Thursday, November 01, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, November 1, 2007


NCJ 220088
James Byrne; Don Hummer
In Search of the "Tossed Salad Man" (and Others Involved in Prison Violence): New Strategies for Predicting and Controlling Violence in Prison
Aggression and Violent Behavior
Volume:12 Issue:5 Dated:September-October 2007 Pages:531 to 541

The purpose of this article is to review the existing body of research on the classification of prisoners and the prediction of prison violence, focusing on two questions: (1) can various forms of prison violence be accurately predicted; and if so, (2) is there empirical research supporting the contention that current classification, location, and reclassification systems reduce the risk posed by those offenders predicted to be violent? Based on a review of the empirical evidence from the past two decades, it is concluded that current classification strategies do not predict prison violence very accurately and perhaps more importantly, they do not appear to reduce the risk of violence in prison. New classification systems focusing on changing, rather than controlling, offenders while in prison represent one possible alternative strategy, given recent evidence that participation in prison programming/treatment is the most effective prison violence reduction strategy currently available. The research provides support for initiatives that recognize the difficulty of predicting the violent offender during the initial classification stage, as well as the negative consequences of over-classification on the level and type of violence in prison. There is considerable debate on the nature and extent of prison violence and disorder. There is also an ongoing debate on both the accuracy and the risk reduction effects of current inmate classification systems. This article addresses two fundamental questions: (1) can we accurately identify a subgroup of high risk inmates who will likely be involved in various forms of prison violence; and if so, (2) is there an empirical research supporting the contention that current classification systems reduce the risk posed by those offenders predicted to be violent, such as gang/security threat group members? Tables, appendix, and references

NCJ 220041
Stephen M. Haas; Cynthia A. Hamilton
Use of Core Correctional Practices in Offender Reentry: The Delivery of Transitional Services and Prisoner Preparedness for Release
Mountain State Criminal Justice Research Services

This report--which is the third in a series of research publications on the results of an ongoing process evaluation of the West Virginia Offender Reentry Initiative (WVORI)--assesses whether offender prerelease services are being delivered in a manner consistent with key core correctional practices (CCP) that have been identified in research. Generally, study results indicate that the WVORI could benefit from greater adherence to CCP, which are rooted in staff characteristics and staff-inmate relationships that result in greater reductions in reoffending. A significant proportion of inmates felt that staff had not adequately helped them to develop a release plan that could work, did not view their problems realistically, and did not assist them in putting their release plans into action. Many inmates perceived that although there was a high level of structure in the prison regimen, the quality of the interpersonal relationship with staff was poor. Further, on every measure of CCP and transitional services, the performance of work release centers was equal to or better than that of general-population institutions. Generally, inmates in work release centers viewed staff as working more energetically to generate referrals and work with community organizations on their behalf. This finding suggests that corrections administrators should consider expanding the use of work release centers as "step-down" units for offenders nearing release. In addition, reentry program planners should continue to focus on assisting offenders in finding stable employment upon release. Also, more attention should be given to staff characteristics and the techniques they use to deliver reentry services. Data for this study were obtained with a self-report questionnaire administered to 496 inmates within 90 days of possible release from custody in work release centers and general population institutions. 11 tables and 63 references

NCJ 216041
Christy A. Visher; Adele V. Harrell; Lisa C. Newmark
Pretrial Innovations for Domestic Violence Offenders and Victims: Lessons From the Judicial Oversight Demonstration Initiative
National Institute of Justice and Office on Violence Against Women

This report discusses how pretrial innovations for domestic violence cases were implemented in the three demonstration sites of the Judicial Oversight Demonstration Project, so as to increase victim safety while holding offenders accountable. One of the major changes in pretrial court operations was the development of consistent and timely procedures for judges to use in handling pretrial matters in domestic violence cases. Another change was the restructuring of court processes so as to focus on the distinctive characteristics of domestic violence cases. A third change was the monitoring of defendants prior to trial and responding appropriately to violations of bond conditions. A fourth change involved linking victims to support services early in case processing. A number of lessons were learned in the course of making these changes. Judicial involvement and willingness to coordinate case procedures is important for ensuring consistency. Court processes must be restructured in order to enhance coordination among agencies that provide services relevant to domestic violence cases. Procedures must be developed for monitoring and/or educating defendants about the court's quick response to pretrial violations of non-contact orders and other bond conditions. Some of the challenges in implementing innovative pretrial procedures and practices for domestic violence cases are resource limitations that hinder staff expansion and training, developing and maintaining consistent judicial practices, balancing pretrial policies with due process requirements, and defining and coordinating the roles of various service providers. The three demonstration sites were Dorchester, MA; Milwaukee, WI; and Washtenaw County, MI. 4 notes and 9 additional resources

No comments: