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Recent Posts

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

A disproportionate number of people in the nation’s criminal justice system face mental health issues: a Bureau of Justice Statistics report found, for example, that people in U.S. prisons and jails are three to five times more likely to experience serious psychological distress than the general adult population. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need and taking a strategic approach across systems—from law enforcement to community-based reentry services.

10-Year Anniversary of the Second Chance Act Celebrated on Capitol Hill

As policymakers continue to focus on the importance of safe and successful reentry among people leaving prisons and jails, and with President Trump designating April 2018 “Second Chance Month,” a group of national leaders paused recently to reflect on the impact of the Second Chance Act—a law passed in 2008 that has supported work to improve reentry outcomes in communities throughout the country.

Announcements

Register for Webinar: Understanding Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in People Involved with the Criminal Justice System

Register for Webinar: Understanding Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in People Involved with the Criminal Justice System

In this webinar Leigh Ann Davis, director of the National Center on Criminal Justice & Disability, will discuss the differences and similarities between various kinds of behavioral health diagnoses and intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD), how to identify someone with I/DD, and tips for to work more effectively with people with I/DD in correctional settings.

Webinars

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar provides an overview of national estimates of incarcerated veterans; explains components of the Veterans Health Administration’s veterans justice programs; expands awareness of the needs of veterans in the justice system; and discusses new developments in the Veterans Administration and community interventions to provide services to veterans in the justice system.

Publications

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

This publication from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation examines how public safety personnel, health professionals, and service providers can contribute to solving the problem of Frequent Utilizers—those who cycle in and out of jails, hospitals, shelters, and other social service programs at a startlingly high rate.

Strategies to Engage Employers in Conversations about Hiring Applicants with Criminal Records

Strategies to Engage Employers in Conversations about Hiring Applicants with Criminal Records

This tip sheet from the National Reentry Resource Center offers suggestions on how organizations and agencies that provide support to people who have criminal records—including parole and probation agencies, reentry service providers, and educational and occupational training programs—can engage employers in conversations about hiring people who have criminal records, which will help improve the employment outcomes of the people they serve.

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

This policy brief from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors discusses the economic costs of crime and the effectiveness of programs to reduce recidivism, focusing on programs delivered inside correctional facilities addressing three main areas: mental health, substance abuse, and education.

Recent headlines

Opinion: Juvenile Justice Systems Need to Transform to Have Lasting Impact on Youth Outcomes

To push the field in this direction, The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University partnered last fall to interview nearly 50 researchers, national experts and system leaders from across the juvenile justice continuum to solicit their ideas about how juvenile justice systems could significantly improve outcomes for youth.

Opinion: If Addiction Is a Disease, Why Is Relapsing a Crime?

Anti-medication-assisted therapy policies have a number of unconscionable effects. They mean that incarceration necessarily disrupts a promising treatment before it has time to work. They also force addicts who are in treatment but faced with incarceration to rapidly and dangerously taper off serious medications.

Opinion: ‘Stepping Up’ for Pacific County

One of the first grants that our Stepping Up team secured financed an intake survey that identifies people for whom jail time is not the best solution. Once an individual is identified with a mental health or other problem, one of our county’s network of service providers can be brought in to help.

Editorial: Fort Smith Area Takes Mental Health Seriously

Sebastian County, Arkansas is in the process of securing grants funds for a mental health court, which will function hand-in-hand with the newly opened Crisis Stabilization Unit in Fort Smith. Last year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill to set up procedures and rules for judicial districts to create mental health specialty courts.

Trump Pushes for Prison Reform at White House Summit. Will Some Reform Lead to More?

Trump’s proposals deal mostly with improving prison conditions and better preparing prisoners for successful re-entry into society — a step short of the kind of comprehensive sentencing reform many Democrats are hoping for. But the White House sees the prison issues as the best hope for getting a bipartisan bill passed.

Kale, Not Jail: Urban Farming Nonprofit Helps Ex-Cons Reenter Society

From its headquarters in a pair of salvaged shipping containers on a dead-end street in East Oakland, Calif., Planting Justice has forged a trail in which revenue-generating businesses help subsidize the group’s core mission: hiring former inmates, many from nearby San Quentin State Prison, and giving them a “family sustaining” wage, along with health benefits and a month of paid leave annually. About half the total staff of 30 have served time in prison.