 12 A recent criminal records expungement “summit” in Chicago was the ninth such event to date, helping more than 200 area residents to wipe their public records of non-violent offenses and revive their career prospects. Coordinated by Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court, the summit capped a three-day National Association of Counties (NACo) Smart Justice Symposium...
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    Saving Money on Regional Inmate Transportation: The “Northwest Shuttle” Story

    By Lee Eby, Administrative Lieutenant, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Jail Division, Oregon City, Oregon The Northwest Shuttle system is a cooperative effort across the states in the American northwest to move prisoners expeditiously and economically from one jurisdiction to another. By sharing resources between sheriff’s offices and state corrections agencies, participating agencies save tax dollars that would otherwise be used to conduct costly extraditions. The shuttle links agencies...
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This blog is funded by a contract from the National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.