Assessing the Efficacy of Alternatives to Incarceration within Seven Federal Districts

Though alternatives to incarceration (ATI) courts have existed in the state system for 30 years, such courts are a relatively new phenomena at the federal level. We assess the impact of participation in an ATI program on a number of outcomes using a quasi-experimental matching design. Results suggest that defendants who successfully completed an ATI program were employed a greater percentage of the days, and received favorable case dispositions and less severe sentences.

Risk Terrain Modeling: Seasonality and Predictive Validity

This study focuses on crimes involving firearms in Baltimore, Maryland to answer three research questions concerning the effect of seasonality: (1) Do changes in the seasons affect which spatial factors are significantly related to crime?; (2) Does risk terrain modeling have predictive validity on a short-term basis?; and (3) Are the same areas high-risk throughout the year? To accomplish this, the authors ran twelve monthly risk terrain models and one yearly risk terrain model. The study found that risk factors vary by month and that monthly and yearly spatial risk factors do not necessarily overlap. The study also found that risk terrain models retain their predictive validity on a short-term basis. The results are further discussed in relation to whether the same areas are high-risk throughout the course of the year.

It’s About Quality: Private Confinement Facilities in Juvenile Justice

Quality youth justice systems (a) limit the use of confinement to cases where it is objectively necessary, (b) ensure the health and safety of all confined youth, (c) provide effective treatments and developmentally appropriate programming, and (d) continually monitor and evaluate their effectiveness. These goals apply to all forms of secure confinement regardless of financing or organizational configuration.

Going Back to College? Criminal Stigma in Higher Education Admissions in Northeastern U.S.

Access to education is a constant theme in discussions germane to correctional reform, particularly to reduce rule breaking while incarcerated and re-offending after release from prison. Focusing on the latter, we examine the extent to which education is accessible for individuals who have felonious non-violent records in the United States (US). We generated a stratified random sample of 85 institutions of higher education (IHE) in the northeastern US and analyzed emails from admission departments in response to inquiries about how a felony record would affect admissions decisions. Results from multivariate models indicate that the institution type (public vs. private) significantly predicts how an IHE would use an individual’s criminal history in admissions decisions. Public IHEs are less likely to consider criminal history when reviewing an individual’s application and IHEs with higher proportions of minority students are associated with reduced consideration of an applicant’s criminal history in admissions decisions.

Full Disclosure: Experimental Analysis of Female Online Dating on Parole

The stigma of a criminal record is damaging for Blacks and Latinas who disclose parole in online dating bios, but for White females, disclosure of parole does not hinder and may even help their online dating match success. The stigma of being minority appears to compound criminal stigma in online dating. This has crucial implications for the relationships of formerly incarcerated because prosocial romantic relationships reduce recidivism.

The Effects of Neighborhood Context on Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Among Adolescents Involved in the Juvenile Justice System: Latent Classes and Contextual Effects

This study uses latent class analysis to examine adverse childhood experience (ACE) typologies among a large sample of justice-involved Florida youth between ages 10 and 18. Multilevel, multinomial logistic regression is used to assess the relationship between individual- and community-level factors and class membership.

Considering the Mediating Effects of Drug and Alcohol Use, Mental Health, and Their Co-Occurrence on the Adverse Childhood Experiences–Recidivism Relationship

Using data from a large sample of adjudicated juveniles in Florida, this study examines the mediating effects of drug and alcohol use, mental health problems, and their co-occurrence on the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and recidivism.

Good Questions: Building Evaluation Evidence in a Competitive Policy Environment

Policymakers and practitioners in the justice sector should consider evaluation research as a portfolio of strategic investments in knowledge development. Randomized controlled trials are merely one asset in a broader investment strategy.

Examining Housing Discrimination Across Race, Gender and Felony History

This study uses the audit method to examine the effects of race, gender, and criminal history on housing outcomes. Testers, exhibiting characteristics suggestive of race and gender and disclosing one of three offenses, placed phone calls to rental property owners across the Midwest to inquire about renting a property. We found powerful negative effects for those with a criminal record seeking apartments, regardless of whether the offense was sexual or drug-related.

Associations Between Mass Incarceration and Community Health in New York City

Incarceration has escalated over the past four decades in the United States, creating a number of negative consequences for individuals, families, and communities. This study seeks to identify the associations between mass incarceration and health behaviors/perceptions on a neighborhood level. Using the street intercept method, we collected in-person survey data from residents in two New York City neighborhoods (one in the South Bronx and the other in Northern Manhattan) with similar levels of social disadvantage but significantly different rates of jail admission. Respondents in both neighborhoods self-reported similar ratings of their physical health. Significant differences between neighborhoods include incidence of fast food consumption over the past week, alcohol use over the last 3 months, and perceptions of the occurrence of teen pregnancy in the neighborhood. This study hopes to inform future researchers and interventionists about associations between mass incarceration and health-related behaviors/perceptions to facilitate consideration of this increasingly common social factor as a determinant of community health in future research.

Sex Offender Stigma: An Exploration of Vigilantism against Sex Offenders

The current study compiles open-source news reports involving vigilantes who targeted individuals because of their status as a sex offender (SO) or their suspected involvement in a sex offense. The Sex Offender-Vigilante database includes 279 separate incidents of vigilantism against SOs, ranging from the dissemination of unsanctioned fliers to murder. Results indicate that the stigmatization that convicted SOs experience is so pervasive that it extends even to individuals suspected of having committed a sexual offense.

The Mobility of Youth in the Justice System: Implications for Recidivism

Both residential mobility and community disadvantage have been shown to be associated with negative outcomes for adolescents generally and juvenile offenders specifically. The current study examines the effects of moving among a large sample (n = 13,096) of previously adjudicated youth (31.6 % female, 41.2 % Black, 16.5 % Hispanic). Additionally, we examine whether moving upward to a more affluent neighborhood, moving downward to an area of greater disadvantage, or moving laterally to a similar neighborhood tempers the effects of residential mobility. We use a combination of analytical techniques, including propensity score matching to untangle the effects of mobility sans pre-existing conditions between movers and non-movers. Results show relocation increases recidivism, irrespective of the direction of the move with regard to socioeconomic context. Moving upward has the most detrimental impact for adjudicated male adolescents, while downward relocations evidenced the largest effect for female youth. Implications for policy and future research needs are discussed.

Predicting Adverse Childhood Experiences

Effects of concentrated disadvantage and affluence on ACE scores are examined in a statewide sample of more than 59,000 juvenile offenders, controlling for salient individual (including family and parenting) measures and demographics. Both disadvantage and affluence affect ACE exposure. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Negative Emotionality, and Pathways to Juvenile Recidivism

Prior work has illustrated youth exposed to adverse parenting practices are more likely to offend and juvenile offenders with maltreatment histories more likely to re-offend. In addition, aggressive tendencies and a hostile interpretation of the actions of others and one’s environment increase antisocial behavior.

Do Social Bonds Buffer the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Reoffending?

Research from multiple disciplines has reported that exposure to childhood traumatic events, often referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), increases an individual’s chances of experiencing a wide variety of negative consequences such as chronic disease, unemployment, and involvement in serious, violent, and chronic offending.

The Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Recidivism

Results from a series of Cox hazard models suggest that ACEs increase the risk of subsequent arrest, with a higher prevalence of ACEs leading to a shorter time to recidivism. The relationship between ACEs and recidivism held quite well in demographic-specific analyses.