June 2014  Vol. 32, No. 2



Assessing Attitudes Towards Defendants with Mental Illness

Evaluation of Utah's Employment Placement Projec: Cross-Agency Collaborations and New Data


Search and Navigation Improvements Made to BJS Website

Bureau of Justice Statistics Receives Policy Impact Award

BJS to Implement 2014 Census of Adult Probation Supervising Agencies

NCJA Announces New Webinar Series


JRSA Hosts Training and Technical Assistance Webinars

Toolkit Series Supports Use of Evidence-Based Practices by SAAs

JRSA Staff Assist DC Grantees with Evaluation Capacity



Ed McGarrell Is New Director of the Michigan SAC


Idaho SAC Reports on State Crime Victimization Survey


Evaluation of the 2013 Community Violence Prevention Program

Evaluation of Chicago Police Department's Crisis Intervention Teams

Evaluation of St. Leonard's Ministries: A Prisoner Reentry Program


Iowa SAC Director Paul Stageberg to Retire in June

Effects of Earned Time for Iowa Inmates Charged with Robbery


Kansas Sentencing Commission Authorized to Make Statewide Supervision and Placement Cutoff Decisions Based Upon the Risk and Needs of the Offender


2014 Crime and Justice Data Book Reports Decline in Maine Index Crime


SAC to Release the Result of a Project Studying Attitudes Toward Defendants with Mental Illness


Crime Analysis Using Vermont NIBRS Data: A Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Universities

West Virginia

Conducting two community corrections research studies

Evaluating the Impact of the Drug Market Intervention

SAC continues to assess LS/CMI implementation

The JRSA Forum is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. JRSA is a national nonprofit organization. For membership or other information, call (202) 842-9330, e-mail cjinfo@jrsa.org, or visit our Web site: http://www.jrsa.org.

Karen F. Maline, Editor
Nancy Michel, Managing Editor


Stephen Haas, President
Janeena J. Wing, Vice President
Lisa Shoaf, Secretary/ Treasurer
Danette Buskovick, Delegate
Mark Myrent Delegate
Roger Przybylski, Appointed Delegate
Phillip Stevenson, Past President

Joan C. Weiss, Executive Director

Shawn Flower, Research Associate
Karen F. Maline, Director of Member Services
Nancy Michel, Director of Publications
Stan Orchowsky, Research Director
Jason Trask, Program Associate
Lisa Walbolt Wagner, Research Associate
Carrie Williamson, Research Associate

Kansas Sentencing Commission Authorized to Make Statewide Supervision and Placement Cutoff Decisions Based Upon the Risk and Needs of the Offender

In 2013, the Kansas legislature mandated through the Kansas Sentencing Act 74-9101(b)(21), that the Kansas Sentencing Commission: "be authorized to make statewide supervision and placement cutoff decisions based upon the risk levels and needs of the offender. The Commission shall periodically review data and make recommended changes." In accordance with that Act, the Sentencing Commission is developing statewide Level of Service Inventory - Revised (LSI-R) cutoff score decision guidance, which will be provided to stakeholders.

To address the legislative mandate and establish a consistent state "cutoff score decision," an LSI-R Subcommittee was formed. Members of the Commission participating are: Hon. Evelyn Wilson, Chair; Betsy Gillespie; Chris Mechler; and Ray Roberts. The Subcommittee has met six times to plan procedures for data collection and develop the project. Dr. Alex Holsinger, Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was enlisted to assist in the study.

In March, assessment data were collected statewide from offenders participating in court services and community corrections programs. The data will be used to establish cutoffs. Dr. Holsinger presented his findings to the Subcommittee and Sentencing Committee in May. The presentation included examining the distribution of LSI-R scores and identifying the natural cut-points in three "cut-point" strategies: Tri (three equal categories of equal size - 33% each), Quad (four categories of equal size - 25% each) and Quint (five categories of equal size - 20% each). Testing revealed statistically significant differences between court services and community corrections cutoff scores; community corrections had significantly higher scores in every instance (p < .001). The final cutoff score decision will be made after further study and reviews from the Commission.

In addition to its work with the LSI-R cutoff scores, the Kansas Sentencing Commission also recently published its FY 2013 Annual Report, which is available at http://www.sentencing.ks.gov/newsitemdetail/2014/05/09/2013-ksc-annual-report.