The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) – in partnership with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) – established the National Resource Center on Justice-Involved Women (NRCJIW) to address the unique and complex needs of adult women involved in the criminal justice system.NIC will continue to deliver products and services to the field specific to justice-involved women, and will work closely with BJA and the Resource Center to assure a coordinated approach.
The mission of the NRCJIW is to provide guidance and support to criminal justiceprofessionals – and to promote evidence-based, gender-responsive policies and practices – in order to reduce the number and improve the outcomes of women involved in the criminal justice system.
To carry out its mission, the Resource Center establishes and maintains this website; conducts outreach activities in service of its mission; and develops policy briefs, tools, and other materials to fill significant resource gaps in the field.It serves as a clearinghouse for model policies and practical tools; a referral source for information, research, and subject matter experts; and a forum for discussion among experts, policymakers, and practitioners about justice-involved women.The Resource Center also provides targeted training and technical assistance to state and local criminal justice professionals, policymakers and practitioners.
The overarching goals of the NRCJIW are to:
Promote the safety of the public, justice-involved women, and the professionals who work with them;
Synthesize and disseminate evidence-based and gender-responsive research and knowledge;
Promote the implementation of innovative, evidence-based and gender-responsive approaches that build on women’s strengths and address their risks and needs;
Promote gender-informed policy and management practices that have systemic impact and improve outcomes;
Highlight critical issues confronting this population; and
Build a community of professionals to encourage the exchange of ideas and information and advance gender-informed practices nationally.
Organizations Providing Support to the NRCJIW
The Resource Center is administered by the Center for Effective Public Policy.The Center is a nonprofit organization that assists criminal justice and other public and private sector policymakers and practitioners to develop more effective solutions to criminal justice challenges through a wide range of services. To this end, the Center works with justice and stakeholder agencies to:
Better define their vision, mission, and goals;
Provide training and information to staff at all levels;
Implement evidence-based and promising practices; and
Collaborate with various partners throughout the system to enhance the administration of justice.
The Center’s collaborative partners for this initiative include key individuals and organizations that have been at the forefront of conducting research, developing evidence-based and gender-informed tools, and establishing a database of information and knowledge about gender-informed and evidence-based practices for women offenders.They include:
CORE Associates provides consulting services to service providers, including programs, agencies, state departments, human service, child welfare and justice/correctional systems that serve youth and adults. CORE has particular knowledge and experience in the research, development, and implementation of gender-responsive services for adolescent and adult females. CORE connects clients to research and best practices regarding gender-responsive programming and approaches with females, and helps them translate knowledge into substantive changes that positively impact the lives of females and males, and the staff with whom they work. The services provided by CORE include, but are not limited to, gender-responsiveness program assessment, training on gender-responsive practices, technical assistance regarding implementation of gender-responsive practices at all levels of service delivery, program design and development, and system assessment and development.
Orbis Partners helps human service organizations enhance the lives of their clients and their staff by providing evidence-based practices, tools, and strategies to enhance performance.Services provided by Orbis Partners are categorized into four main areas – assessment, programs, research and evaluation, and software development.Orbis Partners has developed state-of-the-art assessment tools for determining risk, need, and strengths in criminal justice populations, including a special assessment protocol for women.Orbis Partners is a leader in the development of programming for high risk populations – particularly in the field of corrections.They have also developed gender-responsive programs and case management curricula focusing on skill development specifically for teenage girls and adult women.
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors – Center for Innovation in Trauma Informed Approaches
The SMHPD Center for Innovation in Trauma Informed Approaches is dedicated to building awareness of trauma-informed care and promoting the implementation of trauma-informed practices in programs and services. They advocate for the adoption of trauma-informed environments in the delivery of a broad range of services including mental health, substance use, housing, vocational or employment support, domestic violence and victim assistance, and peer support. In all of these environments, they seek to change the paradigm from one that asks, “What’s wrong with you?” to one that asks, “What has happened to you?”
The Moss Group, Inc. is a Washington, D.C.-based criminal justice consulting firm that works with federal, state, and local agencies involved in confinement of adults and youth.Through the use of nationally recognized subject matter experts, The Moss Group partners with their clients to develop solutions in a wide range of issues confronting correctional leaders.Examples include, correctional management and operations, gender-responsive strategies, working with women offenders and girls, aligning organizational and facility culture, addressing custodial sexual abuse in juvenile and adult settings, implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act, leadership and mentoring, and strategic planning.The Moss Group addresses specific needs of facilities and agencies through the development and delivery of technical assistance, trainings, facility assessments, and educational resources.
The Center for Criminal Justice Research at the University of Cincinnati strives to improve the quality and delivery of criminal justice services, to advance knowledge on the administration of justice and on the nature of criminal behavior, and to advance research capabilities and the educational mission of the Division of Criminal Justice. The Corrections Institute at the University of Cincinnati is committed to the dissemination of best practices to communities, facilities, and agencies seeking to change offender behavior. The Institute works with federal, state, and local governments, and with the private sector and professional organizations, to promote effective interventions and assessments for adult and juvenile offenders. Institute offerings include Technical Assistance, Staff Training, Distance Learning, and Research and Development.
The Women’s Prison Association (WPA) is a service and advocacy organization committed to helping women with criminal justice histories realize new possibilities for themselves and their families. WPA program services make it possible for women to obtain work, housing, and health care; to rebuild their families; and to participate fully in civic life. Through the Institute on Women & Criminal Justice, WPA pursues a rigorous policy, advocacy, and research agenda to bring new perspectives to public debates on women and criminal justice.
Each of these partner organizations have been long-standing leaders in the development of evidence-based and gender-informed research, tools, and resources for the criminal justice field.