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Recent Posts

Allegheny County Officials, Employers Join OJP’s Push to Eliminate Labels for People with Criminal Records

Allegheny County Officials, Employers Join OJP’s Push to Eliminate Labels for People with Criminal Records

Often times, one word stands in the way of connecting people who need jobs with the jobs that need to be filled, according to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary and member of The Council of State Governments Justice Center Board John Wetzel. “Think of the term ‘offender,’” said Wetzel. “We tell someone coming out of the back end of our system, ‘We want you to do well. We want you to work,’ but then we put a nametag on their chest that says ‘offender.’ That’s not setting folks up for success.”

Vermont DOC Builds Commitment to Restorative Justice

Vermont DOC Builds Commitment to Restorative Justice

The Vermont DOC organized volunteers from local communities into citizen-based boards, which led, in 1998, to the creation of what are now known across the state as Community Justice Centers (CJCs). Today, there are 20 CJCs in Vermont—one in every county—managed centrally by the Vermont DOC. CJCs provide intensive support services in employment, housing, mentoring, and restitution management for people returning to their communities from incarceration. They rely primarily on volunteers to deliver these services.

Washington State Works to Improve Employment Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Washington State Works to Improve Employment Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Washington is one state that has been deliberate in its efforts to promote job readiness and vocational success for its incarcerated youth, many of whom are 18 to 20 years of age. From October 2013 to September 2015, Washington State’s Juvenile Rehabilitation division—which operates juvenile correctional facilities across the state under the Department of Social and Health Services—administered a Job Readiness to Employment Project called Manufacturing Academy, made possible through a 2013 Second Chance Act Juvenile Demonstration grant.

Announcements

Register for Webinar: Using Randomized Controlled Trials in Criminal Justice

Register for Webinar: Using Randomized Controlled Trials in Criminal Justice

This webinar will introduce participants to the basic principles of experimental research in natural (non-laboratory) settings. Participants will learn about when a Randomized Controlled Trial is an appropriate research option, the advantages and disadvantages of experiments, implementation and analytical issues, and ethical and practical considerations.

Apply Now: Juvenile Probation Reform Academy

Apply Now: Juvenile Probation Reform Academy

The Juvenile Probation Reform Academy is designed to instruct probation and parole directors and managers on the core principles demonstrated by research to reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system.

Webinars

Responding to the FY16 Second Chance Act Smart Reentry Solicitation

Responding to the FY16 Second Chance Act Smart Reentry Solicitation

In this webinar, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Reentry Resource Center explain the Second Chance Act (SCA) Smart Reentry Solicitation and how state and local government agencies and federally recognized Indian tribal governments can apply for funding.

Reentry Housing Options for Sex Offenders

Reentry Housing Options for Sex Offenders

In this webinar, presenters review the latest findings on the relationship between improved housing stability and reduced recidivism for registered sex offenders; share stories from two communities that have found effective solutions to housing registered sex offenders; and discuss the numerous barriers to developing housing options for registered sex offenders and strategies for overcoming them.

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

This webinar was presented to Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Second Chance Act Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders grantees discussed strategies for developing information sharing collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

Publications

Risk Assessment in Criminal Sentencing

Risk Assessment in Criminal Sentencing

This publication, from the University of Virginia School of Law, discusses the sentencing theories, distinguishing those that rely on risk assessment from those that preclude it, and then illustrates the varying roles that risk assessment may play in the sentencing process.

Jail Tip Sheets on Justice-Involved Women

Jail Tip Sheets on Justice-Involved Women

A series of eight Jail Tip Sheets on critical topics facing jails were developed by the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women to facilitate the implementation of gender-informed approaches with women in jail settings.

Beyond the Box Resource Guide

Beyond the Box Resource Guide

The guide also encourages alternatives to inquiring about criminal histories during college admissions and provides recommendations to support a holistic review of applicants.

Recent headlines

National Prevention Month Campaign Wraps up with Tour of Reentry Program

In a collaborative effort, the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board in Local Development Area 12 has partnered with the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office to establish a specialized Tennessee Career Center on the campus of the Dyer County Correction Works Center. Opened in 2015, the center is designed to house up to 35 male inmates, while also providing counseling on relapse prevention, drug and alcohol education, and socialization.

Editorial: New York Teenagers Dumped in Adult Jails

The Supreme Court has said emphatically that it is morally and constitutionally wrong to equate offenses committed by adolescents with those carried out by adults. And research shows that prosecuting adolescents as adults needlessly destroys their lives and turns many of them into career criminals. Yet these lessons have not penetrated some states.

First-Of-Its-Kind Program Helping Inmates Reform, Land Good Jobs

A new program at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women is helping inmates land higher paying jobs following their release. Fifteen non-violent offenders were chosen to participate in a first-of-its-kind program in the nation. The women spent seven weeks learning different positions in the transportation, distribution and logistics field. The field has grown nationally by 20 percent, but the field is under-represented by women.

Conneticut Governor Pushes for Juvenile System Reform

The governor’s proposal would allow offenders 20-years-old or younger to be tried as young adults within the juvenile justice system rather than the adult system. It would also eliminate bail for most minor crimes.

Editorial: Labels Like ‘Felon’ Are an Unfair Life Sentence

The Obama administration has worked over several years to steer the country away from policies that deny tens of millions of people with criminal records jobs, housing, education, consumer credit, professional licenses and the other tools they need to forge viable, productive lives. The initiative has been driven by the Federal Interagency Reentry Council—a group of more than 20 government agencies—which has focused most closely on eliminating barriers to employment that have become pervasive since employers began using computer-based arrest and conviction records to screen job applicants.

U.S. Assistant Atty General Mason: Justice Dept. Agency to Alter Its Terminology for Released Convicts, to Ease Reentry

In my role as head of the division of the Justice Department that funds and supports hundreds of reentry programs throughout the country, I have come to believe that we have a responsibility to reduce not only the physical but also the psychological barriers to reintegration. The labels we affix to those who have served time can drain their sense of self-worth and perpetuate a cycle of crime, the very thing reentry programs are designed to prevent.

Getting Beyond Prison: A Vermont Case Study

But in the 18 months since Gene has been out of prison, he hasn’t violated any of his stringent probation conditions, and hasn’t reoffended. And his probation officer in part credits it to his participation in this and other meetings run by Circles of Support and Accountability, a prison re-entry program run by the state of Vermont.

US Attorney: Give Ex-Cons a Chance to Succeed

We have to ensure that those released from prison have a meaningful opportunity to succeed. Once they are out, we have to do everything we can to make sure that they stay out.