Posts Tagged by corrections
|October 2, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Drug and Alcohol, Juvenile Delinquency, Policy, Research, Youth Development||
The Pathways to Desistance study is a large-scale, longitudinal study that followed a cohort of juvenile offenders (all found guilty of a felony or serious criminal offense) from the Phoenix, Arizona and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania areas into young adulthood (up to seven years post adjudication). The principal researcher, Edward P. Mulvey, of the University of Pittsburgh, recently published a brief discussing some of the updated findings from the study. Highlights include:
- The trajectory of a youth’s future criminal activity cannot be predicted by the type of offense that brought him or her to the attention of the court.
- Institutional placement of an adjudicated juvenile does not decrease recidivism and in some cases may increase the risk of re-arrest.
- Substance abuse treatment is linked to better outcomes for youth offenders, but it may not be available or of the intensity and/or duration required.
The policy implications of these, and other, findings are discussed in the National Juvenile Justice Network’s September 2012 brief, Emerging Findings and Policy Implications from the Pathways to Desistance Study.
What (if any) impact will these findings have on justice system policies? Given the school-to-prison pipeline investigation(s), will the data on recidivism and incarceration influence a slightly less legalistic approach to maintaining order in public schools? What is it about quality substance abuse treatment that has a stronger impact on juvenile re-offending than the fear returning to a correctional institution?
|February 22, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Policy, Youth Development||
Continuing with the incarceration theme…
The number of children with at least one parent in prison increased dramatically in the last decade and a half. While there are many unknowns as to the extent of this occurrence – especially among youth in foster care – a brief from the National Conference of State Legislatures, reports over 1.7 million children had a parent incarcerated within a state or federal prison in 2007. Further, between 1991 and 2007, the number of children with a father in prison increased by 77 percent while the number of children with a mother in prison increased by 131 percent.
In Pennsylvania, this growing problem caught the attention of policymakers, as resolutions in 2009 ordered the Joint State Government Commission to study the impact of parental incarceration on children, including the development of needs assessments, the identification of interventions and exploration of the nature of any barriers to services. The committee made a number of recommendations, including:
- training for criminal justice professionals on the numerous issues faced by children with parents in the justice system (from arrest through parole);
- cross-training for leaders in the educational, legal, health and social service systems who have contact with youth who have incarcerated parents about impact of incarceration on children and families and to review methods to improving cross-system coordination;
- establishment of subsidized guardianship programs for kin of incarcerated persons with children where the removal of parental rights is not required;
- improvement of both the efficiency and the cost of visiting and communications policies and practices , including making them more comfortable for children;
- the addition of programming for inmates and their families to encourage reunification, improve stability during re-entry planning and to reduce recidivism; and
- more and better data collection, data sharing and cross system collaboration around incarcerated parents and their children.
The 2011 report, The Effects of Parental Incarceration on Children: Needs and Responsive Services Report of the Advisory Committee Pursuant to House Resolution 203 and Senate Resolution 52 of 2009 is available online in PDF format. Also, another helpful resource for professionals working with children of incarcerated parents is the guide, When a Parent Is Incarcerated: A Primer for Social Workers from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
|February 20, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Budget, News||
Since it is budget time again in the Commonwealth, I wanted to post about an interesting fiscal analysis of correctional institutions that I came across recently. The Vera Institute of Justice and the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project collaborated to identify the true financial cost of state prisons to tax payers, not just that included departmental budgets. The 2012 report, Price of Prisons What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers by Christian Henrichson and Ruth Delaney, details their findings on the distribution of prison costs across various agencies and the true cost to taxpayers.
The researchers developed a methodology to capture three kinds of costs, administrative, inmate services (paid for from outside funding streams) and pension and retiree health care plans. They also identified numerous costs that fell outside of corrections budgets yet fell to the taxpayer, concluding that prisons cost taxpayers about 14 percent more than the expenditures listed in the annual budgets represent.
The study lists Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections as spending over 1 and a half billion dollars in the 2010 prison budget, with an additional $463.8 million (over 22.5 percent) in related costs outside the corrections budget. A breakdown of the 2010 budget (and not-in-the-budget) expenditure data from the 40 states that participated in the study is also available online via the Vera Institute of Justice website.