News from Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New York, Oregon

JRSA Forum. December 2012. Volume 30, Number 4.

Evaluation of Multidisciplinary Teams
The Illinois Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) funded researchers from the University of Illinois at Springfield to examine the operation of multidisciplinary team (MDT) programs currently operating in four state counties. Multidisciplinary teams aim to bring together several components of the criminal justice and victim service systems in a coordinated approach to effectively process cases and provide support and service to victims. Three of the MDTs were formed to address domestic violence and one to address sexual assault cases. The study assesses the extent to which the programs operated collaboratively, how victims were served, and what efforts were made to hold the offender accountable. The report is scheduled for release in January 2013. Findings indicate these types of multidisciplinary teams provide numerous benefits in terms of victim services, offender accountability, and case coordination.

Inventory of Illinois State Agency Employment Restrictions for Persons with Criminal Records
The Illinois Task Force on Inventorying Employment Restrictions Act [20 ILCS 5000] provides for the formation of a task force that shall review all state agencies' statutes, administrative rules, policies, and practices that create restrictions for employment of persons with a criminal background and to report to the state's governor and lawmakers by July 1, 2013, on those restrictions and their impact on employment opportunities. The Illinois SAC provides staff support to the task force in collecting and collating information received from all state agencies including statistics on the numbers of applicants who have been restricted from employment in the past two years. The state agency submissions will be examined in concert with external employment restrictions documentation from the Illinois Legislative Research Unit and from the American Bar Association to ensure completeness.

Mental Health and PTSD in Cook County Jail Substance Abuse Treatment Program
This project is a collaboration between the Illinois SAC, Loyola University Chicago, and the WestCare Foundation. The project will examine mental health, trauma exposure, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of males who are participating in the WestCare substance abuse programming at the Cook County Jail by means of a survey. In-depth case histories of six of those who completed the survey were compiled, and staff and stakeholders at the jail will be interviewed. The purpose is to learn about trauma and PTSD in jail populations in order to add to the literature and suggest programmatic improvements in the jail.

Evaluation of Residential Facilities Placement
The Iowa Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) recently com-pleted an evaluation of offenders placed in Iowa residential facilities, focusing on the risk principle. A comparison of residential and field-supervised offenders found that with one exception, offenders placed in residential facilities had higher rates of recidivism, in all risk categories and recidivism measures, than offenders placed in field supervision. These findings support the component of risk principle that exposure to correctional interventions increases recidivism for low-risk offenders. Conversely, the study failed to provide support for the notion that high-risk offenders benefit from placement in terms of risk reduction. One encouraging finding pertaining to high-risk offenders was the lower rate of recidivist drug/alcohol offenses found for those in the residential group.

Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Demonstration Program
The Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP) was awarded $750,000 for a Juvenile Justice Reform and Reinvestment Demonstration Program, which is a new three-year initiative from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The project will provide training and technical assistance to develop and implement an integrated set of evidence-based and cost-measurement tools that will enable CJJP and three juvenile court services districts to make informed decisions about resources and services for justice-involved youth. The project will implement both the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) and the cost-benefit Results First model created by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP). The goal is to realign services and costs to ensure the right services are reaching the right youth at the right time.

Three New Studies
Statewide Enhanced Drug Court Evaluation
This study involves a process and outcome evaluation of nine Iowa drug courts receiving funding through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program to add mental health services for offenders with a co-occurring substance abuse and mental illnesses.

Co-Occurring Adult Recovery Solutions (CARS) Evaluation
The SAC is conducting a process and short-term outcome evaluation of offenders with co-occurring disorders who receive services in their final six months at the Iowa Medical Classification Center and receive follow-up mental health services in Black Hawk County post release.

Fostering Desistance Field Experiment
Using an experimental design, this study will investigate the impact of parolees’ being supervised by correctional staff trained in desistance-based Integrated Case Management Supervision techniques and by service providers trained in Motivational Engagement Therapy and Thinking for a Change. The project and evaluation are funded through the BJA Second Chance Act Demonstration Field Experiment: Fostering Desistance through Effective Supervision.

SAC Issues New Report on Juvenile Justice Data
The Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) released the 2012 Maine Juvenile Justice Data Book, the first of its kind in Maine. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the data book uses justice data trends to present a portrait of youth involvement in the state’s juvenile justice system. The SAC designed the data book to serve as an aid to legislative, policy, and program initiatives aimed at rehabilitating youth.

Also included in the data book are an extensive examination of Maine county juvenile justice trends and a county-level analysis of disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system between 2005 and 2010.

Key findings include:

The report and online data tables can be found at

New York
DCJS Issues 2011 Annual Performance Report
The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) completed the 2011 Annual Performance Report as required by §837(4)(a) and 837(12) of the Executive Law. The report documents the activities of 12 separate offices within DCJS. Historical performance and activity numbers for over 250 measures are provided, with a breadth of information that ranges from the statewide DNA collection rate to the number of Freedom of Information Law requests received by DCJS. The Annual Performance Report also provides information on the scope of operations for each office within DCJS. The report functions as a publicly available, single source document, which details the on-going progress of DCJS in meeting its mission of "Enhancing Public Safety and Improving Criminal Justice."

The Oregon SAC, which is housed in the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC), is continuing several projects, as well as preparing for the legislative session beginning in January. The Commision on Public Safety, which is staffed by the CJC and charged to develop recommendations for addressing public safety policy, continued to meet through December, when final recommendations to the legislature were completed.

The Commission considered changes to mandatory minimum sentencing, probation revocations, and other sen-tencing laws, and is considering using those savings for a justice reinvestment plan. The SAC is also managing a randomized-control trial of four drug courts; a preliminary evaluation is expected to be completed spring 2013 for consideration by the legislature. (Information about the SAC's Justice Reinvestment Initiative and the drug court evaluation can be found in the September 2012 issue of the Forum.)

Re-Entry Resource Centers Evaluation
Another project undertaken by the SAC for the upcoming legislative session is a preliminary evaluation of Re-entry Resource Centers in Oregon. The CJC provided a one-time grant to three Re-entry Centers beginning January 2010 and a preliminary outcome evaluation and cost-benefit analysis are anticipated this February. A quasi-experimental design was conducted to produce a matched-pairs control group for the Re-entry Center clients. Subsequent arrest and charge outcomes were analyzed. Follow-up outcome analyses are being conducted as well as a cost-benefit analysis to date for the program.

Evaluation of Thirty Percent Earned Time Legislation
The SAC is also working on an evaluation of 30 percent earned time legislation that went into effect in 2009 and sunsets at the end of this year. Prior to 2009, certain offenders were eligible for a maximum of 20 percent earned time. In 2009, House Bill 3508 increased the maximum earned time to 30 percent and directed the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to evaluate the earned time increase effect on recidivism. The outcome evaluation will be available in February 2013 and will compare recidivism rates across similar groups of 20 and 30 percent earned time offenders. The outcomes will include new felony convictions and arrests in Oregon. This evaluation was conducted at the direction of the Oregon Legislature and will inform future sentencing reform decisions.