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The Forum on Criminal Justice will take place from 1:00-5:30 pm ET on October 7, October 14, October 21, and October 28. Registration includes a full conference and single day options.

Please note: All Times are Eastern

Thursday, October 7 

1:00-2:00 PM ETOPENING Plenary SESSION:  Criminal Justice Reform in a Time of Rising Violent Crime

Since the death of George Floyd and the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, Americans have engaged in a national conversation about policing and equities in the justice system and the inadequacy of our public health system to meet the needs of people with mental health and substance use disorders. A consensus was developing on policy approaches for preventing violent crime and for diverting large numbers of individuals away from the justice system with the goal of reducing impacts on communities of color, avoiding the collateral consequences of a criminal record, and saving money. Then violent crime started rising quickly. While nowhere near the levels of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the narrative is becoming scrambled, and the politics are changing. Come for this session to hear informed and thought-provoking conversation about what justice reform looks like in a period of rising crime and how should criminal justice system practitioners and social service agency providers respond.  

Speakers:

  • Mike Schmidt, Multnomah County District Attorney
  • Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, Middlesex County, MA

2:00-2:30 pm ET | Topical Roundtables

Forum attendees will self-select into topic-based breakout rooms. Each room will be hosted by an NCJA or ICCA Board member who will facilitate peer-to-peer discussion and networking. Rooms will be limited in size to encourage conversation.

2:30-3:00 PM ET | BREAK

3:00-4:00 PM ET | Concurrent Workshop Session

Release and Reentry Strategies Utilizing Integrated Technology and Effective Collaboration among Institution, Field Supervision, and Community Partners

Identifying ways to utilize integrated tablet technology can assist with treatment programming. In this session, we will discuss ways to utilize integrated electronic tablet technology to enhance the release and reentry process for offenders, both for sentences and pre-sentenced detainees. This session will also provide an in-depth overview of ways the Utah Department of Corrections, Adult Probation and Parole, Treatment Resource Centers and community partners are collaborating to provide structure for the offenders returning to the community. This Focused Reentry Tablet Program which includes specific and individual needs for each offender was designed to create a wraparound treatment performance objective to optimize transition. The utilization of technology-based tools are key to the motivation and engagement of incarcerated individuals to become active participants in their release and reentry planning. This will help determine ways to minimize the gap in services between incarceration and community supervision.

Justice Counts: Mobilizing Policymakers to Make the Most Informed Data-Driven Decisions

This workshop will discuss a Bureau of Justice Initiative called Justice Counts which is a national, consensus-building initiative designed to help policymakers make better decisions with criminal justice data that are more timely, less disjointed, and as useful as possible. Through this initiative, BJA and its partners are working to aggregate publicly available data from each of the 50 states to provide timely, integrated information and identify opportunities to improve data collection, analysis, and reporting, developing an essential set of criminal justice metrics that every public official needs to inform budget and policy decisions, and creating a range of tools that will enable policymakers and practitioners to improve how their state or locality collects, analyzes, and reports criminal justice data.

4:00-4:30 PM ET | BREAK

4:30-5:30 PM ET|CONCURRENT WORKSHOP SESSION

Key Issues in Bail and Pretrial Reform

There are many facets of bail and pretrial reform emerging across the United States. This workshop will explore key issues that are coming to the forefront as research and policy meet practice and we gain a deeper understanding of the pretrial field.

  • Introduction to bail and pretrial reform and why it’s important
  • Perspective from the courts on the impact of bail and pretrial reform
  • Implementing bail and pretrial reform from a practitioner perspective

Speakers:

  • Alec Karakatsanis, Founder and Executive Director, Civil Rights Corp
  • Honorable Michael R. Fields, Ret., Harris County, Texas
  • Honorable Darrell W. Jordan, Harris County, Texas
  • Alicia Virani, The Gilbert Foundation Director, Criminal Justice Program, UCLA School of Law
  • Nick Sayner, Co-Founder, JusticePoint

What’s Happening with Drugs?  Examining Trends in Trends and Drug Control Strategies

Any hopes policymakers and practitioners had for bending the curve on the rise in overdose deaths were dashed during the pandemic. Drug-related deaths are at an all-time high and the data indicates these trends will continue after the pandemic. This panel will examine high level trends in supply and interdiction, drug use by region, and statewide strategies for drug prevention and control.

Speakers: 

  • Van Ingram, Kentucky, on an experienced view from the states
  • Christopher Jones, Acting Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lt. Frederick Shavies, Homicide Section Commander, Oakland Police Department

Moderator:

  • Andrew LeFevre, Executive Director, Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, moderator

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14 

1:00-2:00 PM ETPlenary SESSION: Addressing Healthcare Needs within the RNR Model: Implications for Public Health and Recidivism Reduction 

Community correctional programs represent an opportunity to deliver prevention and treatment services to justice-involved individuals during periods of amplified risk, personal susceptibility, and community-reintegration represented by the converging public health crises of OUD, hepatitis, and COVID-19. Increasingly community correctional treatment programs are called upon to serve a heterogeneous group of clients that vary in criminogenic risk and the complexity of basic personal needs, addiction, and co-morbidities.  At the same time, participants in community correctional facilities are served for relatively short periods of time on average, with relatively low levels of medical staffing. Consequently, there is a general need for low-resource, evidence-based strategies to guide the development of individual-, community-, system-, and policy-level interventions designed to reduce health disparities, increase health equity and positive health outcomes among justice-involved men and women and to concurrently improve public health and public safety. Consequently, this presentation reviews what we currently know about the health of justice-involved individuals within the larger context of public health and within the context of successful reentry, discusses emerging evidence that supports the placement of public health considerations within the risk-need-responsivity (RNR) framework of recidivism reduction, and offers practical suggestions for consideration moving forward.

Speaker: 

  • Kimberly Sperber, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Health and Human Services Research (CHHSR) at Talbert House, the Enterprise Criminal Justice Program Lead for CareSource, and a Fellow at the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute (UCCI). 

2:00-2:30 pm ET | Topical Roundtables

Forum attendees will self-select into topic-based breakout rooms. Each room will be hosted by an NCJA or ICCA Board member who will facilitate peer-to-peer discussion and networking. Rooms will be limited in size to encourage conversation.

2:30-3:00 PM ET | BREAK

3:00-4:00 PM ET | Concurrent Workshop Session

Self-care: You NEED it!

This interactive course covers the importance of self-care in community corrections and treatment. Five key contributing factors to the need of self-care are discussed in detail: x-factors, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, stress, and burnout. Six key focus areas of self-care will also be discussed in detail: physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, environmental, and social self-care. Extensive techniques, coping skills, and tips for effective self-care will also be shared in a discussion format.

Speakers:

  • DaVante McKinney, Staff Development Specialist, Oriana House
  • Jacob Sadon, Staff Development Manager, Oriana House

Continued Care and Community-Based Treatment

Community reintegration and continued treatment, particularly for incarcerated individuals with opioid use disorders, is an integral part of one’s recovery. Developing these programs and services within institutions can be costly and staff-intensive, but many jails and prisons around the country have integrated such programming into their facilities. The Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) sees approximately 23,000 persons enter their facilities each year and completes an extensive intake and screening within 4 hours of entry. This includes screenings for opioid use disorders and the first steps for reentry planning and continued care. Furthermore, the PDP serves over 3,000 Suboxone patients annually and there is an array of support services provided to inmates receiving opioid use treatment. Topics discussed in this session include expedited intake and screening, program staffing needs, expenses related to expanded treatment and program results, and the avoidance of diversion through partnerships with the City of Philadelphia’s Centers of Excellence for continued treatment.

4:00-4:30 PM ET | BREAK

4:30-5:30 PM ET CONCURRENT WORKSHOP SESSION

How States Can Respond to the Increase in Hate Crimes

BJA is interested in engaging in a dialogue with state leaders on ways that we can mutually support efforts to respond to the increase in hate crimes as well as hate and bias incidents. States can play key roles in this work, supporting hot lines for victims and those at risk for hate crimes to increase reporting and access to services; supporting state and local efforts to increase reporting and identification of hate crimes through outreach and education; supporting state and local efforts to investigate and prosecute hate crimes; creating and refining hate laws in conjunction with state legislators; and preventing hate crimes. This session will highlight some promising practices and seek feedback on ways BJA can work with states to support this work as part of its new Shepard Byrd Hate Crimes program, which was first funded in FY2021.  

Handle With Care: Minimizing the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences

What role should law enforcement play when children are not considered to be in physical danger but have just witnessed what to most individuals would be a traumatic experience?  How can the schools respond appropriately when in most instances, they aren’t even made aware of the situation?  The children arrive at school the next day physically and emotionally exhausted, and potentially exhibiting disruptive behaviors resulting from the trauma that they experienced the previous night. They may complain of physical ailments, experience emotional meltdowns, or act out towards their peers. How do we minimize the short- and long-term impact of exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

This session will explore the innovative work being done by the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Family Services to significantly impact ACEs as well as Ohio’s Handle with Care Model which was created in response to a report released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention on childhood exposure to violence and other traumatic events.  

Speakers:

  • Glenn Fueston, Executive Director, MD Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Family Services 
  • Andrea Darr,  Director, WV Center for Children’s Justice, WV State Police, Crimes Against Children Unit 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21

1:00-2:00 PM ET Plenary SESSION: A Vision for Equity in Victims Services: What Do the Data Tell Us About the Work Ahead  

Bridging the gap between research, policy, and practice for those impacted by violence nationwide actually runs much deeper and wider across numerous pressing areas of justice reform. This presentation focuses on the most urgent part of that vision: having the courage to address the pervasive racial inequity that remains ever-present in this country and this field.

Speaker: 

  • Heather Warnken, BJS, OVC Fellow 

2:00-2:30 pm ET | Topical Roundtables

Forum attendees will self-select into topic-based breakout rooms. Each room will be hosted by an NCJA or ICCA Board member who will facilitate peer-to-peer discussion and networking. Rooms will be limited in size to encourage conversation.

2:30-3:00 PM ET | BREAK

3:00-4:00 PM ET | Concurrent Workshop Session

Mass Violence Readiness, Response and Resilience

The threat of mass violence, mass casualty and terrorism incidents (MVIs) is a critical concern for states, SAAs, and communities nationwide.  SAAs have a critical role in collaborative, state-level planning for MVIs, and in leading coordinated responses in the aftermath of MVIs that help build individual and community resilience.  This session will address the many resources available from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center relevant to MVI readiness, response and resilience; and provide an overview of statewide planning efforts in Tennessee.

As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the key partners involved in MVI readiness, and the role of SAAs and victim service professionals in advance planning.
  • Identify resources available from the NMVVRC and the U.S. Department of Justice to help SAAs prepare for and respond to MVIs in the immediate-, short- and long-term.
  • Describe the core elements of statewide planning for MVIs, based upon the experiences of the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Planning.

Speakers:

  • Jennifer Brinkman, Director, Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Planning, Chair, NCJA Victims’ Rights and Services Committee
  • Dr. Alyssa Rheingold, PhD, Director, Preparedness, Response and Recovery, NMVVRC
  • Anne Seymour, Associate Academic Program Director, NMVVRC, Member, NCJA Victims’ Rights and Services Committee

Alternatives to Incarceration: Responding to Rising Crime Rates

This session will discuss non-law enforcement deflection and diversion including harm reduction strategies both pre-arrest and aftercare including the new 988 phone number and non-law enforcement crisis response. How do we pursue alternatives as crime continues to rise?

4:00-4:30 PM ET | BREAK

4:30-5:30 PM ET | CONCURRENT WORKSHOP SESSION

Violence Reduction Strategies: How to Answer Rising Violent Crime without Overincarceration

In 2020, the United States experienced an alarming spike in deadly violence, bringing loss and hardship to vulnerable American communities and potentially unraveling a growing consensus surrounding criminal justice reform. However, an expanding toolkit of evidence-based violence reduction strategies—spearheaded by law enforcement, impacted communities, and justice system practitioners—is available to meet this policy challenge. How do these strategies reduce deadly violence without reliance on overincarceration and overly punitive policing tactics? What steps are needed to scale, improve, and sustain these life-saving interventions? Join this session that includes speakers from academia, the faith community, and justice system practitioners to hear about solutions that are working.

Speakers:

  • David Kennedy, Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College and Director of the National Network for Safe Communities  
  • Elizabeth Ruebman, Managing Director of the Community-Based Public Safety Collective  
  • Aqeela Sherrills, Director of Hyphen’s Community Violence Intervention Collaborative White House Initiative   
  • Bishop Daryl Harris, founding pastor of Total Life Christian Ministries and Faith-Based Coordinator for Ceasefire Detroit  

Moderator:

  • Kate Trammell, Director of Policy and Research at Prison Fellowship 

How Bad is it Going to Get? Understanding and Addressing Record-Level Drug Overdose Deaths

This workshop features a panel of public health and medical experts who will discuss the sharp increase in drug overdose deaths, examine overdose trends in one local jurisdiction (Seattle/King County metropolitan area) and then consider the implications of decriminalization, adopting safe consumption sites and investing in other harm reduction strategies and approaches.

Speakers:

  • Chelsea Shover, Ph.D., Assistant Professor-in-Residence, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine , Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research 
  • Brad Finegood, MA, LMHC, Strategic Advisor, Public Health—Seattle & King County, Office of the Director  
  • Dr. Kimá Joy Taylor MD, MPH, Anka Consulting LLC

Moderator:

  • Steve Woolworth, CEO, Evergreen Treatment Services 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28

1:00-2:00 PM ET CONCURRENT WORKSHOP SESSION

The Benefits of Jail Population Reviews

Jurisdictions are benefitting from a targeted analysis and collaborative problem-solving approach to reduce their jail populations, understand the needs of individuals disparately impacted by incarceration and evaluate the availability of community resources and public safety interventions. In this session hear from MacArthur Safety & Justice Challenges jurisdictions who have undertaken this review.

Speakers:

  • Holly Matthews, Lucas County (OH) Justice Coordinating Council 
  • Josie Halpern-Finnerty, M.P.P, Project Director, Safety and Justice Challenge, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

A Ransomware attack can be an ugly experience. Having to use crypto currencies to pay ransoms can be a Bad experience but a Good experience can be breaking into blockchains to identify initiators (Blockchain Forensics). This session will include a discussion of CyberSecurity threats and ways to defend yourself from Ransomware and other forms of hacking.

Speakers:

  • Chief Ciro Cetrangolo, Richmond (IL) Police Department 
  • Jackie Burns Koven, Cyber Threat Intelligence Lead, Chainalysis 

Moderator:

  • Christine Cole, Executive Director, Crime and Justice Institute

2:00-2:30 PM ET BREAK

2:30-3:30 PM ET | CONCURRENT WORKSHOP SESSION

Reform at the Courthouse: Prosecution and Defense Trends

In this session we will look at prosecution reforms through the lens of de-carceration, diversion and non-prosecution. As well as addressing the pressure to reform all in the context of a rise in violent crime.

A Trauma Informed Approach to Humanizing the Organizational Culture Change of Criminal Justice and Correctional Systems

This session will feature The Phoenix Association, a Connecticut-based nonprofit with the mission to change the organizational culture of criminal justice and correctional systems.

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.  A shared understanding of trauma and adversity quickly increases understanding and humanizes the other.   The mid-range and long-term outcomes are safer and more humane, restorative, trauma-informed, and rehabilitative prisons, and greater success upon release.

The program is being adapted to work with prosecutors; and can be easily adapted to benefit law enforcement and other justice, social, and community systems and organizations.

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 a respectful, humane, and compassionate environmental and relational context. 

Speaker:

  • Steve Lanza, Founder and CEO of Justice Consultants, Faculty, University of Connecticut, Department of Human Development & Family Sciences and Norwalk Community College, Criminal Justice Program
3:30-4:00 PM ET | TOPICAL ROUNDTABLES

Forum attendees will self-select into topic-based breakout rooms. Each room will be hosted by an NCJA or ICCA Board member who will facilitate peer-to-peer discussion and networking. Rooms will be limited in size to encourage conversation.

4:00-4:30 PM ET BREAK

4:30-5:30 PM ET| Closing PLENARY SESSION: Stepping Up Ohio 

Stepping Up Ohio is part of the national Stepping Up Initiative, which focuses on assisting criminal offenders with mental illnesses to get connected to clinical treatment and other services so they can get well, make positive life changes, and stay out of jail. The Ohio Project has focused on promoting systemic changes and evidence-based practices to accomplish this goal. This session will discuss the work of the Stepping Up Ohio team with the 54 Ohio counties registered for the project and review some preliminary findings of the Bowling Green State University’s evaluation of the Ohio Project over the last five years.  

Speakers:

  • Chief Justice Evelyn Stratton, Ret, The Supreme Court of Ohio and Project Director, Stepping Up Ohio 
  • Melissa Knopp, Project Manager, Stepping Up Ohio