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Criminal justice research spends considerable time and effort examining the behavior and characteristics of criminals, but very few studies focus on the criminal behavior of justice agencies. "Consent Decrees and Juvenile Corrections in Arizona: What Happens When Oversight Ends" summarizes the findings of a two-year study of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections' response to federal oversight after it was found to be in violation of the law. It discusses the conditions that led to federal intervention, difficulties encountered in sustaining the reforms made under a consent decree, and possible reasons the agency moved to change numerous aspects of its management and culture.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is used at the point of sale to determine a person's eligibility to purchase a firearm under federal or state law. Recent mass shootings and deaths have reignited the national debate on what kind of checks are needed, but less discussion has been had about the difficulties in securing appropriate and accurate information in the check process. "NICS: Challenges to Mental Health Record Sharing and Recent Congressional Activity" examines some of the obstacles to states' submitting mental health records to the background check system, such as lack of funds, technical challenges, and policy challenges, particularly those related to privacy concerns.
JRSA partnered with NCJA and the IJIS Institute to offer sessions and workshops during the 2013 National Forum on Criminal Justice held in Chicago in early August. If you weren't able to attend the meeting, this detailed article will bring you up to date on the JRSA presenters and material they covered. JRSA sessions focused on using administrative records for research and policy, national and state-level victimization data for decision makers, recidivism, measuring the effectiveness of multijurisdictional drug task forces, and implementing evidence-based practices in Colorado's EPIC initiative. Two post-conference seminars offered training on cost-benefit analysis and on propensity score matching and interrupted time series analysis using SPSS.
JRSA and NCJA announced a formal affiliation in August and established an 18-month transition period during which representatives from each organization will meet to work through details of a more permanent collaboration. JRSA President Phil Stevenson said the partnership "holds great promise for enabling the implementation of data-driven decision making and evidence-based practices that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of each state's criminal justice system." Find more details in this month's Forum.
Welcome to new SAC Directors in Maine -- George Shaler -- and New Mexico -- Kristine Denman. Alaska reports on a retrospective study of juvenile recidivism, a new sexual assault/domestic violence data collection and analysis initiative, a pilot study on implementing BJS's police-public contact survey in the state, publication of a new fact sheet, and nomination of two staff members for the Chancellor's Award for Excellence. Arizona and its state partners were honored for their work on prescription drug abuse. Illinois describes its criminal history and recidivism tool and its evaluation of the Adult Redeploy Illinois program. Iowa was involved in collecting school incident data to examine problem behavior. Mississippi is surveying state judges, prosecutors, and public defenders regarding perceptions of defendants with mental illness. New York is offering support to eight Regional Youth Justice Teams to improve outcomes and reduce the number of youth involved in the justice system. Ohio published its latest research brief that looks at multijurisdictional task forces, arrest-related deaths, and victim recantations. South Carolina summarizes its four recent reports on linking criminal justice records, drug activity, and domestic and sexual violence. And finally, West Virginia describes its work with the Charleston Police Department in the Drug Market Intervention Initiative, a community- and problem-oriented policing strategy.