Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What Happens in Denver, . . .

A very productive conference held in Denver by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA). For those of you who don't know much about JRSA, here's its link. Note that its purview is research and evaluation, data collection and tech assistance for virtually all areas of US crim just. Look at the topics of the panels covered at the conference.

  • Reentry
  • Juvenile Offenders in Adult Corrections
  • Using and Improving Criminal History Records
  • Homicide
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Research Supporting Project Safe Neighborhoods
  • Crimes Against Juveniles
  • Presenting Data and Making It Meaningful (which thorougly embarrassed everyone presenting thereafter)
  • Homeland Security/Disaster Recovery
  • Dissemination and Use of NIBRS Data
  • Community Corrections: Policies and Practice
  • Identity Theft
  • Prison Rape Elimination Act Project
  • Specialty Courts
  • Human Trafficking
  • Identifying and Responding to the Methamphetamine Problem
  • Incarceration (which I got lucky to moderate)
  • Developing and Using Integrated Information Systems
  • Sex Offender Research and Policies
  • Issues in Corrections and Sentencing: Drug Offenders
  • Recidivism

All these panels had impressively large audiences, even on the last day's afternoon with the sun shining brightly, which shows the scope of interest. Yes, I know "sentencing" is conspicuously missing, but it's a perennial topic that is already being hyped for next year's conference again. And these aren't all. On Friday morning, a (very) early roundtable discussion was held on sex offender recidivism, followed by several smaller table sessions on:

  • Justice Survey Software
  • Mandating Evidence-Based Programming
  • Research and Current Trends in Sex Offender Management
  • State Approaches to Human Trafficking
  • Indicators of Successful Criminal Justice System Performance (which I co-chaired)
  • Improving Research on "First-Time Felons"
  • Medical Causes of Death in State Prisons
  • Treatment and Law Enforcement Strategies for Methamphetamine
  • Rates of Prosecution and Conviction in Intimate Partner Violence
  • Juvenile Justice and Disproportionate Minority Contact

Now, if you've followed this blog much, you know I have a long history with JRSA, first as a Statistical Analysis Center director, then as a staff member, so it's fair to allow for a little bias here. But, in the public, non-academic sector, you'd be hard-pressed to find an organization with a broader look and constituency. Over the next few days, I'll drop in some overviews of what happened in Denver ("won't stay in Denver") to share with you some of the interesting and valuable work and ideas presented. Even without a direct "sentencing" connection this time, it was hit at frequently secondarily, and our "corrections" ties were primary and usually well done. I'll get you caught up on those shortly.

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