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Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections

Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for the U.S. Corrections Sector

Brian A. Jackson
Joe Russo
John S. Hollywood
Dulani Woods
Richard Silberglitt
George B. Drake
John S. Shaffer
Mikhail Zaydman
Brian G. Chow
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
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  • Book Info
    Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections
    Book Description:

    Given the challenges posed to the U.S. corrections sector, such as tightened budgets and increasingly complex populations under its charge, it is valuable to identify opportunities where changes in tools, practices, or approaches could improve performance. In this report, RAND researchers, with the help of a practitioner Corrections Advisory Panel, seek to map out an innovation agenda for the sector.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8887-1
    Subjects: Law, Sociology, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The agencies of the U.S. corrections enterprise manage offenders confined in prisons and jails and those released into the community on probation and parole. The enterprise is one of the three central pillars of the criminal justice system, along with police and the courts. The system is intended to protect the public by separating violent offenders from the community, deterring others from offending, and rehabilitating offenders for reintegration into the community upon release.

    Indeed, the majority of individuals in the correctional system will be released from institutions back into the community, making the rehabilitative role played by both community and...

  10. CHAPTER TWO The State of Corrections Today
    (pp. 7-20)

    While crime has been broadly decreasing in the United States, the corrections enterprise remains a central component of the criminal justice system. The enterprise consists of a variety of institutions, programs, and services with a common, overarching goal: to manage persons accused or convicted of crimes. Persons under correctional supervision may be adults or juveniles, and supervision or management may occur in secure facilities such as prisons or jails (commonly referred to asinstitutional corrections) or in the community in the form of probation, parole, pretrial release, diversion programs, halfway houses, or residential treatment centers (commonly referred to ascommunity...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Corrections Technology and Practice Today
    (pp. 21-38)

    In building an innovation agenda for corrections, the foundation is the substantial technology and practice base that makes up corrections today. While correctional systems are not typically known for embracing change, a significant number of new tools were introduced to the field in the past several decades—though existing practices and requirements in the sector created friction that limited the speed and success of innovation efforts. As described by Stone and Scharf:

    During the past 50 years, widespread use of technology in correctional facilities has been somewhat atypical. Beginning in the early 1970s, prisons and jails were already employing a...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR From Corrections Today to Corrections Tomorrow: Identifying Needs in Community and Institutional Corrections
    (pp. 39-50)

    In considering the potential to improve corrections performance through innovations in technology, policy, practice, or training, the goal is obviously to do better than we are today. But for a system so complex, how should we definebetter? In this chapter, we begin with that definition process, framing a set of overall mission and process objectives for corrections. We then discuss the process we used to generate needs with the Corrections Advisory Panel and think through innovations that could improve performance against those objectives, providing the building blocks for an innovation agenda for the sector.

    To provide a basis for...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Prioritizing the Needs to Develop an Innovation Agenda for Corrections
    (pp. 51-66)

    All of the needs identified in our generation process represent potential targets for investment to improve corrections performance. Indeed, given the complexity of the corrections sector and the many organizations relevant to promoting innovation within it—including corrections agencies, government research and support organizations, private-sector firms, and nongovernmental organizations, among others—there may be individual needs on the list that match perfectly the roles and capabilities of a single organization and could be acted on immediately.

    For an innovation agenda overall, however, such a long list of possible targets is daunting. To provide insight for organizations on where to focus...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Conclusions: Fostering Innovation in Corrections
    (pp. 67-72)

    The corrections sector, encompassing both the institutions charged with separating offenders from society as they serve their sentences and the organizations supervising parolees and probationers as they reintegrate back into society, plays a central role in the criminal justice system. Corrections today faces many challenges, including stresses from policy decisions that have led to significant increases in the number of individuals in custody and under supervision; questions about the effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts, given high recidivism rates; concerns about shifting business models and the effects of privately operated prisons; questions surrounding the fairness of the justice system overall and corrections...

  15. APPENDIX A Corrections Advisory Panel Members
    (pp. 73-74)
  16. APPENDIX B Corrections Advisory Panel Agenda
    (pp. 75-76)
  17. APPENDIX C Detailed Methodology
    (pp. 77-82)
  18. APPENDIX D Full List of Community Corrections Needs
    (pp. 83-100)
  19. APPENDIX E Full List of Institutional Corrections Needs
    (pp. 101-122)
  20. References
    (pp. 123-132)