Should We Release Older Inmates? Aging Offenders and Recidivism

Observations Is it time to consider the release of older inmates considered to be an acceptable risk to public safety? A near 40 percent rearrest rate for those 60 and above (for the most serious category) is astounding and proves that age unto itself is not an indicator as to a “safe” release. Author Leonard […]

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Observations Is it time to consider the release of older inmates considered to be an acceptable risk to public safety? A near 40 percent rearrest rate for those 60 and above (for the most serious category) is astounding and proves that age unto itself is not an indicator as to a “safe” release. Author Leonard […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Offender Employment and Education Programs Don’t Work

Prison Employment Observations Education and employment programs do not significantly affect offender recidivism. We have to stop being so simplistic when it comes to treatment programs for offenders. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every […]

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Prison Employment Observations Education and employment programs do not significantly affect offender recidivism. We have to stop being so simplistic when it comes to treatment programs for offenders. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Offender Employment and Education Programs Don’t Work

Prison Employment Observations Education and employment programs do not significantly affect offender recidivism. We have to stop being so simplistic when it comes to treatment programs for offenders. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every […]

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Prison Employment Observations Education and employment programs do not significantly affect offender recidivism. We have to stop being so simplistic when it comes to treatment programs for offenders. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every […]

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Offender Employment and Education Programs Don’t Work

Prison Employment Observations Education and employment programs do not significantly affect offender recidivism. We have to stop being so simplistic when it comes to treatment programs for offenders. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every […]

The post Offender Employment and Education Programs Don’t Work appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

Prison Employment Observations Education and employment programs do not significantly affect offender recidivism. We have to stop being so simplistic when it comes to treatment programs for offenders. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Most Offender Rehabilitation Programs Don’t Work-A Path Forward? New Federal Report

Observations Most offender rehabilitation and treatment programs don’t work. But a new federal report suggests that mental health efforts could reduce recidivism by approximately 21 percent. “Many want programs for offenders as a compassionate response to perceived inequities among the offender population. These programs routinely produce marginal results. Failure is not compassion. Failure is the […]

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Observations Most offender rehabilitation and treatment programs don’t work. But a new federal report suggests that mental health efforts could reduce recidivism by approximately 21 percent. “Many want programs for offenders as a compassionate response to perceived inequities among the offender population. These programs routinely produce marginal results. Failure is not compassion. Failure is the […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Offenders Have Multiple Convictions-Six for Federal Defendants

  Summation Almost three-quarters (72.8%) of federal offenders sentenced in fiscal year 2016 had been convicted of a prior offense. The average number of previous convictions was 6.1 among offenders with a criminal history. About 3 in 5 state defendants had at least one prior conviction. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. […]

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  Summation Almost three-quarters (72.8%) of federal offenders sentenced in fiscal year 2016 had been convicted of a prior offense. The average number of previous convictions was 6.1 among offenders with a criminal history. About 3 in 5 state defendants had at least one prior conviction. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Yale Professor Samuel See’s Jailhouse Death

     Samuel Ryan See grew up in California’s Central Valley where he attended California State University in his hometown of Bakersfield. After acquiring his Bachelors of Arts degree, See earned a Ph.D from the University of California, …

     Samuel Ryan See grew up in California's Central Valley where he attended California State University in his hometown of Bakersfield. After acquiring his Bachelors of Arts degree, See earned a Ph.D from the University of California, Los Angeles.

     In May 2013, the 34-year-old assistant professor of English and American Studies at Yale University married Sunder Ganglani, a former student at the Yale School of Drama. The two men took up residence in a house in New Haven, Connecticut. 
     Professor See's academic focus, as described on his Facebook page, included "British and American Modernist Literature and Sexuality Studies." In addition to writing about sexual orientation in modern literature, See moonlighted, under the alias Ryan Cochran, as a male escort. In one of Ryan Cochran's Internet profiles, See described himself as loving sex and being with men. "I can get into all kinds of sexual and social situations--just name your pleasure. I'm down to earth, humble [really?], personally generous, and horny a lot of the time." Professor See was, in other words, a male prostitute.
     Dr. See, on leave from Yale University during the fall semester 2013, was not getting along with his 32-year-old husband. On September 18, 2013, officers with the New Haven Police Department, after responding to a domestic call at See's residence, arrested See and Sunder Ganglani for breaching the peace and third-degree assault. 
     After a judge issued orders of protection requiring that the two men stay away from each other, Ganglani moved to New York City. 
     At five in the evening of Saturday, November 23, 2013, Ganglani, in violation of his protection order, showed up at the New Haven house to retrieve some of his possessions. Two hours later the estranged couple were engaged in a heated argument. The fight became so intense a third man in the house called the police. 
     When the responding officers couldn't calm down the combatants, they placed both men under arrest for violating their protection orders. This infuriated See who couldn't believe he was being arrested in his own home. The situation escalated when See fought against being handcuffed. In the scuffle with officers, Professor See fell and sustained a cut above his right eye. 
     While being escorted in handcuffs to the police vehicle, See, in addressing the arresting officer, said,  "I will kill you. I will destroy you."
     Following his treatment at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, police officers booked See into the police department jail on the additional charges of interfering with police and second-degree threatening. He was placed into a cell at nine-fifteen that night.
     At six o'clock the next morning, when a guard checked on Professor See, he found the prisoner unresponsive. The officer called for paramedic help then tried to revive Dr. See with CPR. Fifteen minutes later, emergency service responders pronounced the inmate dead.

     The forensic pathologist who performed Dr. See's autopsy ruled out trauma as the cause of death. (From this I assume the professor did not hang himself or cut his wrists. And he wasn't attacked by another prisoner.)

     In January 2014, Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill announced that professor See had died of a heart attack brought on by methamphetamine and amphetamine intoxication. The manner of death went into the books as accidental.

     In September 2014, a See family lawyer, after reviewing police and hospital records, told reporters that Mr. See may have died of either neglect or mistreatment at the jail. Attorney David Rosen pointed out that Professor See's death had not been reported to the police for three days after his passing. Although the family was considering filing a wrongful death suit against the authorities, the lawyer conceded that there probably wasn't enough evidence of official negligence or wrongdoing to support such an action. 
     

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Released Prisoners Commit Two Million Crimes-Five Arrests Per Offender

Observations Offender recidivism is extremely high. It doesn’t matter if you are pro or anti sentencing reform or any manner of lessening the impact of incarceration, the number of arrests after release from prison is astounding. We debate the efficacy and morality of prison sentences, but considering that only 42 percent of felony convictions result […]

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Observations Offender recidivism is extremely high. It doesn’t matter if you are pro or anti sentencing reform or any manner of lessening the impact of incarceration, the number of arrests after release from prison is astounding. We debate the efficacy and morality of prison sentences, but considering that only 42 percent of felony convictions result […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

How Well Does the Justice System Track the Incarcerated?

Tracking the sheer number of incarcerated individuals is not enough to create a more fair, equitable criminal justice system, according to expert Adam Gelb.

Tracking the sheer number of incarcerated individuals is not enough to create a more fair, equitable criminal justice system, according to one expert.

While the national attitude about crime and punishment has shifted, and the public is now calling for more aggressive reforms to criminal penalties, the way data is collected in jails and prisons needs to change, argues Adam Gelb, the Director of the Public Safety Performance Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Gelb, in a report produced for the Executive Session on Community Corrections at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, found that two new, nuanced ways to collect data were needed.

He suggests collecting the following information:

  1. Correctional Population Composition: This measure would track the profile, or composition, of the prison and supervision populations. It would shed light on the critical question of what percentage of these population consist of those who pose a threat to public safety, and how many are people who could safely pay their debt to society in less expensive and more effective ways.
  2.  Recidivism by Risk: A second metric would adjust recidivism rates to account for the changing composition of persons under correctional control. It would help gauge how well corrections agencies are succeeding with individuals across the risk spectrum, and guard against perceptions of failure if recidivism rates rise due to the higher-risk composition of caseloads rather than sagging performance.

If progress towards a better, more equitable justice system is to be achieved, we need to know more than “the raw number of people in prison”, Gelb said.

That gauge, in turn, will help illuminate whether institutional and community corrections agencies are succeeding in reducing the likelihood they will come back again, he concluded.

A full copy of the paper can be found here.

Megan Hadley is a reporter for The Crime Report. 

from https://thecrimereport.org

Memo to Senators: Swallow Your Doubts About the First Step Act

The House bill passed last week won’t solve every problem facing our justice system, but it’s a lot better than doing nothing, says a former inmate who hosts the “Decarceration Nation” podcast.

Last week, legislation designed to accelerate reentry for thousands of federal prisoners passed the United States House of Representatives by a whopping 360-59 margin.

Decarceration Nation

Decarceration Nation podcast

Up next for the First Step Act will likely be a much more hostile reception in the Senate.

Here’s why senators should swallow their doubts and pass it.

The First Step Act is not a magical elixir. It won’t solve every problem facing our criminal justice system.  But it will immediately make a difference in the lives of as many as 4,000 inmates the day after it is signed into law.

I support the First Step Act because it allows inmates staying out of trouble and participating in programming to serve out the remainder of their sentences somewhere (anywhere) other than prison. Not only would people go home earlier; they would go home earlier after participating in programming that teaches them coping and job skills, which in turn will help them reenter society as citizens more capable of productive reentry.

I support the First Step Act for one even more powerful reason.

Being kept in boxes outside of a prison is better than being kept in boxes inside of a prison.

When I was in prison, I saw people violently attacked for reaching across the table for salt, for starting a conversation without following the correct protocol, and for being gay.

I saw new inmates violently extorted, assaulted, and “recruited” (the kindest way to put it) into gangs. I saw the weak punished and strength defined solely by the willingness to engage in brutality.

Being in prison is a process of constantly having to watch your back (and your front). When trouble comes, it comes quickly and seems to inevitably sweep bystanders into the vortex.

So, in addition to allowing inmates to more quickly reconnect with children and family members, find gainful employment, and build a productive life at less cost to US taxpayers, the First Step Act will reduce the number of human beings subject to the vagaries of prison violence.

I know from experience and from the evidence that America’s prisons and jails, as currently constructed and even after accounting for the time that inmates are removed from society, do not increase public safety.

Second, since over 95 percent of all people in prison will come home again, early release to community corrections is much more successful at reducing recidivism than prison is and, as Jason Pye of FreedomWorks, put it:

The (First Step Act) is the lowest hanging fruit of criminal justice reform. Efforts in the states have passed with little to no opposition because there is universal agreement that reducing recidivism, or offenders’ likelihood of reoffending, is the key to promoting public safety.

We are a better America when we embrace our empathetic tendencies.

We are a better America when we see prison sentences as a last resort, to be used only when we know for a fact it is the best way to generate safe outcomes.

Some people have argued that one of the elements of the bill, the rule that moves people closer to home, can threaten public safety. But copious evidence proves that being incarcerated or housed closer to home results in safer outcomes.

Some also worry that the Act will further reinforce Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ harsh approach to crime and punishment. But it’s unclear how legislation that uses unconditional language about mandated reform somehow would make the lives of prisoners worse or his power greater.

Sessions will not remain Attorney General forever, and with criminal justice reform gathering supporters on both sides of the aisle, the likelihood can only grow that in the future we will have a true reformer in the position.

I suspect the real fear is that Jeff Sessions will use some of the provisions of the Act in ways that are racially disparate, while at the same time sentencing continues to over-punish people of color. This is a weighty concern, and we should fight every day to address racial disparities in sentencing and remain incredibly vigilant.

But this is not a new concern, nor is it something the First Step can make worse.

Some also object to the use of risk assessment tools to inform sentencing decisions, arguing they can be used in a biased way.

Yes. Risk assessment tools are biased (they are constructed by human beings).

But as the Center for Court Innovation has shown, they can be tested and are usually made subject to review and to accountability measures.

Prisoners of the Federal Bureau of Prisons are judged entirely on records made up only by correctional officers and unit counselors which are inherently more subjective, less testable over time, and based on less outcomes-based data, than risk-assessment tools.

What About Sentencing Reform?

Much of the opposition to the First Step Act has focused on the notion that prison reform without sentencing reform would be hollow.

While I fully support sentencing reform, I believe reducing numbers on the back-end of incarceration still results in a total reduction in Mass Incarceration (simple math).

In addition, the currently available vehicle for sentencing reform, Senator Chuck Grassley’s Sentencing Reform And Corrections Act (SRCA), is a less-than-perfect vehicle decreasing some mandatory minimums while increasing or creating others.

We can and must still work together to make sentencing reform a reality as soon as possible.

 I hate legislative carve-outs (exceptions built into legislation excluding particular “kinds” of prisoners) but when lives are on the line, we can’t make perfect the enemy of the good.

If the people who are left behind by criminal justice reform will be in no better or worse shape than they were before a particular piece of legislation is passed, we should still help as many people get home as we possibly can.

I celebrated when President Obama commuted roughly 1,324 sentences (despite the many left behind), and I will celebrate the roughly 4,000 people who will be able to return to community supervision as a result of this bill passing.

Remember, this bill is called the First Step Act, not the “Only Step Act.”

joshua hoe

Joshua B. Hoe

It is important that we fight for the return of every single person as soon as they are ready to come home. We need to demand that a second and, if necessary, a third step follows this first step.

But what we absolutely should not do is hold thousands of prisoners who could come home tomorrow hostage while we argue about the details.

See also: Last-Ditch Senate Talks Ahead of Sentencing Reform

Joshua B. Hoe is the host and creator of the Decarceration Nation podcast, an author, formerly incarcerated, and a criminal justice reform advocate in Michigan. The most recent episode of his podcast is a deep dive into the First Step Act. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org