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January 22, 2010

Notable corrections snippet from AG Holder's speech to sheriffs

I just received this link to the text of Attorney General Eric Holder "Addresses the National Sheriffs’ Association’s 2010 Winter Conference."  Here is one snippet that especially caught my attention:

In the months ahead, we plan to give particular emphasis to initiatives aimed at tackling economic crime, international organized crime, youth violence and the exploitation of children.  We will also be focusing on improving our corrections system and ensuring that conditions are secure, humane and aimed at rehabilitation.

There’s no question that problems in our jails and prisons are alarming, especially the increased prevalence of sexual assault. The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently found that 12 percent of young offenders in our juvenile facilities have been sexually victimized.  This is horrifying. It’s also unacceptable.

As we work toward making improvements, many of you have raised practical concerns about some of the recommendations included in the Prison Rape Elimination Act Commission Report. I am committed to working with you.  And I’m determined to address this problem effectively, collaboratively, and as quickly as possible.

Sheriffs must be a part of this work. I’m pleased that several of you will be meeting with the Department’s PREA Working Group on Monday. And I want each of you to know that there will be additional opportunities to offer input and to comment on proposed regulations.

January 22, 2010 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

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Comments

works for me! Does this mean the govt is going to stop abusing all those children who's photo's they use to trap men with?

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Jan 22, 2010 9:55:44 PM

Prison Conditions and Recidivism

Abstract:
We use a unique data set on post-release behavior of former Italian inmates to estimate the effect of prison conditions on recidivism. By combining different sources of data we exploit variation in prison conditions measured by: 1) the extent of overcrowding at the prison level, 2) the number of deaths in the facility of detention during an inmate's stay and 3) the distance of the prison from the chief town of the province where the prison is located. By considering inmates who served their sentence in a jurisdiction different from the hometown in which they live after release, we can include province of residence fixed effects and account for the main source of unobserved heterogeneity correlated to prison conditions. We find that a harsher prison treatment does not reduce former inmates' criminal activity. The extent of overcrowding and the number of deaths do not decrease the probability to be re-arrested. Instead, we find evidence that the degree of isolation measured by distance from the prison of detention to the chief town of the province where the prison is located increases recidivism.


Evaluating the Effectiveness of Professionally-Facilitated Volunteerism in the Community-Based Management of High-Risk Sexual Offenders: Part Two - A Comparison of Recidivism Rates

Abstract:
This study represents an examination of recidivism rates associated with the pilot project of Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) in South-Central Ontario, Canada. A group of 60 high-risk sexual offenders involved in COSA after having been released at the end of their sentence were matched to a group of 60 high-risk sexual offenders who had been released at the end of their sentence, but who did not become involved in COSA. Results show that the offenders who participated in the COSA pilot project had significantly lower rates of any type of reoffending than did the offenders who did not participate in COSA. Specifically, offenders who participated in COSA had a 70% reduction in sexual recidivism in contrast to the matched comparison group (5% vs. 16.7%), a 57% reduction in all types of violent recidivism (including sexual - 15% vs. 35%), and an overall reduction of 35% in all types of recidivism (including violent and sexual - 28.3% vs. 43.4%). Further, a considerable harm reduction function was noted in the COSA sample, in that sexual reoffences in this group were categorically less severe than prior offences by the same individual. This function was not observed in the matched comparison group.

Is this evidence that treating monsters like people is effective and treating people like monsters is not? Is this a Doh moment?

Posted by: Skeptic | Jan 23, 2010 11:37:42 AM

That was a different paper and the cite should be to this one.

Prison Conditions and Recidivism

Abstract:
This paper examines the impact of prison conditions on future criminal behaviour. The analysis is based on a unique dataset on the post-release behaviour of 25,000 Italian former prison inmates. We use an exogenous variation in prison assignment as a means of identifying the effects of prison overcrowding, deaths in prison, and degree of isolation on the probability of re-offending. We find do not find compelling evidence of deterrent effects of prison severity. The measures of prison severity do not affect negatively the probability of recidivism. Instead, all point estimates suggest that harsh prison conditions increase post-release criminal activity, though they are not always precisely estimated.

Posted by: Skeptic | Jan 23, 2010 11:41:52 AM

Does Prison Harden Inmates? A Discontinuity-based Approach

Abstract:
Some two million Americans are currently incarcerated, with roughly six hundred thousand to be released this year. Despite this, little is known about the effects of confinement conditions on the post-release lives of inmates. Focusing on post-release criminal activity, we identify the causal effect of prison conditions on recidivism rates by exploiting a discontinuity in the assignment of federal prisoners to security levels. We find that harsher prison conditions are associated with significantly more post-release crime.

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