Justice Involved Women Projects

Sponsors: Smart Policy Works, Inc.

Center staff will provide technical assistance and project management support for the development of the Women’s Justice Assessment (WJA) tool and process, which will serve as a gender responsive and trauma-informed assessment of local jails and the surrounding ecosystem.   The WJA is designed to identify the strengths and challenges in local criminal justice systems in supporting harm reduction and improved well-being among at-risk and/or justice-involved women.   The WJA is being piloted in two counties in the state of Illinois with the ultimate goal of providing an effective tool and process for local jurisdictions throughout the country interested in improving outcomes of justice involved women.

Sponsors: Michigan Department of Corrections

Through the Center’s National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women, staff are working with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to conduct a Gender Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA) at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility (WHV). The GIPA was developed by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and has been conducted in six other states.  The GIPA will assist the MDOC in gaining a greater understanding of the facility’s strengths and challenges with respect to gender responsive and trauma informed practices across twelve domain areas.  The findings resulting from the GIPA will be use to assist the MDOC to develop a strategic plan for the WHV.  Throughout the GIPA process, Center staff and consultants will work MDOC to conduct the assessment, compile and summarize the findings, and facilitate the development of the strategic plan.  The overall goals of this effort are to provide the MDOC with an increased level of knowledge of effective practices with justice-involved women and encourage enhanced critical thinking skills related to the implementation of policies and practices with this population.

Sponsors: Council of State Governments

The Center for Effective Policy, through its National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women (NRCJIW) will partner with the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) training and technical assistance team at the Council of State Governments Justice Center to cultivate a learning community for Gender-Responsive Services for Women for the FYI6 JMHCP and possibly other grantees.  In addition to the learning community webinar series, the NRCJIW will participate in grantee calls with the CSG Justice Center technical assistance providers. As part of the Gender-Responsive Services for Women Learning Community PowerPoint presentations and content will be developed for grantee webinars.  Additionally, the NRCJIW will answer grantee questions between the grantee webinars, which may include participation in electronic communication, teleconferences, and in person meetings.

Sponsors: Travis County Justice and Public Safety Division

A Center staff member provided assistance to the Travis County Justice and Public Safety, Justice Planning Department that included facilitating a discussion of strategies to address the needs of justice involved women in Travis County.  Center staff also presented a keynote address at the Travis County Reentry Conference on the unaddressed needs of justice involved women and implications for reentry.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance

The goal of the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women is to support and enhance the capacities, strategies, and skills of state and local criminal justice agencies to manage women offenders in an evidence-based and gender-informed manner to reduce recidivism, and ultimately, to achieve more successful outcomes with women involved in the criminal justice system. The Resource Center will achieve this goal through the provision of targeted training and technical assistance to state and local criminal justice agencies; the production of curricula, policy briefs, and coaching packets to address gaps in knowledge and practice; and the establishment of an information center to enhance the knowledge base of practitioners and policymakers working with women in the criminal justice system. NRCJIW received supplemental funding in 2011 to allow the project to continue its work through March, 2015. The NRCJIW will continue the activities described above and will also undertake three new activities: provision of assistance for up to three pilot sites to develop gender responsive pretrial assessment tool(s) and a pretrial toolkit for broad dissemination; conduct of a national leadership symposium; and conduct of four Gender-Informed Practice Assessments (GIPAs). The Resource Center is managed by the Center and its collaborative partners – Orbis Partners, the University of Cincinnati, the Women’s Prison Association, CORE Associates, The Moss Group, and the Center for Trauma Informed Care.

Sponsors: National Institute of Corrections

Project staff worked with an advisory group of experts on gender-informed policy and practice to complete the design of a women offender policy and practice assessment protocol. Four sites were selected for a pilot test of the assessment tool, and at the conclusion of the project a final assessment, an accompanying user’s manual, and a curriculum for an evaluator training and certification program were produced.

Sponsors: Orbis Partners

Center staff worked with Connecticut Judicial Branch leadership, the National Institute of Corrections, and Orbis Partners to develop the content for a meeting of key stakeholders. Center staff provided facilitation for the meeting, and made a presentation on collaboration as part of the agenda. Following the meeting, Center staff provided recommendations for the appropriate role and focus of the stakeholder group and potential agenda items for their fall/winter meeting.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

This project provided intensive technical assistance to teams of criminal justice policy officials, corrections and human service managers, and community members from three local jurisdictions to assist in the development and implementation of policies and practices designed to increase the likelihood of successful completion of community supervision for women who are pretrial defendants and sentenced offenders. The project integrated research and practice from diverse areas, including women’s pathways to crime, gender responsive supervision and intervention strategies, offender risk and needs assessment, system analysis, and policy development. Technical assistance activities included a training seminar for policy team members from each selected site, the provision of monthly site coordination and technical guidance, and documentation of project accomplishments. The project received supplemental awards to continue the provision of intensive technical assistance to participating sites, and ultimately produced a series of articles that captured the learnings from these and earlier project sites.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

The Center, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, developed and conducted a focus group comprised of academics and practitioners to address the need for sound research and empirically based strategies for the assessment of women offenders. The Center developed the meeting agenda, facilitated the meeting discussion, and prepared and published documentation of the meeting’s outcome.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance

This project was designed to meet several needs identified in the field of community corrections for women offenders, including documenting what is currently known about existing mother-child corrections programs; centralizing information about this issue for programs serving this population, policymakers, and other professionals; and providing training and technical assistance on issues specific to the delivery of services to women offenders with children. The Center worked with a thirty-five person advisory group (consisting of experts in the fields of research, criminal justice, child development, law, community development, and representatives from several federal agencies) to develop and design activities for information gathering and dissemination, outreach, technical assistance, and public education.

Sponsors: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections

The Center, with assistance from COSMOS Corporation, conducted a national assessment of current practice among state correctional agencies with respect to classification and management of incarcerated women offenders. The assessment documented current practice nationwide and identified a number of examples of “best practice” for intensive analysis. Case studies were conducted on selected programs, and elements of each program were analyzed. The study also included a legal analysis of relevant case law pertaining to incarcerated women offenders and a review of the literature. Based upon this research, the project produced a handbook to be used by corrections practitioners as they designed and implemented classification systems for women offenders tailored to their individual jurisdictions’ needs. In addition, key contacts in each state—along with innovative programming efforts—were documented.