Abstract A vast body of research underlies the ascendancy of criminogenic risk assessment, which was developed to predict recidivism. It is unclear, however, whether the empirical evidence supports its expansion across the criminal legal system. This meta-review thus attempts to answer the following questions: 1) How well does criminogenic risk assessment differentiate people who are at high risk of recidivism from those at low risk of recidivism?
Abstract Background: Mass incarceration has collateral consequences for community health, which are reflected in county-level health indicators, including county mortality rates. County jail incarceration rates are associated with all-cause mortality rates in the USA. We assessed the causes of death that drive the relationship between county-level jail incarceration and mortality. Methods: In this retrospective, longitudinal study, we assessed the association between county-level jail incarceration rates and county-level cause-specific mortality using county jail incarceration data (1987–2017) for 1094 counties in the USA obtained from the Vera Institute of Justice and cause-specific mortality data for individuals younger than 75 years in the total county population (1988–2018) obtained from the US National Vital Statistics System.
The majority of research on restorative practices in schools has used administrative data, particularly data on suspension and expulsion rates, to assess impacts of these practices. However, some studies have asked school faculty and staff about their perceptions of restorative practices. In general, faculty and staff report improvements in their work environments and school climate, improved relationships with students, and perceived positive outcomes for their students. These findings were captured within specific schools in specific jurisdictions and thus may not be generalizable to different contexts.
The majority of research on restorative practices in schools uses administrative data, particularly data on suspension and expulsion rates, to assess impacts of these practices. However, some studies have surveyed and interviewed students to gain insight into student perceptions of restorative practices. In general, students report improvements in relationships with peers, teachers, and parents; improvements in conflict resolution skills; and reductions in fighting in school. After participating in school-based restorative practices, students report… …more positive relationships A study of a restorative practices program in a middle school in West Oakland found that 91% of students felt the program improved their relationships with other students and 70% felt it improved their relationships with teachers.
As an alternative to punitive, zero tolerance policies, restorative practices have been adapted from criminal justice settings to school settings in an effort to keep children in schools and out of the juvenile justice system. The aim of modern restorative practice is to repair harm while preventing further harm through accountability and support. In school settings, restorative practices often involve reconciliation conferencing, mediation, restitution, and/or community service. Early observational studies of restorative practices in schools show reductions in suspensions, expulsions, violence, and disruptive behaviors and improvements in positive relationships and academic achievement.
Visible Security Measures in Schools: Research Summary Visible security measures in schools include metal detectors, cameras, and police officers. Nearly 100,000 New York City students walk through airport-style security every day. Ostensibly implemented to increase school safety, critics argue that these measures fail to do so, and instead criminalize students for minor misbehaviors. They see school securitization as part of a broader trend of neoliberal governance to merely manage, rather than repair, the consequences of disinvestment, economic austerity, and unprecedented social inequality in poor and working-class communities, particularly communities of color.
When COVID-19 first hit New York City, incarcerated people, oversight agencies, advocates, doctors and epidemiologists sounded the alarm about the humanitarian crisis the pandemic would unleash in our jails and prisons. The danger was clear: Without swift and dramatic action, sickness and death would sweep NYC’s correctional facilities and inevitably spread to the broader community. The ensuing decarceration effort, imperfect as it was, yielded less crowded jails, which undoubtedly slowed the spread of COVID and saved lives.
Abstract Previous research has described the criminal justice system as a “labor market institution.” In recent years, however, research on the relationship between the criminal justice system and the labor market has focused primarily on the negative impact of criminal justice involvement on an individual’s ability to find work postrelease. This article explores how workers’ exposure to the criminal justice system is related to labor organization—a labor market institution through which workers in the United States have secured benefits for themselves and that, structurally, has mitigated income inequality.
Abstract Objectives. To evaluate the relationship between changes in county jail incarceration rates and subsequent county mortality rates across the United States. Methods. We analyzed county jail incarceration rates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics from 1987 to 2016 for 1884 counties and mortality rates from the National Vital Statistics System. We fit 1-year-lagged quasi-Poisson 2-way fixed-effects models, controlling for unmeasured stable county characteristics, and measured time-varying confounders, including county poverty and crime rates.
To the Editor: Re “How to Close Rikers Island” (editorial, Oct. 14): We are deeply troubled by your endorsement of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to build new jails in four of New York City’s boroughs, excluding Staten Island. Building new jails is not a rational or viable path toward de-incarceration or community health. The research could not be clearer. Incarceration is inherently harmful to human health. There is simply no such thing as a therapeutic jail or a humane cage.
Abstract OBJECTIVES: Proponents of criminogenic risk assessment have called for its widespread expansion throughout the criminal justice system. Its success in predicting recidivism is taken as evidence that criminogenic risks tap into the causes of criminal behavior, and that targeting these factors can reduce correctional supervision rates and even prevent crime. This study challenges these assertions, by testing the implicit assumption that populations in which recidivism risk factors were identified are interchangeable with populations experiencing the onset/duration of exposure to the criminal justice system.
Abstract Risk assessment and risk reduction have become increasingly central to criminal justice policy and practice in the last 25 years. Yet there remains a lack of consensus both on the theoretical and methodological foundations of risk and on its social and practical implications. Some proponents see risk assessment and reduction as solutions to the inefficiencies and injustices of contemporary mass incarceration. Some critics see actuarial risk as being partially responsible for mass incarceration, and warn that recent iterations will only reinscribe existing inequalities under a new guise of objectivity.
Abstract Although research robustly indicates that general or "criminogenic" factors predict various measures of recidivism, there is controversy about the extent to which these factors, versus untreated symptoms, lead to justice involvement for people with mental illnesses. Based on a sample of 183 people in intensive outpatient treatment followed for an average period of 34.5 months, the present study tested whether criminogenic factors (i.e., factor-analytically derived proxies of some of the "Central Eight"; Andrews & Bonta, 2010) and psychotic symptoms were independently associated with arrest.
Absract Objective: People with mental illnesses are understood to be overrepresented in the U.S. criminal justice system, and accurate prevalence estimates in corrections settings are crucial for planning and implementing preventive and diversionary policies and programs. Despite consistent scholarly attention to mental illness in corrections facilities, only two federal self-report surveys are typically cited, and they may not represent the extent of relevant data. This systematic review was conducted to develop a broader picture of mental illness prevalence in U.
Abstract The authors analyzed validation data from the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen (BJMHS) to determine whether race predicted screening results and if such a prediction was driven by particular screen items. A total of 22,000 individuals entering five jails over two 8-month periods were screened. The authors constructed binary logistic regression models to assess the impact of race on screening positive and endorsing particular items.
Abstract Although there is broad consensus that people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) are overrepresented in correctional settings, there is less agreement about the policy trends that may have created this situation. Some researchers and policymakers posit a direct link between deinstitutionalization and increased rates of SMI in jails and prisons, a phenomenon described as transinstitutionalization. Others offer evidence that challenges this hypothesis and suggest that it may be a reductionist explanation.
Mass criminalization and mass incarceration, which disproportionately target poor people and people of color, tear through every aspect of social life, from public health and education to housing, labor markets, the opioid epidemic, and the climate emergency. These policies destroy communities and the networks of care and support required to lead productive, healthy lives, without offering long-term economic benefit, security, or safety.
Our research integrates advanced epidemiologic methods with sociological, critical criminological, and abolitionist theory to document and explain the collateral public health consequences of mass criminalization and incarceration. Dr. Prins is the principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse K01 grant to study the role of adolescent substance use as determinant and consequence of the school-to- prison pipeline. Other projects include research on the theoretical and methodological assumptions underlying risk assessment in the criminal legal system, and the impact of jail incarceration rates on county mortality.