Friday, May 29, 2009

Probationers and Parolees with Mental Illness: What Works

Attached is a powerpoint on the above

Copies of presentation overheads regarding the community supervision of mentally ill offenders are provided. Topics covered by this session include: the problem of supervising mentally ill parolees and probationers; improving supervision success; evidence-based practice; specialty caseloads; and implications for practice.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Congressional Briefing on the Prevalence of Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses in Jails

From the Consensus Project:
On Monday, June 1, the Council of State Governments Justice Center will host a Congressional staff briefing on a new study on the prevalence of adults with serious mental illnesses in jails. The study, highlighted in the June issue of Psychiatric Services, was conducted by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with Policy Research Associates.

The briefing will focus the study findings, implications for jail systems, the courts, communities, and persons with serious mental illnesses. The role of the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) grant program in stimulating comprehensive evidence-based services and supports will be discussed.

Presenters will include, Fred Osher, Director, Health Systems and Services Policy, Council of State Governments Justice Center and Study Co-Author; Judge Steven Leifman, Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health, Supreme Court of Florida; Art Wallenstein, Director, Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, MD; and Fred Frese, Ph.D., Psychologist who is a leading expert and spokesperson on serious mental illnesses, diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 25.

Waco crisis center can help small town police departments handle individuals with psychological issues

Waco crisis center can help small town police departments handle individuals with psychological issues

Riesel Police Chief Danny Krumnow started off his workweek with a frustrating experience that kept his town without a local police presence for most of a day.

On Monday and early Tuesday, Krumnow and his officers spent 17 hours trying to get medical help for a local man who was suicidal. Most of that time was spent waiting in a local emergency room for the man to be assessed and then admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Because Riesel has a small police department — Krumnow and three other officers — the city had to rely on the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office to handle calls for help during that time. Luckily, it was an uneventful day, Krumnow said, but he was irked that the department’s time was monopolized by a non-law enforcement matter.
Riesel Police Chief Danny Krumnow stands in front of his patrol car. On Monday, Krumnow spent hours waiting in a local emergency room to try to get help for a man who was suicidal. A new center in Waco should help law enforcement officials avoid most such waits. (Duane A. Laverty photo)

Similar scenarios play out about once a month, Krumnow said, leaving the city without the protection of its police department. The waits usually aren’t as long, he said, but officers generally have to be out of the city for at least four hours on each mental health call.

* A 5 percent decrease in the number of mentally ill people booked into local jails.

* An 18 percent decrease in the number of people admitted to Waco’s psychiatric hospital, the DePaul Center.

* A decrease of nearly 6 percent in the number of days local residents are in state mental hospitals.

The Law Enforcement Response to People with Mental Illnesses: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice

The Council of State Governments Justice Center announced today the release of The Law Enforcement Response to People with Mental Illnesses: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice. The guide examines studies on law enforcement interactions with people with mental illnesses and translates the findings to help policymakers and practitioners develop safe and effective interventions. Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, it reviews research on the scope and nature of the problem and on a range of law enforcement responses.

Understanding how law enforcement officers engage people with mental illnesses is an issue of national importance. "These interactions are often time-consuming, difficult to resolve, and, can result in tragic outcomes," said Justice Center Board Member and Mesa, Arizona, Police Chief George Gascn. "This guide will help law enforcement and policymakers better understand these encounters and the specialized responses, which research suggests may lead to more positive results for all involved."

Research findings show that law enforcement encounters with people with mental illnesses are often more time-consuming than other calls for service,
require officers to have special training and skills,
may be shaped by available community mental health resources,
typically involve repeat contact with the same people who have unmet mental health needs, often are in response to a complaint of "nuisance" behavior,
occasionally involve volatile situations that risk the safety of all involved.
The guide asserts that specialized responses such as crisis intervention teams, co-response teams, and other police-based efforts show great promise for increasing public safety, reducing repeat calls for service, and better serving people with mental illnesses. Yet policymakers and planners generally implement these initiatives without the benefit of research and data to guide program development for their community. This guide is meant to provide that foundation.

The Justice Center report, as well as related materials from a Bureau of Justice Assistance-supported series including The Essential Elements of a Specialized Law Enforcement-Based Program and Strategies for Effective Law Enforcement Training, can be downloaded for free at http://www.consensusproject.org/issue-areas/law-enforcement. A similar report on what the research says about community corrections responses to people with mental illnesses can be downloaded at http://www.consensusproject.org/downloads/community.corrections.research.guide.pdf.

The Guide was produced under Grant No. 05-82376-000-HCD for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. A limited number of hard copies (NCJ 226965) can be ordered through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at www.ncjrs.gov or by calling 800-851-3420 (international: 301-519-5500;TTY: 301-947-8374).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Impact of Mental Health on Business Activity in Texas

Costs, Consequences, and Cures!!!
An Assessment of the Impact of
Severe Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders on
Business Activity in Texas and the
Anticipated Economic and Fiscal Return on
Investment in Expanded Mental Health Services

The benefits from implementing a $20 million hypothetical
jail diversion program would include a positive net annual
impact of $1.074 billion in total expenditures and 6,420
permanent jobs. The yearly increment to State tax receipts
that could be expected was calculated to be $53.964 million,
or a return of $2.70 per dollar of investment and $53.71 in
overall benefit.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

TDCJ pay raise is upsetting

by the Back Gate:
In a move by Texas legislators that has already had resounding effects just hours after it's announcement, TDCJ employees will only see 7% in pay raises over the next two years. That's a mere 3.5% this year and next. With the current state of the economy, the failure of the pay raise proposition has some seeking higher ground already. The Backgate Website's general manager Duane Stuart stated, " This is sure to create an unimaginable ripple effect all over the state with TDCJ employees." " Terrible morale is sure to get even worse, and i see the ones that can get out to choose now to do it." The 2,500 empty correctional officer positions TDCJ has held for nearly 5 years will surely grow as well many have said.

The AFSCME correctional officer's union has released a list of Texas Legislators that failed to push the originally proposed raises through. The union also blames employees themselves for their lack of attention and commitment to calling legislators and getting out to vote in the last election. Below is a list of legislators that held the key to a TDCJ employee payraise. Call them, write them, and get out to vote next time to get rid of them. What will you do?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Peavy Switch May Reopen

HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - Peavy Switch used to be a place adults could get help for drug abuse, but it closed down due to a lack of funding. Now, the Burke Center may re-open their old facility to help younger people with a different set of problems … The plan is to help 11 to 14-year-olds struggling with mental health issues.

Protect Public While Limiting costs

From the Texas Public Policy Foundation:
There are common sense initiatives that states can take to protect public safety while limiting costs to taxpayers. These include drug courts, graduated sanctions for probationers and parolees, and electronic monitoring.

Dallas Morning News puts Homelessness in the Headlines Again

From the Dallas Morning News:
… The center, which now has a $7 million annual budget, was built to help the chronically homeless and quickly move them into longer-term housing. The costs rose during the first year, from $6.4 million annually, after twice as many people as expected came for help. In addition to sheltering 300 a night, The Bridge provides a place for hundreds more to go during the day for mental health care, substance abuse treatment, meals and laundry.

Telepsychiatry

John Gramlich of the state policy-focused nonprofit news organization Stateline.org reports that more states are using videoconferencing for inmate health consultations to avoid the cost and danger involved in transporting a prisoner outside prison grounds. Texas is a national leader in the practice; Georgia primarily uses video conferences for psychiatric evaluations.

State Schools to get 1100 new employees

From Statesman's Jason Embry
Texas institutions for people with mental disabilities will get more than 1,100 new employees under an agreement reached between the state and the U.S. Department of Justice, The Statesman’s Corrie MacLaggan reported: “The bulk of those would be direct-care workers, said Cecilia Fedorov, a spokeswoman for the Department of Family and Protective Services. The workers would also include 27 psychiatrists, 11 clinical pharmacists and eight dentists, according to the department Web site. There are now between 12,000 and 13,000 employees at the 13 institutions known as state schools, Fedorov said. State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has said the plan — which has been approved by the Department of Justice but still needs an OK from the Texas Legislature — will cost $112 million over five years. Nelson and Rose today filed a resolution approving the agreement.”

The state schools were among three areas of the newly agreed-upon budget that Sen. Steve Ogden singled out for praise, saying budget-writers’ work will allow the schools to be better run and will allow Texans who do not want to be in the schools to receive services in their communities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Any Word on Diversion Initiatives and the Budget?

I have been looking for any activity on the Budget, specifically on diversion programs, but it appears stifled since conferees appointed 4/28/09.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fight Club Revisited

After the world watched the Fight Club scenarios played out at the Corpus Christi state school, I found this article on the Statesman:

Texas, feds reach tentative agreement on state schools

By Corrie MacLaggan | Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 06:15 PM

Texas and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a tentative agreement on the state’s troubled institutions for people with mental disabilities, according to a state representative.

The agreement requires legislative approval, said the representative, Abel Herrero, D-Robstown.

“It’s a proposal that the state feels addresses the issues raised in the DOJ report,” Herrero said, referring to a December report by the federal agency that said the institutions fail to protect residents from harm.


It did not state what the agreement is, however.

Update:
State school settlement approved
By Mike Ward | Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 09:21 PM

The Texas Senate just a few minutes ago approved a resolution ratifying a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over abuse allegations at state schools.

The vote on Senate Concurrent Resolution was 31-0.

Calling the confirmed cases of past abuse “unexcusable,” state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said the settlement and accompanying reforms will ensure that conditions at state schools for the developmentally disabled will never revert.

The Senate earlier in the day approved $48.1 million for reforms to curb any future abuses of state school residents.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Guide for Probation and Parole: Motivating Offenders to Change

From the National Institute of Corrections:

Motivating Offenders To Change
The corrections field, and community corrections in particular, has long experienced tensions between its two main missions, protecting public safety and rehabilitating offenders. Treatment-oriented strategies that had as their goal the reintegration of offenders into society have contended with deterrence-oriented strategies based on apparent findings that “nothing works” in treating offenders. In recent years, the development and application of evidence-based practices (EBP)—practices informed by the results of scientific research and shown to increase public safety and reduce recidivism—have had a profound and positive impact on the corrections field. More thorough scientific analysis of both treatment- and deterrence-oriented programs has shown that many programs that emphasized motivation and behavior change over punishment have been successful in reducing crime rates among offenders. The National Institute of Corrections (NIC), through its sponsorship of studies and its training programs, has been a leader in the movement toward EBP in the corrections field and an advocate of more rigorous scientific analysis of programs for offenders.
One promising evidence-based practice for motivating offenders and fostering positive behavioral changes is motivational interviewing (MI). MI, which was first developed in the addiction treatment field, is now being applied widely and with positive results in corrections, particularly in probation and parole. The principle behind MI is that by listening to offenders and following up on the positive aspects of their speech and thinking, corrections professionals can help increase offenders’ motivation to make positive changes in their lives that will reduce their likelihood of reoffending.
This publication, Motivating Offenders To Change: A Guide for Probation and Parole, provides probation and parole officers and other correctional professionals with both a solid grounding in the principles behind MI and a practical guide for applying these principles in their everyday dealings with offenders. Through numerous examples of questions, sample dialogues, and exercises, it presents techniques for interacting with offenders at all stages of supervision and at varying levels of commitment to positive change. In addition, it recognizes that deception, resistance to change, and relapse into criminal behaviors are realities for many offenders, and sets forth strategies for dealing with those issues that avoid unproductive confrontation with the offender.

Quick Fixes for the Backlogged Incompetency to Stand Trial Systems

Click here for the presentation from the GAINS center.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lack of housing, funding, support dooms many mentally ill residents to a life on the streets

From the Dallas Morning News:

One in an occasional series By KIM HORNER / The Dallas Morning News
khorner@dallasnews.com

Richard Antwine's last home was the county jail.
The 47-year-old ended up there, again, after another round of homeless shelters, boarding homes and psychiatric hospitals. This time, it was because he failed to report to his parole officer. He said he missed the appointment because he was hospitalized. He has severe depression and was hearing voices telling him to hurt himself. His court-appointed lawyer said he doesn't belong in jail. "Somebody dropped the ball somewhere," she said.

Antwine's situation is all too common among the chronically homeless, those with disabilities such as mental illnesses who have been on the streets long-term. But it's not new.

Chronic homelessness resulted from a shift away from the institutions that once housed more than half a million mentally ill people. Get people out of the state hospitals, experts thought in the 1960s, and they can live on their own, thanks to medications that were new at the time.

But the mental health services that were supposed to help those people adjust came up short. And many of the people, including growing numbers of Vietnam veterans, were left homeless. In the 1980s, cities looking to revitalize their downtowns tore down the cheap rooming houses where the very poor lived. Finally, in the 1990s, the political climate made it difficult to get more government money for housing and mental health treatment.

The result is today's disjointed system of psychiatric hospitals, substance-abuse treatment centers and homeless shelters. It's a system that comes at a huge expense to taxpayers and doesn't come close to solving the problem.

"We've just come to accept the fact we have homeless people roaming the streets like we have rats roaming the alleyways," said Michael Stoops, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. "We have grown accustomed to having human beings living on the streets. It's kind of a sad commentary."

Shortage of services

On any given night, there are at least 1,000 chronically homeless people in Dallas and more than 124,000 nationwide. At the heart of the problem is a lack of mental health services, a deficiency that's especially acute in Texas.

The state ranks 48th nationwide in spending on mental health care for its poorest residents. And this lack of commitment goes back more than a century, if you believe Dr. J.A. Corley, the superintendent of Texas' first state hospital, the State Lunatic Asylum. He complained that the 9-year-old facility was overcrowded and underfunded after it had filled to capacity with 352 patients.

"Our sister state of California, though younger than Texas, has provided accommodations for over one thousand of her insane," Corley wrote to try to shame the Legislature. That was in 1870.

Such institutions were being de-emphasized by the 1960s, the first of a series of factors that have conspired against the chronically homeless. Among them:

• A shortage of affordable housing. Revitalization efforts in the 1980s led to the tearing down of cheap housing even as federal housing assistance programs were being cut. About 18,000 people are on a waiting list for housing assistance from the Dallas Housing Authority, and the wait is three to five years long.

"The bottom line is we have a housing affordability crisis, and it most negatively affects people on very low incomes," said Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania professor who has done extensive research on homelessness.

• Low disability benefits. Many of the chronically homeless receive disability checks of about $675 a month, hardly enough to rent an apartment and pay other living expenses.

• Disenfranchisement. People on the streets with mental illness have had little voice among lawmakers. This year, the mayors of Texas' largest cities asked for $50 million over two years to help the homeless. The measure is pending.

• Fiscal conservatism. Advocates for more housing and mental health treatment face a tough political climate.

"Over the last six years, there's no doubt that there has been a tone of fiscal conservatism that has perpetuated the reputation of Texas being stingy with mental health dollars," said state Rep. David Farabee, D-Wichita Falls, a longtime mental health advocate. Farabee said he's hopeful that federal stimulus money also will allow the Legislature to provide more mental health dollars.

• A fragmented system. Many homeless people fall through cracks because of a lack of coordination among social service agencies. A person leaving one psychiatric hospital, for example, may be told to follow up at an outpatient clinic. But if the person doesn't show up, the clinic is not likely to track him or her down because it has no funding to do so.

• Stigma. There's a lack of understanding that the chronically homeless are extremely vulnerable and need significant help putting their lives back together. Instead, they are blamed for their situation.

"Generally, mental illness is something you can't cure by yourself," said John CastaƱeda, executive director of Turtle Creek Manor, a Dallas center that serves people with mental illnesses who also face addictions. "To say 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps' won't work. It's impossible."

Many challenges

Richard Antwine wants to get off the streets. He wants his own apartment. And he wants to work.

Some days, he walks several miles asking business owners if he can sweep their parking lots. He talks about making a little money clipping other homeless guys' hair, saying he once attended a barber college.

But he's up against a lot. His severe depression has left him suicidal at times. He hears those voices. He has abused cocaine and alcohol, a common escape from mental illnesses.

He has a criminal record that includes drug possession, theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The divorced father of three grown daughters does not have the kind of family support that keeps some others from spiraling into homelessness.

Antwine's sister, JoAnn Williams of Garland, has watched him through psychiatric institutions, shelters and jail for years. She cooks for him and gives him cash here and there, but she has a family to take care of and said her brother needs more help than she can provide.

"I don't know where he is from one day to the next," she said. "If I don't hear from him, I don't have no way of calling him. He don't have a phone, and I don't know if he's dead. I watch the news all the time. Sometimes I am scared to watch the news."

'Good intentions'

Across the nation, thousands of people like Antwine have ricocheted through institutions for years despite the many programs designed to help them.

"We've had a quarter-century of good intentions, well-meaning programs and human gestures, but to be honest, they have not worked," said Philip Mangano, executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. "The antidote to homelessness is, shockingly, a place to live."

Many programs to help the homeless traditionally have not placed enough emphasis on housing, Culhane, the professor, said.

"We have a lot of homeless people who get social services, shelters, mental health services, all of which does nothing to solve their housing problem," he said. "It's not a good use of resources to spend all this money and they're still in a cardboard box on Main Street."

Mangano, who will leave his post this month, led efforts to encourage cities including Dallas to adopt 10-year plans to end chronic homelessness. This has led to increased funding for special housing and support for the chronically homeless, and that's gotten a number off the streets.

But there's still not nearly enough housing, leaving many chronically homeless people like Antwine to fend for themselves.

Passed around

Antwine's dizzying ordeal through psychiatric hospitals, emergency rooms, boarding homes and shelters in just the last four months shows how the lack of care can doom someone to the streets.

In January, he spent about two weeks at Terrell State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital with about 300 beds and several aging empty buildings that once housed nearly three times that number of patients. From there, he was taken to a clinic, but he left before seeing the doctor.

Instead of going to a boarding house as planned, he ended up at The Bridge, Dallas' homeless-assistance center. Soon after, he said, he was robbed and stabbed as he searched for an East Dallas rooming house. He recovered at a Pleasant Grove boarding house but soon left over a rent dispute. From there, he went to the Salvation Army's shelter and finally to another boarding home.

In March, Antwine was placed under the care of a special team of caseworkers who stay in close contact with patients to make sure they take medications, show up for appointments and remain stable. It's an intensive service that few receive because of strained budgets. Antwine started feeling better and made plans to move into an apartment on April 1. But even the caseworkers had no control over what happened next.

Police arrested Antwine as he walked downtown on a warrant for not reporting to his parole officer. Instead of moving into a new home, Antwine was in jail, wearing a striped uniform, eating skimpy bologna sandwiches and staring at the wall because he could not afford anything to read.

"I don't know what's going on," Antwine said last month. "I'm just sitting here doing nothing when I shouldn't be here."

'It's a travesty'

At an April 17 parole hearing, Antwine's lawyer, Raquel D. Brown, argued that her client tried to do everything right.

"That's why I think it's a travesty," she said.

On Thursday night, after a month in jail, Antwine was released.

His whereabouts were unknown.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prayer Camps in Ghana (Not in Texas, yet)




People with mental health problems in Ghana are turning to privately-run 'prayer camps', hoping religion will be a cure for their problems.

With only four practising psychiatrists in the country and a stigma attached to mental illness, doctors say the only way to cope with the workload is to work with the Church-run camps.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Crisis Intervention, Green Oaks Hospital, and Dallas PD

One poster sent this information from Green Oaks Hospital in regards to Crisis Intervention and the Dallas PD. Here's an excerpt:

The Division is comprised of 2 major sections:
Crisis Assistance and Homeless Outreach.
CRISIS ASSISTANCE
a. Geriatric Mental Health: Two Crisis Assistance
caseworkers are assigned citywide to provide on-the-scene
assessments of seniors, aged 60 and over who are experiencing
situations involving dementia, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
These caseworkers assist citizens in crisis with rapid access to
social, health, and mental health services, and provide postcrisis
follow-up to ensure that the client is self-sufficient.
b. Mental Health Response: One mental health
caseworker is responsible for responding when requested by
public safety or health-care professionals. The caseworker will
attempt to stabilize the client through intervention and
assessment to determine the level of cognitive reasoning and
functionality. Finally, the caseworker will link citizens with
psychiatric services through professionally trained caseworkers.
c. Domestic Violence: One caseworker responds to onscene
domestic violence calls when requested by patrol officers,
and conducts post-crisis follow-up to victims of domestic
violence. These interventions are aimed at assisting victims cope
with domestic violence, and gives victims of domestic violence
a calm, non-intimidating source of assistance. Immediate
information is provided as to the next steps in staying safe.
d. Child Neglect/Abuse: One caseworker is assigned to
respond to requests from police and/child protective services to
assist families experiencing a crisis relating to victimization
involving children. Typically, the caseworker handles three types
of primary referrals: 1) Allegations of child neglect/abuse, 2)
Parent/child disputes, and 3) Custody disputes involving abuse
allegations. The majority of referrals come from the Dallas
Police Department via calls to 911. The referrals are generated
because the police have been called to either a residence or
school facility involving an allegation of child neglect or abuse,
below the level of a Child Protective Services referral.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Marc Levin: Mental Illness and the Texas Criminal Justice System

Introduction
The relationship between crime and mental
illness has always been complex. Contemporary
attitudes and knowledge concerning the
treatment of mental illness indicate the urgent
need for careful restudy and reshaping
of this relationship.
Reformers in the late 1960s and early 1970s
pressed successfully for deemphasizing institutional
care, which they contended often
led to abuse of patients. Their idea was that
patients could function in society with supervised
reliance on medications for the control of
erratic, sometimes anti-social, behavior. In the
1950s mental institutions housed three times
as many patients as prisons held convicts.
Both populations, at that, were small by current
standards. Throughout the U.S. today,
prison inmates total more than 2 million,
compared with only 338,029 in 1970. General
population growth is partly responsible;
even more significant factors are increased
crime and tougher sentencing laws. In Texas,
the prison population is 13 times larger than
in 1970—12,000 back then vs. more than
157,000 today.
Particularly striking is the recent estimate
that “deinstitutionalization”—the release of
mental patients into the general population
—now accounts for up to 14 percent of the
growth in incarceration. Today, eight times
as many mentally ill persons are admitted
into prisons and jails as mental hospitals.
Mentally ill offenders also contribute to the
probation and parole caseloads. Texas has a
significant percent of offenders with mental
illness throughout its prison, probation, and
parole systems.

Mental illness also has a substantial impact
on county jails. Of the 1 million offenders
jailed every year, 17 percent are former
MHMR clients. Some 20 percent of Harris
County Jail inmates receive medications for
mental illness.
Here's the rest of the story from Texas Public Policy Foundation, Center for Effective Justice.

Jail Commissary

Since I mentioned jail commissary on the last post, I thought I would devote a whole post to jail commissary. I am curious to gather as many stories as possible about ludicrous commissary charges, events, etc. Also, I am curious about what types of items are on the commissary lists of various jails.

Michael Moore to tackle private prisons in new film?

Got this from Texas Prison Bid'ness:

Will Michael Moore make private prisons the focus of his newest documentary expose? That's the question the film-indusry blog slashfilm.com:

A film crew for Michael Moore’s next yet-to-be-titled documentary was in Wilkes-Barre, PA last week interviewing people involved with the Luzerne County Courthouse scandal. According to FilmBuffOnline, Moore wasn’t present during filming. For those who don’t know, county judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. accepted a $2.6 million from two privately owned juvenile detention centers in exchange for helping secure contracts worth upwards of $30 million.

Details about Moore’s new documentary have been kept tightly under wraps, but it was announced as a quasi-follow-up to Fahrenheit 9/11, focusing on a post-Bush administration world and the financial crisis. Privately owned prisons have become a big business over the last decade, but what does outsourcing government services to the private sector have to do with the big picture? The Geo Group has recently come under fire for possible mistreatment of prisoners, which may have resulted in inmate deaths at some of their facilities.


We'll keep you posted on developments...


Michael Moore, if you are listening? Don't forget about the mentally ill in prison!
On another note, I got a call from a family member in reference to commissary charges at the local county jail (not prison and not private). Her family member was being charged 60% of his commissary for gas money to the local mh clinic. The local mh clinic is less than two miles away, and they are not charging the county for the psychiatric visit! Sounds like a heck of a deal for the jail! I'm curious what all charges are legal for commissary? Anyone have any clues?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Building an Offender Reentry Program

A Guide for law enforcement.

In an effort to determine the state of law enforcement’s participation in offender reentry initiatives,
the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) partnered with OJP’s Bureau
of Justice Assistance (BJA) to comprehensively examine law enforcement’s role in offender
reentry initiatives. IACP’s goal, through this project, is to increase law enforcement’s participation
in offender reentry through the provision of information, sharing of leading practices, and
development of products to promote public safety partnerships. The intended outcomes of
this effort--through increased law enforcement participation in reentry programs--are reduced
recidivism, victimization, and disorder while increasing officer safety.