Counties need to help parolees access health care

Lois Davis (RAND Corporation) and Susan Turner (University of California, Irvine)

San Francisco Chronicle, November 22, 2016

California’s Public Safety Realignment Act (AB109), transferred the responsibility for many nonviolent offenders from the state prison system to county jail or local probation. Most efforts to understand the effects of this law have understandably focused on jails, courts and public safety. But at Rand we focused on another key challenge to inmates’ successful re-entry — the health of such returning offenders and their need for physical, mental health and drug treatment.

To view article click here: Counties need to help parolees access health care

Predicting Risk: Who Knew It Was Such a Risky Business?

In the book Envisioning Criminology, Edited by Michael D. Maltz and Stephen K. Rice, Dr. Susan Turner’s chapter describes the inside story of her work in developing and testing a risk assessment instrument in California corrections.

If one glanced at the working paper on the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections website entitled “Development of the California Static Risk Assessment, CSRA,” the most likely reaction a reader might have is a yawn.  He or she might think the project was pretty dry and uneventful.  Not so.  What began as a fast turnaround project, done in collaboration with our client, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, morphed into a saga that would try the patience of any researcher.

More information about the book is at: Envisioning Criminology

 

Public Safety Realignment in Twelve California Counties

Following long bouts of litigation among inmates, prison guards, and state officials, in May 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of a three-judge panel that imposed a cap on California’s prison population and ordered the state to reduce its prison population to 137.5 percent of “design capacity” within two years. The primary basis for the court ruling was that the overcrowded prison system violated inmates’ constitutional right to adequate health care. In response to the 2011 Supreme Court decision, California adopted two measures, Assembly Bill (AB) 109 and AB 117, collectively known as realignment. These measures shift responsibility for certain low-level offenders, parole violators, and parolees, previously the state’s responsibility, to California counties. Realignment gives counties a great deal of flexibility in how they treat these offenders and allows them to choose alternatives to custody for realignment offenders. As time has passed since realignment began in October 2011, several studies have evaluated various aspects of the planning and implementation of realignment. The study reported here focused on the flexibility that the state granted counties in implementing realignment. In particular, the authors wanted to determine whether counties essentially continued and expanded what they were already doing in county corrections or whether they used realignment as an opportunity to change from “business as usual.”

To obtain the report please go to: Public Safety Realignment in Twelve California Counties

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.

Annual Evaluation of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Contracted Sex Offender Treatment Programs

Adobe PDF Annual Evaluation of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Contracted Sex Offender Treatment Programs

Helen Braithwaite, Ph.D., Chasen Erlanger, James Hess, Ph.D., Theresa Lavery, Danielle Nygren and Susan Turner, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine
January 9, 2014

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