Monday, January 31, 2011
Planning for That Snow Day
Better get your work-related reading ready for the coming tv weather apocalypse. To help you along, here are some links to stories that will keep your mind off how much you’re going to have to shovel once it’s over:
A link here to a nice piece on the collaborative effort between our DOC and the state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to get inmates hooked up with their federal Medicare/Medicaid and other services before they hit the streets upon release.
Toastmasters to prison? Yes, but as mentors and teachers to work on presentation and discussion skills with inmates to get them ready for job interviews and working with the public. In Florida, but applicable everywhere.
Speaking of helping people, turns out that getting alcoholics into service efforts also helps them remain in their treatment and on the wagon, in case you’re looking for aftercare ideas.
Doesn’t look like OK’s the only state with a growing problem from a growing aging inmate population with growing health care and other costs. Minnesota chimes in here.
Finally, after reading this story about “pot-tapults,” catapults being used to launch pot into the US from Mexico, you may find yourself wondering “Can they hit Ardmore???” (Uh, we’re not kidding. They’ve got the pictures. You just have to click on that link now, don’t you?)
If that doesn’t keep you busy through the snow, you didn’t do it right.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
. . . Just Another Furlough Friday . . .
No posts tomorrow as the Oklahoma Department of Corrections will be closed for the most part for a furlough day to offset the budget cuts it took for FY 2011. Back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.
Crime Down in Tulsa . . . Sort Of
Report yesterday on how 2010 crime rates were down overall in Tulsa last year, but the story is most interesting for its rare discussion of how that may be due to the decline in police officers following budget cuts. Crime rates drop when officers drop? Well, they do when you have to change the way you handle larcenies (by phone or online rather than have cops show up to take the reports) and larcenies (a big driver in crime rates) subsequently drop dramatically. OTOH, robberies can go up (if you start counting every individual victim rather than the single robbery of all of them) as can vehicle theft when law enforcement programs against them bite the bullet. The robbery and car theft increases don’t offset the larceny totals but this once again shows that you have to dig into any crime rate stats to get the real stories. These studies showing overall crime rate drops being caused by one single thing, like prison increases or decreases, are several factors away from being authoritative if you understand the need to dig deeper. Good story to file away when you need to prove that.
This Week at NCJRS
Good stuff once again from our friends at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Try out this sampling, then head over for the goodies we left behind:
Role of Recovery Capital in the Community Reentry of Prisoners with Substance Use Disorders
Legal Issues Regarding Medical Care for Pregnant Inmates
Effects of South Carolina’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policy on Adult Recidivism
Is There a Crime Drop in Western Europe?
Angry Inmates Are Violent Inmates: A Poisson Regression Approach to Youthful Offenders
The last title is just one of many good ones up on the relationship between parents in prison and impact now and in the future on their kids. Lots of good references.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Myths about Inmate Suicide
Good thought piece here on the myths surrounding inmate suicide and the reality that counters those myths. Eight in all, but here’s one to get you intrigued enough to click on the link:
“Myth #3: Once they try, they won’t try again: People who have attempted suicide have “gotten it out of their systems” and won’t attempt it again.
Fact: Those who have made suicide attempts are at higher risk for actually taking their own lives. Individuals who have already made an attempt on their life have already broken the taboo against suicide. Self-destructive acts have become part of their behavioral repertoire or “tool kit” to relieve stress, and further suicide attempts become easier.”
Not where they live, housing they build. This story looks at Kansas as it examines the possibilities of inmates building low-income housing. Mentions other states like Oklahoma that already have programs and some of the difficulties, such as pushback from private sector housing construction firms. Good overview of the potential and politics if you’re into this sort of thing.
Fed Regs on PREA
Notice here of new federal proposals for PREA regulations, although probably best if you don’t read the headline, which might give you the wrong idea-- Justice Department Issues Plan On Prison Sexual Abuse. They apparently would:
“require correctional agencies to ban cross-gender strip searches, and for juveniles, cross-gender pat-down searches; check the backgrounds of new hires and not hire past abusers; establish an evidence protocol to preserve evidence after an incident and train investigators to act promptly and diligently; screen inmates through a process that takes into account their safety and assign them to housing in a way that best protects them, among other items.”
Why is this important to the states?
“States that do not comply with the standards are subject to a five percent reduction in federal funds they would otherwise receive for prisons unless the governor certifies that five percent of such funds will be used to enable compliance in future years.”
Sounds relevant now, doesn’t it?
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Factors Behind Mass Shootings
Research here on the variables associated with young men turning to and on their guns to kill groups of people. As you might expect, no clear answers, complicated patterns. The authors say it this way:
“Cho said many of the risk factors are essentially universal to mass shootings in the United States, including access to guns, media exposure to gun violence and the scientific finding that males are much more likely than females to perceive violence as a legitimate way to resolve conflicts. The vast majority of serial killers are male, he added.
Cho said more attention should be given to prevention efforts. Among the study's recommendations:
- More education for parents, teachers and school officials about the early signs of distorted gender images and misconceptions about mental health needs.
- The inclusion of parent education programs that enhance pro-social parenting practices.
- A systematic reporting system for bullying in school and a strengthening of multicultural curricula in the classroom. Cho said this can foster a sense of school connectedness among minority students and reduce their likelihood of becoming victimized in school.”
About Personalizing Drug Treatment Through Pharmaceuticals
We talk frequently here about the growing use of pharmaceuticals to try to control cravings and use of abused substances, and one of the great hopes of those efforts has been to tailor the drugs used to a particular abuser’s genetic contribution since genes affect how we respond to environmental factors. The research discussed here demonstrates the point well, detailing how genes may differ in their expression even for the same individual at different ages and showing the different effects of the same treatment on people with different genes involving alcoholism. As the post notes, still a long way to go but it’s really a half-full, half-empty thing right now.
Inmates Training Mustangs to Catch Smugglers . . . Wha . . . ?
Actually happening in Colorado. Pull this out next time someone tells you all offenders are the same and none of them want to contribute to a better place.
Hate When This Happens II
Yesterday we added to the annals of clueless offenders with a story of burglars mistaking human ashes for cocaine (uh . . . yeah, exactly what you’re thinking). Today let’s note this gentleman, updating his FACEBOOK page . . . from his cell. This is why so many corrections folks just smile and get that “uh-huh” look when they hear economists apply that “rational behavior” stuff to criminal behavior.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Good Primer on Reentry
Last Thursday, we mentioned the first of a two-part series focusing on reentry issues, that post discussing nonprofit reentry ventures like the famous Delancey Street project. The second part came out over the weekend, and it turns out to be a good one-stop shop for the general issue of reentry, too. You get everything from how Hurricane Katrina proved to be a natural experiment demonstrating that offenders released not back home but to someplace new to start over (surprise!!) turn out to do better away from their old bad haunts (plus it notes how many states REQUIRE offenders to go back home and how smart that is) to all the ways we’ve reduced support for offenders trying to go straight and the difficulties of doing good research on what we do manage to get done, although the budget crisis may be forcing change on that. Next time your family and friends ask what you’re trying to do in corrections, have this bookmarked to link them to.
Just What We Need
Pot-based soda. Only $10-$15 dollars a can. But just for medical purposes. . . .
Hate When This Happens
So you’re a burglar busting a house and, great land o’goshen!, you stumble onto a mass of white powder that looks like it can make your day many times over. Start snorting, buddy . . . uh, oops. Dead man’s ashes . Not clear how, but the suspects are now in custody.
Friday, January 21, 2011
New Vera Podcasts
From a new notice from The Vera Institute for your benefit and attention:
Two New Podcasts from Vera’s Research Speaker Series Feature Studies on Reentry from Jail and Prison
Video podcasts featuring researchers Johnna Christian and Nicholas Freudenberg, criminal justice experts who recently participated in the Vera Institute of Justice’s Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series, are now available.
In “What works to keep young men from returning to jail?” Freudenberg, distinguished professor of urban public health at Hunter College/City University of New York, discusses REAL MEN (Returning Educated African-American and Latino Men to Enriched Neighborhoods), a reentry program that uses education, treatment, and a strength-based approach designed to reduce drug use, risky sexual behavior, and criminal activity among 16- to 18-year-old males leaving New York City jails.
Johnna Christian, assistant professor at Rutgers University in the School of Criminal Justice, talks about her research in “Family relationships during incarceration and reentry.” Christian describes different types of support family members provide to one another—including the often overlooked contributions made by those who are involved with the juvenile or criminal justice system—and the implications for reducing recidivism.
Watch these and other podcasts from the Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series and see the schedule of upcoming participants.”
Starving Mice for the Good of Us All (Except the Mice)
Okay, for a living some guys will deprive mice of food, triggering a brain chemical that sends them seeking sustenance, which can then be blocked successfully, ending the search. Sound like fun? Well, what if one of the other behaviors of food-deprived mice is to seek out drugs, just like many addicts do? The human ones, that is. Then being able to block the craving might be something beneficial for drug therapy, right? And it sounds here like the research might just be getting rolling, so still time to get that Ph.D. and get in on the action.
Odds and Ends to Start Your Weekend
Try out these interesting morsels this weekend as you anticipate football champs (or not). This one telling us another story about the benefits of dog training programs in prisons, this time a female facility in Michigan working with shelter dogs. Or this one on the importance of and difference among ethics, morality, and virtue in correctional officers and the need to train them. Or this one on how increasing pain apparently decreases guilt (does that mean the worse we treat offenders, the less they’ll learn the lesson when they get out???). Or, finally this one on the effect distance between negotiators has on the type of negotiation that occurs (say, like, at hiring times or when performance is evaluated):
“Adding physical distance between people during negotiations may lead to more mutually beneficial outcomes, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.
Psychologist Marlone Henderson examined how negotiations that don't take place in person may be affected by distance. He compared distant negotiators (several thousand feet away) with those who are nearby (a few feet away) in three separate studies. While much work has examined the consequences of different forms of non-face-to-face communication, previous research has not examined the effects of physical distance between negotiators independent of other factors. Henderson's findings will be published in the January issue of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
"People tend to concentrate on higher priority items when there is more distance between them by looking at issues in a more abstract way," says Henderson. "They go beyond just thinking about their pursuit of the options presented to them and consider higher-level motives driving their priorities."
For example, when a person is negotiating a new job, he or she might focus his or her behavior on securing health coverage, salary or more vacation time. If he or she sees the connection between behavior and overarching motives -- which might be supporting a family -- this will help determine priorities on the various issues.”Bound to be something there you didn’t know. Hit each one to find out.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
New York Offenders, Happy Endings, and Not So
A couple of rare, in-depth pieces on offenders and their paths in the world, both featuring New York City but applicable anywhere offenders are made. This one delves into the lifestyle of a former prep school student, now drug dealer who tells himself he’s not really doing anything wrong but maybe, just maybe, he oughtta stop (or, as the academics say, “desist”). Nice portrayal of the thinking that goes much deeper than the “one size fits all ‘bad guy’” or the tv/movie portrayals of dealers. And this one discusses two private re-entry programs, one in Fortune Castle (seriously) in New York, the other the famous Delancey Street program in San Francisco, documenting the importance of “clean living peers” in any successful re-entry and pondering why models such as these haven’t had more impact nationally. Apparently a second column soon will discuss that. We’ll be on the lookout, but, in the meantime, link and learn.
This Week at NCJRS
The usual gourmet fare of research abstracts over at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service this week. Here are a few titles to tempt the palate, but the full meal requires your linkage:
Prisoner Reentry in the First Decade of the Twenty-first Century
Global Perspective on Incarceration: How an International Focus Can Help the United States Reconsider Its Incarceration Rates
Effectiveness of the Brief Prison-Based Methamphetamine Abuse Treatment Program
Variations in the Recidivism of Treated and Nontreated Sexual Offenders in New Jersey: An Examination of Three Time Frames
Role of Offender Risk Assessment: A Policy Maker Guide
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
A couple of good articles on the problems that can arise for correctional officers dealing with inmates. This one alerts COs to the dangers of getting too close to inmates and the signs that that may be happening, either to the COs themselves or their work colleagues. And this one talks about what you have to think about when you have a “high-profile” inmate, like whatever prison will have the Arizona assassin in a short while. Both very timely and well thought. Might want to copy and laminate, in fact.
Children of Inmates
And a couple of good recent reports on the impact on children of their parents being incarcerated and why good correctional policy takes those things into account. Here’s the background on one (and the link will get you the full report):
"Through expert analysis and first-hand testimony from children, parents and care-givers, Children on the Outside: Voicing the Pain and Human Costs of Parental Incarceration uncovers the devastating impact of parental incarceration on youth and the broader community and points to smart approaches to reduce prison populations and assist children. This new Justice Strategies report provides first-hand accounts of the harm experienced by some of the 1.7 million minor children with a parent in prison, a population that has grown with the explosion of the U.S. prison population.
When they do time we also do time. Just because we’re not in there doesn’t mean we don’t do time. Because you’re not with us, we also do time[.]
- Araya, a teen girl with an incarcerated father.
The report details the challenges faced by children of incarcerated parents whose experience of grief and loss is compounded by economic insecurity, family instability, a compromised sense of self-worth, attachment and trust problems, and social stigmatization when their parents are incarcerated. The report outlines the ways in which parental incarceration can influence negative outcomes for youth, including mental health problems, possible school failure and unemployment, and antisocial and delinquent behavior.
As with the punitive consequences of our mandatory sentencing and mass incarceration policies, the impact of parental incarceration falls disproportionately on children of color. African American children are seven times and Latino children two and half times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children. The estimated risk of parental imprisonment for white children by the age of 14 is one in 25, while for black children it is one in four by the same age.
Prepared by Patricia Allard and Judith Greene, “Children on the Outside” urges a shift from failed "tough on crime" policies toward a public health and safety strategy that includes evidence-based treatment options and reducing reliance on incarceration. The report provides concrete steps to moderate the negative impact of parental incarceration on children and points to existing and promising approaches for cost-effective criminal justice policies that promote community health and safety. To illustrate this point the report compares New York, which has downsized prisons through drug reform, saved money, and seen larger decreases in crime with Alabama, a state with higher incarceration rates.
Key findings from the report include:
The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) estimated that by 2007, more than half (53 percent) of the 1.5 million prisoners in the U.S. were parents of minor children – translating into more than 1.7 million children with an incarcerated parent. This represents an increase of 80 percent since 1991.
Nearly one quarter of these children are age four or younger, and more than a third will become adults while their parent remains behind bars.
Parental imprisonment is associated with:
- Three times the odds that children will engage in antisocial or delinquent behavior (violence or drug abuse).
- Negative outcomes as children and adults (school failure and unemployment).
- Twice the odds of developing serious mental health problems.
Data compiled at BJS shows that the acute problem of racial disparity behind bars is also reflected among the children of incarcerated parents, with black children seven and a half times more likely than white children to have a parent in prison.
While only one in 25 white children born in 1990 had a parent who was imprisoned, one in four black children born that year had a parent imprisoned.”
And here’s the background (with the link to the full report) for the other from the Family Justice program at the Vera Institute:
“By looking beyond the individual to families and social supports, corrections officers can help improve public safety and other outcomes. This guide describes the principles of a strength-based, family-focused approach in corrections practices, policy, and reentry planning that can make a difference. It was developed for correctional administrators, case managers, reentry and discharge planners, treatment-team members, institutional parole officers, and other personnel working in and around jails, prisons, and other corrections institutions.”
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Mapping Is Your Friend
Interesting story here on two states using mapping software to improve P&P operations. From Rhode Island and Colorado, so different sides of the geography here. Sounds like something that would be useful for policymakers and the public as well. Go check it out.
In case you’ve missed the last few management journal issues (and who hasn’t?), you may be interested in these tidbits available right now. If you head over to the Boston Globe quickly, you’ll find out why your boss is boring (hint: creative people tend to want to change things) and why chatting is good for you, even making you smarter, which might be a good response for when your supervisor tells you to cut that out and get back to work. And here you’ll hear some interesting news on the effectiveness of those government employee suggestion box efforts, this one called “Got Ideas?” and obviously designed by one of those creative people.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
. . . Just Another Furlough Friday . . .
No posts tomorrow as the Oklahoma Department of Corrections will be closed for the most part for a furlough day to offset the budget cuts it took for FY 2011. Back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.
What Works for Victims and Offenders
We told you about last week’s good stuff at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service and noted one article abstract related to evidence-based practice in particular. What we didn’t do was note that the journal housing that article was actually dedicated to getting info to victims researchers about what works in corrections and sentencing. So, if you’re into that sort of thing (and if you’re not, why are you in this line of work?), then click on that link above, go to the January 1, 2011 link, and get a raft of article abstracts, including these below:
Limits of Prison Based Treatment
Faith-Based Programming for Offenders
From Preentry to Reentry: An Examination of the Effectiveness of Institutional and Community-Based Sanctions
Victim Participation and Therapeutic Jurisprudence
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
This Week at NCJRS
Our friends over at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service have a number of good research abstracts up this week, as usual. Here are a few titles that may interest you, but the ones that really would are probably still just sitting there waiting for you to visit. So go do it.
Protecting the Public?: Detention and Release of Mentally Disordered Offenders
Preliminary Evaluation of Behavioral Outcomes in a Corrections-Based Victim Awareness Program for Offenders
Restorative Reentry: A Strategy to Improve Reentry Outcomes by Enhancing Social Capital
Conditional Effects of Victim and Offender Ethnicity and Victim Gender on Sentences for Non-Capital Cases
Social Support Among Lifetime Victimized Men
While You’re in That Research Mode
You’ll likely be interested in this notice from our friends at the Justice Research and Statistics Association so go check these very interesting pieces on sentencing and corrections policy out as well. It’s work-related!!!
Special Issue on Sentencing and Corrections in the States
JRP Digest contains summaries of articles from Justice Research and Policy, the peer-reviewed journal of the Justice Research and Statistics Association. The summaries briefly and simply describe why the study was done, what was done, what was found, and what impact the findings have for policy making.
This edition focuses on Vol. 12, No. 1, 2010 -- a Special Issue on Sentencing and Corrections in the States. Please click on the link above to access this free resource.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
From Inmate to Minister
The released inmate who goes bad spectacularly again obviously gets a lot of press and political attention, but the ones who go good spectacularly hardly ever do. Since only about one in four released Oklahoma inmates get reincarcerated in the state system, and usually less than 50% in practically every other state, it would be fair to assume that there are at least as many or more of the good ones. As proof, here’s a rare but good story on a Colorado minister who hangs his pardon certificate on his office wall and the work that he’s done since his prison days. If you click on it, maybe it will encourage more journalism of this type. (h/t Think Outside the Cage)
Everything You Wanted to Know about Inmate Cell Phones but Were Afraid to Ask
Right here. How they get and pay for them, how the phones cause problems, what DOC directors want to do to stop them, if they could just get the cell phone companies to go along. Not the normal corrections “problem” in the public’s eye, but the misuse has been proven a public hazard. Good overview.
Monday, January 10, 2011
More on Oklahoma’s Aging Inmates
The Tulsa World had an editorial over the weekend urging policymakers to pay attention to its article of earlier in the week alerting the state to the growing and costly problem of the health care (physical and mental) as well as other problems of the state’s aging inmate population. If you missed the article, this will give you a chance to catch up. If you didn’t, it’s still a good reminder.
Another Fine Meth
Not news we particularly want to hear. Tulsa’s set a record for the second straight year for number of meth labs discovered. Thought we had taken care of it with the bans on Actifed sales? Well, turns out not only have the cookers figured out how to avoid that, they’ve created yet another black market for people who can still buy the allergy medicines and then sell them for more. Crime has some of the best business entrepreneurs in the, well, business, don’t they?
Friday, January 07, 2011
Aging Inmates in Oklahoma
A frequent topic here is the rising population of aging inmates and their associated costs (medical and mental as well as others), costs that could keep state prison budgets rising even if we manage to find ways to divert large numbers in the future, thereby undercutting much of the reason for the diversion reforms in the first place. This article goes into depth on the question in Oklahoma, complete with comments from the Director and projections of populations and costs in the near term, which are impressive enough. Very good overview reporting for those who already are familiar and especially those who aren’t.
Data Is as Data Does (Or Is That Data Are as Data Do?)
Several coincidental pieces available right now on the importance of having good data to drive decisions and operations and yet the problems of getting the data and being sure it’s accurate. This one lays out the general rationale for effective use with some nice examples, but then helpfully also points out the bad examples:
“But here things get mighty tricky. Agencies and governments alike are reluctant, with reason, to be judged for outcomes that are out of their control. The entire No Child Left Behind exercise showed as much. Schools and school districts were to be judged on results, but factors outside their control made that impossible. Parental involvement, local immigration rates, crime and poverty all play a role in a child's performance. So how can you hold a school accountable? [SOUND ANYTHING LIKE CORRECTIONS?????]
The bottom line is this. Government by the numbers isn't a panacea, but it is an important tool in the effort to boost efficiency. If you don't have visibility into the numbers, you are managing blind. Managing for efficiency will still require insight, judgment and hard work, but a solid foundation of performance metrics is a great place to start. Wise managers will demand numbers, but peek behind the numbers as well.”
Then we get continuing word of how the emphasis on accountability through data reporting has (shock! shock!) led to the accounted to gaming the numbers in New York City to such an extent that the city is appointing an external review board to verify their veracity now. And finally, this management column has three relevant items, one noting again how one extreme case or outlier in a data set can give a completely erroneous view of what’s happening to everyone else (so be careful, please!), one discussing how the need to keep the agency’s business can keep auditors from doing a good job overseeing public agency budgeting and finance and one noting how even the gold standard agencies for evidence-based practice and data-driven decision, like the Centers for Disease Control, can, through updating and improving their processes, end up casting doubt on everything they pronounced officially in years past as authoritative.
While these things are all good to know, probably doesn’t help the morale much of analysts doing their best to produce honest and professional results, does it?
We’re Number One!!! (In Our Mirrors, Anyway)
Interesting piece here on how the newest generation of employees values boosts to their self-esteem more than any other pleasure boosters, including the old standbys like money and sex. See any problems?
“Bushman said he sees danger in this obsession with self-esteem. Research has shown that levels of self-esteem have been increasing, at least among college students in the United States, since the mid-1960s.
"American society seems to believe that self-esteem is the cure all for every social ill, from bad grades to teen pregnancies to violence," he said. "But there has been no evidence that boosting self-esteem actually helps with these problems. We may be too focused on increasing self-esteem."
Study co-author Crocker added, "The problem isn't with having high self-esteem; it's how much people are driven to boost their self-esteem. When people highly value self-esteem, they may avoid doing things such as acknowledging a wrong they did. Admitting you were wrong may be uncomfortable for self-esteem at the moment, but ultimately it could lead to better learning, relationships, growth, and even future self-esteem."”
Tell us again why all the management gurus tell us we’re supposed to giving up our old stodgy ways to coddle these folks . . . .
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Title of this article on Illinois’ expenses in tight budget times (tighter that OK, believe it or not) keeping old, infirm inmates in prison, a frequent topic here at this site as well. You get a good overview of what prison health care for these offenders looks like, as well as a statement of the costs and benefits (veerrryyyy low recidivism rates for released oldtimers). Here’s a statement of the overall problem, too, before you click on the link, intrigued as you now are:
“The number of older prisoners has expanded sixfold over the past 20 years, to 5,868 today. That segment of the prison population is growing faster than others, too. Inmates over 50 used to represent 5 percent of the state's prison population. In a decade that's grown to nearly 13 percent. If the trend continues, the number of prisoners over 50 will double by 2020. National numbers mirror the Illinois trend.
Meanwhile, the graying prison population has placed new demands on an already burdened prison health system, forcing medical workers to provide care that sometimes doesn't meet IDOC's own standards. Health care costs are rising, largely because of the complexity of treating older prisoners with a constellation of diseases. And taxpayers foot the bill for unionized corrections officers to guard inmates who would have trouble making it beyond the infirmary doors without a wheelchair or stretcher.”
This Week at NCJRS
Depressed now? Well, alleviate that doom and gloom with a quick tour of all the great research abstracts over at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Here are a few titles to convince you to click the link:
Separating Science From Nonsense: Evidence-Based Research, Policy, and Practice in Criminal and Juvenile Justice Settings
Do Drug Courts Work? For What, Compared to What?: Qualitative Results From a Natural Experiment
Community In-Reach Through Jail Reentry: Findings From a Quasi-Experimental Design
Predisposing Childhood Factors for Men Who Kill Their Intimate Partners
Empirically Generated Typology of Men Who Batter
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
More on Substances for Substance Abuse
A couple more pieces on the growing research into how we can use pharmaceuticals to get at substance abuse addiction and cravings. This one talks about a vaccine that is being developed to head off coke effects before they can get into behavior, at least in lucky mice, and may be useful to treat other substance addictions, too, if successful. And this one tells us how brain imaging techniques are now singling out the areas of the brain affected by nicotine cravings and how certain anti-smoking medications may be effective in reaching them. The success of the drugs in these areas may point to ways similar approaches could be used against the illegal substances to which humans and mice get addicted.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Year End Review at CorrectionsOne
The good folks at CorrectionsOne have done one of those “2010 review” things, with some really good pieces on the issues that faced corrections in the past year. Check them all out, but pay particular attention to the one on health care, which raises the current and looming problem of aging inmates and their increasing costs, which can offset even declines in prison populations in other age groups. And the one on how corrections “problems” really are the result of corrections being at the end of a process that causes the problems further up the line, through arrest policies and sentencing decisions, for example. Here’s a bit of that one for your edification and to prove you need to read them all:
“In the end, modern corrections is not perfect, but it’s also not the problem child of the criminal justice system that many make it out to be. Today, dedicated corrections professionals work tirelessly to address and manage a myriad of complex and ever changing issues. While several of these challenges arise from the very nature of offender management, the larger “hot topic” issues do not.”
Say amen, brother.
Monday, January 03, 2011
One Last Look at the Old Year
A couple of stories on Oklahoma crime to finish off 2010. Turns out that Tulsa saw a decrease in homicides over 2009 data, but if you go to the bottom of the page, it looks like the city may just be returning to its average of the last several years and that 2009 was a real bummer. The big problem is that the “average” now appears to be about twice what it was a decade ago. That’s not good for state corrections, which gets about a quarter of its population every year from Tulsa County. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City homicides tend to feature minorities and males, according to this well-done analysis of its last few years:
“The analysis showed about 44 percent of homicides in that time frame had victims who were black, the single largest group of victims represented. Nearly 67 percent of the cases involved firearms. And three-quarters of the cases had male victims.
The average age of a homicide victim: 30.2 years.”
And the city is actually at a lower level per capita than in 1972, but not clear what the trend lines were in between. Still, good overview and baseline for what state corrections will be dealing with in the coming new year.
We’re used to having leaders sold to us as these larger-than-life figures, Patton and all that, but it may be that the most effective leadership differs depending on the situations and types of people to be led. This analysis indicates that Patton types are great if you have a bunch of people who really need directing, but the “quiet” leaders who guide and delegate rather than command at loud volumes may be best for self-directed, more professional employees. What do those leaders look like?
- They think first and talk later. They consider what others have to say, then reflect and then respond.
- They focus on depth not superficiality. They like to dig deeply into issues and ideas before considering new ones; like meaningful rather than superficial conversations.
- They exude calm. In times of crisis in particular, they project reassuring, unflappable confidence.
- They prefer writing to talking. They are more comfortable with the written word, which helps them formulate the spoken word.
- They embrace solitude. They are energized by spending time alone, and often suffer from people exhaustion. They need a retreat, from which they emerge with renewed energy and clarity.
Just more indication that “one size fits all” doesn’t apply to management any more than it usually does to anything else when you’re talking about humans.