A large proportion of people in the criminal justice system have substance addictions. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need, providing appropriate treatment programming, and taking a strategic approach across systems.
New York Nonprofit (NYN) Media recently recognized Stephanie Akhter, the CSG Justice Center’s Reentry and Employment Program director, as one of 30 Front-Line Heroes chosen from a pool of 250 nominees.
The NRRC released a white paper that presents a model to support the implementation of Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) principles through a standardized five-level risk and needs assessment system.
Held in Washington, DC, in early February, the National Mentoring Summit featured several sessions that focused specifically on mentoring black youth, cultural competency, and diversity.
The conference, which was hosted by United States attorneys of the six New England Districts—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine—uplifted the region’s approach to reentry efforts. Rather than focusing on individual locales, service providers, policymakers, and correctional agencies throughout New England collaborate to ensure a unified approach.
Low recruitment numbers. Poor attendance. Lackluster quarterly reports. These are concerns that burden many nonprofit, community-based outreach programs around the country. For Workforce Connections Inc., an organization that serves people returning to their communities from incarceration in western Wisconsin, these problems were heightened by the rural and semi-rural environments from which the organization draws both participants and volunteers.
The Connection Inc., a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization, was one of five organizations in the country to receive the 2016 Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award from the National Criminal Justice Association.
Individual panelists offered differing perspectives on what work needs to be done to reduce recidivism, but the group agreed that there are a number of straightforward, nonpartisan measures that state and local governments can adopt in order to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.
After a conviction, people often face severe, unanticipated penalties beyond the court’s sentence, commonly known as collateral consequences. More than half of all collateral consequences are employment related, according to the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction. For example, in an effort to advance public safety and ensure high-quality services, states require licenses for particular businesses or occupations, such as health care professionals, transportation specialists and cosmetologists.
It Starts With Housing is a new publication from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that encourages public housing authorities to collaborate with partners to “make second chances real for the men and women returning” from jail and prison.
In an effort to reduce recidivism and the public cost of emergency room visits by uninsured patients, two California counties—San Diego and Imperial—are using enrollment programs to increase access to Medicaid-covered physical and behavioral health services for people involved with their criminal justice systems.
Several presenters at the event pointed to the SmartHire program—a public-private partnership funded by the State of California and Santa Cruz County that pre-screens and subsidizes qualified candidates for their first six months on the job—as an incentive for employers to hire people with records.
As states across the country adopt changes in their Medicaid programs, people who were previously ineligible for coverage have become eligible, including a significant number of people involved with the criminal justice system.
People who are returning to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, from two correctional facilities in the state are receiving individualized roadmaps to successful reentry from an unexpected place: the RNR Simulation Tool—a web-based, decision-support system designed in part to assist agencies in determining what types of programming will be most effective in reducing a person’s likelihood of committing another crime.
A recent ProPublica story on risk and needs assessment asked some important questions about a particular risk and needs assessment tool and the broader implications of its use. As the national discussion continues about the use and value of risk and needs assessment, the CSG Justice Center offers comments on risk and needs assessment as it relates to racial disparity and bias in the criminal justice system.
Often times, one word stands in the way of connecting people who need jobs with the jobs that need to be filled, according to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary and member of The Council of State Governments Justice Center Board John Wetzel. “Think of the term ‘offender,’” said Wetzel. “We tell someone coming out of the back end of our system, ‘We want you to do well. We want you to work,’ but then we put a nametag on their chest that says ‘offender.’ That’s not setting folks up for success.”
In Kansas, four out of nine people possess a criminal record. Although the Wichita City Council voted in July 2015 to “ban the box” that asks whether applicants have a criminal record on its job applications—following the lead of dozens of other states and hundreds of cities and counties —there’s still more to be done, said Wichita City Council member LaVonta Williams.
When Toby Jones first meets her clients, she finds that many of them are shocked that someone wants to help them. Jones is the mentoring program director for Family Pathfinders of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas, where she serves women in Tarrant County Jail’s Intensive Day Treatment program for substance use.
For Stephanie Mason—human resources manager at Dunn Building Company in Birmingham, Alabama—what appears on a potential employee’s job application is not necessarily the most important factor to consider when hiring.
Michael Thompson, director of the CSG Justice Center, examines the results of a recent evaluation of a federal reentry program and asks: What happens when a program or policy championed by data loyalists doesn’t yield the positive results they’d hoped for?
In 2012, three Michigan-based employers—Butterball Farms, Cascade Engineering, and Grand Rapids Community College—set out to prove to the business community what they had known for years: hiring people with criminal records is an investment worth making.
In its hiring process, Greyston doesn’t ask applicants background questions, including questions about criminal records. People interested in working at the bakery fill out an application, and are placed on a wait list until entry-level positions become available.
The CSG Justice Center talked to Patricia Warth, Director of Justice Strategies at CCA, and Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, the Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies at Cornell University, who, along with Mitali Nagrecha of the City of Newark Office of Reentry, authored “When All Else Fails, Fining the Family.”
After years of consultation with stakeholders, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has proposed a broad set of revisions, with substantial attention paid to issues around incarcerated parents and reentry.
“It’s so easy to get in trouble,” Spruill said, “but it can take a lifetime to get out of it. That’s why you need that support, to help you remember to stay on track, stay patient.”
Sometimes, formerly incarcerated individuals simply lack the knowledge and skills that would make them employable; other times, they are barred from filling certain jobs by federal or state laws.
Margaret Love, executive director of the recently launched Collateral Consequences Resource Center, talks with the CSG Justice Center about the center’s mission, goals, and featured resources, including national and state-specific information on post-conviction restoration of civil rights laws and policies.
State leaders and business executives convened in Atlanta recently to address barriers to employment faced by individuals with criminal records, and to discuss strategies for improving employment outcomes.
The event marks the first of a series of meetings that will focus on developing consistent risk and need definitions that can be used across multiple systems.
A team of researchers from Arizona State University recently conducted a three-year study on the impact of having a criminal record on employment-related outcomes, varying by race and gender.
This video from the National Institute of Justice features the findings of Dr. Scott Decker, Director of the Arizona State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, who studied the impact of having criminal record on finding employment.
Business executives and policymakers found common ground during a meeting at the White House on Monday designed to review ways in which government can help—or hinder—efforts to improve employment outcomes for people with criminal records.
The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) recently hosted its 2014 Annual Conference, “Navigating the Rocky Road Together.”
Nebraska recently became the 11th state to pass “Ban the Box,” a law that removes questions about criminal records on state job applications.
Teams of policymakers—including governors’ advisors and corrections agency administrators from 13 states—met in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 27th to discuss strategies to improve success rates for people released from prison.
The two technical assistance documents from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explain how the agencies’ respective laws apply to background checks for employment purposes.
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law have launched the Fair Employment Opportunities Project.
More than 30 practitioners, academics, and private-sector leaders from across the country attended the 9th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City on February 10-11. Titled […]
As publicly-funded programs and services across the country are experiencing budgetary constraints, many are beginning to look to social impact bonds (SIBs), also known as pay-for-success bonds or social innovation financing, as a possible solution.
Health care spending in the United States has been increasing steadily over the past decade, and state corrections departments have seen a particularly sharp rise in health care-related costs.
Beginning January 1, 2014, the General Education Development (GED) test is getting a facelift: it will be academically more challenging, more costly, and offered only in a computer-based format.
Founded in 1941, the American Society of Criminology (ASC) encourages collaboration among researchers and practitioners to advance and apply criminological knowledge. ASC held its 69th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA on November 20-23, 2013.
States spend $50 billion a year on corrections, yet four out of ten prisoners wind up back behind bars within three years of release. In this short video, produced by the Pew Center on the States, learn how states are breaking this cycle of recidivism, and saving money, by implementing evidence-based programs and policies including risk assessment, fiscal incentives and swift and certain sanctions.
A topic discussion where participants share their experiences with strategic planning and learn from other similarly situated grantees who have experience with strategic planning. Facilitators: Leonard Engel, Senior Policy Analyst, Crime and Justice Institute; Meghan Guevara, Managing Associate, Crime and […]
The plenary focused on identifying and recruiting key organizations and individuals, and initiating and maintaining lasting relationships in an effort to establish an effective reentry program.
Speakers describe the Healing Communities Model to illustrate the many possibilities that exist in exploring the intersection of faith and justice and discuss how to develop an effective mentor program that can compliment a broader strategy for strengthening pro-social support. […]
Uploaded on Jun 18, 2010 A.T. Wall, director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, and Andres Idarraga, a student at Yale Law School who was previously incarcerated in Rhode Island, share an inspiring example of what is possible when […]
A workshop, designed specifically for mentoring grantees, where speakers facilitate a discussion about developing productive relationships with corrections and community corrections agencies. Speakers: A.T. Wall, Director, Rhode Island Department of Corrections; Carl Wicklund, Executive Director, American Probation and Parole Association, […]
Suzanne Brown-McBride, Deputy Director, Council of State Governments Justice Center, discusses the important role that Second Chance Act grantees can play in protecting communities and families by achieving improved outcomes for recently released individuals.
Members of Congress and representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice and the CSG Justice Center welcome grantees, discuss the importance of the Second Chance Act, and introduce the National Reentry Resource Center. Speakers: The Honorable Sam Brownback (KS), United […]
This panel discussion focused on the key components of reentry from the juvenile justice system that can help reduce recidivism and help youth build healthy productive futures.