Five successful or promising criminal justice programs around the U.S. have been recognized as outstanding by the National Criminal Justice Association. They were cited at the association’s annual forum, held last week in Philadelphia. Connecticut’s Re-Entry Assisted Community Housing program provides transitional housing and case management services to high-risk inmates released to the community. Researchers report a statistically significant reduction in recidivism. Kentucky’s Department of Pretrial Services was commended for using a new risk assessment tool to guide pretrial releases. After six months of use, crimes committed by defendants during pretrial release dropped by 15 percent even as a higher percentage of defendants were released.
An Iowa program, Achieving Change through Value-Based Behavior, seeks to reduce domestic violence recidivism in a 24-week program helping men use “respectful, adaptive and healthy behaviors” in relationships. An evaluation of 3,696 men in domestic assault cases showed that program participants have half the recidivism rates for domestic assault and two-thirds fewer violent charges than those who took part in other interventions. The Crossroads Girls Mental Health Court works with adolescent girls in Bexar County, Tx., to divert those with mental health issues from more involvement with the justice system, through treatment, case management, pro-social activities, and parenting support. Between 2009 and 2015, 108 youth between 11 and 17 years old too part, sixty-three percent successfully completing it. The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation in Washington state established the Offender Reentry Program in 2013 to conduct chemical dependency assessments and treatment classes for inmates at the Chehalis Tribal Jail. Between 2014 and 2015, recidivism among participants dropped 25 percent.