National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women Newsletter
The National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women (NRCJIW) provides guidance and support to justice professionals - and promotes evidence-based, gender-responsive policies and practices – to reduce the number and improve the outcomes of women involved in the criminal justice system.
MEETING THE NEEDS OF WOMEN IN JAILS
The NRCJIW, in partnership with the American Jails Association, will conduct a jail summit in October 2017 entitled From Entry to Exit: Meeting the Needs of Women in Jails to Reduce their Involvement in the Criminal Justice System. The summit will bring together about 40 jail administrators, justice practitioners, service providers, Federal officials, and others from around the country with expertise in working with justice-involved women and knowledge about gender-informed policies and practices.
While the Jail Summit is an invite-only event, the NRCJIW plans to conduct a follow-up webinar open to the public by the end of the year. The webinar will share information discussed at the summit including concrete strategies that local corrections agencies can implement to improve transition and reentry for justice-involved women with the ultimate goal of reducing their further involvement in criminal justice.
These events follow the successful summit conducted by NRCJIW and AJA in October 2014 that focused on identifying strategies to build and expand gender responsive approaches to women in jails. The 2014 summit resulted in the production of eight Tip Sheets that were disseminated to every jail in the country. To read the Tip Sheets and for other related resources, visit our Women in Jails page.
UPCOMING NRCJIW PRESENTATIONS AT AJFO
Please join us at the Association for Justice-Involved Females and Organizations (AJFO) conference in Santa Clara, California! The 17th Bi-Annual – Association of Justice-Involved Females and Organizations Conference will be convened in Santa Clara, California on December 11-13, 2017. The theme of this year’s conference will be Changing the Narrative for Justice Involved Women and Girls: the Journey from Reform to Transformation. Click here to visit the AJFO conference website for upcoming details on registration and logistics.
On December 12, the NRCJIW will offer a two-part workshop that will explore how two organizations, the Alabama Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Corrections, are transforming criminal justice policies and practices for women and their families, staff and communities “from the inside out” and “from the outside in”. The sessions will focus on facility-level and state-level changes made towards building a model women’s correctional system based on gender responsive, trauma-informed and evidence-based principles. Change leaders from each state will share the resources and strategies they have found to be the most helpful and the steps they are taking to overcome identified challenges.
On December 13, the NRCJIW will be joined by the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services in Iowa and the Council of State Governments to present on the intersection of mental illness, substance abuse, and trauma and women’s involvement in the justice system. The workshop will explore with participants how to develop strategies to better address the needs of women with these disorders so that they can lead healthy and successful lives.
We hope to see you there!
Study Finds Minor Offenses Land Black Women in Jail at Higher Rate
The Vera Institute of Justice and the Safety and Challenge program conducted a study to find out why women are being jailed at alarming rates – a dramatic shift, they say, from the 1970s, when jailed women were fewer than 8,000 compared to 2014 where jailed women totaled closer to 110,000 across the U.S. Essence magazine recently profiled the study, noting that Black women make up 44% of the women in jail compared to their white and Latina counterparts who account for 36% and 15% respectively. In the report they discover jailed women are “overwhelmingly poor and low-income, survivors of violence and trauma, and have high rates of physical and mental illness and substance use.” For more information and to read the full article, click here.
Spotlight on NRCJIW Technical Assistance: An Overview of the Maricopa County, Arizona MOSAIC Program
In 2013, Maricopa County, Arizona was awarded a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to support a partnership between their Adult Probation Department (APD) and Correctional Health Services (CHS)/Arizona State University (ASU) to implement services, and support trauma-informed care (TIC) for dually disordered women housed in the Maricopa County Jail and reentering the community on probation. As a next step toward bolstering their efforts to provide more evidence-based and supportive programming for women in the local jail and those transitioning to the community, Maricopa County sought technical assistance from the NRCJIW. The NRCJIW designed and delivered a series of multidisciplinary training events for staff involved in the project as well as others working with justice-involved women in Maricopa County; and provided project staff with additional written and electronic resources relevant to their work with justice-involved women. NRCJIW highlighted some of the strengths and challenges of the county’s project with respect to gender responsiveness; and provided direction and a framework for steps that could be taken to enhance evidence-based, gender responsive and trauma-informed practices with seriously mentally ill justice-involved women.
After the initial technical assistance was provided, Maricopa County accepted the recommendations made by the NRCJIW and availed themselves of additional gender-informed training and assistance offered by NIC, including participation in the NIC Women Offenders: Developing an Agency-Wide Approach training in 2014. Between 2015 and 2017, Maricopa County has worked steadily to establish and enhance trauma-informed care and women’s initiatives at the jail.
MOSAIC for women is housed in a dorm at the women’s jail and incorporates the use of gender-informed, evidence-based programming (including Start Now, Parenting Inside Out, and New Freedom) and uses materials developed for this population alongside cognitive processing theory-based trauma and resiliency curriculum. In order to maximize their impact, MOSAIC serves moderate to high risk offenders, focusing on individuals with co-occurring high needs, and has developed a Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) model as the program’s foundation. After two years of the original MOSAIC group, 75% of the women participating were successfully retained in the community (n=20, 1 woman was reincarcerated, 4 incurred probation violations.)
For more information about the program and the assistance provided, click here. For details and to view a short video about the MOSAIC program, click here.
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Friends of NRCJIW, we are thrilled to announce our presence on social media. Please take a moment to LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter. We would love to grow our audience so that we can continue to provide you with updates on our work and other critical issues related to women in the justice system. We look forward to “seeing” you on line!