Sunday, January 06, 2008

More NCJRS Abstracts, January 6, 2007


NCJ 220810
Christine Tartaro; Marissa P. Levy
Density, Inmate Assaults, and Direct Supervision Jails
Criminal Justice Policy Review
Volume:18 Issue:4 Dated:December 2007 Pages:395 to 417

The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of density on the operation of direct supervision jails or new generation jails. The measure of spatial density (inmates housed in the direct supervision part of the jail/direct supervision beds) was not correlated with the number of reported assaults against inmates or staff members, thus there was no support for the first hypothesis. The second hypothesis involved the relationship between social density and assaults. While the measures of social density were correlated with inmate-inmate assaults in a bivariate analysis, they did not remain significant when included in the multivariate models. This study adds to the literature that suggests little impact of density on reported violence in prisons and jails. The best predictor of inmate-inmate violence in this study was inmate-staff violence, and vice versa. Researchers have completed several studies on the effects of density on violence in prisons and jails, but little work has been done on density’s impact on direct supervision jails. Direct supervision jails, also known as new generation jails, were created by the Federal Bureau of Prisons with the goal of reducing violence, suicide, and disorder. Given the crowded conditions in most jails across the country, it is important to determine the impact, if any, that density has on the operations of these jails. This study analyzed the impact of density on assaults in nearly 150 direct supervision jails. Tables, note, references

NCJ 220811
Cary Heck; Aaron Roussell
State Administration of Drug Courts: Exploring Issues of Authority, Funding, and Legitimacy
Criminal Justice Policy Review
Volume:18 Issue:4 Dated:December 2007 Pages:418 to 433

With the decline of Federal funding, this article delineates the three basic models (executive branch, judicial, and collaborative) that have emerged for funding and management of drug court programs at the State level. Each model in the administration of State drug court programs has its separate strengths that may be suitable in different situations. Executive branch models provide strong support and oversight for the treatment and supervision components of drug courts while creating some philosophical and practical concerns about separation of powers. Judicial models partially resolve these issues and provide legitimacy for programs but often lack program management capability and expertise for nonjudicial components such as substance abuse treatment. The States that have been successful in maintaining satisfactory administrative control of programs over time tend to employ models that, like local programs, provide collaboration at the highest levels. If State administration of drug courts are viewed as a continuum, with fully judicial models on one side and fully executive models on the other, those in the middle tend to be the most successful. This does not mean that States must completely embrace the collaborative model, but simply a collaborative approach. Although drug courts are local programs, many were established using Federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Justice. As these Federal grants run their course and overall Federal funding for drug courts declines, drug court programs are increasingly relying on State funding for long-term sustainability. This article explores the modalities commonly used for managing drug court programs. It delineates the three basic models that have emerged for funding and management of these programs on the State level. References

NCJ 220807
Margaret E. Leigey; Ronet Bachman
Influence of Crack Cocaine on the Likelihood of Incarceration for a Violent Offense: An Examination of a Prison Sample
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume:18 Issue:4 Dated:December 2007 Pages:335 to 352

This study investigated whether offenders who were under the influence of crack cocaine at the time of their offenses had a greater probability of being incarcerated for violent offenses compared to offenders who were under the influence of powder cocaine. Supporting previous research findings, the results indicate that inmates who consumed alcohol prior to the commission of their offenses were significantly more likely to be incarcerated for a violent offense (52.9 percent) than those under the influence of either crack (24.7 percent) or powder cocaine (28.5 percent). The probability of serving time for a violent offense was approximately two times higher if the respondent was under the influence of alcohol compared to either crack or powder cocaine. Additional research is recommended to examine the differential effects of crack cocaine ingestion on violent behavior, and whether individuals under the influence of crack cocaine are more likely to engage in a certain type of criminality than individuals who are under the influence of other legal and illegal substances. In 1988, Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act which increased criminal penalties for the possession and trafficking of illegal substances. The drug that received one of the harshest penalties was crack cocaine. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, crack cocaine sentences were approximately 25 percent higher than powder cocaine sentences. The consequences of this policy are significant. Using a nationally representative sample of incarcerated offenders, the purpose of this research was to explore whether offenders who were under the influence of crack cocaine during the commission of their offenses were more likely to be incarcerated for violent offenses compared to those who were under the influence of powder cocaine. In addition to the total model, two separate race-specific models were examined to determine if there are factors that differentially affect the probability of committing a violent offense for African-Americans compared to Whites. Tables, references

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