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Thinking About Corrections

Thinking About Corrections

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  • 2614
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    Funding Restored for the Second Chance Act

    On Friday, November 18, 2011, President Obama's signing of the “minibus” appropriations bill restored funding for the Second Chance Act in the amount of $63 million. The Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199) was first signed into law in April, 2008 and was designed to improve outcomes for people returning to communities from prisons and jails. The legislation authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment...
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    NIC Review Leads to Changes in State Prison System

    In a release on Oct. 25th to the South Dakota Department of Corrections Commission, the state announced plans to adopt all 15 of the recommendations made from a National Institute of Corrections (NIC) review of the state penitentiary. This review was the result of an investigation into the homicide of Senior Correctional Officer Ronald “RJ” Johnson during a escape attempt by two inmates from the penitentiary in April, 2011. The NIC report was produced after conducting staff interviews...
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    Recently Released from PEW: Risk-Needs Assessment 101: Science Reveals New Tools to Manage Offenders

    Published on September 20, this PEW Center on the States report summarizes key information about powerful risk/needs instruments and explains how they can help classify offenders and target interventions to most effectively reduce recidivism, improve public safety and cut costs. Key Findings cited from the Report are: Risk/needs instruments measure an individual’s risk of reoffending and identify the specific risk factors that, if addressed, can reduce the likelihood of future criminal behavior...
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    Just released – ASCA Current Issues in Corrections Survey

    The report from the survey of ASCA members about current issues in corrections that was conducted in June and July 2011 is available on the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) web site. This survey asked ASCA members to identify the top four issues facing their agencies and rate the priority of each of those issues. Twenty-seven agencies responded to the survey. From the survey results, the top four issues were: 1. State Budget Cuts 2. Cost Of Inmate Health Care 3. Mentally Ill...
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    National Jail Succession Planning and Leadership Development Project

    American jails are facing a crisis. Many senior- and mid-level administrators will reach retirement age within the next few years. Without adequate preparation, jails will struggle with a rapid loss of experienced leaders in the not-too-distant future. In response to this upcoming crisis, the Center for Innovative Public Policies, the American Jail Association, and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, Sam Houston State University have been working together on the National Jail Succession...
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    Reductions in Violent Crimes and Incarceration Could Save $361 Billion and Create 2.7 Million Jobs

    A report from the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) concludes: First-ever ranking of peace in the U.S. shows the nation has become more peaceful since 1995 Report estimates reductions in violent crimes and incarceration rates to levels equal to Canada would yield $89 billion in direct savings, $272 billion in additional economic activity, and potentially create 2.7 million jobs New York, California and Texas see highest increases in peace since 1991, while North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana...
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    PEW State-by-State Study Reveals 40% Recidivism Rate

    A recently released report from The PEW Center on the States entitled, State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons , cites the ongoing issue of high recidivism rates despite the funding of over $50 billion per year on corrections. A key component of this study is a comprehensive survey of recidivism on an individual state level, revealing wide differences in recidivism rates. From the executive summary: 43.3 percent of those sent home from prison in 2004 were reincarcerated...
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    Misplaced Priorities: How Increased Prison Spending Impacts Education and Public Safety

    Released on April 7th as part of the NAACP’s “Smart and Safe Campaign”, Misplaced Priorities , examines America's increasing levels of prison spending and its impact on state budgets, particularly in the area of education. Misplaced Priorities tracks the steady shift as funding for prisons has grown over funding for both higher education and K-12 education. Research emphasizes the relationship between education levels and crime and delinquency for adolescents in a community...
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    Are You A Leader Or A Lone Nut?

    Link to Video “What are the skills and attributes of an effective correctional leader and how can they be developed?” To answer this question, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the Academy Division developed the Core Competencies Project. This project called on the expertise of a number of respected professionals in the leadership field to identify the qualities needed by effective leaders across a wide range of correctional agencies/organizations. After defining four levels...
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    Safety vs. Savings, Where’s the Balance?

    The U.S. represents 5% of the world’s population and contains 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. China follows the U.S. holding 14% of the world’s incarcerated population. In plain English, that means the U.S. locks up a lot more people than any other country in the world—and that’s expensive. What determines the size of correctional populations? The Norval Morris Project’s Keystone Group commissioned author James Austin to produce "Reducing America's...
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    Effects of Postsecondary Education

    As practitioners and policymakers seek ways to improve correctional practice and to keep released offenders from recidivating, many are looking at ways to improve reentry success. Education and employment certainly form components of interest, and a newly posted report from the Urban Institute looks at impacts of a less-documented educational program, prison-based postsecondary education (PSE). The Effects of Postsecondary Correctional Education explores "the motivations for enrolling in PSE...
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    More Thinking Regarding Fiscal Woes

    Looking at a specific option to help reduce the cost of corrections in an era of historic budget cuts, the National Conference of State Legislatures has published Cutting Corrections Costs : Earned Time Policies for State Prisoners. The report reviews the concept of earned time, how it relates to public safety ond costs, and recent earned time policy expansions. Its use in Washington, Kansas, and Pennsylvania is highlighted, and a survey of state policies is included as an appendix.
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    Examining the Fiscal Crisis in Corrections

    As states struggle with rapidly shrinking budgets, correctional policies are coming into the spotlight and correctional budgets are no longer immune to cuts. In a timely report, the Vera Institute has just released The Fiscal Crisis in Corrections : Rethinking Policies and Practices, which "examines the form of these cuts, including reductions in operational costs, reforms in release policy, and strategies for reducing recidivism, and it highlights some of the innovations that states are pursuing...
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    One in 11 Prisoners Serving Life Sentences

    A new report released by The Sentencing Project finds a record 140,610 individuals are now serving life sentences in state and federal prisons, 6,807 of whom were juveniles at the time of the crime. In addition, 29% of persons serving a life sentence (41,095) have no possibility of parole, and 1,755 were juveniles at the time of the crime. No Exit: The Expanding Use of Life Sentences in America represents the first nationwide collection of life sentence data documenting race, ethnicity and gender...
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    New Research Reports on Reentry

    Followers of the literature on reentry may be interested in a new post on the Correctional Research Roundtable forum regarding three new reports from the Urban Institute's Returning Home study.
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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.