Friday, March 09, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, March 9, 2007

NCJ 217086
Richard Fowles Ph.D. ; Edward C. Byrnes Ph.D. ; Audrey O. Hickert M.A.
Cost of Crime: A Cost/Benefit Tool For Analyzing Utah Criminal Justice Program Effectiveness
Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice
The programs that provide significant benefits in relation to their costs are nonprison therapeutic communities; cognitive-behavioral rehabilitation programs that focus on changing attitudes, values, beliefs, and thinking processes that underlie criminal behavior; life-skills programs; and adult basic education. Work release programs, adult boot camps, and adult sexual offender surgical and psychotherapy treatments do not provide sufficient benefits to give Utah taxpayers a good return on their investment. The report advises, however, that the programs are ranked according to a cost-benefit analysis. There may be unrealized social benefits in some programs that have not yet been captured in this study. Those who develop criminal justice intervention programs, however, must recognize that the Utah legislature will determine whether or not to continue the program based on what it achieves in relation to what it costs. The intervention programs examined were designed to reduce the criminal behavior of participants. They were assessed according to their success in reducing the criminal behavior of participants in relation to what the program cost to operate. The study involved a statistical analysis of 309 studies of justice intervention programs. The profitability of a program is expressed in terms of the difference between its results in reducing participants' criminal behavior and the program costs (a ratio of benefits to costs). Future research should expand the scope of this study by collecting information on the costs of crime committed by juveniles and obtaining reports of published research on the effectiveness of Utah-based intervention programs. A 10-item bibliography and appended tables of individual program benefits.

NCJ 217175
Michelle Carney ; Fred Buttell ; Don Dutton
Women Who Perpetrate Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of the Literature with Recommendations for Treatment
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume:12 Issue:1 Dated:January-Febraury 2007 Pages:108 to 115
Female perpetrated abuse in intimate relationships is at least as common as male abuse. Contrary to early socio-political explanations, which proposed that women’s use of aggression reflected primarily, or solely, self-defense strategies in response to male initiated abuse, women are known to commit unilateral abuse. This suggests that many couples in treatment for partner abuse and perhaps slightly fewer who come into contact with the criminal justice system require services that address the perpetration and victimization needs of both partners. Female domestic violence offenders share many of the same characteristics as male offenders, including similar motives and psycho-social characteristics. This improved understanding of the etiology of women’s aggression has begun to shape interventions for domestically violent women. More treatment evaluation research is needed in order to reconceptualize partner abuse treatment for use with female abusers. However, when evaluating male and female abusers, professionals should consider risk factors common to general violence, as well as possible intervention needs of both partners. Although the prevalence and consequences of male violence directed towards women in intimate relationships has been well established, the research on violent women in intimate relationships is far less developed.

NCJ 217131
Sara Steen ; Rachel Bandy
When the Policy Becomes the Problem: Criminal Justice in the New Millennium
Punishment & Society: The International Journal of Penology Volume:9 Issue:1 Dated:January 2007 Pages:5 to 26
The main argument is that the current environment of budgetary constraint has set the stage for a discussion in which the rhetoric of punishment is open to change. The authors illustrate how the fiscal realities of the 21st century have made it impossible to hold on to the rhetoric of punishment and resulting punitive criminal justice policies that dominated public policy during the 1980s and 1990s. The “Get Tough” policies of the 1980s and 1990s turned out to be outrageously expensive, rendering them no longer economically sustainable as State governments struggled with growing expenses and shrinking budgets. Indeed, four out of six of the States under examination entered into special legislative sessions to determine how to balance the rising costs of corrections with diminished State resources. The newspaper data indicate that legislators are attempting to reconstruct drug crimes to change the way the public views these types of offenders so that punishments other than incarceration seem more palatable. The authors term this type of rhetorical reconstruction as the “redistribution of danger talk.” In order to analyze public rhetoric about reform, the authors examined debates among reform advocates that were published in a sample of newspaper articles during the 2003 legislative sessions in six sample States: Arkansas, Iowa, Nevada, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin. Newspaper articles were chosen based on the criteria that they posted their articles on Lexis Nexus, they had a wide readership, and they regularly covered the legislative session. The sample included 150 articles that were published between January 2003 and 1 week after the end of each State’s legislative session. Newspaper articles were coded by emerging theme with the help of Atlas-ti, a software program designed to aid qualitative analyses. Future research should use a longitudinal research design to track reform rhetoric over time. Tables, references

NCJ 217190
Rick Ruddell ; G. Larry Mays
Expand or Expire: Jails in Rural America
Corrections Compendium Volume:31 Issue:6 Dated:November/December 2006 Pages:1,2,4,5,20,21, to 27
In response to the gap in literature on small jails, this article examines national-level trends in the prevalence of small jails, and presents the results of a survey on jail characteristic, expansion, and partnerships and rural jail policy options. There are few attractive policy options for small jails. Approximately 10 percent of the respondents reported that their jurisdiction was likely to participate in a regional jail arrangement within the next few years. Based on 1,775 jails of fewer than 100 beds within the United States in 2003, this suggests that at least another 177 rural jails will disappear. In addition, 24.4 percent of the respondents indicated that their facilities would be increasing in size during the next 2 years. The trend, if both of these estimates are correct, is that there will be about 1,115 jails of fewer than 100 beds in the year 2010. The prevailing trend in rural American jails seems to be “expand or expire.” In summary, the study of a given jail’s circumstances must be understood within the context of the administrative, political, cultural, and operational nuances of a given location. These factors ultimately shape the survival of a particular jail. Small jails are most often located in rural areas. However, small jails are disappearing. There are a 1,000 fewer small jails today than there were two decades ago. However, there is little understanding of the reasons for this trend. Current knowledge of small jails is hampered by the fact that only a few articles have been published in the past two decades. This paper responds to this gap in the corrections literature by examining national-level trends in the prevalence of small jails, and reporting the results from a survey of 213 sheriffs, jail administrators, and jail commanders about crowding, plans for expansion, and partnerships with other facilities. References

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