California’s Public Safety Realignment: Correctional Policy Based on Stakes Rather than Risk.

California’s Public Safety Realignment: Correctional Policy Based on Stakes Rather than Risk.

Julie Gerlinger (University of California, Irvine) and Susan Turner (University of California, Irvine)
Criminal Justice Policy Review, August 18, 2014 (in print)

This study examines the potential impacts on public safety of a sentencing policy focused on offense, as opposed to risk.  The authors utilize a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 2005-2006 recidivism dataset to simulate recidivism patterns of newly realigned state and local supervision groups under California’s “Public Safety Realignment.”  The distinction between high- and low-stakes (offense-based) offenders is analyzed through arrest and conviction rates, as well as returns-to-prison.  The authors find that corrections policies based on stakes, as opposed to risk, may produce adverse results regarding public safety.  The findings from this study suggest that policy makers should consider risk to recidivate before making large changes to sentencing or supervision policies.  Most low-stakes offenders are not at low risk to reoffend, and the types of offenses for which released offenders recidivate are not predictable based on current offense.  Thus, risk assessment using criminal histories may be necessary to protect he public and produce better recidivism results.

Evaluation of the California Parole Violation Decision-Making Instrument (PVDMI)

Susan Turner (University of California, Irvine), Helen Braithwaite(University of California, Irvine), Lauren Kearney (University of California, Irvine), Amy Murphy (George Mason University), and Darin Haerle (University of California, Irvine)
Journal of Crime and Justice, 2012 (in print)

As part of correctional reform in California, the Division of Parole Operations implemented a structured decision-making tool for responding to violation of parole known as the Parole Violation Decision-Making Instrument (PVDMI).  The tool considers both parolee risk, as measured by a validated risk assessment tool, and the severity of the parole violation in recommending an appropriate response.  This paper presents findings from a pilot study in four parole units across the state. Findings suggest that the tool did not increase consistency in parole agent responses nor reduce the percent of parolees who were returned to prison as a result of a violation.  In addition, recidivism rates for parolees whose violations were handled with the PVDMI did not differ from those parolees handled under routine parole revocation practices. A discussion of implementation issues highlights factors affecting full adherence to the structured sanctions model.

Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0735648X.2012.683636

Assessing the earned discharge pilot project: The Importance of Context, Capacity, and Content

Sarah M. Smith, Marisa K. Omori, Susan F. Turner, Ph.D., (University of California, Irvine) and Jesse Jannetta, MPP, (Urban Institute).
Criminology & Public Policy, Volume 11, Issue 2
2012

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-9133.2012.00817.x/abstract

From Policy to Prisoners to People: A ‘Soft-Mixed Methods’ Approach to Studying Transgender Prisoners

Valerie Jenness, Ph.D., Univeristy of California, Irvine
Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
In press

Link: http://jce.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/08/06/0891241610375823

The Effect of Therapeutic Community on Time to First Re-Arrest: A Survival Analysis

Eric L. Jensen and Stephanie L. Kane, University of Idaho, Moscow
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 49:200-209, 2010

Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10509671003666594

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