Assessing the Performance of Specialized Courts
FRED CHEESMAN, Performance Measures for Mental Health Courts. Performance measures could be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Mental Health Courts (MHCs), similar to their use in improving trial courts in general and drug courts in particular. Importantly, performance measures will provide guidance to MHCs about which data they should be collecting as well as how that data can be used to improve their performance. MHCs are still an emerging phenomenon and, as was the case with drug courts, performance measurement (and evaluation) typically takes a back seat to operational issues. As a consequence, MHCs forfeit the opportunity to measure and improve their performance through ongoing use of performance measures and do not have the proper information to make adjustments when they need it. The National Center for State Courts received a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to develop a set of performance measures for MHCs. A committee of experts and practitioners has been convened and candidate measures have been identified. The measures were selected based on several principles, including that they: (1) will be designed primarily to assist individual MHCs to manage their performance and only secondarily to provide information to external stakeholders; (2) provide a balanced perspective on MHC performance, incorporating measures from a variety of key performance domains (e.g., participant accountability); (3) will be limited in number; and (4) the individual performance measures will be specific, measurable and subject to specific documentation. Performance domains from which performance measures were selected include accountability, social functioning, effectiveness and efficiency, interagency collaboration, individualized and appropriate treatment, procedural fairness/ satisfaction, and effective aftercare/post-exit transition. During the next phase of the project, after the draft measures have been documented, the draft measures will be pilot tested at three sites. This presentation will include a description of the draft performance measures and discussion of the plans for pilot testing.
MICHELLE D. COOK, Statewide Evaluation of 2003 Iowa Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts. The Iowa SAC recently completed a Bureau of Justice Assistance-funded statewide evaluation of the six adult and three juvenile drug courts in operation during CY2003. Completion rates, recidivism, substance abuse treatment, and supervision and placement (juveniles only) costs were examined by model (Judge and Community Panel) and by Judicial District, and compared to referred and probationer/matched samples. The samples were tracked from their entry into drug court, or the study, through December 2007, yielding approximately three and four years of follow-up for the adult and juvenile samples, respectively.
Just over half of drug court participants graduated from the program. Adult drug courts worked better for males, whites, methamphetamine users, and those without earlier arrests or prior prison admissions, while juvenile drug courts worked better for misdemeanor- versus felony-level referrals and offense history. The Adult Judge Model had higher graduation rates compared to the Panel Model on a variety of measures. The Juvenile Judge Model had better success in graduating both male and female participants, non-minority participants, those with misdemeanor-level referrals and offense history, and marijuana users.
The Adult Judge Model had the lowest recidivism rates. No differences were found in recidivism for the juvenile portion of the study. The Adult Judge Model total average participant cost was higher, with higher substance abuse treatment and supervision costs. Juvenile drug court participants received more substance abuse treatment service units than did the comparison groups and most of the service units received were outpatient. Juvenile drug court graduates had much lower criminal justice supervision costs than non-graduates, matched, and referred samples, and lower placement costs than non-graduates and the matched sample.
An overview of both the adult and juvenile findings will be presented. In addition, challenges in conducting a statewide multi-site drug court evaluation and implications for justice policy will be explored.
DAVID WRIGHT, Outcome and Performance Measure Reporting System for Drug Courts and Mental Health Courts. In this time of economic crisis, tight or declining budgets, and limited resources, everyone is demanding accountability and efficiency. Fortunately, powerful evaluation results in the form of outcome and performance measure reports can be utilized to address the accountability demands, and centralized data collection systems can be developed to address the efficiency demands. Furthermore, a centralized data collection system and outcome and performance measure reports can be useful for a variety of reasons, including, although not exclusively: helping provide the justification for funding (initial, continuing, or increasing); assisting in setting program target goals and then in program monitoring of the goals over time; and providing information that would otherwise be unavailable. In addition, the system and reports have policy and funding implications and ultimately are used as part of the continuous program performance improvement process. This presentation will offer a demonstration of a centralized web-based data collection system used for drug courts and mental health courts - an arena in which accountability and efficiency are major, expected goals of the program. The presentation will also include generating live outcome and performance measure reports, which will provide individual court-level data in comparison to statewide data.
Return to top
Citizen Surveys on Crime and Victimization
MICHAEL RAND, Crime Against People with Disabilities: First Findings. On October 1, 2009, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released Crime against People with Disabilities, the first report presenting findings about nonfatal violent and property crime experienced by persons with disabilities. The findings were drawn from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and based on questions developed to meet the mandates of the Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act of 1998. This presentation will discuss the findings from the report on nonfatal violent victimization (rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) and property crime (burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft) occurring in 2007 against persons identified as having at least one type of measured disability. The questions used to identify disability were drawn from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which identifies six types of disability: sensory, physical, cognitive functioning, self-care, go-outside-the-home, and employment. Topics to be covered include comparisons of the victimization experience of persons with and without disabilities, as well as the characteristics of offenses committed against people with disabilities, such as victim/offender relationship, weapon use, and extent of injury sustained during violent crimes.
RODNEY WAMBEAM, Collective Efficacy, Energy, and Crime in Wyoming. Popular among policy makers and others in Wyoming is the attitude that despite positive economic changes like higher incomes and job growth, the booming energy industry has led to social disorganization and higher rates of crime. This presentation discusses research guided by social disorganization theory, which predicts that crime rates will increase when communities experience adverse ecological constraints and when social capital is reduced. We conducted a survey of over 1,200 Wyoming residents in order to measure collective efficacy and perceptions of crime in all 23 Wyoming counties. Data show that crime rates do increase in Wyoming counties experiencing rapid natural resource-related development, but measures of social disorganization like residential instability and collective efficacy are not related to growth. Indeed, rapidly growing communities in Wyoming actually have higher levels of collective efficacy than stable or declining communities.
JANEENA WING, Unmasking Unreported Crime: Idaho's 2008 Crime Victimization Survey. From March through June 2009, over 3,000 Idahoans were interviewed concerning any possible property crime, violent crime, domestic violence, or sexual assault experienced in 2008. Questions were asked of respondents concerning why they did or did not report a crime. An analysis of the characteristics of those who are more or less likely to report crime is given. The most common reasons for not reporting crime are also explored.
Return to top
Community Corrections Programs and Populations
LAUREN GLAZE, Trends and Recent Changes in Community Corrections Populations in the United States. Growth in community corrections populations during the current decade slowed to almost half the rate of growth in the 1990s. This presentation will examine some of the factors behind the slowing of the growth in probation and parole populations nationwide, as well as some of the attendant changes in the composition of these populations that have occurred with the slowing of the growth. Among the factors examined are changes associated with entries onto and exits from community supervision; turnover of the community supervision populations and time served under community supervision; and incarceration of community supervision offenders that are at risk of failure.
CHRISTINE SHEA ADAMS, Community Corrections Outcomes in the State of Colorado. This presentation reports on a community corrections study that examined offender outcomes for those terminated from Residential Community Corrections programs within Colorado over a three-year period between Fiscal Year 2005 and Fiscal Year 2007. The residential data used for the analyses in this study do not include information on individuals who participated in Short Term Residential Treatment, Intensive Residential Treatment, or Mental Health programs, as this information is collected with different termination forms and kept in separate databases. We were interested in describing those successfully terminated from these programs, in comparison to those who were unsuccessfully terminated (due to escape, technical violations, or other new crime). This includes participants in both the Diversion and Transition portions of Community Corrections. The data analyzed and presented are compiled from Residential Community Corrections Termination Forms, which are completed by each program at the end of an offender's stay in a program and collected by the Office of Community Corrections. Success and recidivism rates will be discussed, and limitations will also be addressed.
STEPHEN M. COX, An Outcome Analysis of Connecticut's Halfway Houses. Halfway houses have been a reentry strategy used by many states for decades because they provide inmates with housing in a structured and regulated setting at the end of their prison sentences. Inmates are released into halfway houses where they are still being supervised 24 hours a day for 7 days a week. While halfway houses are operated in a variety of ways to serve a variety of inmates, they have three general goals. These are: (1) to assist offenders in finding employment; (2) to help offenders strengthen community and family ties; and (3) to provide or help offenders find treatment programs in the community. Connecticut's Halfway Houses are an integral part of the state's offender reentry strategy. The Connecticut Department of Correction contracts with private, nonprofit agencies for a total of 1,027 of these halfway house beds that are supervised on a 24/7 basis. Unfortunately there has been limited research on DOC halfway houses. The 2008 State of Connecticut Annual Recidivism Study did find that inmates who left prison and were placed in a halfway house had a lower rearrest rate (4%) than inmates who were released from prison without community supervision (end of sentence). This presentation reports on a study that extends this earlier recidivism study by exploring the short- and long-term effects of halfway houses. Specifically, the study compared dispositional outcomes between halfway house completers and non-completers and compared the long-term success of those parolees who attended a halfway house program prior to being paroled to a similar group of parolees who did not complete a halfway house program prior to parole.
Return to top
Crime and the Media
TED GEST, How Crime Is Reported In the Internet Age. The ways in which news on crime and many other subjects is delivered has changed markedly in recent years. Americans once relied on daily newspapers and once-a-day broadcast news reports; now many people get their information 24/7 on the Internet, sometimes in reports prepared by professional journalists, but also from any number of bloggers and others. These developments present both opportunity and peril for criminal justice practitioners. On the one hand, government agencies can present material on their own Web sites without the need to go through a media filter. On the other hand, that same material can be used and misinterpreted by advocates and ignorant posters. This presentation addresses the question, how is it possible to navigate through the new media? First, try to make sure that data generated by your agency is going in a timely way to reporters and others who are likely to comment on it. Second, constantly be aware of who may be interested in your material, including advocacy groups and community organizations, and try to make sure that you have explained it well on your own Web site, where people may be obtaining it, republishing it, and attempting to interpret it with no further checking. No one source these days can be counted on to serve as a "clearinghouse" for all information on criminal justice, but Criminal Justice Journalists and the Center for Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice are serving some of that function with a new Web site, http://thecrimereport.org.
JEREMY KOHLER, How the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Covers Crime. This presentation will discuss how the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covers crime statistics and how staff have developed the newspaper's Web site, stltoday.com, to be an area-wide source for city and suburban crime statistics.
Return to top
Development and Use of Risk Assessment Instruments
NANCY ARRIGONA, Development to Use: The Texas Juvenile Probation Commission Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument. The Texas Juvenile Probation Commission is currently piloting a Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument. Developed by the Commission, this instrument is designed to identify juveniles at risk of becoming chronic offenders and juveniles with a need for intensive and/or specialized services. The assessment was developed using juvenile offender data collected both electronically and from case files. In an effort to have an instrument validated for use by the entire state, a sample of over 3,000 records was collected from all regions of the state and from all sizes of juvenile probation departments. Female offenders were over-sampled in order to ensure adequate data for the development of gender-based instruments. The final assessments include 11 risk factors and 7 needs factors for boys and 10 risk and 7 needs factors for girls. Once information on the juvenile has been collected, the assessment takes only minutes to complete. An electronic template calculates the risk and needs scores for the user and saves the record into a database accessible to both the department and the Commission. In addition to calculating the risk and needs scores for the juvenile, the electronic assessment identifies case management areas that relate to the juvenile's risk and needs factors. The hope is that the assessment will help guide disposition decisions and facilitate the delivery of appropriate programs and services. This presentation will provide information on the development and implementation of the assessment, the intended purpose of the instrument, and how the goals for the assessment have endured in the "real world" environment of a juvenile probation department.
KIM ENGLISH, Colorado's Parole Risk Scale. Colorado recently implemented a new actuarial risk scale. This presentation will review the scale, discuss its development and validation, and address the use of multiple risk scales that may generate different risk probabilities for the same offender and decision points in the system where the instrument may be used. Impediments to implementation and strategies to overcome these impediments will also be discussed.
TAMMY MEREDITH, Assessing Risk: Prison Release, Correctional Supervision, and Other Applications. In 2003, Dr. Meredith developed the first generation of automated risk assessment instruments to guide supervision level assignments of all parolees supervised by the Georgia Parole Board. In 2008, her second generation instruments were gender-specific and relied on new analytical strategies (survival analysis). In addition, she is applying risk assessment methodologies to the development of prison release guidelines. In this presentation she will describe her methodologies, analytical strategies, and nontraditional measurement of female risk, and offer advice to agencies and analysts embarking on similar research projects.
Return to top
Drugs and Drug Treatment
TIMOTHY M. MULCAHY, Methamphetamine Markets in their Communities: Variation in Organization, Operation, and Outcomes. It has been suggested that the organization and operation of illicit retail drug markets is related to public health and safety outcomes in the communities where those markets are located. In this presentation we consider variation in the organization and operation of different types of illicit methamphetamine markets and how that variation relates to public health and safety outcomes in the markets' communities. This research is part of a larger study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) concerning the dynamics of methamphetamine markets. The first stage of that study included a survey of law enforcement agency respondents sampled from all law enforcement agencies in U.S. counties and cities. We collected survey data about local meth markets from 1,367 agencies that reported knowledge of the local markets and could comment on the extent to which they believed there were or were not related problems. While we recognize that police may represent a particular perspective about illicit drug markets in their jurisdiction, we surveyed law enforcement agencies to maximize the likelihood that we would be speaking with respondents who are knowledgeable of both local meth markets and meth-related problems. Law enforcement represents a common institution in all communities that has a vested interest in knowing where to locate illicit drug markets and knowing something about how they are organized and how they operate as well as the impact they have. This presentation will include findings from the analysis of our survey data, and findings from follow-up telephone interviews with narcotics officers in 75 of the agencies in the survey sample.
CHRIS RENNA, Mapping Methamphetamine Labs in Missouri. This presentation is based on a study conducted by the State of Missouri's Statistical Analysis Center on methamphetamine production in Missouri. This study utilized clandestine methamphetamine lab seizure data reported to EPIC (El Paso Intelligence Center) by Missouri law enforcement agencies. The purpose of the study was to first map as many lab seizures as possible by jurisdiction and by GPS location. A second purpose was to identify any geographic patterns pertaining to the mapable lab seizures for the study year. A description of the methodology used to complete this study will be given during the presentation. One of the unique patterns identified was which regions in Missouri were using the birch reduction process and which were using the red phosphorus process.
ANDRES F. RENGIFO, Reconciling the Multiple Objectives of Policies for Drug Offenders: Kansas' Experience with Mandatory Treatment. This presentation reports on a study that examines different measures of effectiveness of Kansas' Senate Bill 123. Enacted in 2003, SB 123 created mandatory, community-based drug treatment for first- and second-offense nonviolent drug possessors. Using data on individuals sentenced under SB 123 and a matched comparison group of offenders sentenced to regular probation, the study found that SB 123 did not have a significant impact on the likelihood of reoffending or technical violations at follow-up. However, SB 123 did reduce the state's reliance on prison by diverting low-level drug offenders from prison at sentencing and by slightly reducing general recidivism rates. Overall, these findings indicate that SB 123 was effective from a system-level perspective because it reduced pressures on prison population; however, SB 123 was not effective from a prisoner-level perspective because it did not reduce recidivism. The presenter will discuss this apparent paradox in the context of the Kansas experience and provide elements for a broader debate on the process and evaluation of corrections reform, with a specific focus on alternative drug policies.
Return to top
Findings from the Weed and Seed National Evaluation
JAMES TRUDEAU and JAN ROEHL, Independent Evaluation of the National Weed & Seed Strategy. The National Weed and Seed (W&S) Strategy has been implemented in hundreds of communities over 15 years and represents the nation's premier effort at integrating crime prevention and community development. The strategy includes key components of law enforcement, community policing, prevention/intervention/treatment, and neighborhood revitalization; core principles of collaboration, coordination, community participation, and leveraged resources; and the critical role of U.S. Attorneys. This presentation describes an independent cross-site evaluation of the W&S Strategy and findings on implementation, outcomes, and linkages between implementation and outcomes. A web-based survey was conducted in 169 sites with 1,375 stakeholders. Findings reflect the breadth and variety of local W&S initiative; agreement/ disagreement among stakeholders; and alignment between problems and focus.
The evaluation also includes grantee-reported data on crime in target areas and broader jurisdictions from two years prior to W&S implementation year to up to four years after implementation year, as well as information on local implementation of W&S.
A resident survey was conducted in 13 randomly selected "sentinel sites" and matched comparison areas. The presentation describes methods used to sample sites, identify matched comparison areas, and sample households using GIS. Sentinel sites were also studied through site visits, stakeholder interviews, and document review.
Multi-level analyses assess improvements in outcomes, target/comparison area differences, and target/broader jurisdiction differences. Ongoing analyses seek to explain observed effects using grantee and community characteristics; problems targeted; specific strategies; partnership functioning; and degree and effectiveness of interaction among stakeholders.
Return to top
The Impact of Incarceration
KRISTY N. MATSUDA, The Impact of Incarceration on Young Offender Development and Recidivism. This presentation reports on a study that examines the impact of incarceration on the likelihood of recommitment for young offenders (admitted age 14 to 21) in California. Using official data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the study follows 9,892 offenders from their sentencing court, through the facilities they experienced during incarceration, and five years post-release. The purpose of this study was to answer three questions: 1) How does court determination of "juvenile" or "adult" as compared to the correctional handling of young offenders as "juveniles" or "adults" impact recidivism? 2) What importation and deprivation factors predict the recommitment of young offenders? and 3) Are there age-graded differences that explain variation in future behavior?
HOLLY FOSTER, The Impact of Incarceration on Children by Parental Gender and Race/Ethnicity. This presentation provides an intersectional approach in examining the intergenerational impact of incarceration on children's living arrangements by attending to parental gender and race/ethnicity. Using a state sample of incarcerated men and women who lived with their children prior to arrest, children of incarcerated men are found to be more likely to live with their other parent during incarceration than are children of incarcerated women. While patterns are similar for men across race/ethnicity, patterns among women show differences: Children of non-Hispanic white women are more likely to live with their other parent than are children of African American and Hispanic mothers. Both family resource and economic resource explanations are examined through logistic regression analyses for group differences in child placements during parental imprisonment. Among fathers, marital status is highly influential consistent with family resource perspectives. Among mothers, income levels prior to imprisonment explain racial and ethnic differences in the odds of living with the other parent during imprisonment in support of economic resource perspectives. Living with the other parent among children of incarcerated mothers is an experience more common among economically privileged groups. If race and ethnic disparities in household income were reduced, disruption in child living arrangements during imprisonment may be minimized. Recognition of group differences in child living arrangements may lead to supportive policies for adapting to having a parent in prison.
ROGER PRZYBYLSKI, The Impact of Incarceration on Crime. During the past 25 years, virtually every state in the nation has implemented policies that have resulted in more people going to prison for longer periods of time. As a result, state prison populations and their associated costs have grown to an unprecedented level. In this time of scarce resources, there are inevitable concerns about the rising costs of corrections and its impact on other state-funded responsibilities. Indeed, many states have taken steps to lessen sentences and otherwise modify sentencing and corrections policy as a way to curb correctional costs. Yet, sentencing and correctional reform remains a hot-button issue in many jurisdictions, and policy debates on the topic are often driven by politics rather than fact. So what does the scientific evidence tell us about the impact of incarceration on crime? What conclusions and policy implications can be drawn from the evidence? This presentation will attempt to answer these questions by summarizing key research on incarceration and crime and discussing the myths, realities and policy considerations that decision makers need to be aware of if incarceration is to be used in a cost-effective manner.
Return to top
RICHARD ROSENFELD, The Impact of the Economy on Crime Trends. An accumulating body of research documents a relationship between crime and changing economic conditions: Crime rates rise during economic downturns and fall during economic recoveries. This address reviews the research evidence supporting the connection between crime and the economy and discusses the mechanisms underlying that connection. Some evidence indicates a weakening of the relationship between crime and economic conditions in recent years; widespread crime increases have not (yet) occurred during the current recession. But the data needed to systematically evaluate the relationship between crime and current economic conditions are not available, which impedes criminal justice planning and response. Improvements in the nation's crime monitoring infrastructure are discussed.
DANIEL ISOM, Crime Trends and the Economy - St. Louis Perspective. Like most older urban centers, the city of St. Louis feels the impact of economic hardship in a variety of ways and to varying degrees. While the city has been experiencing a significant renaissance over the last 10+ years, the influence of economic factors continues to affect a range of social phenomena, including crime. This address will discuss the apparent relationship between economic factors and crime trends and patterns in St. Louis, considering both long- and short-term perspectives.
Return to top
Measuring Crime Rates and Crime Trends
JANET L. LAURITSEN, What Can Victim Survey Data Tell Us About Violent Crime Trends in Rural, Suburban, and Urban Areas? Criminological research on long-term trends in violent crime has primarily focused on urban areas using data from the Uniform Crime Reports. As a result, relatively little is known about trends in rural and suburban violence, or about how the trends compare when violence that is not reported to the police is taken into account. In addition, long-term trends in violence against women across these types of places are unknown. This presentation reports on research that used data from the 1973 to 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey to estimate trends in nonfatal violent victimization for persons living in rural, suburban, and urban areas in the United States. For each of these areas the study also estimates long-term victimization trends for women and for men, and according to victim-offender relationship. The similarities and differences in these previously unknown trends will be discussed, shedding light on whether gender differences in violence and intimate partner violence levels and trends vary across rural, suburban, and urban areas.
RICHARD ROSENFELD, "Turning Data into Policy:" Improving the Nation's Crime-Monitoring Infrastructure. The nation's capacity to monitor crime rates and fashion timely and effective responses is inadequate. Ultimately, policymakers, researchers, and the public will be better served by moving the Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). In the meantime, several steps should be taken to improve the nation's crime-monitoring infrastructure. These include: (1) Public dissemination by the FBI of quarterly crime data no later than one month after the collection period; (2) Semiannual analysis by the BJS of crime data for a representative sample of jurisdictions; (3) Ongoing research sponsored by the National Institute of Justice to explain and forecast crime trends. Expanding the involvement of the statistical and research arms of the Justice Department in the dissemination and analysis of crime data will significantly enhance the nation's capacity to respond effectively to crime problems as they emerge.
HOWARD N. SNYDER, Dissecting Crime Rates. In the 1920s the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recognized the need for, and promoted, the reporting of crime statistics at the local and national levels. IACP encouraged police administrators to report statistics that documented the problems they faced and the achievements they had made (Committee on Uniform Crime Records, 1929). IACP emphasized that these statistics should be based on information routinely maintained by law enforcement agencies so that their reporting would not unduly burden police authorities. IACP also realized the desirability of agencies reporting uniformly. The crime and justice statistics reported by most law enforcement agencies today are essentially those that were recommended by the IACP nearly 90 years ago. Using the same principles that drove the IACP recommendations, this presentation will recommend a new set of crime and justice statistics that modern law enforcement agencies should use to serve the information needs of their departments and the various audiences in their communities. These recommendations take advantage of the information commonly found in modern incident-based reporting systems.
Return to top
Mentally Ill Offenders
MICHAEL OVERTON, Identifying Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Populations. The Nebraska Crime Commission is working to better understand the needs relating to various populations. In conjunction with the Department of Correctional Services and the Department of Health and Human Services, an effort has been undertaken to identify individuals who have received mental health services either before or after showing up in various criminal justice populations. The differences in datasets and basic methodologies present challenges in identifying services. The presentation will discuss the current efforts and anticipated next steps.
DAN ABREU, For Whom Does Jail Diversion Work?. Persons with mental illness are overrepresented in the correctional system. The Sequential Intercept Model has been developed to identify opportunities to avoid or reduce incarceration for persons with mental illness. This presentation reports on a multi-site evaluation conducted by the National GAINS Center of 20 jail diversion programs funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The evaluation provides important data about the demographics of jail diversion program participants and examines recidivism and service engagement outcomes.
JENNIFER ENO LOUDEN, Reducing Recidivism Risk for Offenders With Mental Disorder. Persons with serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression are dramatically overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Most of these offenders are supervised in the community on probation and parole. While in the community, offenders with mental disorders (OMDs) are at higher risk than their non-disorder counterparts for returns to custody and recidivism, which leads to deeper involvement in the criminal justice system. To date, several programs have been developed to reduce recidivism for OMDs, such as mental health courts, specialty mental health probation and parole caseloads, and diversion programs. Although these programs differ in scope and implementation, they are often based on the assumption that OMDs' offenses are the direct result of their mental disorder, and that future offenses can be avoided if OMDs are provided with mental health treatment. This presentation will highlight data from two recent studies that challenge this assumption. In the first, OMDs in a specialty mental health probation agency were compared to OMDs in a traditional probation agency. Here, although OMDs in the specialty agency received more mental health services than OMDs in the traditional agency, these services were not associated with a reduction in recidivism for OMDs. In the second study, parolees with co-occurring mental disorder and substance abuse disorders were followed for one year after their release from prison. Although all of these parolees were required to attend regular mental health treatment, some parolees received no treatment, and those who did receive treatment were no less likely to return to custody, even after controlling for differences between parolees who did and did not receive treatment. The reasons for the lack of effect of mental health treatment will be discussed in light of research on risk factors for recidivism for general offenders and relative risk for OMDs.
Return to top
Perspectives on Law Enforcement Practices
JOSEPH L. PETERSON, The Role and Impact of Forensic Evidence in the Criminal Justice Process. This presentation discusses the results of a recently completed National Institute of Justice-funded study that investigated the role and impact of forensic science evidence on the criminal justice process. Empirical data were collected from criminal justice agencies using the services of three forensic crime laboratories/systems: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Scientific Services Bureau, Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency, and the Indiana State Police Laboratory System. The study had four main objectives: 1) Estimate the percentage of crime scenes from which one or more types of forensic evidence is collected; 2) Describe and catalog the kinds of forensic evidence collected at crime scenes; 3) Track the use and attrition of forensic evidence from crime scenes through laboratory analysis, and through subsequent criminal justice processes; and 4) Identify which forms of forensic evidence contribute most frequently (relative to their availability at a crime scene) to successful case outcomes.
DAVID HIRSCHEL, An Examination of the Factors that Impact the Likelihood of Arrest in Intimate Partner Violence Cases. Past studies of the police response to intimate partner violence have, for the most part, been limited by their use of a single department, departments in a single state, and/or the size and composition of their sample. In addition, a number of important legal, victim, incident, and offender variables have not been considered in the analyses, and the police response to intimate partner violence cases has not been compared to their response to other domestic and non-domestic incidents. This presentation examines the legal, organizational, incident, victim, and offender characteristics that impact the likelihood of arrest in intimate partner violence cases, and the police response to intimate partner violence is compared to the response to incidents involving other domestic relationships (e.g., parents and children, siblings), acquaintances, and strangers. Two datasets are used in the analyses. The first comprises 577,862 incidents of assault and intimidation from a CY 2000 National Incident-Based Reporting System dataset that includes information from 2,819 police departments in 19 states. The second comprises 4,388 of the incidents taken from the larger dataset and for which a far more extensive list of variables was obtained by culling information from police reports. After presenting the findings, the presenter will discuss the policy implications of those findings.
LYNN LANGTON, The Costs and Benefits of Law Enforcement Aviation Units. Because aircraft are expensive to obtain and operate, law enforcement aviation units are often viewed as either an unaffordable luxury or an easy target for budget cuts. In reality, relatively little research has been done to examine the actual costs of airborne law enforcement and the functions served by these units. The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently concluded the 2007 Census of Law Enforcement Aviation Units (CLEAU), the first data collection to examine the use of planes and helicopters among large law enforcement agencies nationwide. Among other information, the CLEAU collected data on both the costs associated with purchasing, maintaining and fueling police aircraft as well as the number of times that aviation units performed a range of law enforcement functions, from responding to calls for service, to vehicle pursuits, to SWAT missions, to homeland security critical facility checks. The data provide the most comprehensive picture to date of the types of functions performed by aviation units and the frequency with which these operations take place. These data from the CLEAU on the costs and benefits of law enforcement aviation units will be presented, as well as suggestions for future research.
Return to top
Racial Disparities in the Justice System
MARY POULIN, Juvenile Minority Overrepresentation in Iowa and Virginia: An Examination of Approaches to Address Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC). This presentation is based on JRSA's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-funded effort to identify and assess disproportionate minority contact (DMC) reduction efforts in juvenile justice in Iowa and Virginia. It will describe state and local efforts to address DMC, review approaches to studying DMC problems, consider the relationship between problems and strategies to reduce DMC, and report on data available to assess DMC problems. Further, it will discuss the analytical approach that JRSA has undertaken to assess DMC efforts.
EMILY COVELLI, Racial Disparities in Search Rates: Examining the Meaning Behind Them. The Law Enforcement Contacts Policy and Data Review Committee's analyses of traffic stop data from several Oregon law enforcement agencies has consistently found that African American and Hispanic drivers are more likely to be searched during traffic stops than white drivers. These analyses have never been able to explain this disparity nor examine other characteristics of traffic stops that may explain it. This presentation reports on a study that looks at multiple factors that may explain an officer's decision to conduct a search during a traffic stop. The study finds that when controlling for factors such as gender, time of day, number of passengers, city residency, and the reason for the stop, African American and Hispanic drivers are no more likely than white drivers to experience a discretionary search. However, the African American and Hispanic drivers are more likely than white drivers to exhibit characteristics that increase any person's likelihood of being searched. The findings are based on five years of data from one law enforcement agency in Oregon, so they should not be generalized to all agencies. However, these findings do demonstrate how analyzing traffic stop data can be valuable for those assessing the source of disparities in law enforcement practices, particularly when information on multiple factors about the stop can be provided.
PHYLLIS V. BLOOD, Minority Impact Statements - One Approach to Racial Disparity in the Justice System. Iowa has one of the highest rates for disproportionate incarceration of minorities in the United States, especially for African Americans. During its 2008 session, the General Assembly passed a bill requiring that all correctional impact statements include information about the potential impact on minority populations in Iowa. The cultural and political factors that influenced the drafting and passing of this legislation will be explored. Information on the factors that contribute to the racial disparity in Iowa will be provided, along with the development of the baseline data that are used to benchmark proposed legislation. The process of developing the minority impact statements, the forms used, and the collaborative relationships that are integral components will be discussed. Examples from the first legislative session (2009) since the implementation of the law will be discussed. An analysis of the effect the law may have on disparity, including barriers and problems encountered, will complete the presentation.
Return to top
Recent Findings in Gang-Related Research
ROB MCMANUS, Gangs in South Carolina: How Much, How Bad? Fueled by several highly publicized incidents in recent years, there have been increased levels of concern regarding the perceived growth in, and resulting increased danger to public safety presented by, gang activity in South Carolina. Although such concerns are understandable, the result is that public policy makers operate in a vacuum of knowledge while attempting to respond to public concerns while relying on anecdotal information and perceptions of the magnitude and seriousness of criminal gang activity in the state. This presentation discusses a report that is a first step towards providing reliable information concerning gang-related crime in South Carolina. The report uses South Carolina Incident Based Reporting System (SCIBRS) data to measure the scope of gang-related criminal activity and identify growth trends over a 10-year period. SCIBRS data were also used to analyze victim and offender characteristics as well as other factors associated with gang crime. Data from inmate records and community corrections offender records over a multiple-year period were also used to look at growth trends and gang member characteristics. The findings were synthesized to construct a statistical overview of the nature and extent of gang activity in the state.
SCOTT H. DECKER, Leaving the Gang: Problems and Prospects. A good deal is known about why individuals join gangs. However, little is known about how and why individuals leave gangs. This presentation focuses on the processes and motivations involved in gang leaving. It is based on a subsample of ex-gang members from a large study of juvenile arrestees. Comparisons are made to leaving other crime groups. Both programs and social processes are identified.
G. DAVID CURRY, Observing Miller's Ebb and Flow. In his classic national study of gang problems in urban U.S. cities, Walter Miller compared U.S. gang problems with the tides . . . striking one beach with severity while pulling away from another. St. Louis over the period between 1992 and 2009 has been a perfect model of this kind of tidal ebb and flow. This presentation examines statistical evidence from the early 1990s to the middle of the first decade of the 21st century. The difficulties that these tides of violence represent for local policy makers and law enforcement are discussed.
Return to top
Recidivism of Adult and Juvenile Offenders
JOHN P. O'CONNELL, Delaware Juvenile Sex Offender Recidivism. Recently the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) invited state Statistical Analysis Centers to participate in a state-level replication of BJS's national sex offender recidivism study. As part of Delaware's submission, we included a special juvenile sex offender recidivism study, which created enough interest that a time series study of 2001 to 2008 was completed. This presentation will report on the results of that study, which are quite different from results of adult sex offender recidivism studies. A review of the literature shows a paucity of juvenile sex offender recidivism findings that might be used for comparison to the Delaware findings. In trying to better understand our findings, we prepared a detailed historical view of the juveniles' criminal history, the crime of adjudication, the subsequent treatment once placed, the length of that treatment, and an overall view of recidivism, including non-sex crimes.
MIKE WILSON, Cost-Benefit Analysis of Programs that Reduce Recidivism. In 2003, during a recession and with a tight state budget, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 267 stating that criminal justice agencies' programs must be evidence-based and cost-effective. As a result the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission worked with state agencies to create a cost-benefit model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of programs designed to reduce crime. This presentation will describe the methodology used in Oregon to develop a cost-benefit model. We used this model to estimate the benefits of incarceration on avoiding crime as well as the benefits of programs designed to reduce crime.
HOWARD N. SNYDER, Recidivism Research at BJS. The Bureau of Justice Statistics established a new unit in 2008 - Recidivism, Reentry and Special Projects Unit. This unit is tasked with designing and implementing a national recidivism research program. Over the last year, framework for this research program has been constructed. It involves studying recidivism across the justice spectrum. Much of the recidivism information for these studies is found in the nation's criminal history repositories. The unit is working to implement a new protocol for mining the recidivism data housed in the criminal history repositories that will reduce the cost of recidivism research and increase BJS's ability to conduct recidivism studies. Currently, this program includes recidivism studies of persons convicted of felonies in state courts, persons convicted of domestic violence in state courts, and persons released from state prisons. This presentation will describe the work of this unit to date and its plans for the future.
Return to top
Research on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking
MICA ASTION, An Overview of Intimate Partner Homicides in Massachusetts. This presentation discusses the results of two studies conducted by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) on intimate partner homicides in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The first report, "Analysis of Intimate Partner Homicides in Massachusetts: An Overview of Supplementary Homicide Report Cases between 1986 and 2007," presents an analysis of Supplemental Homicide Report (SHR) data collected through the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. This report offers a more general analysis of intimate partner homicide cases in Massachusetts over 21 years. According to SHR statistics, there were 375 intimate partner homicides in Massachusetts between 1986 and 2007. The second report, "Massachusetts Intimate Partner Homicide Review: An Overview of District Attorney Cases between 2005 and 2007," is the result of an EOPSS-initiated review of intimate partner homicides around the state. The Research and Policy Analysis Division at EOPSS designed a 52-question intimate partner homicide data collection tool (or survey) that was sent to the 11 state District Attorney's Offices to collect data on all intimate partner homicides between 2005 and 2007. This report contains more detailed characteristics of the 47 intimate partner homicide cases that occurred in Massachusetts between 2005 and 2007. The goal of these reports was to gain a deeper understanding of the prevalence and characteristics of intimate partner homicide in Massachusetts.
KRISTEN BUGDEN, Gendered Perceptions of Date Rape: Is Sex an Exchangeable Commodity? In 2004, Baumeister and Vohs reviewed a large body of research that suggested that many of the asymmetries in male and female sexual behavior, including rape and sexual abuse, can be accounted for in terms of social exchange theory. According to social exchange theory, sex is a commodity that can be obtained in exchange for other goods and services. Based, however, on the evidence showing differences in men's and women's interpretations of sexuality, it seems possible that while men may explicitly view sex as a commodity that can be "purchased" with goods or services, women view sex in a different context, the context of love and romance. This presentation reports on a study that sought to explore this question empirically by asking whether men are more likely than women to perceive sex as a justifiable quid pro quo for a service rendered. Participants were asked to review a variety of morally ambiguous scenarios, including a date-rape scenario. An analysis of responses to this scenario suggests that situations that create equal investment in a social exchange for men and women are less likely to produce conditions that foster date rape than conditions that create inequality of exchange.
SHANNAN CATALANO, Stalking Victimization: Findings from the National Crime Victimization Survey. The Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) sponsored a six-month supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to measure the prevalence and characteristics of stalking behavior in the United States. Findings from the largest survey to date of a nationally representative sample of men and women age 18 or older will be discussed. This presentation will identify how stalking was operationalized, victimization rates by demographic characteristics, offender characteristics, victim services received, and how components of the criminal justice system responded if the victim reported the stalking to the police.
Return to top
Research on Offender Reentry
MICHAEL CONNELLY, Sentencing, Risk Assessment, and Successful Reentry: Other Considerations for Evidence-Based Practice. As part of the movement toward evidence-based practice, risk assessment has received considerable attention as a means to direct sentencing and correctional resources more efficiently and successfully. Much of the recent discussion has focused on how to make assessment work in individual sentencing decisions to maximize their effectiveness for improved public safety and offender reentry. However, it is also possible to supplement that process and to further those goals using aggregated assessment results as a basis for overall sentencing policy. This presentation will discuss reentry success of Oklahoma inmates released from FY 2003 to present, comparing survival rates, LSI-R categories, and selected sentencing variables, including sentence types, offense types, length of sentence, and program-specific results. It will also discuss possible options to incorporate findings such as these into means to enhance evidence-based sentencing policy in the states. (The opinions expressed in this session are solely the presenter's and should not be taken to represent the positions or policies of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.)
STEPHEN HAAS, Exploring Treatment Matching and Service Delivery Issues in Offender Reentry. Based on the results of a process evaluation of West Virginia's Offender Reentry Initiative (WVORI), this presentation explores various service delivery issues as they relate to offenders transitioning to the community. Using official programmatic and offender assessment data obtained from the West Virginia Division of Corrections, the study examined the nature of programs provided to a sample of soon-to-be-released prisoners and the degree to which treatment programs are being matched to offender needs. The results indicate that a large proportion of prisoners do not receive institutional and transitional programs prior to release. Moreover, there appears to be little treatment matching taking place when programs are provided. Generally, the findings suggest that correctional staff might not be adhering to known principles of effective intervention and might not be using the Levels of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) as intended by the WVORI program planners. Based on the findings of this process evaluation, recommendations are offered for ways to improve the implementation of WVORI and its delivery of services.
BETH HUEBNER, Neighborhood Context and Recidivism: An Analysis by Gender. The social and economic structure of a neighborhood provides important context to prisoner reentry. Disadvantaged neighborhoods have been associated with a decreased presence and quality of labor market opportunities and limited prospects for the development of strong social relationships which are critical for reentry success. In fact, there is initial evidence to suggest that individuals who return to disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to fail on community supervision. This presentation extends previous work by considering the effect of neighborhood context on variation in recidivism timing among a sample of men and women released from prison in one state. Traditional static indicators of failure (e.g., age, gender) are merged with a series of time-variant covariates to understand how moving or changes in social relationships (e.g., marriage) or housing arrangements (e.g., halfway house) affect recidivism. The goal of the research that this presentation reports on is to provide important insight into the process of prisoner reentry and augment the existing theoretical work on recidivism.
Return to top
Sentencing Research in the States
SPENCER PRICE, 2007 Superior Court Drug Case Sentencing Patterns. Over the past 10 years, Delaware has looked at numerous ways of reducing its prison and jail population. In 2002, an initiative began to abolish minimum mandatory sentences that accompany drug trafficking and repeat drug sales convictions. Since that time, an abundance of opinions have surfaced about how Delaware convicts and sentences its drug dealers and users. A substantial change in the minimum mandatory sentencing for drug trafficking and repeat drug sales occurred in 2003 when Delaware reduced these minimum mandatory sentences, some drastically, but a push still remains by advocacy groups for even more reduction of drug sentences and elimination of minimum mandatory sentences. With so many misconceptions surrounding Delaware's drug offenders that are sentenced to prison and jail, the Delaware Statistical Analysis Center provided a detailed, multidimensional summary of drug sentencing in Delaware. This presentation will provide an overview on sentencing in Delaware and a detailed summary of 2007 Superior Court drug case sentences, with focus on issues of contention in recent policy debates.
CRAIG PRINS, Monitoring Mandatory Minimums. Sentencing in Oregon changed dramatically with passage of the citizen initiative known as "Measure 11" in November 1994. This measure created mandatory minimum sentences for many sexual and violent offenses, and "trumps" Oregon's sentencing guidelines. The measure now drives the majority of Oregon's prison bed forecast. Understanding how the stated goals of the measure have been met and how the law is applied by prosecutors is one of the focuses of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.
MEREDITH FARRAR-OWENS, Impact of Technical Violators on Virginia's Prison Population. Despite declining crime rates and stable sentencing practices, Virginia's prison incarceration rate and its inmate population have continued to grow. Two factors have contributed significantly to the persistent growth in the state's inmate population: the number of offenders arrested for drug crimes and the number of offenders returned to court for technical violations of probation. In 2003, Virginia's legislature directed the Sentencing Commission to develop, with due regard for public safety, discretionary sentencing guidelines for felony offenders who are not convicted of a new crime but who nonetheless violate the conditions of their probation. The Sentencing Commission embarked upon an extensive data collection effort in order to learn more about the state's probation violators. This effort, which included reviewing offenders' probation files and criminal history reports, provided rich detail about violators, their behavior while under supervision, and specific reasons why probation officers brought the offenders back to court for revocation hearings. Based on this exhaustive data collection, the Commission developed sentencing guidelines for technical violations that, while reflective of historical sanctioning practices, are designed to reduce unwarranted disparity in the punishment of technical violators. These guidelines were implemented statewide on July 1, 2004.
Return to top
Sexual Victimization in Prison
ALLEN J. BECK, BJS Activities Related to the Prison Rape Elimination Act - Latest Findings and Estimating Costs for Implementation of Standards. This presentation will include a review of the latest findings from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) prison rape data collections, an update on ongoing collections, and an overview of efforts to estimate costs related to the draft Prison Rape Elimination Act standards. BJS has completed a second year of data collection in prisons and jails, as well as the first national survey of former state prisoners under active parole supervision. Although survey results have not been published, Mr. Beck will provide an overview of each of these collections, and discuss new survey items and benchmarks of the field operations. The presentation will also include a discussion of joint efforts with the Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide reliable cost estimates for each of the draft standards issued by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.
PAIGE M. HARRISON, Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 in Juvenile Facilities. The National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), the first computer-administered survey of sexual assault within juvenile corrections, was completed in April 2009. Up to this point the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has relied upon administrative records from the Survey of Sexual Violence to measure the extent of reported incidents of sexual assault in these facilities; the NSYC will allow BJS to rank individual facilities, as required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Complexities of the data, issues of confidentiality, and challenges in ranking will be discussed in relation to the report, forthcoming in December 2009.
PEGGY HEIL, Is Prison Sexual Offending Indicative of Community Risk? This study examines whether prison sexual offending behaviors are predictive of violence upon release. Recidivism rates for four groups of male sex offenders were compared: (a) offenders convicted of community sex crimes, (b) community sex offenders who were convicted under non-sex-crime charges, (c) offenders known only to commit sexually abusive misconduct in prison, and (d) offenders with both community and prison sex offenses.
Return to top
Tribal Crime Data
PHILLIP STEVENSON, Measuring Crime in Indian Country: A Review of Arizona's Tribal Crime Data. Arizona's FFY08 State Justice Statistics Program grant provided support for a project that allowed the Arizona Statistical Analysis Center to work with the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Arizona's Indian Country Information Network (ICIN), and the 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona to improve the collection and dissemination of tribal crime data. The project had three explicit goals: (1) to provide a feedback mechanism, in the form of statewide and tribe-specific crime reports, through which tribal criminal justice professionals will receive a summary of the data available on crime on tribal lands in Arizona; (2) to illustrate to tribal governments and state administrators of federal criminal and juvenile justice grant programs where Arizona tribes may be missing opportunities to obtain federal grant funds to assist with tribal justice issues; and (3) to provide ICIN, which is made up of tribal criminal justice agency executives, with a summary of the status of tribal crime data collection efforts. In this presentation, attendees will be given an overview of the project, a description of the various data sources that inform an understanding of crime and delinquency on tribal lands, a summary of the findings, and strategies for utilizing this project to enhance crime data collection on tribal lands in Arizona.
JIMMY STEYEE, Crime Data Collection on Northwest Tribal Lands: Evaluating BIA Crime Data. The Montana Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) received State Justice Statistics (SJS) Grants through the Bureau of Justice Statistics to collect and analyze tribal crime data. In partnership with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Montana SAC began collecting BIA crime data for all reporting tribal agencies in District V, which encompasses Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. A series of reports containing the data have been published; the most recent contains data from 2004 through 2008. A high level overview of the data will be presented followed by a discussion of the outcomes of the SJS grants. Finally, this presentation will explore the process of data collection on tribal lands in District V and will discuss the weaknesses in the current data collection efforts.
JANET CHIANCONE, Calculating OJJDP's Native-American 'Pass Through' Funding: Challenges and Next Steps. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974, as amended, requires that Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Title II formula grant funds be "passed through" the State to tribes. OJJDP regulations indicate that the "pass through" funds are to be based on "[t]he proportion of the State youth population under 18 years of age who reside in geographical areas where federally recognized tribes perform law enforcement functions." The bulk of funding that is distributed from OJJDP is through the formula grant program, so these funds are greatly needed at the Tribal level for prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation programs, as well as law enforcement services. However, as currently written, this requirement presents both statistical and programmatic challenges to OJJDP, States and Tribes. The presentation will provide an overview of the requirements, the challenges presented, and the long-term solution (which involves partnering with the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Justice Research and Statistics Association).
Return to top
Using Criminal History Records for Research
MATTHEW T. BILESKI, Using Criminal History Records to Examine the Reporting of Sexual Assault in Arizona. There is continued concern surrounding sexual assault in Arizona; thus, the Arizona legislature has tasked the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) with gathering data on the reporting of sexual assault. Arizona Revised Statute 41-2406.B mandates that all police reports, charges, convictions, and sentences for sexual assaults, sexual assaults involving a spouse (including data on current relationship status), and false reports of sexual assault involving a spouse occurring in Arizona be compiled in an annual report for Arizona stakeholders. The Statistical Analysis Center (AZSAC) of the ACJC has been utilizing data from the Arizona Computerized Criminal History (ACCH) repository for multiple years to meet many of the requirements of the statute.
This presentation will address the methodology and research findings from the latest report published by the AZSAC, titled "The Reporting of Sexual Assault in Arizona: 2006 and 2007." Trend data on the convictions and sentences for sexual assault will be discussed, in addition to the trends in arrest reporting and charges of sexual assault. The presentation will also focus on the strengths and limitations of using criminal history records from the state's repository when investigating the reporting of sexual assault.
MARK RUBIN, The Challenges of Using Criminal History Records to Understand Drug Offenses in Maine. The Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) will review two projects that used criminal history records in Maine with a special focus on the challenges inherent in collecting and using such data for research purposes. In 2006, the Maine SAC completed an audit of the criminal history records system, and in 2007 the SAC received a Justice Research and Statistics Association grant to analyze criminal history record data on the characteristics of all state drug offenders. As part of the second project, the Maine SAC helped the Maine Department of Public Safety (MDPS) build its own capacity to provide criminal history records for analysis. This presentation will identify the steps necessary to make criminal history records useful for research purposes and discuss some of the unique circumstances the SAC faced using these data in Maine. In addition to exploring the challenges, the SAC will discuss some of the findings from the state drug offender project, and identify how MDPS is using the data to improve its criminal history capacity.
BILL BALES, A Demonstration of the Use of Criminal History Data for Recidivism Research. This presentation describes a study underway in Florida that is empirically assessing the effectiveness of Florida's Minimum 85% Time Served Law on recidivism rates. This deterministic sentencing policy was enacted in 1995 and applies to all offenders sentenced to prison who committed their crimes on or after October 1, 1995. A cohort of 209,288 prisoners released from 1995 to 2005 were matched on seven different identification variables to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Computerized Criminal History database to capture all prior and post-prison arrest charges and associated data. The matching process is described and assessed relative to its accuracy. Additionally, the presenter explains how obtaining the arrest information improved the breadth of recidivism predictor variables and resulted in recidivism measures beyond the existing reconviction and reimprisonment measures.
Return to top
Victims of Crime
LINDSAY BOSTWICK, Women Behind Bars: How Abuse Affects Criminal Behavior and Implications for Interventions & Services. Incarcerated women have multiple issues and concerns, including prior physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. This study interviewed 163 randomly selected female prisoners in Illinois and documented in detail their prior victimization histories over the life course including abuse types, onset, frequency, duration, victim-offender relationships, and trauma, as well as their criminal histories, substance abuse, and services sought after abuse. Researchers found almost all the women interviewed had prior abuse, over half could be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and most had sought some sort of assistance after incidents of abuse. The study further examined how prior victimization is correlated with criminal history and help-seeking strategies. The research can help practitioners and criminal justice personnel better understand and serve victimized women and girls with their treatment needs and issues.
KAY LANG, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Domestic Violence in Wyoming. This presentation uses data from sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking programs funded by the Wyoming Division of Victim Services. Data are presented on the victims, the offenders, and the services that are offered.
JACKIE VANDERCOOK, School Crime in Tennessee. The Tennessee Statistical Analysis Center compiled statistics from the statewide National Incident-Based Reporting System database on crime occurring in Tennessee schools as reported by law enforcement agencies from 2006-2008. This presentation will report on the school crime study, which focuses on crimes occurring in elementary, middle and secondary school environments and excludes crimes reported by colleges and universities.
Return to top