It’s Not About the Art; It’s About the Artist

We actually need young people who are bold, willing to challenge conventional thinking, and to break rules, but we also need them to respect others, to rely on logic rather than force, and to appreciate the corrosive effects of violence and exploitation. In short, our communities need powerful and creative young people who want to improve us and not simply to fight us. These should seem like obvious concepts to anyone working around the youth justice system, but it is often surprisingly difficult to implement them in practice.

Associations Between Mass Incarceration and Community Health in New York City

Davis, Rindcy E. and Douglas N. Evans (2018). Associations Between Mass Incarceration and Community Health in New York City. Public Health, 161: 43-48. 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…

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Conducting Prison Research in a Foreign Setting

Kazemian, Lila (2015). Conducting Prison Research in a Foreign Setting. International Journal for Crime, Justice, and Social Democracy, 4(1), 113-127. This paper discusses the process of conducting prison research in France. Drawing on a study conducted with a sample of prisoners in a maximum-security facility in Paris, this article outlines the major challenges relating to access, data collection, and dissemination of results in correctional research. It also addresses some of the barriers that are inherent to prison research conducted in a setting foreign to the researcher. The value and place of prison research in the field of criminology are also…

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Imperative for Inclusion of Long Termers and Lifers in Research and Policy

Kazemian, Lila and Jeremy Travis (2015). Imperative for inclusion of long termers and lifers in research and policy. Criminology & Public Policy, 14(2), 355-395 (published online, May 4, 2015). Although numerous studies have highlighted the negative consequences of mass incarceration, life-course and criminal career research has largely failed to document psychological, social, and behavioral changes that occur during periods of incarceration. This oversight is particularly noteworthy in the case of individuals serving long sentences, as they spend a significant portion of the life course behind bars. The policies and programs targeting prisoners are seldom tailored to long termers and lifers,…

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Out-of-Home Placements Falling Among Younger Juveniles

by Jeffrey A. Butts September 5, 2014 The number of young people referred to court for delinquency offenses plummeted after the 1990s. According to juvenile court data maintained by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and disseminated by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), the number of delinquency cases nationwide fell 34 percent between 1996 and 2011 (the most recent year available) — from 1.9 million to 1.2 million cases disposed (or completed) per year. The number of formally handled delinquency cases (i.e. those charged by prosecutors) dropped 36 percent during the same period, and the…

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Spring 2014 Pinkerton Symposium

A CLOSER LOOK: Examining “Close to Home” and New York’s Transformation of Youth Justice Pinkerton Symposium on Youth Justice Sponsored by the Pinkerton Foundation and the Pinkerton Fellowship Initiative at John Jay College in Collaboration with the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation of New York City John Jay College of Criminal Justice 524 West 59th Street New York, NY 2nd Floor Dining Hall May 5, 2014 8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. New York’s Close to Home (C2H) initiative is a potentially important step forward for youth justice reform, but how well is it working? How significant is it in the context of…

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Is the Decline in Juvenile Incarceration Due to Reform or Falling Crime Rates?

Butts, Jeffrey A. (2013). Is the Decline in Juvenile Incarceration Due to Reform or Falling Crime Rates? Research and Evaluation Data Bits [2013-01]. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Juvenile justice advocacy groups in the United States are celebrating the nation’s falling rate of juvenile incarceration. How do we explain this welcome trend? Some see it as evidence of reform, suggesting that cities and states around the country are handling more young offenders with community-based programs rather than with incarceration or other forms of out-of-home placement. Is this accurate? Certainly, the number…

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Does Law Matter? An Old Bail Law Confronts the New Penology

Kazemian, Lila, Candace McCoy and Meghan Sacks (2013). Does law matter? An old bail law confronts the New Penology. Punishment & Society, 15(1): 43-70. The New Penology paradigm stipulates that governments increasingly incarcerate ‘unruly classes’ in order to manage rather than punish these groups. Even more than in previous decades, post-industrial society is said to utilize the criminal sanction as a means of repressing the poor, urban, unemployed, and members of minority groups. Drawing on the New Penology framework, the current research uses the example of bail to assess whether risk management rationales have migrated into judges’ decision making despite…

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The French Prison System…

Kazemian, Lila and Catrin Andersson (2012). The French Prison System: Comparative Insights for Policy and Practice in New York and the United States. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Despite many differences between French and American correctional practices, the two countries have common challenges as well. This report offers a brief overview of the French prison system and describes how the elements of that system compare with the policies and practices of corrections agencies in New York and the United States as a whole.

Less Serious Offenses Account for 90 Percent of the Growth in Juvenile Placements

Butts, Jeffrey A. (2012). Less Serious Offenses Account for 90 Percent of the Growth in Juvenile Placements. Research and Evaluation Data Bits [2012-08]. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Juvenile court cases involving charges of obstruction of justice, simple assault, drug law violations, vandalism, and disorderly conduct combined accounted for 48,200 new placement cases in 2008, or more than 90 percent of all growth in out-of-home placements between 1985 and 2008.