Volume 77 Number 1
Federal Probation
 
     
     
 
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JUVENILE FOCUS

Alvin W. Cohn, D.Crim.

President, Administration of Justice Services, Inc.

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OJJDP Training Directory Available

OJJDP has released the September 2012 edition of the OJJDP NTTAC Training and Technical Assistance Provider Directory. The online directory describes each of OJJDP’s 40 training and technical assistance providers and the nearly 60 projects they manage nationwide and the services they provide. The directory is available online at nttac.org/views/docs/nttac_catalog_508_c.pdf

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Juvenile Justice Reforms

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative, has released Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform. The report documents advances and reforms in juvenile justice across the country between 2009 and 2011 in 24 policy areas, including closing and downsizing facilities, reducing the recidivism rate, stemming the school-to-prison pipeline, and addressing juveniles involved in the adult justice system. You can browse the online edition by state and by issue.

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Violent and Property Crime Rates in 2011

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Criminal Victimization, 2011 (NCJ 239437), which presents 2011 estimates of rates and levels of violent victimization (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault) and property victimization (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft) in the U.S. Details are available at www.ncjrs.gov/bjsreleases/cv11.htm

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Behavioral Health and Corrections Framework

In partnership with the National Institute of Corrections, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Council of State Governments has developed the Behavioral Health and Corrections Framework, a comprehensive tool outlining how local public health and behavioral health institutions can partner with area criminal justice agencies such as departments of corrections to provide offenders with improved treatment options based on their risk to reoffend, severity of mental illness, and level of substance abuse. The results of this approach can potentially lead to better outcomes for both offenders and the communities they return to after completing their sentences.

Hard copies of the Framework can be obtained by request through the NIC Information Center or by download from the NIC website. A 4-page summary report is also available from the Council of State Governments.

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Women with Criminal Justice Involvement

The National Institute of Corrections has developed an interactive directory of programs designed for women offenders. This directory, available at http://nicic.gov/WODP/, features a clickable map and drop-down menu that allows you to select a state and a list of available programs. Entries include a full summary of services, listing of those the program aims to help, and information on how you can learn more. The National Directory of Programs is a product of the NIC Women Offenders Initiative and the Women’s Prison Association, which is a community-based organization providing service and advocacy assistance to justice-involved women.

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Online Training for Mentors

OJJDP’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center now links to mentoring training and resources on The Center for the Advancement of Mentoring website. These resources, developed to assist OJJDP mentoring grantees, include a training series on how to mentor young people involved in the juvenile justice or foster care systems or at risk for gang involvement. See the mentoring resources page at www.ojjdp.gov/programs/mentoring.html

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Online Mentoring Resources

The National Mentoring Partnership has released The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring, a new online newsletter for mentoring professionals. The newsletter will highlight new research findings and ideas about youth mentoring and will provide practitioners with a forum to share their experiences. Read the newsletter online at http://chronicle.umbmentoring.org. Learn more about MENTOR at the mentoring resource page at www.ojjdp.gov/programs/mentoring.html

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Underage Drinkers

OJJDP has released Community Supervision of Underage Drinkers (NCJ 237147), which provides a theoretical overview on which to base policies, procedures, and practices that will help professionals—and their corresponding agencies—effectively supervise underage drinkers in the community. The authors also discuss the legal issues that professionals may encounter when working with these youth. This bulletin is part of OJJDP’s Underage Drinking series, which underscores the dangers of underage drinking and provides guidelines for communities developing treatment and prevention programs.

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Delinquency Cases in Juvenile and Criminal Courts

OJJDP has released three fact sheets on delinquency cases in juvenile and criminal courts:

  • Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2009, presents statistics on delinquency cases that U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction processed for public order, person, and property offenses and drug law violations between 1985 and 2009.
  • Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2009, presents statistics on petitioned delinquency cases waived to criminal court between 1985 and 2009.
  • Juvenile Delinquency Probation Caseload, 2009, presents statistics on delinquency cases resulting in probation between 1985 and 2009.

See National Center for Juvenile Justice report, Juvenile Court Statistics 2009 and OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book for additional information on juvenile courts case processing.

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Children Exposed to Violence

The American Academy of Pediatrics, supported by a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), has launched a new website that provides pediatricians with resources to modify the operations of their practice to identify, treat, and refer children who have been victims of or witnesses to violence. See Defending Childhood Initiative at www.justice.gov/defendingchildhood/about-initiative.html

Access OJJDP publications on children’s exposure to violence at www.ojjdp.gov/publications/pubresults.asp?sei=94

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American Indian/Alaska Native SANE-SART Initiative

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) established the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Sexual Assault Response Team-Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE-SART) Initiative in 2010 to address the comprehensive needs of tribal victims of sexual violence, with the ultimate goal of institutionalizing sustainable and evidence-based practices that meet the needs of tribal communities.

OVC has released a new Weblet at www.ovc.gov/aiansane-sart/index.html offering a dedicated area that contains information about the following:

  • Foundation of the initiative
  • Goals of the initiative
  • Demonstration sites
  • Federal Advisory Committee
  • Training and technical assistance

Updates posted on the Weblet include:

  • Meeting minutes and documents from the Federal Advisory Committee
  • Frequently asked questions
  • National guidelines
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Arrest in the United States, 1990–2010

This report presents annual estimates of arrests in the United States between 1990 and 2010. Based on data collected by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Arrest in the United States, 1990–2010 expands the FBI’s set of published arrest estimates to include offense-specific arrest estimates grouped by age, sex, and race. These breakdowns of arrests and arrest trends provide a detailed description of the flow of individuals into the criminal justice system over a long period. The national estimates represent arrests by state and local law enforcement agencies and control for variations in sample coverage from year to year.

Highlights include:

  • The number of murder arrests in the U.S. fell by half between 1990 and 2010. The adult and juvenile arrest rates dropped substantially in the 1990s, while both continued to fall about 20 percent between 2000 and 2010, reaching their lowest levels since at least 1990.
  • There were 80 percent more arrests for drug possession or use in 2010 than in 1990. Even though the rate declined between 2006 and 2010, the arrest rate for drug possession or use in 2010 was still 46 percent above its 1990 level and was at levels similar to those seen between 1997 and 2002.
  • The male arrest rate for larceny-theft in 2010 was about half of the 1990 rate. In comparison, the female arrest rate in 2010 was just 8 percent below its 1990 level. The female rate fell 25 percent between 1990 and 2000, remained constant for several years, then grew between 2005 and 2010 to erase most of the decline experienced in the 1990s.
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Officer Safety

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) teamed up with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) on an Officer Safety and Wellness Police Suicide webcast as part of ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of law enforcement officers. The purpose of the webcast was to raise awareness among law enforcement about the issue of police suicide and to provide practical information and resources on prevention. By some estimates, more than 140 law enforcement officers committed suicide in each of the last four years, a startling and unacceptable number. Many law enforcement agencies lack the resources to prevent officer suicide and are unable to respond effectively when it occurs.

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Juvenile Justice Reform Briefs

Models for Change, a national juvenile justice reform initiative funded by the MacArthur Foundation, has made available a series of online Knowledge Briefs at www.modelsforchange.net/publications/listing.html. Each brief provides juvenile justice professionals with knowledge emerging from Models for Change on juvenile justice reform. The MacArthur Foundation and OJJDP are collaborating to disseminate learning and innovations emerging from Models for Change, which aims to create replicable juvenile justice reform models that protect community safety, use resources wisely, and improve outcomes for youth.

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Corrections Budgets in Free Fall

Across the country, correctional agencies are facing an era of fiscal austerity. They are being tasked with meeting the mission of public safety with reduced resources while maintaining effective operations and the efficient use of public funding. In a 2011 survey of correctional professionals, 98.5 percent of the respondents indicated that cost containment is a significant or critical concern within their organizations. Ninety-two percent of the respondents indicated that their agency has engaged in targeted cost containment efforts within the past five years. These cost containment efforts were primarily the result of budget constraints due to both short and long-term economic conditions.

The primary targets for cost reductions are in the areas where correctional agencies expend the majority of their resources—staffing, offender medical/mental health services, and supervising the offender population. As they considered budget restrictions, respondents focused on three approaches:

  • targeted reductions (such as hiring freeze, reduction in overtime);
  • changes in business practices (such as bulk food purchasing, reducing hospital stays by inmates; more efficient pharmaceutical purchasing); and
  • the use of new technology (such as increased web-based training, increased use of electronic monitoring, online bail system). In addition, many states have embarked on an agenda of reducing the incarcerated population with more (and dramatically less expensive) supervision in the community.
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Cost Containment Framework

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) understands the critical budget situations many corrections agencies are facing. Under a cooperative agreement with NIC, The Moss Group, Inc. has collaborated with NIC, stakeholders, a global professional services firm, and practitioners in the field to develop an online resource center for correctional agencies. The cost containment framework assists correctional administrators in developing strategies for thoughtfully containing and sustaining costs in their agencies by analyzing and targeting budget expenditures.

A key strategy outlined is a risk-based budgeting approach. Risk-based approaches are endorsed by a consortium of “good business” organizations and industry that is centralized as the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO). Using risk management in operational decisions (including budgeting and funding) is well established through COSO. The center provides tools for developing a strategy before a budgetary crisis strikes. It allows an agency head to develop contingency plans that will assist in ongoing day-to-day cost containment and respond to requests from a chief executive or legislative body to reduce costs.

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Court Preparation for Children

The National Child Protection Training Center has released to the public a previous issue of its newsletter, CenterPiece, that explores the effectiveness of preparation programs for children in dependency court. The newsletter was funded through an OJJDP grant, is free, and is available online at www.ncptc.org.

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Improving Juvenile Justice System for Girls

The Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy has released Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons From the States. The report reviews the literature documenting girls’ pathways into the juvenile justice system; examines recent gender-responsive, trauma-informed reform efforts; highlights reform efforts in three jurisdictions; and concludes with recommendations for future efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. This report is a product of the policy series, Marginalized Girls: Creating Pathways to Opportunity hosted by the center in partnership with The National Crittenton Foundation and the Human Rights Project for Girls.

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Helping Incarcerated Parents

Incarcerated parents in federal facilities owe an average of $24,000 in child support. Read how child support program collaborations are helping these parents meet their obligations in a new OCSE fact sheet, Child Support Collaboration with Federal Criminal Justice Agencies, available at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/child-support-collaboration-with-federal-criminal-justice-agencies.

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BJS Study

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Pretrial Release and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 2008–2010 (NCJ 239243). The report, which presents findings on pretrial release and misconduct among defendants in federal district courts for the combined fiscal years 2008, 2009, and 2010, is available at www.ncjrs.gov/bjsreleases/prmfd0810.htm

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Transition from Jail to Community Initiative

In 2007, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) partnered with the Urban Institute (UI) to develop and test an innovative, comprehensive model for effective jail-to-community transition. The resulting model and Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) Initiative advances systems-level change and local reentry through collaborative, coordinated jail-community partnerships. Enhanced public safety, reduced recidivism, and improved reintegration are overarching goals. Six communities tested the TJC model. This report examines the six sites’ TJC implementation experiences and presents findings from the cross-site systems change evaluation. The latter suggests that the TJC model is a viable and promising approach to jail transition.

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Transferring Juveniles to Adult Court

OJJDP has released Transfer of Adolescents to Adult Court: Effects of a Broad Policy in One Court. The bulletin examines the effects of transfer from juvenile court to adult court on a sample of serious adolescent offenders. The authors also discuss the implications of the findings for future changes in transfer statutes. The findings are the result of the OJJDP co-sponsored Pathways to Desistance study, which investigates factors that lead serious juvenile offenders to cease or continue offending.

View, download, or order printed copies of Transfer of Adolescents to Adult Court: Effects of a Broad Policy in One Court and other titles in the Pathways to Desistance series. Print copies can be ordered online from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service

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Updated DMC Fact Sheet

OJJDP has published an update to the In Focus fact sheet, Disproportionate Minority Contact. This fact sheet provides an overview of OJJDP’s efforts to reduce disproportionate minority contact (DMC) in juvenile justice systems, summarizes states’ DMC-reduction activities as of fiscal year 2011, and includes a description of OJJDP’s five-phase DMC Reduction Model, which helps states determine whether disproportionality exists within their jurisdictions, and if it does, provides a step-by-step guide for their reduction efforts. Access OJJDP’s DMC tools and resources, which include the DMC Virtual Resource Center, a networking forum that supports state and local DMC efforts.

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Adults Under Correctional Supervision in 2011

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Correctional Populations in the United States, 2011 (NCJ 239972) and Probation and Parole in the United States, 2011 (NCJ 239686). These reports present data on adult offenders under supervision in adult correctional systems in the United States at year-end 2011.

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Firearms Stolen

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Firearms Stolen during Household Burglaries and Other Property Crimes, 2005–2010 (NCJ 239436). It presents findings on the number of property crime victimizations involving the theft of one or more firearms, the number of firearms stolen each year, and the characteristics of property crimes involving stolen firearms.

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Unmet Educational Needs

Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) has released the second edition of Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems. This paper outlines strategies for meeting the complex educational needs of children and youth involved with the juvenile justice and foster-care systems. Updated material includes references and guides developed by the National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk (NDTAC). The paper is available online at cjjr.georgetown.edu/pdfs/ed/edpaper2012.pdf. You can also download the NDTAC guides:

  • Providing Individually Tailored Academic and Behavioral Support Services for Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems
  • Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems Through Interagency Communication and Collaboration
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Prison Population Decline

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Prisoners in 2011 (NCJ 239808), which presents data on prisoners under the jurisdiction of federal and state correctional authorities on December 31, 2011, collected from the National Prisoner Statistics series. It is available at www.ncjrs.gov/bjsreleases/p11.htm

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State Corrections Expenditures

BJS has released State Corrections Expenditures, FY 1982–2010 (NCJ 239672), which presents data on state corrections expenditures from fiscal years 1982 to 2010. This bulletin examines trends in state corrections spending for building and operating institutions and for other corrections functions.

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Trying Youth as Adults

After a year-long exhaustive study, the Attorney General’s Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence issued comprehensive recommendations to the Attorney General on reducing children’s exposure to violence, including a recommendation to abandon policies that prosecute, incarcerate, or sentence youth under 18 in adult criminal court. According to the report: “We should stop treating juvenile offenders as if they were adults, prosecuting them in adult courts, incarcerating them as adults, and sentencing them to harsh punishments that ignore their capacity to grow.”

“The Task Force’s recommendation to remove youth from adult criminal court is grounded in the latest research on effective approaches to reducing juvenile crime,” says Liz Ryan, Campaign for Youth Justice’s (CFYJ)president and CEO. “We look forward to working with Attorney General Holder and members of the Task Force to ensure that federal and state policies and budgets align with this recommendation.”

An estimated 250,000 youth under the age of 18 are being handled by the adult criminal justice system each year and nearly 100,000 youth are cycled through adult jails and prisons annually in the United States. According to research by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 21 percent and 13 percent respectively of all substantiated victims of inmate-on-inmate sexual violence in jails in 2005 and 2006 were youth under the age of 18. Research also shows that youth are 36 times more likely to commit suicide in an adult jail than in a juvenile detention facility.

Studies across the nation have consistently concluded that juvenile transfer laws are ineffective in deterring crime and reducing recidivism. U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sponsored research highlighting the ineffectiveness of juvenile transfer laws in deterring juvenile delinquency and decreasing recidivism.

The Task Force’s recommendation reflects the policies of all the major professional associations representing juvenile and adult criminal justice system stakeholders such as the American Correctional Association, the American Jail Association, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, the National Partnership for Juvenile Services, and the National Association of Counties that highlight the harm youth are subjected to in the adult criminal justice system. See http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/December/12-ag-1487.html

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