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Conference Schedule

Below is the preliminary Forum agenda. This year’s theme is Moving Criminal Justice Forward Through Research, Policy and Practice. Workshops will focus on ideas and strategies for moving the criminal justice system forward, getting to where we need to be through research policy and practice.

There will be six workshop tracks. Look for the following icons next to the workshop title.

  • Policing Violent Crime and Serving Victims
  • Information Sharing and Technology
  • Administration and Management
  • Emerging International Reforms in Criminal Justice
  • Systems Integration and Managing Special Populations
  • Behavioral Health and Community-Based Services

Click the tabs below to view events for each day of the conference. Agenda details will be posted as sessions are finalized.

Attendees will receive a pocket agenda in their registration packets with session titles, times and locations. The complete program will be available to print online or view via the mobile app.

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8:30 AM – 12:00 PM | NCJA Advisory Council Meeting

8:30 AM – 3:00 PM | NCJA Grants Management Training Day

Back by popular demand, NCJA will be hosting a Grants Management Training Day on Sunday, September 15 prior to the start of the Forum on Criminal Justice. Registration is $300 per person before July 20, 2019 and $350 after this date. Lunch is included. View the draft agenda.

8:00 AM – 3:30 PM | ICCA Pre-Conference Session #1

The International Communication Corrections Association (ICCA) will host two pre-conference sessions. Details TBA.

8:00 AM – 3:30 PM | ICCA Pre-Conference Session #2

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM | Exhibitor Set-up

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM | NCJA Board of Directors Meeting

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM | Registration opens

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Opening Ceremony/Welcome Remarks/Opening Plenary

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM | Exhibit Area Opens

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM | Welcome Reception


7:00 AM – 6:00 PM | Exhibit Area Opens

7:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Registration Opens

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM | Regional Challenges and Priorities Breakfast

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM | Break

8:45 AM – 10:15 AM | Morning Plenary

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM | Break

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Morning Keynote

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM | Break

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM | Joint NCJA-ICCA Awards Luncheon

1:30 PM -1:45 PM | Break

1:45 PM – 4:45 PM | Potential Off-site Tour

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM | Workshop Sessions (Concurrent)

Restorative Justice

What are the core elements to ensure that restorative justice programs are survivor-centered, evidence-based, trauma-informed?  This session will examine the principles of restorative justice, best practices, and a newly developed victim/survivor program pre-test and post-test and satisfaction survey. As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the core principles of survivor-centered restorative justice.
    2. Identify the types of restorative justice programs that incorporate safety and security, voluntary participation of the victim, support, accompaniment and debriefing, etc.
    3. Review a new victim/survivor needs assessment instrument designed specifically for restorative justice programs that features a program pre-test and post-test to measure survivors’ changes in perceptions of participating in restorative justice programming

Presenters: Anne Seymour, National Victim Advocate, and Jessica Barfield, Assistant Director at the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs.


Session on Information Sharing and Technology

Workshop description TBA.

Why Does Performance Need to Be Measured?

Provide a performance measurement 101 workshop that addresses the following issues and questions (the following is not necessarily an exhaustive list):

    • The importance of identifying and building performance measurements at the beginning of every project.
    • What is the life cycle of performance measurement?
    • What makes a measure a good performance measure?
    • How are performance measures and evidence-based practices related?
    • How does performance measurement affect project sustainability?

Presenter: Kimberly J. Dalferes, Senior Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton.

  Systems Integration and Managing Special Populations
Special Coordination to Prepare Incarcerated Offenders for Release in Japan

In Japan, probation officers and volunteer probation officers engage in the ‘Coordination of Social Circumstances’, which includes (1) helping the offender ascertain and secure a residence in which to live upon release, (2) arranging social circumstances, and (3) efforts to create an environment suited to the offender’s reformation and rehabilitation.

Special Coordination’ is a part of the Coordination of Social Circumstances. For the purpose of the smoother reformation of inmates who have particular difficulty becoming self-reliant due to old age or disability, the director of the probation office conducts ‘Special Coordination’ for inmates. The probation officer cooperates with the officer of the correctional institute and ‘Community Life Stabilizing Support Centers’ established by the prefectural government as a project of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The inmates are given help so that they will be able to receive welfare services implemented by the local government or social welfare juridical persons, etc. after release.

Furthermore, if the inmate is unable to receive assistance through welfare benefits immediately after being released from a correctional institution, offender rehabilitation facilities designated for this coordination by Ministry of Justice will temporarily accept them. These facilities employ specialized welfare staff, coordinate welfare benefits and give guidance on increasing social adaptability.

The presenter will provide an overview of ‘Special Coordination’, explain the outcomes and current challenges faced, and demonstrate how ‘Special Coordination’ can be utilized as a community-based service for offenders.

Presenters: Mika Kitagawa, Professor, UNAFEI: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders; and Koich Hayashi, Officer, Ministry of Justice.

 Medication Assisted Treatment

Over the last decade, hundreds of jails and prisons across the country have incorporated medication-assisted treatment for individuals with opioid use disorders. While offering forms of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) have become more prominent, many departments of correction have taken it a step further and implemented integrated MAT programming. This workshop will highlight pioneering integrated programs around the country.

 Using Analytics to Drive Strategic Operations

This panel will focus on using analytic and intelligence to drive strategic and tactical operations and to drive decision making. While many departments are focused on improving analytical capacity, it can be challenging to actually use analytics to effectuate the crime fight.

 Toward the Transformation of Workplace Cultures in Criminal Justice and Correctional Organizations

This session will showcase two programs designed to transform the workplace culture for criminal justice and correctional agency staff. The Phoenix Association, a Connecticut-based nonprofit with the mission to change the organizational culture of criminal justice and correctional systems and a Canadian program that provides a tool kit for transforming compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

Starting with CT prisons, Phoenix enables culture change through a process of facilitated conversations and dialogues between and among correctional staff and formerly incarcerated persons (FIP). The immediate outcome is twofold: (1) correctional staff learn directly from FIPs what factors facilitate or inhibit success; and (2) through the process of shared life experiences, participants’ capacity for empathy, understanding and compassion is quickly enhanced and misconceptions and false attributions and judgments altered. The mid- and long-term outcomes are safer and more humane, restorative and rehabilitative prisons; and greater success upon release.

The Phoenix program is a unique process of culture change – no other culture change program incorporates formerly incarcerated persons. The essential catalyst for change is the sharing of lived experiences of participants in a group format that is accepting, respectful, and non-confrontational. Evidence-based practices (EBP) and evidence-informed programs (EIP) are more effective and positive results more sustainable if delivered in a restorative context and through compassionate respectful relationships.

The Canadian compassion program will help attendees learn about the concepts of vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout. These are risks we all face when working in the human services as helping professionals.  But with the right tools, organizations, co-workers and individuals can work together to build healthier ways of interacting that ensure a positive workplace culture.  We can learn to maintain resilience and keep the passion in our work, while sustaining our work- life balance. Whether you want to learn about protective factors or the steps to take to heal the symptoms of compassion fatigue, this workshop will offer tools to build a healthier workplace experience and better coping strategies.

The session will conclude with a discussion and comparison of the two approaches/programs along with the identification of summative themes and next steps for these and other efforts underway to transform workplace cultures in criminal justice and correctional organizations.

Presenters: Steve Lanza, Phoenix Association; Scott Semple, Former Commissioner of the CT Department of Corrections; and Heather Kerr, MSW, RSW, Executive Director, Stonehenge Therapeutic Community.

2:45 PM – 3:15 PM | Break

3:15 PM -4:45 PM | Workshop Sessions

 There is More to Evidence-Based Practice than Curricula and CBT

As community corrections continues to move toward evidence-based practices, we must take stock in what we know and what the future holds. We understand the risk, needs, and responsivity principles. We understand that assessment is important. We understand that we must train staff and ensure fidelity to the training, but we have often missed a critical piece of implementing evidence-based practices: the context and culture. Organizational and management structure is a key component, and often overlooked, in successfully adopting evidence-based practices.

This presentation will provide participants with a clear understanding of what characteristics must be present within the organization and strategies to effectively implement any evidence-based practice. Specifically, participants will be challenged to consider a new identity for community corrections—one of coach. For too long, our system has been built on a mastery model, expecting both staff and client to be perfect at what they do or else be considered a failure. This new model suggests that as we implement EBP we need to consider the agency infrastructure, review supervision practices, and grow staff much like a coach instead of a referee.

Participants will examine inconsistencies between policies and practice and overall mission and discuss strategies to make them more congruent; learn how to determine if their agency and staff operate from more of a coach or referee model; and develop interventions to help shift their agency/staff if appropriate.

Presenters: Dr. Brian Lovins, Principal, Justice System Partners and Kevin Kuehmeier, Senior Associate, Justice System Partners.

 The VOCA and Byrne JAG Programs as Sparks for Cross-System Change

In FY2015, Congress increased the amount of funding available from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding by over three-fold. In June 2016, Congress added a statewide strategic planning requirement to the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program. With these changes, states and local governments have the opportunity to leverage federal grant programs to create high impact change across the justice system, by breaking down silos, integrating programs, and improving information sharing. The results will improve fairness in the justice system, provide more effective support to victims and, better address the needs of underserved populations.

 Strategies for Combatting Human Trafficking

This session will discuss effective investigative and prosecution strategies regarding sex and labor trafficking crimes.

 Technology to Assist in Successful Reentry

Identifying ways to utilize integrated tablet technology can assist with treatment programming. For corrections staff, utilizing technology can motivate and engage incarcerated individuals to become an active participant in their release and reentry planning. This will lead to ways in which the gap in services between incarceration and community supervision can be minimized. Various smart phone apps are a useful method of directing recovery efforts, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first prescription for treating opioid disorders.

Specialty Courts Update

This workshop will examine the expanding trends in Specialty Courts as well as the currents efforts to examine and evaluate their success and how to maintain fidelity to the drug court model.

 Meeting the Needs of Specialized Populations

In this workshop, we look at the needs of some of the most specialized segments of the justice involved population: individuals over age 50 (considered seniors by the US Dept. of Justice) and individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Presenters will share their approach and experience in effectively addressing these highly specialized needs.

Presenter: Denise Robinson, President & CEO, Alvis.

 Funding Quality Work: How You Can Go Beyond Your Contract Requirements for True and Lasting Change

This workshop will discuss the difference between adhering to contract and accreditation standards and implementing quality work with fidelity to evidence-based models. Presenters will discuss both ways to implement innovative quality work, and ways to fund it through targeted outreach, community partnerships, and grant applications.

Presenters: Gabriella Priest, Director of Innovation, Implementation and Development, Community Resources for Justice; Valerie Meade, Policy Specialist, Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice; Continuous Quality Improvement Consultant; and Julie Finn, Policy Implementation Specialist, Community Resources for Justice.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM | New Forum and New Member Attendee Reception

5:00 PM – 6:30 | FBOP Contractor Meeting

7:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Exhibitor Area Opens

7:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Registration Opens

7:30 AM – 9:00 AM | Breakfast with the Experts

7:30 AM – 9:00 AM | Potential Off-site Tour

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM | Break

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM | Workshop Sessions (Concurrent)

 Reach Out: The Yavapai Model to Reducing the Number of People with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Within the Criminal Justice System

Mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders are prevalent in detention facilities nationwide. Individuals suffering from a mental illness or co-occurring disorders are arrested and jailed at alarming rates and have trouble accessing treatment upon release, leading often to re-arrest and re-incarceration. Yavapai County, Arizona is transforming its justice system through a multi-pronged effort that includes screening upon booking, pre-release planning starting at admission, and around the clock coordination of services. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition work together to coordinate resources and systems of care.

This presentation will demonstrate ways in which the Yavapai “Reach Out” model can be replicated in other jurisdictions to include local justice and mental health agency coordination; Sequential Intercept Mapping to evaluate improving cross-system; development of a cross-system recidivism tracking database; elements of a strong pre-arrest diversion system; coordination and facilitation of treatment options for each inmate; and coordination of care after incarceration. The presenters will also discuss barriers encountered during program implementation and program outcomes.

Presenters: Chief Deputy David Rhodes, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, and Beya Thayer, Executive Director, Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition.

Innovative Policy, Legislation and Research for Juvenile and Young Adult Offenders in the District of Columbia

The D.C. Council recently enacted legislation to help further pursue the fair administration of justice for juvenile and young adult offenders (18 – 24-year-olds) in the District of Columbia. The legislation is in keeping with research on youth brain development and the harmful effects that deeper penetration into the justice system can have on youthful offenders, particularly low-level offenders. Specifically, the Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act (YRA) authorized sentencing alternatives for persons convicted of an offense while under the age of 22 (and recently amended to include persons up to age 24), as well as the opportunity to have their convictions set aside upon the successful completion of their sentence.

The Comprehensive Youth Justice Amendment Act of 2016 (CYJAA) also made a number of changes, including strengthening the presumption against pre-disposition detention of children; banning the secure detention of status offenders; transferring the custody of juveniles prosecuted as adults from the adult correctional agency to the juvenile justice agency; and establishing a restorative justice program at the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (IRAA) created a process for individuals who committed offenses before age 18 and have served 20 years in prison to petition the Court to have their sentences reviewed.

Panelists will discuss the key provisions of these transformative pieces of legislation, as well as a presentation of a study conducted by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for the District of Columbia (CJCC) on the implementation of the YRA. This study assessed the number of times YRA-eligible persons were sentenced under the Act and had their convictions set aside, as well as a comparison of recidivism of eligible persons who were and were not sentenced under the Act and who did and did not have their sentences set aside.

Presenters: Kristy Love, Deputy Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of the District of Columbia (CJCC); Dr. Ellen McCann, Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of the District of Columbia; and Kate Mitchell, Committee Director, D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety.

Intergenerational Offending: Impacts of Drug-Abusing Parents

This session will focus on a study by the Singapore Prison Service to understand the transmission of intergenerational offending from drug-abusing parents. The study utilized both quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the extent of transmission of offending and provide insights on the underlying mechanism for transmission. It was found that having a drug-abusing mother significantly increases the risk of second-generation offending. In addition, the crucial age period for intervention was identified to be between 11-14 and beefing up protective factors are crucial in buffering the risk for second-generation offending. Lastly, recommendations on how the government system and criminal justice community can support these families and children will be shared.

Presenter: Eng Hao Loh, Research Psychologist, Singapore Prison Service.

 The GAO Sexual Assault Kit Reduction Analysis and DNA Technology Impact Moving Forward

This workshop will look at the Government Accountability Office’s analysis of the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative and then look forward to how new DNA technology can expand the program’s effectiveness.

 The OJP Performance Measurement Tool: Navigating Reporting Requirements

This session will provide a brief overview of the Performance Measurement Tool used by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to collect data on Justice Assistance Grant activity, how to access the data, and suggestions on how you can use the data in your criminal justice planning efforts.

 Inter-Organizational Partnerships: A Research-based Framework for Criminal Justice Organizations

The past several decades have witnessed the necessity for inter-organizational partnerships among criminal justice agencies and a range of educational, service, behavioral and medical health providers.  This is true whether formal contracts for services or informal referral agreements are involved.

This workshop will build on research examining the elements of interorganizational relations (IORs) for re-entry program planning. The concrete steps criminal justice organizations can take to develop strong IORs for a range of programs will be presented.  These will include steps in learning about potential partner organizations, planning for organizational change, connecting agency elements such as shared tracking and reporting systems, planning for assessment, developing and integrating partners into outcomes-based performance agreements, and program fidelity.  Examples from the presenters’ re-entry and behavioral health-focused diversion program research will be provided.

Presenters: Dr. Roberto Potter, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida; Dr. Gail Humiston, Associate Lecturer, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida; and Kevin Downey, President & CEO, Crosspoint.

Utilizing the TIPS (Technology Innovation for Public Safety) Technology Platform Grant to Bring Resources to Your State

States have used the Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to apply innovative technology to combat a precipitous increase in crime in their jurisdiction. This workshop will showcase examples from multiple states including Virginia and Arizona.

Presenter: Andy Warriner, Qlarion and Lauren Cummings, Executive Director of the Coalition.

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM | Break

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM | Workshop Sessions

Administering “Race-Neutral” Justice: What Works?

This presentation/discussion will focus on common approaches that have been employed at the state and local levels to address racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Typical approaches to addressing such disparities can be divided into two types: individual and systemic. Individual approaches attempt to reduce or ameliorate personal biases that, coupled with discretion in decision-making, can adversely affect minorities. The two common individual approaches that will be addressed in this session are the use of risk assessment instruments (to reduce discretion) and implicit bias training (to raise awareness of bias and change behavior). Systemic approaches look at ways to change systems to address racial disparities. The approach to be examined here is the use of racial impact statements, analyses that assess differential impacts related to race and ethnicity of proposed legislation or policies.

For each of the three approaches identified above, an expert will present an overview of the approach and what the most recent research evidence suggests regarding its effectiveness. These presentations will be followed by two discussants who will provide practitioner perspectives: an SAA director and a probation and parole chief or state-level community corrections supervisor.

Presenter: Dr. Stan Orchowsky, Cambiare Consulting.

Grants Management Topic (TBD)

Description coming soon.

Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS) – Threat Assessment Program for Educational Institutions

In 2013, Virginia became the first state in the nation to mandate threat assessment teams to serve K12 public schools. Adding to the 2008 mandate for all public institutions of higher education to have threat assessment teams, Virginia is still the only state in the nation requiring such teams covering students from Kindergarten through college graduation.

With this auspicious designation, Virginia has worked with national subject matter experts and leaders in this field to provide resources, curricula, training, data collection tools, and technical assistance and consultation services to support team members from a variety of disciplines. Challenges, regarding information sharing and other ancillary issues that come with being the “first” in this field, have provided opportunities for other states to learn from Virginia’s efforts.

While threat assessment is still a very misunderstood and sometimes convoluted process that intimidates school personnel, when implemented properly and purposefully, schools can become even safer places for academic engagement and success.

Additionally, Virginia is the only state to have a mandated annual school safety survey. DCJS’s Criminal Justice Research Center is working with VCSCS on a report to summarize what Virginia has learned from conducting the annual school safety survey for over 10 years. Virginia has received numerous inquiries over this time.

Presenters: Donna Michaelis, Director, DCJS’ Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety; Jim McDonough, Research Center Manager, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services; and Dr. Gene Deisinger, Sigma.

Building Partnerships through Project Safe Neighborhoods Program

This panel will provide examples how local and state law enforcement, along with Federal partners, work together to address violent crime through the Project Safe Neighborhood Program. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.

Moving the Needle: Addressing Opioid Addiction and Homelessness through Criminal Justice Diversion

This session will feature a report out on the first 15 months of a 44-bed residential pilot program designed to engage and divert homeless men and women with opioid use disorder away from jail and emergency room involvement into behavioral health treatment and stable housing. Included in the session will be a presentation of the multi-sector collaborations that facilitated program design and development, a description of program operations and services, a preliminary analysis of outcomes, and a discussion of the potential implications for criminal justice policy and practice.

Presenters: Steve Woolworth, Vice President of Behavioral Health & Transition Services, Pioneer Human Services; and Becca Judy, Assistant Vice President of Residential Services and PREA Coordinator at Pioneer Human Services.

More Community Less Confinement: Identifying the Drivers of Probation Violations to Translate Aspiration into Reality

Incarceration is an expensive and ineffective sanction for reducing crime. Community supervision offers a more cost-effective and promising strategy. Supervision rooted in evidence-based practices protects public safety by providing interventions that help change behavior and reduce recidivism while keeping clients in the community.

However, community supervision can act as a “gateway” for incarceration if a client is unsuccessful and not in compliance with their terms and conditions of supervision. When a client is in violation – either due to new criminal activity or a technical violation – the supervising officer files a probation violation with the court (or other designated authority). The court reviews the allegation and prescribes a sanction or consequence.

Ramsey County (Minnesota) is the second most populous county in the state, the most racially diverse, and the most economically challenged. The county’s community corrections department provides supervision and services to over 12,000 adults annually. While the department is committed to the goal of more community less confinement, Ramsey County has one of the highest rates of revocation to prison in the state. Over half of admissions to the county’s local adult correctional facility are the result of a probation violation.

In order to reduce its utilization of incarceration, Ramsey County Community Corrections is partnering with the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Minnesota Law School to identify trends in probation violations and develop solutions that address them. This is a multi-phased collaboration. The first phase consists of developing a comprehensive understanding of probation violation practices by analyzing both community corrections and court level data. The second phase entails applying the findings from phase one to identify and implement policy and practice changes to reduce violations and keep clients in the community.

This presentation will highlight key research questions and findings from the first phase of this project. Why do clients have their probation violated? What factors increase or reduce the probability of a violation? To what extent are similarly situated violations processed consistently and equitably by both community corrections and the court? Do court decisions align with department recommendations? Based on these findings, what interventions and strategies should be implemented as alternatives to a violation and/or incarceration?

The presentation will also highlight preliminary policy and practice implications, along with recommendations for improvements. While the research findings will be jurisdictional specific, the approach to analyzing violations and identifying strategies to target the drivers of probation violations will have relevance for other jurisdictions experiencing similar challenges.

Presenters: Dr. Erin Harbinson, Research Fellow at the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice; Edward Hauck, Planning and Evaluation Analyst for Ramsey County Community Corrections; Leah Bower, supervisor of the Research and Evaluation Unit for Ramsey County Community Corrections; and Kelly Mitchell, Executive Director of the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Serving Individuals with Co-Occurring Disorders

Many individuals incarcerated for substance use related crimes also suffer from a mental health disorder, and many of those are undiagnosed at the time of incarceration. Supporting inmates with co-occurring disorders (COD’s) is a challenging endeavor for any Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program. Furthermore, individuals with COD’s are more likely to face challenges post-incarceration, such as homelessness, relapse and recidivism. Recognizing these challenges can help program staff better support and treat their clients, so the clients are better prepared for re-entry.

12:00 PM – 12:15 PM | Break

12:15 PM – 1:45 PM | Meade Award Lunch

1:45 PM – 2:00 PM | Break

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Workshop Sessions

Naloxone for Successful Reentry

This workshop will describe the importance of Naloxone education and distribution programs to address the nation-wide opioid crisis. Reentry from incarceration is one of the most, if not the most, vulnerable times for an opioid user. Many departments of correction across the country have begun offering education to its inmates, in addition to distributing Naloxone upon release. Some extend these services to friends and families as well.

Decriminalizing Poverty and Interrupting the Revolving Door to Jail

Six out of 10 people in U.S. jails are awaiting trial. Most are in jail because they cannot afford bail. In fact, people who have not been found guilty of the charges against them account for 95 percent of all jail population growth between 2000-2014. Further, once involved in the justice system, fines and fees can overwhelm many families. Even a simple parking ticket can cascade into crippling debt and jail. This has led many to conclude that poverty has become criminalized in America. What can policymakers, practitioners and researchers do to interrupt this cycle? Are fees, fines and cash bail useful tools for incentivizing good behavior or a sign of poor fiscal management, and how can communities find the right balance?

Presenter: Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Senior Fellow, Justice Program, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.

Evidence-Based Decision Making in State and Local Jurisdictions: A Framework for Criminal Justice Reform

In June 2008, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) launched the Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems initiative. The EBDM Initiative aims to build a systemwide framework (from arrest through final disposition and discharge) that will achieve measurable reductions in pretrial misconduct and post-conviction offending. It conceptualizes a criminal justice system guided by goals defined and shared by policymakers; decisions informed by research evidence; a system guided by collaborative policy development; and a commitment to ongoing data collection and analysis to determine whether the goals of the system are effectively achieved. While first developed for local-level implementation, the Initiative has since been expanded and adapted to state-level decision making and is now known as the Evidence-Based Decision Making in State and Local Criminal Justice Systems initiative. Since the release of the EBDM Framework in 2010, the Framework has been applied at the state level in three states and across 28 local jurisdictions in six states.

This workshop will:

    • Introduce the EBDM Framework, which defines a set of essential principles and practices that serve as a guide to decision making at both the state and local level;
    • Illustrate the Framework in two EBDM states (Indiana and Wisconsin), with particular emphasis on the unique state-local partnership aspect of the EBDM work;
    • Discuss the intersection of EBDM and strategic planning for State Administering Agencies and similar statewide planning efforts, and the alignment of local, state, and federal funding and programs;
    • Describe the strategic impact of EBDM on important areas of work such as statewide standards, data definitions, and performance measurement; and
    • Share the efforts currently underway in Indiana and Wisconsin to bring this work to scale and sustain EBDM as the business model for advancing state and local policy and improving public safety outcomes.

Moderator: Lori Eville, Correctional Program Specialist, National Institute of Corrections.

Panelists: Constance Kostelac, PhD, Director, Bureau of Justice Information and Analysis, Wisconsin Department of Justice; and Matt Raymer, Justice Programs Supervisor, Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Emerging Drug Trends and State/Federal Responses

This session will provide an overview of national drug trends, discuss state strategies to address these trends, and discuss how the federal government is building resources to support state efforts.

Panelist: Jennie Simpson, Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Workforce Readiness

This session will look at three workforce readiness initiatives in use across the country. Including the Momentum Urban Employment Initiative, a program run by Urban Alliance, Inc., which addresses workforce development in urban neighborhoods. The Choice is Yours a Diversion program of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and RTP a social enterprise subsidiary of the Safer Foundation which provides training in the construction field and transforms neglected neighborhoods.

Data Visualization

NCJA and Microsoft will highlight its data visualization study in Tennessee, Alabama and Nevada. Using identified data from the Performance Measurement Tool (“PMT”) this will showcase how graphs and dashboards can better clarify how programs are performing against each other and how subgrantees are performing against program goals.

From Police to Parole: Developing Systems of Alternatives to Incarceration in the Community

The goal of this workshop is to introduce participants to models for Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) to move people out of the justice system and into community-based treatment services. Participants will leave with an understanding of the building blocks of creating alternatives to incarceration across the justice system, from law enforcement to police to parole and all points in-between.

Justice-involved individuals have disproportionate rates of substance use disorder (SUD) and other complex needs. Jails and prisons often serve as de-facto behavioral health providers for this population, who would more appropriately be served in community-based treatment settings. As arrest and incarceration increase one’s likelihood of future justice involvement, many with SUD repeatedly cycle through public systems at great cost to these systems. There are several models for ATI that offer a solution to this problem by creating mechanisms to connect people to crucial SUD treatment and social services instead of incarcerating them.

The workshop begins with an overview of the systems involved with alternatives to incarceration including the justice, treatment, and social service systems, each of which plays a key role in ATI programs. Case management is a key component of alternatives to incarceration and plays an important role in implementing alternatives to incarceration and helping people to navigate these systems. We will introduce the TASC Specialized Case Management model, which has shown to be effective at improving treatment engagement and reducing recidivism.

This workshop will explore emerging national practices for creating systems of diversion interventions at the crossroads of behavioral health and the criminal justice system. Presenters will introduce the different models of ATI including those at the pre-arrest, criminal proceeding, and post-sentencing phases of the justice system. The group will participate in a discussion about engaging systems partners to create or expand ATI programs in their communities. This will allow individuals to brainstorm steps they can take towards systems integration to respond to SUD needs in their communities.

Presenter: Jac Charlier, TASC’s Center for Heath and Justice.

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM | Break

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Inside the Beltway

The NCJA staff will offer their annual look at Congressional and Administration activities that affect state, local and tribal criminal justice policymakers and practitioners. This discussion will include appropriations for federal justice assistance programs and upcoming federal legislation.

Presenter: Elizabeth Pyke, Director of Government Affairs, NCJA.

7:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Registration Opens

7:00 AM – 10:15 AM | Exhibit Area Opens

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM | Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM | Workshop Sessions (Concurrent)

Understanding Areas of Risk & Need Among Female Offenders: Translating Research to Practice

The percentage of females involved with the criminal justice system has increased over the past decade. Identifying the needs of criminal justice system-involved women is paramount to achieving the goals of community safety, reduced recidivism, and improving quality of life. This session will focus on the risk/need responsivity model and the role that specific risk areas (i.e., substance abuse) play in women’s involvement in criminal behavior.

The overview of current research regarding women in the criminal justice system will include a discussion of trends, as well as explanations for the observed increase over time. Despite these trends, the unique needs of women have been largely ignored within the extant literature and programming developed to date. Much of what we know about criminality and “what works” is based on the experiences of men, thus resulting in the implementation of programs that do not adequately meet the needs of women. This presentation seeks to address this gap in knowledge by introducing the Risk and Needs Responsivity (RNR) model and providing strategies for integrating this model into supervision and treatment plans. Lastly, data and outcomes from the ReEntry Systems for Effective Treatment (RESET) program, a re-entry program for women with co-occurring disorders, will be presented. This program utilizes the RNR model and has achieved great success with a high-risk/need target population.

The overarching goal of this presentation is to educate attendees regarding what works with female offenders and thus improve the quality of supervision and treatment. This goal will be achieved through the presentation of current research regarding criminal justice system-involved women, as well as the principles and application of the RNR model.

Presenters: Dr. Christina Lanier, professor of sociology and criminology, University of North Carolina Wilmington; and Dr. Kristen DeVall, professor in the Sociology and Criminology Department, University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Benefits, Challenges and a Path Forward for Program Fidelity in the Correctional Environment

Currently, the U.S. criminal justice system is experiencing a gradual return to the rehabilitative approach to incarceration and, in effect, a departure from the more punitive methods of the last few decades. This shift can be linked to numerous factors including growing public awareness of correctional injustices, sharp increases in the prison population, and the expansion/adoption of evidence-based programs (EBPs) emphasizing the role of offender reentry, behavior, and cognition with regard to recidivism. While this is a welcome development in corrections, this approach also comes with its own set of challenges; one such challenge is the issue of program fidelity. Fidelity can be defined as the extent to which delivery of an intervention adheres to the protocol or program model originally developed (Mowbray, Holter, Teague, & Bybee, 2003). Attaining and maintaining program fidelity can prove incredibly challenging to correctional agencies where qualified trainers may be in short supply, curriculums are poorly defined or the environment is ill-suited to learning. Moreover, the absence of continuous, robust fidelity measurement can undermine the effectiveness of a program; how else can providers identify vital program elements, monitor progress over time, compare programs to norms, or document the relationship between model adherence and outcome? (Bond, Evans, Salyers, Williams, & Kim, 2000).

The purpose of this workshop is two-fold: to discuss the role, benefits, and challenges of fidelity in corrections, and to outline a path forward in establishing an innovative, comprehensive fidelity process in the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC).

Presenters: John E. Turner; Shakita Bland; Ibrahim Keita; Carla Ford; and David Wiskman, Virginia Department of Corrections.

Influence of Individual and Case Characteristics on the Use of Incentives and Sanctions by Probation and Parole Officers: A Factorial Survey Approach

Research on the efficacy of reinforcements (i.e., incentives) and punishments (i.e., sanctions) suggests that when used in combination both can have an impact on offender outcomes. As a result, policies and procedures designed to guide the use of sanctions and incentives are being developed by community supervision agencies across the U.S. However, little is known about the case characteristics that influence officer decision-making in the use of incentives and sanctions. Using a representative sample of state probation and parole officers and a factorial survey approach, this study examines the case attributes that increase or decrease the likelihood of whether an officer will choose to administer an incentive or sanction. The decision-making of officers is assessed for specific case scenarios while controlling for a range officer and offender characteristics.

The findings hold potential for improving officer training as well as specifying the conditions under which the use of incentives and sanctions are most likely to be used. Implications for supervision policies, procedures, and training in community supervision are discussed.

Presenter: Stephen M. Haas, Ph.D., Director, Research & Evaluation, ICF International.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM | Break

10:15 AM – 11:45 AM | Closing Keynote

11:45 AM – 12:00 AM | Closing Remarks

All Day | Leading State Corrections and Criminal Justice Reform Summit

Attendance for this event is by invitation only.

8:00 AM – 1:00 PM | RSAT Meeting

Additional Events

All Forum on Criminal Justice events take place at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.

Grants Management Training Day

The NCJA is hosting a Grants Management Training Day on Sunday, September 15 prior to the start of the Forum on Criminal Justice. Registration is $300 per person before July 20 and $350 after this date. The session will run from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and include lunch. Learn more.

RSAT Administrators Meeting

The 2019 Forum will host the annual Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Administrators Meeting. RSAT administrators and grant staff are encouraged to attend the full conference where there will be multiple workshops of interest.

More Events Coming Soon!

Check back soon for more pre- and post-conference sessions.