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Thinking About Corrections

Thinking About Corrections

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    Recent Ruling Highlights Transgender Issues in Corrections

    Reported from the Associated Press , U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that the state prison officials in Massachusetts must provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for Michelle Kosilek, a transgender inmate serving a life sentence for murder. Judge Wolf determined in his ruling that surgery was the “only adequate treatment” for Kosilek. Testimony by the Massachusetts Department of Correction’s medical experts was in support of the need for surgery as treatment. Although...
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    PREA Data Collection Activities, 2012

    From the Bureau of Justice Statistics , this Data Collection Profile highlights results from five surveys on the topic of sexual victimization, assault, and violence. The featured survey is the National Former Prisoner Survey (NFPS) released in May 2012. It provides the “first-ever national estimates of the prevalence of sexual victimization based on reports of former state prison inmates”. Also contained in the Profile are the latest data from the National Survey of Youth in Custody...
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    New Report on the Cost of Containing Violence

    Released today from the Institute for Economics & Peace , this new report, Violence Containment Spending in the United States , provides an “analyses of how much of the U.S. economy is related to preventing or dealing with the consequences of violence”. Key Findings from the report: Violence Containment cost the U.S. $2.16 trillion per year. If violence containment were an industry, it would be the largest industry in the U.S. Federal expenditure has expanded in the last ten years...
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    BJS Releases New Population Data for 2011

    New statistics for 2011 are in! The Bureau of Justice Statistics has just published Correctional Populations in the United States, 2011 and Probation and Parole in the United States, 2011 . Highlights for 2011 include a 1.4% decrease in the total number of supervised offenders and a probation population under 4 million for the first time since 2002.
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    PREA Toolkits: Enhanced Edition Now Available

    “ Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act: A Toolkit for Jails ” and “ Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act: A Toolkit for Juvenile Agencies and Facilities ” are now available in an enhanced and more interactive version. The heart of these resources, the self-evaluation checklists, are now “form fillable” in adobe reader. Each checklist includes an “action plan” button which goes to a fillable action plan worksheet for each item in the...
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    Analyst Officer Adds Value at EBDM Site

    Eau Claire County, Wisconsin is one of seven sites for the National Institute of Correction’s Evidence-Based Decision Making Project . Now in it’s third phase, the purpose of the EBDM initiative is to equip criminal justice policymakers in local communities with the information, processes, and tools that will result in measurable reductions of pretrial misconduct and post-conviction reoffending. This article, Analyst officer takes a byte out of crime , published February 17, 2013 in the...
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    Using Social Media for Intelligence and Investigative Activities

    In partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance , Office of Justice Programs , U.S. Department of Justice , the International Association of Chiefs of Police launched the IACTP Center for Social Media in October 2010. The goal of the initiative is to build the capacity of law enforcement to use social media to prevent and solve crimes, strengthen police-community relations, and enhance services. The Center serves as a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement...
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    JusticeHome: Home-Based Alternative Incarceration Program Approved in Brooklyn

    On May 8, 2013, the Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and the Women’s Prison Association announced the launch of the JusticeHome program. This program is a “home-based alternative to incarceration, for women, particularly those with children” aimed at reducing incarceration costs and recidivism among female offenders. The program is based on the Drew House Model , which was opened in 2008, and has been evaluated by Columbia University as a model that should be “scaled...
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    Groundbreaking Federal Interagency Report on Women and Trauma-informed Approaches

    You are invited to download a groundbreaking report, Trauma-informed Approaches: Federal Activities and Initiatives —the second and highly anticipated Working Document Report of the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma. Completed on September 30, 2013, the report documents the projects, programs, and initiatives of more than three dozen federal agencies, departments, and offices—one of the largest interagency collaborations in federal government history. With agencies’...
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    Landmark Ruling on Transgender Inmate Surgery

    An article in the Boston Globe outlines a recent federal court ruling in favor of Massachusetts transgender inmate Michelle Kosilek. This ruling affirms a lower court ruling requiring the state to provide a taxpayer-funded sex change noting “that the treatment is necessary and that Massachusetts officials violated the prisoner’s constitutional rights by failing to provide the surgery”. It would be the first court-ordered, state-funded sex change for a prisoner in the country. See...
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    New Justice Department Policy on Same-Sex Marriages

    On Monday, February 10th, the Department of Justice released a new policy that gives same-sex marriages equal protection under the law. The policy will “formally instruct all Justice Department employees to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law,” according to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in remarks delivered at the Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala. The implications of this policy for corrections will range...
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    Press Release: Idaho Juvenile Detention Center Becomes First PREA Compliant Facility in the U.S.

    The Canyon County Board of Commissioners has announced that the Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center (SWIDJDC ) in Caldwell has become the first facility in full compliance with the PREA standards. It is the first incarceration facility of any kind in the United States to be certified as being compliant with the standards of the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). More from the February 14, 2014 press release : "For juvenile facilities, there are approximately 182 standards that...
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    The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated

    The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated (NRCCFI) began as the Federal Resource Center on Children of Prisoners in the 1990s and merged with the Family and Corrections Network (FCN) in 2006, creating the oldest and largest organization in the United States focused on children and families of the incarcerated and programs that serve them. In 2013, NRCCFI became part of the Rutgers University - Camden campus. According to NRCCFI, on any given day there are an estimated...
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    Has civil rights injunctive practice in corrections faded? Scholar says "no"

    In her paper, "Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders" , Margo Schlanger (University of Michigan Law School) argues that, "even now, ten years after passage of the PLRA, the civil rights injunction is more alive even in the prison and jail setting than the conventional wisdom recognizes" (from the Abstract). The article appears in the New York University Law Review, Vol. 81, 2006. Review Ms. Schlanger's other published works .
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    Award-Winning Report on Geriatric and Seriously Ill Inmates

    A hot correctional topic was one of the ten winners of the National Conference of State Legislatures' 2006 Notable Document Awards. From Pennsylvania, the Report of the Advisory Committee on Geriatric and Seriously Ill Inmates extensively examines such areas as health care, hospice, mental health, and geriatric and life-sentenced inmates.
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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.