THOMAS H. COHEN, State Court Processing Statistics: An Overview of Felony Case Processing in State Courts. The State Court Processing Statistics (SCPS) project is a data collection series sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). First conducted in 1988, this continuing data collection tracks defendants charged with a felony offense from initial appearance through pretrial release, adjudication, and sentencing in a sample of the nation's 75 most populous counties. The SCPS data have been used to generate several BJS reports on felony case processing. This presentation summarizes findings from the most recent SCPS report titled "Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties 2006." Topics covered include the types of felony charges that brought defendants into the court system; the release or pretrial detention of felony defendants; the mechanism (e.g., commercial bail bonds, release on recognizance) through which defendants are released pretrial; and the rate at which released defendants commit pretrial misconduct, including failing to make court appearances or being rearrested for additional criminal misconduct. In addition, information on how many felony defendants are convicted, the method of conviction, and the sentencing of felony defendants is provided, and trends in felony case processing from the early 1990s to 2006 are highlighted. The presentation concludes with a summary of some of the redesign efforts currently underway for the SCPS project. The efforts are aimed at exploring county capacity to provide more specific details about factors influencing pretrial release decisions and pretrial misconduct that have traditionally not been collected in SCPS.
DONALD J. FAROLE, A National Assessment of Public Defender Office Caseloads. Many have argued that because of underfunding and understaffing, a lack of independence to turn down cases, and other factors, public defenders face caseloads so excessive that they are unable to provide capable and effective representation for their clients. This presentation examines findings from the Bureau of Justice Statistic's 2007 Census of Public Defender Offices (CPDO). The CPDO, which collected data from approximately 1,000 public defender offices in 49 states and the District of Columbia, allows for the first systematic investigation of public defender office caseloads nationwide. The presentation focuses on CPDO findings regarding defender office staffing, expenditures, and caseloads. It examines not only the numbers and types of cases received by public defender offices, but also the number of attorneys these offices would need in order to meet professional caseload guidelines.
CYNTHIA G. LEE, Medical Malpractice: Inside the Numbers. Beginning with the first malpractice insurance crisis of the 1970s, the topic of medical malpractice reform has periodically captured headlines as well as the attention of federal and state policymakers. According to many physicians and tort reform advocates, an epidemic of malpractice lawsuits is causing doctors to order unnecessary tests and procedures, and ultimately leading some doctors to leave certain specialties and geographic areas or to abandon the practice of medicine altogether. But what do the numbers say about medical malpractice litigation? This presentation will synthesize data from the Court Statistics Project and the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts to paint an empirical picture of medical malpractice proceedings in state trial courts.
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BRADFORD BOGUE, Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Community Corrections. This presentation argues that there is a need for corrections systems to revisit the strategies they presently employ to implement various innovations or evidence-based practices (EBPs). Implementation science, as espoused most eloquently by Dean Fixsen and his colleagues at the National Implementation Research Network, may be a critical missing link on the road to "implegrating" EBP into common practice in community corrections. Implementation is the bridge between science and practice that program fidelity depends upon. A four-department criminal justice system collaboration explicitly designed to improve future implementation of EBP in corrections in Colorado is described using a cross-section of process measures obtained thus far. This demonstration project involves 18 different local community-corrections and corrections agencies engaged in a process of "scaffolding up" competencies in over 80 "Change Agents" across the pilot sites. These Change Agents are being systematically empowered to instigate new communities of practice for Motivational Interviewing (MI). The staff empowerment process entails iterative cycles of training followed by phone coaching and then face-to-face coaching, until each Change Agent exceeds threshold criteria for MI proficiency in repeated measures. Measures are obtained at each step of the cycle through the use of video and audio tapes coded by independent raters using the Motivational Interviewing Therapeutic Integrity scale (MITI-3) and other related assessments. Findings from the combined latter measures are presented and an overview is provided on the new implementation science structures this project is learning to put in place.
ERICA KING, Program Integrity & the CPAI-2000: Lessons Learned in Maine. Program evaluation is an instrumental strategy to ensure program fidelity and optimal program effects. In criminal justice, poor fidelity can produce iatrogenic effects (increased crime, higher taxes, more victims). The corrections field has the benefit of decades of meta-analytic studies that provide a roadmap for how to reduce offender recidivism, increase public safety, and improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness. These standards, known as principles of effective intervention, are included in a validated program evaluation tool known as the Correctional Program Assessment Inventory (CPAI). Used to measure and monitor program operations, the original version of the CPAI (1995) has been used by many authors as a measure of program fidelity, and statistically correlated with reductions in reincarceration, recidivism, and/or institutional misconduct. Those studies formed the basis for the current version of the tool, which Maine has used to evaluate the integrity of its correctional programs since 2005. Findings from 40 CPAI assessments of Maine programs will be presented, highlighting common program capacities and challenges, the themes of which provide a blueprint for continuously improving and refining correctional programs in other jurisdictions. Given the national focus on reentry, corrections reform, and effective community correctional interventions, this presentation helps identify emerging performance challenges for community corrections policy and programming.
MARK RUBIN, Evidence-Based Practices in Maine: Successes and Challenges to Implementation. In 2003, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) selected Maine as one of two pilot states to demonstrate and test an integrated approach to the implementation of evidence-based principles in community corrections. The project model and conceptual framework developed by NIC emphasized the maintenance of an equal and integrated focus on three domains during implementation:
This presentation will describe Maine's attempt to implement NIC's integrated model for the purpose of improving community corrections and reducing recidivism. The presentation will highlight the reasons Maine decided to implement the model, how the strategies for each of the three domains of the model were implemented, and what results were achieved. Relevant state- level policy and legislative contextual factors will also be described.
- Evidence-based principles;
- Organizational development; and
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JANEENA J. WING, Pathways Into Crime: Female Offender Survivors of Domestic Abuse. In conjunction with an evaluation of Building Healthy Relationships (BHR), a course taught to female offenders with histories of domestic violence, the Idaho Statistical Analysis Center has gathered data concerning female criminality. The links between experiences of personal abuse, substance abuse, and economic marginality will be discussed. Female offenders are more likely to have past histories of abuse and are in need of programming that offers a safe place to reflect upon previous trauma as well as guidance to form strong healthy relationships with others in the future. This presentation will reflect upon the life of women prior to entering prison as well as discuss the programmatic needs of female offenders. The BHR course will be discussed as an example of programs that should be offered to female survivors of violence. BHR offers knowledge female offenders have not gained anywhere else. Class participants are taught the warning signs of domestic abuse, the effect domestic abuse has upon children, how to build a healthy intimate relationship, as well as discussing development of self-worth. Many women state that the class is the first time they have had the opportunity to discuss their own personal trauma as well as how to avoid unhealthy relationships in the future. Evaluation of the course has indicated that women show increases in self-esteem and improvements in knowledge gained concerning domestic violence. Previous work has also shown a decrease in recidivism among class participants.
DANIELLE ALBRIGHT, Domestic Violence or Family Feud? An Examination of the Use of Domestic Violence Orders of Protection Among Non-Intimate Relatives. While federal legislation targets violence against women by intimate partners, the trend in state-level statutory definitions for victim populations is generally broader. For many states, the population of those eligible for domestic violence intervention extends to "relatives" and "household members." In 2010, the New Mexico Legislature revised both criminal and civil statutes pertaining to domestic violence to exclude parties whose relationship falls outside of the intimate partner definition (with the exception of cases involving either child or elder abuse). The impetus for this revision was framed by the notion that non-intimate relative violence is situational and opportunistic and that such cases divert system resources from intended recipients of repeat, patterned, control-oriented violence. While the decision to narrow the definition may make good fiscal policy, there is no research to support the substantive rationale that non-intimate relative violence differs from intimate partner violence. Studies of the nature of domestic violence as well as those on the effectiveness of prevention and intervention efforts have focused exclusively on intimate relationships. While the intent of interventions in general, and Domestic Violence Orders of Protection (DVOP) specifically, may be to deal with violence between intimates, these orders are often available to parties with non-intimate family ties. Because research has excluded non-intimates, findings on the need for and effectiveness of DVOP cannot be generalized to this population. This presentation reports on results of an examination of petitions for DVOP that involved non-intimate relatives, comparing non-intimate petitions to those involving intimate partners. Preliminary findings suggest that there are a number of similarities between these cases, specifically in the types of reported abuse and petitioners' descriptions of the circumstances leading them to seek protection. These data, then, call into question the argument that non-intimates seek protection from violence that looks substantively different than the violence reported among intimates.
DIANE GOUT, Protective Factors Against Intimate Partner Violence Among American Indian and Alaska Native Mothers. Despite advances in the past 40 years that have led to intimate partner violence (IPV) being recognized as a significant social issue, the American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) population continues to be poorly represented in research and scholarship. This presentation reports on a study that advances the field by moving past the study of risk factors to the examination of factors that may serve to protect AI /AN women from IPV. Grounded in the theoretical frameworks of historical trauma and cultural identity, the study examined the relationships between cultural identity, familial ties, and IPV. Two core research questions were posed: 1) Are IPV rates lower among AI/AN mothers who report a strong attachment to their culture, and 2) Will AI/AN mothers who are identified as having strong family relationships report lower rates of IPV as opposed to those who do not? Secondary data analysis was undertaken utilizing the longitudinal, population-based Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study Baseline and Year 1 Follow-Up. The sample consisted of 154 American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut mothers. A three-stage hierarchical regression model was created in which three sets of independent variables were entered in the following sequence of variables: contextual, cultural identity, and family relationship. The final regression equation explained 25% of the variance in IPV; however, only 2 variables of the 11 entered were significant. Relationship status explained 20% of the total variance and instrumental supports contributed another 5%. These findings underscore the importance of understanding the social relationships, including the types of supports available to women experiencing IPV. Recommendations regarding research, practice and policy will be presented. This was the first study to examine protective mechanisms against IPV in the AI/AN population utilizing the theoretical constructs of cultural identity and familial supports.
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Evaluating the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG)
RODNEY A. WAMBEAM and SARAH KRICHELS GOAN, Findings from State-Level SPF SIG Evaluations. In 2004, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funded a sweeping and groundbreaking substance abuse prevention project in 20 states and territories called the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG). Founded on a public health- and population-based approach, the SPF SIG changed the prevention landscape by focusing on community- rather than individual-level change and by attempting to decrease not only substance abuse but also its consequences. In 2010, these first 20 states and territories completed the SPF SIG and today community, state, and national evaluators are finalizing their research on this important project. Presenters from three of these states - Arizona, Maine, and Wyoming - will discuss key aspects of their evaluations, along with findings on the impact of the SPF SIG on community- and state-level outcomes. This will include use of an integrated health youth survey to monitor substance abuse rates as well as intervening variables, and measuring community fidelity to the public health model in order to draw conclusions about the SPF SIG's effect on substance use rates. In the end, presenters will discuss the application of the SPF SIG model to prevention in other fields and invite discussion from the audience.
ROBERT G. ORWIN, Effects of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentives Grant (SPFSIG) on State Prevention Infrastructure in 26 States. The U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentives Grant (SPFSIG) is a national public health initiative to prevent substance abuse and its consequences. Twenty-six participating states used a data-driven planning model to allocate resources to 450 communities, which in turn launched over 2,000 intervention strategies to target prevention priorities in their populations. An additional goal was to build states' prevention capacity and infrastructure to facilitate communities' selection and implementation of intervention strategies. This presentation addresses the state infrastructure goal: 1) Was it achieved, and 2) what contextual and implementation factors were associated with success. Results found significant improvements in most infrastructure domains. Preliminary multivariate analyses showed baseline infrastructure levels to be highly predictive of final levels, but mediating effects of implementation were more ambiguous. Analyses of the reasons for change across domains, and more broadly, the contextual and implementation factors associated with success, are also discussed.
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Examining Reentry Programs
STEPHEN M. HAAS, Use of Core Correctional Practices in Prisoner Reentry: A Systematic Examination of Service Delivery Across Correctional Settings. Recent outcome studies on offender reentry programs have underscored the importance of quality implementation for obtaining reductions in recidivism. Likewise, a growing body of empirical evidence indicates that how correctional services are delivered is critical for influencing offender outcomes. This presentation reports on a study that used inmate survey data on a sample of soon-to-be-released prisoners to assess whether offender reentry services are being delivered in a manner that is consistent with key core correctional practices identified in research. The delivery of transitional services and the application of these practices are examined across two types of institutions-state-operated work release centers and general population correctional facilities in West Virginia. The results of the study suggest that work release centers are operating in a manner that is more consistent with known evidence-based practices. In addition, it appears that work release centers may be offering more transitional services to prisoners nearing release. On every core correctional practice and transitional service measure, the performance of work release centers is equal to or better than that of general population institutions. The expanded use of work release centers as "step-down" units and other implications related to the delivery of effective reentry services are discussed.
DAVID WRIGHT, The Effectiveness of the Oklahoma Mental Health Reentry Program. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections have partnered to improve reentry practices for inmates with serious mental illness. The program is designed to improve inmate outcomes following discharge. This involved putting additional mental health professionals into prisons for the purpose of discharge planning prior to release and for providing co-occurring treatment/therapy. This presentation will cover: 1) the specialized community-based reentry teams that were created utilizing peer specialists and mental health professionals to provide recovery-based, client-driven services in the prisons (pre-release) and provide mental health and co-occurring services after release; and 2) the evaluation findings on data needed to monitor, analyze, and produce useful performance/outcome measures including: rearrest, reincarceration, continuity of care, initiation, levels of treatment service, inpatient days, and Medicaid benefits.
LISA BROIDY, Reducing Barriers to Re-entry: Assessing the Implementation and Impact of a Pilot Dental Repair Program for Parolees. Previous research suggests two mechanisms through which dental health may be linked to prisoner reentry success. First, improving the dental appearance of ex-offenders may result in a more positive self-perception, which has been linked to criminal desistance. Second, dental health and attractiveness can reduce perceived criminality by others and increase perceptions of professionalism, which in turn may result in more legitimate employment opportunities. Employment has been linked to both criminal desistance and successful reentry. This presentation describes an evaluation of a pilot dental repair program for parolees currently under New Mexico Department of Corrections (NMDOC) supervision. The program was designed and implemented by the NMDOC Education Bureau, in collaboration with the NMDOC Probation and Parole Division. The intent of the program was to provide dental services for parolees with significant dental problems in hopes of reducing visible barriers to employment, thus increasing their chances of successful reentry. Due to both program design issues and time constraints, the long-term impact of program participation on employment outcomes could not be assessed. However, pre- and post-interview data suggest dental treatment improved participants' self-appraisals (including reports of increased self-confidence, improved interactions with others, and being viewed more positively by others). The presenter will review the program design and implementation and identify strengths and weaknesses in both the program and process evaluations in order to provide a useful starting point for agencies involved in the funding, design, implementation, or evaluation of similar programs.
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Exploring Tribal Crime Data
JULIE SAMUELS, Tribal Youth in the Federal System. In a project sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Urban Institute researchers are examining tribal youth handled in the federal justice system using data collected and maintained by the Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP). The FJSP collects data from six federal criminal justice agencies to track the movement of suspects from investigation through prosecution, adjudication, sentencing, corrections, and post-conviction supervision. Although the total number of juveniles prosecuted in the federal system is small, a substantial portion of them are tribal youth. The goals of the research are to explore the extent to which FJSP data can identify and describe tribal youth cases and to gain a better understanding of those cases. Issues include: how and why cases enter the federal system, the nature of the offenses committed, the manner in which these cases flow through the federal justice system, and the jurisdictional and practical factors influencing case processing. The presentation will offer background on federal jurisdiction over juveniles, as well as federal law pertaining to Indian Country, and describe the study's analytic approach and methodology, including key considerations and limitations. It will also discuss some of our preliminary findings and describe the types of questions that will be addressed in the final report.
CRAIG LOVE, A Report on the BJS Tribal Crime Data Collection, Analysis, and Estimation Project. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has launched an initiative to improve the quality and consistency of data on crime and justice issues in Indian Country. The improved quality and consistency in data reporting for the Uniform Crime Reporting that provides data for the Crime in the United States reports, either directly to the FBI or through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), would make many tribes eligible for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds that can support a variety of justice activities. Improved reporting would also greatly improve the utility of the data for tribal strategic planning in law enforcement policy and practice. This presentation discusses how the Westat team is working with BJS and other agencies to assess the available justice data. A large dataset has been created that includes data from a variety of federal data collections relating to Indian Country, including crime data reported to the BIA, Survey of Jails in Indian Country, Census of State and Local Law Enforcement, and BIA population and geographical information and the 2002 Census of Tribal Justice Agencies. The Westat team is currently reviewing these combined data and has identified content gaps in data available, policies that could improve linkage of these databases in the future, and needs for improvement in reporting consistency and quality in the crime data. The project is currently beginning efforts to improve crime data reporting through training and technical assistance.
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Guns and Gangs
RONALD J. FRANDSEN, Firearm Denials - 10 Years of the National Instant Check System. Federal and state laws prohibit transfers of firearms to felons, domestic violence offenders, fugitives, and other "prohibited persons." The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) facilitates enforcement of these prohibitions by requiring a background check on a person who attempts to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and state and local checking agencies use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to search records of prohibited persons. When a firearm purchase is denied because of a prohibiting record, the denied person may be investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) or state or local police. This presentation summarizes the first 10 full years of NICS operations (1999 to 2008), including the number of applications for firearm transfers and permits, denials that resulted from background checks, reasons for denial, rates of denial, and arrests of denied persons. Investigation and prosecution statistics for three years (2006 to 2008) will also be presented. Policy and practice questions raised by the statistics will be discussed.
LISA CONTOS SHOAF, The Ohio Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (OCIRV): A Strategic Response to Violent Crime. The Ohio Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (OCIRV) is a consortium of local, state, and federal partners throughout Ohio engaged in a common effort to reduce gang-related violent crime. The goal of OCIRV is to assist communities in Ohio interested in implementing a focused-deterrence strategy modeled after the Boston Gun Project of the mid-1990s ("Ceasefire"), which has since been executed in cities across the country with great success. This strategy is currently being implemented in three Ohio cities. This presentation will include a brief overview of the violence reduction strategy, followed by a description of OCIRV and the ways in which OCIRV assists cities in planning and implementing the strategy. Data collection and other preliminary findings will also be discussed.
DAVID C. PYROOZ, Structural Covariates of Gang Homicide in Large U.S. Cities. This presentation reports on a study that examines gang homicide in large American cities. To date, empirical knowledge about gang homicide is limited to homicide event characteristics (e.g., settings, participants) and city-specific analyses of neighborhoods. Resulting from this research is a body of literature suggesting that the etiology of gang homicides differs from other types of homicide. This study had two goals: (1) identify structural covariates of gang homicides in cities to extend the gang homicide literature from a localized (i.e., city-specific) to a generalized (i.e., between-city) state of knowledge; and (2) determine whether structural covariates of gang and non-gang homicide differ from one another. Data were drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau, Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, Uniform Crime Reports, and National Gang Center. Five covariates-disadvantage, heterogeneity, population density, gang member rates, and percent Hispanic-were found to explain the variation of gang homicide rates between cities. Structural covariates of gang homicide were found to differ from non-gang homicide, but not in a manner that biases aggregate homicide research. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of gang and homicide research, and directions for future research are offered.
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AMY FARRELL, Local Law Enforcement Identification of and Response to Human Trafficking. The passage of state and federal laws criminalizing the trafficking of persons for labor and sexual services has raised public awareness about the problem of trafficking. In response, we expect local law enforcement to learn about the problem, identify trafficking victims, and make arrests. The numbers of human trafficking cases identified and investigated by local agencies has paled in comparison to official estimates of the problem. This presentation discusses the disconnect between public perceptions about a new or newly prioritized crime such as human trafficking and police identification of such crimes, and examines community and organizational factors that may predict the preparedness and ability of agencies to respond to these crimes.
NANCY ARRIGONA, Juvenile Victims of Human Trafficking. Recent legislation at the federal and state levels has focused attention on the issue of human trafficking. In Texas, local level Human Trafficking Task Forces and a newly established statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force have increased awareness on the need for identification, enforcement, and prosecution of human trafficking as well as on the need for services for victims. These efforts, however, have primarily focused on the needs of adult victims from the immigrant/refugee population. Juveniles, especially those who are United States citizens, have received little attention. This presentation will discuss the unique challenges of identifying and providing services to domestic juveniles who are victims of human trafficking and review current state efforts to divert trafficked juveniles involved with prostitution from the juvenile justice system.
SUZANNE KOEPPLINGER, Shattered Hearts: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of American Indian Women and Girls in Minnesota. The Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center (MIWRC) is a 25-year old nonprofit agency serving American Indian women and their families in Minnesota. In 2009, MIWRC published Shattered Hearts: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of American Indian Women and Girls. This presentation discusses this research, which provides the first look at the scope of sex trafficking of American Indians in the country. Sexual violence in American Indian communities has reached epidemic proportions. The prevalence of high rates of gender violence, poverty, fractured social structures, historic trauma, social isolation, chemical dependency/mental illness, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders makes this population particularly at risk. This groundbreaking research looks at historic context, vulnerability factors, the dynamics of trafficking, and barriers to exit, and provides a series of recommendations for action.
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Impact of Sentencing Decisions on the Justice System
DUREN BANKS, Trends in Felony Sentences in State Courts, 1992 - 2006. The presentation will describe trends in felony offenders sentenced in state courts between 1992 and 2006. Data were collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics through its National Judicial Reporting Program (NJRP), which includes detailed information on the sentences and characteristics of convicted felons in state courts. The NJRP has been conducted every two years since 1986. In 2006, state courts convicted an estimated 1.1 million adults of a felony, a number approximately 21% higher than the 893,630 adults convicted in 1992, and approximately 18% higher than the 924,700 adults convicted in 2000. About one third of convicted felons were drug offenders and almost 1 in 5 were violent offenders. Overall, between 1992 and 2006, the number of felons convicted of a violent offense in state courts rose 20% (from 165,099 to 206,140), while between 2000 and 2006, the number of convicted violent felons rose 16% (from 173,200 to 206,140). Persons convicted of a felony in 2006 were most likely to receive an incarceration sentence. Forty-one percent received incarceration in state prison, while 28% were incarcerated in a local jail. Approximately 27% of convicted felons were sentenced to probation, with no prison or jail time.
MEREDITH FARRAR-OWENS, Geriatric Inmates in Virginia Prisons. Virginia's geriatric release provision was adopted as part of the parole abolition/truth-in-sentencing reform package enacted by the state legislature in 1994. Under this provision, an inmate who has reached the age of 65 having served at least five years of the sentence imposed, or an inmate who has reached the age of 60 having served at least 10 years, may petition the Parole Board for conditional release. Originally applicable only to offenders sentenced under truth-in-sentencing laws, the geriatric release provision was expanded in 2001 to apply to all prison inmates. With violent offenders targeted for very lengthy terms of incapacitation under truth-in-sentencing and no discretionary parole release, some prisoners will remain incarcerated well into old age. Some inmates, by virtue of their age and physical condition, are unlikely to pose a continuing threat to public safety. Moreover, cost to the Department of Corrections (DOC), particularly in medical expenses, is significantly higher for older inmates. The number of inmates eligible for geriatric release has been increasing and is expected to rise in the coming years as more inmates reach the necessary age and time-served qualifications for geriatric release. To date, few inmates have been granted geriatric release. Virginia continues to examine its aging inmate population.
THERESA SALO, New York's Drug Law Reform: The First Year. After decades of debate, New York State enacted reforms to the Rockefeller Drug Laws in 2009. Mandatory minimum prison sentences were eliminated for many drug offenders, and judges were authorized to impose many more sentencing options for drug-addicted defendants. The New York Statistical Analysis Center has responsibility for evaluating the impact of these historic changes. This presentation will show how these reforms have impacted the criminal justice system in the first year of implementation.
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Improving Victimization Data
MICHAEL R. RAND, Redesign of the National Crime Victimization Survey and Producing Subnational Victimization Estimates. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is pursuing a program to reevaluate and redesign the methodology of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) towards restoring and improving its ability to measure the extent and characteristics of crime and its impact upon its victims. The primary goals of the project are: to improve the precision and cost-efficiency of the survey to produce national-level estimates of the amount and characteristics of crime victimization and year-to-year changes in violent victimization rates; to enhance the survey's flexibility to facilitate the study of emerging issues; and to modify the structure of the design to permit subnational (i.e., state, city, or MSA) estimates of victimization. BJS recently awarded a major project to examine the feasibility of conducting companion state- or MSA- level victimization surveys to augment the national-level NCVS. This presentation will discuss the goals of the redesign and describe current and planned research, with a focus on the projects in place and issues associated with the production of subnational victimization estimates.
JOHN RUSER, Data on Workplace Homicides from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Since 1992, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected and published the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), a comprehensive count of work-related fatal injuries. CFOI counts are especially accurate because the census culls fatalities from multiple data sources (such as death certificates, state workers' compensation records, news media, and OSHA reports). The CFOI provides national and state level tabulations of key fatality characteristics and the demographics of workers fatally injured on the job.
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Issues in Juvenile Justice Research and Policy
CAROL A. SCHUBERT, Differential Effects of Adult Court Transfer on Juvenile Offender Recidivism. Prior research indicates that adolescent offenders transferred to adult court are more likely to recidivate than those retained in the juvenile system. The studies supporting this conclusion, however, are limited in addressing the issue of heterogeneity among transferred adolescents. This presentation discusses a study that estimated the effect of transfer on later crime using a sample of 193 serious juvenile offenders. The study used propensity score matching to reduce potential selection bias, and partitioned the sample on legal characteristics to examine subgroup effects. Results showed an overall null effect of transfer on rearrest, but evidence of differential effects of transfer for adolescents with different offending histories. These results suggest that evaluating the effects of transfer for all transferred adolescents together may lead to misguided policy conclusions.
REBECCA NORÉUS, Standardizing Juvenile Recidivism Research: Maine's Experience Working Within an Emerging Framework. Recidivism is a common measure of state juvenile justice system effectiveness. Currently, however, state measurements are often incomparable to one another. Some of the more common reasons for this incomparability are: different populations considered, differing definitions and measures of recidivism, and the use of varying data sources. Data capacity concerns may further limit the level of analysis. While differences in state juvenile systems will always exist, these alone do not prevent meaningful analysis at a national level or, at minimum, state to state comparison. The Council for Juvenile Corrections Administrators (CJCA), focusing on developing a common set of measures, developed recommendations for states to consider when developing and conducting recidivism research. These include definitions of recidivism measures, in addition to guidelines about types of data to collect and report. Recognizing that states have different capacities to collect and report this information, the CJCA organized the recidivism guidelines into 3 levels, starting at basic aggregate counts and moving towards more advanced analysis linking outcomes with specific juvenile justice programming and interventions. The ultimate goal is to create high level, comparable measurements of recidivism and juvenile justice program impact across the states. This presentation discusses Maine's research in the context of the CJCA guidelines, data capacity improvements through the process, and current recidivism findings and future goals. While Maine has reported on recidivism since 1998, the Division of Juvenile Services recently revised its research questions in an effort to align the state's research with the CJCA's guidelines. It is hoped that in following the CJCA's recommendations, states will increase their ability to compare recidivism rates, and a national rate may emerge.
JANEEN BUCK WILLISON, Examining Juvenile Justice Policy in the U.S. State governments enacted a host of reforms over the last two decades that profoundly altered juvenile justice policy and practice, arguably making it more like the adult system. A review of recent legislation and current practice across the 50 states and D.C. suggests this characterization may no longer hold true. Using data from a national survey of juvenile justice professionals and drawing on analyses from a review of state laws, this presentation examines the orientation of juvenile justice nationally. Findings are presented and the implications for policy and research are briefly discussed.
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Jail and Prison Populations
MICHELLE NEITCH, Children of Incarcerated Parents: Measuring the Scope of the Problem. In an inter-agency collaboration to identify specific at-risk populations of Arizona children, the Arizona Statistical Analysis Center conducted a prisoner case file study to estimate the number of Arizona children who have incarcerated parents. This presentation will focus on the results obtained from the study, specifically highlighting information about population prevalence, demographic differences, and child placement details. Additional data from the Arizona Youth Survey will be presented to examine a host of factors (e.g., substance use, delinquency, risk and protective factors) reported by 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade youth who currently and previously have had parents incarcerated in prison or jail.
MARGARET NOONAN, Mortality in Local Jails. This presentation will describe the specific medical conditions causing deaths in jails nationwide during an eight-year period. For the leading medical causes of mortality, comparative estimates and mortality rates will be presented by gender, age, race and Hispanic origin, and the length of time served in jail. The presenter will report detailed statistics on causes of death as well as more acute events such as suicides, homicides, and accidents. Mortality as related to the size of the jail will also be discussed. Jail inmate death rates will be compared with rates in the general U.S. resident population using a direct standardization. Estimates and mortality rates for the top 50 jail jurisdictions in the United States will also be presented.
WILLIAM J. SABOL, Factors Contributing to the Decline in State Prison Populations. This presentation will discuss the changes in the sentencing process that were associated with slowing of growth in state prison populations and their eventual decline. The presentation is motivated by the question: What accounts for the relative stability in state prison populations during the 2000s? To address this, prison population growth is decomposed into components of the sentencing process associated with imprisonment: crimes, arrests, convictions, prison sentences, and length of stay. The contributions of each component of growth are compared across two periods, 1994 to 2000, and 2000 to 2006. The analysis shows how the sources of prison admission growth vary over time and points to the role of changes in crime and prosecution as determinants of prison population growth.
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RYAN S. KING, Public Safety, Public Spending: Past Trends and New Directions. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the number of state prisoners in the United States has declined on an annual basis. This followed four decades in which the state prison population increased by more than 700%. The remaining questions are, why did the population decline, and is this drop the beginning of a sustainable trend or merely a single-year correction? Recent state policy developments are a good place to look for potential clues to answer both of these questions. This presentation will provide a national overview of state sentencing and corrections reforms, with a focus on evidence-based strategies that have been enacted to control corrections costs while holding offenders accountable and protecting public safety.
PATRICIA L. CARUSO, The Michigan Story: Opportunity Born From Crisis. Michigan's economy started downhill in the latter part of 2001 - long before the rest of the country. At the same time, the prison population was on an upward spiral that was unsustainable on any level. In 2003, Michigan started exploring what had been learned at the national level and reached out to some new partners. The result was a top to bottom culture change that focused on success. At the beginning of this effort, a decision was made to reinvest one third of the savings incurred as the population dropped. This allowed the Michigan Department of Corrections to self-fund the resources needed in prison and the community. In March 2007, Michigan reached its all time high prison population - 51,554. Today, the population is under 44,000. More importantly, crime is down, violations are down, revocations are down, and communities throughout the state have embraced the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative as their approach to making their communities safer. Ms. Caruso will discuss how this was achieved and what the future holds.
ROGER WERHOLTZ, The Kansas Experience or Lady Macbeth Was Wrong. In response to projections of significant increases in the prison population, the Kansas Department of Corrections undertook a major effort to change the way it did business. From 2004 to 2009, facility populations were reduced, six small facilities closed, revocation rates cut, absconding lowered by two thirds, and parole convictions for new crimes reduced by 36%. Kansas was one of the states touted as a model for how corrections should be managed. In 2010, the picture is not as encouraging. In this session, Secretary Werholtz will talk about how strategies were developed, what happened, how fragile gains can be, and what can be learned from the successes and failures of the Kansas experience.
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JAMES P. LYNCH, Strengthening the Bond between Federal, State and Local Statistics on Crime and Justice. The partnership between the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the state Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) has always been important to accomplishing BJS's mission. Much of the data that we present for the nation is simply aggregations of information collected at the state and local levels, and the SACS and JRSA have been helpful in making these exchanges work. The changing technological environment has made our interdependence even greater. Household and establishment surveys have become more difficult to conduct, so we must make greater and more creative use of administrative record data. Fortunately, the quality of administrative data has improved over time and the methodologies for sharing those data have also improved with the development of information exchange models and service-oriented architecture standards. We must work with the SACs and JRSA to develop these exchanges. We must also work on issues of data protection and data quality that are in some ways new territory because of technological advances. Finding new ways to use these data to inform policy at all levels of government is also important so that there is a seamless interconnection and symbiosis between federal, state, and local reporting and analyses. Finally, in this era of austerity, we must work together to ensure that those who use our data to make policy are mindful of the needs of statistical agencies.
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JIM GILMER, "Shared Offenders" - Targeting Cross-Jurisdictional Offenders as an Information-Sharing Tool for Law Enforcement. Crime does not respect jurisdictional boundaries, and neither do criminals. It is not unusual for police departments with a common boundary to arrest - or share - the same offenders. But how often do departments in adjacent counties, or even in widely separated jurisdictions, arrest the same offenders? The systematic analysis of shared offenders allows law enforcement agencies to better coordinate the exchange of intelligence, to improve strategic and tactical planning, and to document the frequency with which offenders from other jurisdictions are encountered in known hot spots or crime corridors. By analyzing the prevalence and incidence of cross-jurisdictional offending in criminal histories, the Division of Criminal Justice Services' Office of Justice Research and Performance has developed an applied research product that can be crafted into a useful intelligence tool with analytic value for law enforcement information-sharing in New York State. This presentation reviews the methodology behind the shared offender analysis, describes the current findings of this research, and demonstrates the intelligence product for sharing with law enforcement.
ANDREA M. BURCH, Death in Police Custody: An Overview of Arrest-Related Deaths. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) initiated the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program in 2003 to serve as a census of persons who died during, or shortly after, state or local law enforcement officers engaged in an arrest process. Approximately 700 civilian deaths occurring during an encounter with police are reported to BJS every year. The ARD data include deaths due to any use of force by law enforcement officers as well as those that are not directly related to either police action or negligence, such as deaths attributed to intoxication, suicide, accidental injury, and illness or natural causes. This presentation discusses the development of the ARD program, the current methodology employed, and the future direction of the program. The presentation will conclude with a summary of highlights from the data series.
JOEL GARNER, Rural Law Enforcement. This presentation describes the nature of law enforcement agencies in rural counties in the United States. Based on data from the 2007 LEMAS survey, this presentation compares agency resources, personnel, equipment, training and policies in rural agencies with agencies in both large and small non-rural jurisdictions.
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Probation and Parole: Issues and Solutions
LAUREN GLAZE, Serious Mental Illness Issues Among the Community Corrections Populations. A brief overview of recent trends in growth in the community corrections populations will be discussed using data collected through the Bureau of Justice Statistics' annual collections on community corrections. The presentation will then focus on serious mental health issues among the community corrections populations. Estimates of serious mental illness among the probation and parole populations will be examined using data collected through the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and will be compared to estimates in the general population. The presentation will conclude by presenting estimates of treatment received by mentally ill offenders, including types of treatment received and sources of payment.
GUY BOURGON, Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision (STICS): Translating RNR to Everyday Practice. The Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision (STICS) project employed random assignment in order to evaluate a Risk, Need, and Responsitivity (RNR)-based training program for probation officers. The project paid particular attention to the "behind closed doors" behavior, skills, and interventions used by probation officers through the use of audiotapes and evaluated their effects on the recidivism of the offenders they supervised. This presentation describes the key results of this initiative, including key correlates of recidivism and officer behavior as well as the implications regarding how organizations can more effectively implement evidence-based offender supervision practices.
BILL BALES, A Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of Electronic Monitoring. In recent years, electronic monitoring (EM) has gained prominence in corrections as a pre-trial supervision alternative to local jail for medium- and high-risk felony offenders placed on community supervision in lieu of incarceration, and as a mandated community supervision requirement for serious offenders released from prison. Additionally, laws that require the use of EM, especially Global Positioning Systems (GPS), for specified sex offenders supervised in the community for enhanced supervision have recently proliferated. This presentation summarizes a National Institute of Justice-funded study conducted in Florida that: (1) determined the effectiveness of EM as a supervision enhancement for offenders under supervision with the Florida Department of Corrections in terms of absconding, probation violations, and the commission of new crimes; (2) assessed the impact EM has on offenders' personal relationships, families, employment, and assimilation within the community; and (3) developed evidence-based recommendations to improve public safety.
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Racial Disparity in the Justice System
JACK MCDEVITT, Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. This presentation will review the state of the art of research on racial and ethnic disparities across the justice system. It will review our current state of knowledge on racial disparities in the areas of capital punishment, sentencing, juvenile contacts, police use of force, and racial profiling. In addition to the current research, the presenter will discuss the incident in which Professor Skip Gates was arrested by Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley in his home. The presenter recently served as a member of the Cambridge Review Commission, which looked into the incident, and he will use this incident to illustrate many of the issues surrounding other areas of racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system. He will also discuss the commission's recommendations for reducing the likelihood of similar incidents from occurring in the future.
BESIKI KUTATELADZE, Examining Racial Disparity in Prosecution: Preliminary Findings from Two Jurisdictions. Despite the difficulties associated with accessing data on prosecution, the Program on Prosecution and Racial Justice (PRJ) at the Vera Institute of Justice has managed to build and maintain a working relationship with District Attorneys' offices in Mecklenburg County, NC and Milwaukee County, WI. As a part of this collaboration, PRJ developed and/or worked to improve case management systems to build the capacity to examine possible racial disparity in case outcomes. This presentation will focus on preliminary findings at various discretion points, including initial screening of charges, plea offers, and sentencing recommendations. Methodological challenges of data collection, analysis, and interpretation will also be discussed.
JANICE IWAMA, Examining Efforts to Reduce DMC: A Case Study of Two States. In 2007, the Justice Research and Statistics Association began a project funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to examine the strategies that have been implemented in Iowa and Virginia to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in the states' juvenile justice systems. Using these states as case studies, the purpose of the project was to determine how states and localities were using empirical information to: (1) identify the extent and nature of the DMC problem; and (2) assess the effectiveness of their efforts to reduce DMC. This presentation will summarize the overall findings and conclusions, and provide some recommendations to help OJJDP and the states enhance their ability to address DMC issues, collect data, and evaluate the results of their efforts.
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MATTHEW DUROSE, Examining Recidivism Outcomes Among State Court Defendants Convicted in Large Urban Counties. This presentation will discuss how criminal history record data from 18 states and the FBI's Interstate Identification Index (III) were collected and analyzed for the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS's) Domestic Violence Recidivism Project. The goal of this project was to examine the impact of case outcomes on future offending and to compare the prior and subsequent criminal activities of defendants convicted of domestic violence to defendants convicted of non-domestic violence offenses. This study was based on a sample of about 20,000 defendants who were adjudicated in the state courts of large urban counties. The personal identifiers supplied by these courts were used to obtain criminal history files from the FBI and state repositories. BJS converted the unique content and structure of each file into a single database that could support national-level recidivism research. The results of this study will be summarized in two BJS publications (forthcoming early 2011).
DAVID OLSON, An Assessment of Risk and Recidivism of Illinois Prison Releasees. In 2010, the State of Illinois formed a Risk, Assets and Needs Assessment (RANA) Task Force to identify instruments and processes that could be used by the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to develop more effective intervention and supervision strategies for inmates and parolees. Working with the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, researchers at Loyola University Chicago have undertaken the largest scale recidivism project to date in Illinois to assist RANA and the IDOC in better understanding the patterns and factors associated with recidivism among prison releasees. Through an examination of the post-release outcomes (return to prison and rearrest) of more than 34,000 inmates released from prison in Illinois during 2007, the research assessed the quality and utility of information collected by the IDOC to identify inmates at greatest risk of overall recidivism, as well as recidivism specifically for crimes of violence, and among specific sub-populations (i.e., males versus females). The data used in the analyses included information obtained through the Reception and Classification interview conducted with the inmates by IDOC counselors and psychologists, the inmate's disciplinary record while incarcerated, the inmate's detailed criminal history record, and the characteristics of the communities the inmates were released back to. These individual- and community-level characteristics were then examined using hierarchical linear modeling to identify the most salient factors associated with the various forms of recidivism. The presentation will include a discussion of the findings, as well as the implications for practitioners and policy makers as they seek to improve the outcomes of those released from prison.
CHRISTINE ADAMS, Evaluation of the Colorado Short Term Intensive Residential Remediation Treatment (STIRRT) Program. This presentation reports on Colorado's Short Term Intensive Residential Remediation Treatment (STIRRT) program, which is intended to provide 14 days of residential substance abuse treatment designed to stabilize an individual and then provide outpatient, community-based services for six to nine months following discharge from the residential component. The program is offered at one of four Colorado locations and is considered a "last chance" for offenders who would otherwise go to prison. Those eligible include probationers on intensive supervision and Department of Corrections offenders placed in community corrections.
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Research Using NIBRS Data
HOWARD N. SNYDER, Testing the Generalizability of NIBRS Data. Due to NIBRS' current level of coverage, many question the ability of its data to represent national patterns. Others argue that the sample, while not sufficient to yeild national estimates of the levels of crime and arrest, is sufficient to uncover patterns (such as the proportion of violent crime known to law enforcement that is alcohol-involved). This notion will be tested by comparing NIBRS patterns with those found in the National Crime Victimization Survey. The findings will help analysts understand the nature of NIBRS data and demonstrate an actvity that should (when possible) be a part of any NIBRS analysis.
ANNE SHATTUCK, Characteristics of Crimes Against Juveniles from Analysis of 2008 NIBRS Data. The detailed information on crime victims and incidents contained in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) offers a more comprehensive picture of crimes against children that come to police attention than has been available previously using other data sources. This presentation will provide descriptive statistics on reported crimes against juveniles from analysis of 2008 NIBRS data. Findings presented will include national estimates of crime by type of offense, patterns of crimes against juveniles by age and gender of victims, and characteristics of known offenders in crimes against children. The advantages and limitations of using NIBRS data to assess the extent and character of juvenile victimization will also be discussed.
DANIEL B. BIBEL, Making NIBRS Data Meaningful for Local Agencies. National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data can be of great use for state and national policy makers, but are they useful for the local police departments that collect and submit them? As a computerized data file, the data are not "seen" by the local agencies that are submitting them to the state crime reporting program, and agencies may feel that the data provide no information or benefit to them. Local police are also undergoing stress due to resource limitations. The economic slowdown, which has affected many, has resulted in personnel cutbacks. Only a small number of departments have crime analysis units or personnel trained to extract and analyze data from the department's record management system. This presentation will demonstrate several ways in which NIBRS data can be used to provide direct assistance to local reporting agencies: for crime analysis, data quality improvement, and administrative and management purposes.
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Role of SACs in Informing State Justice Policy
DOUGLAS L. YEARWOOD, How a Simple Research Survey Led to a $16 Million State Appropriation. This presentation provides an overview of the role of the North Carolina Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) in helping to create and shape statewide gang policy, legislation, and program development. Information will be presented about the relationship between the SAC, criminal justice planners and the State Administrative Agency (SAA) as they collaboratively progressed from studying an issue to seeing the passage of legislation and the awarding of three separate state appropriations.
MARK MYRENT, Optimizing the SAC/SAA Partnership. This presentation will highlight specific activities state Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) staff can undertake to foster an effective collaboration with their State Administering Agency (SAA). This relationship is of critical importance to ensure that program and policy decision making is data and research driven-regardless of whether the SAC is situated within the SAA or is part of another state agency or academic institution. The Illinois SAC has developed a formal partnership with the SAA's grants administration unit that prescribes technical assistance protocols to enable the collection and reporting of reliable statistics on grantees and guide decisions on how best to spend limited federal funding. Additionally, to support the formulation of a statewide criminal justice strategic plan, the SAC has compiled summaries of evidence-based programs and practices that can serve as a starting point for local and state planning efforts, and developed web-based data tools to help local and state officials interpret various crime and justice system indicators. The presentation will also discuss graphical data analyses that were produced by the SAC to facilitate the programming of VOCA and VAWA dollars in Illinois for a separate victims planning meeting. This material was presented alongside results of needs assessment surveys from local justice agency officials and maps indicating the current prevalence of various programs for crime victims. Taken together, this work may provide a necessary linkage of research to program planning and evaluation.
JOHN A. BLACKBURN, JR., Effective Relationships: The SAA and SAC in Arizona. Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) can play an important role in supporting the efforts of State Administering Agencies (SAAs). In this presentation, the types of supportive services the Arizona SAC provides to the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (Arizona's SAA), and how they have benefited the various Commission programs, will be discussed. The discussion will highlight the collaborative work of the AZ SAC and AZ SAA on informing public safety policy development and measuring the performance of subgrantees.
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Sentencing and Corrections in the States: Responses to the Growth in Incarceration
RICK KERN, Sentencing and Corrections Reforms Examined in our Three Most Populated States: California, New York and Texas. State criminal justice systems have unique opportunities to learn from the successes and failures of reforms and initiatives undertaken in other states. Lessons learned in one state should be shared in other states contemplating similar reforms. Nonetheless, while we should have mountains of knowledge from experiments in reforming state sentencing and corrections systems, little is done to create that knowledge base or make use of it when it exists. The articles assembled in the recently published special issue of Justice Research and Policy on sentencing and corrections in the states help fill this void. This presentation will focus on a series of those articles that highlight recent reform efforts and lessons learned in our nation's three most populated states - California, Texas and New York. New York has received much attention for a dramatic simultaneous drop in both its crime rates and prison population over the past decade. Texas recently averted spending a half billion dollars to build and operate new prisons projected to be needed and instead redirected a much smaller sum of monies to fund more cost-effective alternatives to traditional incarceration. California, which operates the most overcrowded prison system and has among the highest recidivism rate in the nation, has sought remedies to ameliorate its problems that have been consistently rejected. It offers important lessons for others who pursue reforms in this arena. These unique state experiences offer up suggestions on how to make better use of knowledge drawn from sentencing reform movements in the states.
MARK H. BERGSTROM, Danger and Opportunity: Making Public Safety Job One in Pennsylvania's Indeterminate Sentencing System. This presentation will explore a model for integrated predictive guidelines in Pennsylvania to better coordinate sentencing and parole decision making, particularly through formal consideration of offender risk and needs at sentencing and with constraints on the consideration of retribution and static risk factors at parole.
BILL BALES, An Assessment of the Development and Outcomes of Determinate Sentencing. Since the 1980s, punishment strategies have shifted to decrease the use of indeterminate policies based on the rehabilitation ideal towards "get tough" policies that emphasize deterministic sentencing. This major shift emanates from the idea that rehabilitation has done little to change inmate behavior. While scholars have concluded these policies are a dismal failure, no comparative studies exist that assess the outcomes of indeterminate versus determinate punishments on recidivism. This presentation summarizes research that examines Florida's Minimum 85% Time Served Law requiring all offenders sentenced to prison after 1995 to serve a minimum of 85% of their sentence. The impetus behind the enactment of this law is examined as well whether it is truly a "get tough" approach to crime control based on various punishment measures. Additionally, the impact of this determinate sentencing strategy on recidivism is assessed using a cohort of 164,485 male inmates released from prison between 1995 and 2005. Using propensity score matching (PSM), the 85% law was found to result in significant reductions in recidivism. The theoretical and policy implications of the findings are discussed.
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Using State Criminal History Records for Research: Exploring Issues of Quality
MATT BILESKI, Criminal History Analysis of Class Six Felony Offenders Released from Prison in 2007. From 2000 to 2009, the total inmate population of Arizona state prisons increased 53.3%, far exceeding the total resident population increase of 28.6% over the same period. The rapid growth of Arizona's prison population continues to strain limited state resources, and in turn, state lawmakers have elevated interest in the criminal attributes of lower level offenders in prison. As a result, the Arizona Statistical Analysis Center (AZSAC) is exploring data focused on the inmate population within the state prison system and the criminal history of these offenders. Data were collected from the Arizona Department of Corrections for all state prisoners released from incarceration in 2007. The Arizona Department of Public Safety provided the AZSAC with criminal history record rap sheets from the Arizona Computerized Criminal History (ACCH) repository for each prisoner released. This presentation will focus on the preliminary data for all class six felony offenders released from prison in 2007. Data will include demographic information and patterns discovered with relation to criminal history and offenders' most recent offense classification(s) for which the 2007 prison release took place. The presentation will also focus on the benefits and challenges of working with criminal history records from the ACCH repository as well as a brief overview of next steps in the analysis.
SUE BURTON, Criminal History Records in Florida: A Comparison of the Records Quality Index, 2003 and 2006. This presentation describes the results of a Florida Statistical Analysis Center (FSAC) project that examined the performance of Florida's criminal history records system as measured by the Records Quality Index (RQI) developed by Structured Decisions Corporation for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The FSAC, in partnership with Florida's criminal history managers, applied the RQI technique to evaluate Florida's criminal history records system using a series of outcome measures and process measures specifically related to timeliness and record completion. The FSAC modified the RQI methodology to encompass timeliness and completion measures that are of interest to the state's criminal history managers and policy makers. The data used for compiling the RQI included arrest and judicial disposition data for arrests occurring between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2006, representing 5,408,465 arrest events and over 2 million individuals. Florida's RQI results and implications will be discussed during the presentation.
JESSICA NAPIER, Criminal History Records Survey: Law Enforcement Officers and Court Clerks. In 2005, the West Virginia Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center (WVCJSAC) performed an audit of the state's criminal history records repository. This audit looked at whether the records were complete, accurate, and submitted in a timely manner by law enforcement officers and court clerks. The results from the 2005 audit were less than ideal; for example, 68.8% of fingerprint cards and only 43.5% of court disposition reports were received at the state repository. The purpose of the study was to explore the processes and procedures involved in the completion and submission of records to the criminal history records repository. The WVCJSAC surveyed law enforcement officers and court clerks in 2009 in four major areas: 1) practices and procedures, 2) training, 3) technology, and 4) barriers and recommendations. This presentation will discuss the survey methods and results from these four major areas from this exploratory survey, along with policy implications and recommendations.
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