Thursday, December 27, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, December 27, 2007


NCJ 220657
Lori Brunsman Lovins; Christopher T. Lowenkamp; Edward J. Latessa; Paula Smith
Application of the Risk Principle to Female Offenders
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Volume:23 Issue:4 Dated:November 2007 Pages:383 to 398

This article tested the risk principles on a sample of female offenders involved in community corrections. The findings suggest that the risk principle is applicable to women as higher risk female offenders who participated in residential treatment showed lower probability of recidivism than a risk-controlled comparison group, while lower-risk women increased in likelihood of rearrest after exposure to the same treatment; the risk principle is relevant to female offenders. The study compared female offenders who received intensive residential services with women paroled to the community with limited supervision and treatment options. On average, despite termination status, those women who were exposed to intensive treatment experienced lower rates of rearrest than those in the comparison group. Residential treatment appeared effective at decreasing the likelihood of committing a new offense for the female offenders sampled. In terms of recidivism, higher risk women who are exposed to intensive interventions experience significant benefits from treatment whereas low-risk women increase the likelihood of recidivism, particularly rearrest, when exposed to residential treatment. The implication is that higher risk female offenders should be the target population for intensive treatment and supervision programs, including placement in a residential correctional facility, and low-risk women should be diverted from intensive correctional interventions when possible. The sample consisted of 1,340 female offenders served by halfway houses or community-based correctional facilities across the State of Ohio. The study was limited by its 2 year followup period; a longer followup period might have yielded different results. Further limitations of the study are discussed in detail. Tables, notes, references

NCJ 220662
Christine S. Schloss; Leanne F. Alarid
Standards in the Privatization of Probation Services: A Statutory Analysis
Criminal Justice Review
Volume:32 Issue:3 Dated:September 2007 Pages:233 to 245

This research examined Missouri statutes that address private probation guidelines and compared them with States that authorize private probation. Analysis found statues [sic!!] lacking in standardization both between and within some States, but because the amount of detail within the statutes varied enormously, a comprehensive comparison could not be provided. Most private probation agencies supervise misdemeanor and municipal offenders; however, budgetary constraints in some States may push felony offenders into the hands of private providers as well. Probation supervision as a joint effort between State and private agencies could provide more extensive services with the cost at least partially paid by probationers. Mandating a set fee for supervision, and ensuring that all agencies charge at least the lower limits of the fee structure would also even out the requirements of supervision. If the fees were set and enforced, there would be a lower likelihood of agency competition for monetary compensation, and more focus on the actual services provided. A concerted joint effort could lower costs, encourage rehabilitation, mandate restitution, and increase community safety. In standardizing such guidelines and practices, extreme care should be taken to ensure that big business and political lobbyists do not influence legislators, and support company profits over the interest of the client or the general public. Through a statutory review of Missouri private probation guidelines, Missouri was found to have no statewide standardized guidelines for private agency approval, no requirements to provide any verification of fees collected, and an absence of educational and training requirements for private probation staff. Private probation agencies in Missouri are not required to carry insurance, and the current standards in place allow for wide discretion, inconsistencies, and possible conflicts of interest with treatment services provided by probation agencies. Other comparison States lacked standardization in offering private probation services. References

NCJ 220714
Kevin N. Wright; Laura Bronstein
Organizational Analysis of Prison Hospice
The Prison Journal
Volume:87 Issue:4 Dated:December 2007 Pages:391 to 407

Through interviews with prison hospice coordinators, this study explores the structure and operations of hospice programs, how well they integrate within the larger prison community, and the impact that they have on the overall prison environment. Interviews with prison hospice coordinators indicate that all programs share a similar mission of attempting to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of offenders dying in prison. All programs are similar in that they employ interdisciplinary teams to pursue their mission and heavily rely on prisoner volunteers to provide the emotional connection and support to patients. Every program tends to have a core set of disciplines represented among its team members. Results also indicate that the hospice programs had been successfully integrated within the confines of a prison and medical unit within that institution. Generally, other personnel were accepting of the hospice’s presence within the institution. As a result, hospice’s presence contributed to a more generalized climate of trust, caring, and compassion. The findings suggest that when specific actions are taken in the design and operationalization of prison hospice programs, significant change can occur that affects staff, prisoner volunteers, and the general environments of institutions. Hospice (established in the late 1980s) is a humane model of treatment for prisoners who are not likely to be freed from the prison environment by means of compassionate release. The goal is to provide terminally ill inmates with effective pain management during the dying process, as well as meet their individual physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The integration of prison hospice programs into the prison setting poses a unique organizational challenge. This survey of 14 prison hospice coordinators examined the organizational structure and operations of prison hospice programs and its impact on the larger prison community. References

No comments: