This volume addresses major issues and research in corrections and sentencing with the goal of using previous research and findings as a platform for recommendations about future research, evaluation, and policy.
The last several decades witnessed major policy changes in sentencing and corrections in the United States, as well as considerable research to identify the most effective strategies for addressing criminal behavior. These efforts included changes in sentencing that eliminated parole and imposed draconian sentences for violent and drug crimes. The federal government, followed by most states, implemented sentencing guidelines that greatly reduced the discretion of the courts to impose sentences. The results were a multifold increase in the numbers of individuals in jails and prisons and on community supervision—increases that have only recently crested. There were also efforts to engage prosecutors and the courts in diversion and oversight, including the development of prosecutorial diversion programs, as well as a variety of specialty courts. Penal reform has included efforts to understand the transitions from prison to the community, including federal-led efforts focused on reentry programming. Community corrections reforms have ranged from increased surveillance through drug testing, electronic monitoring, and in some cases, judicial oversight, to rehabilitative efforts driven by risk and needs assessment. More recently, the focus has included pretrial reform to reduce the number of people held in jail pending trial, efforts that have brought attention to the use of bail and its disproportionate impact on people of color and the poor.
This collection of chapters from leading researchers addresses a wide array of the latest research in the field. A unique approach featuring responses to the original essays by active researchers spurs discussion and provides a foundation for developing directions for future research and policymaking.
Table of Contents
Pamela K. Lattimore, Beth M. Huebner, and Faye S. Taxman
Pamela K. Lattimore, Beth M. Huebner, and Faye S. Taxman
I. Courts and Sentencing
- Reflections on the Multi-Site Drug Court Evaluations: What Did We Learn and What Does it Mean?
Janine Zweig, Janeen Buck Willison, Shelli B. Rossman, and John K. Roman
- At the Crossroads: Large-Scale Studies of Behavioral Health Treatment Interventions for People in the Criminal Justice System
Alexander J. Cowell and Michael S. Shafer
- What Comes Next? On the Evolution of Community Courts
Greg Berman, Julian Adler, Joseph Barrett, and Kate Penrose
- From Mean to Meaningful Probation: Legacy from ISP
Faye S. Taxman, Lindsay Smith, and Danielle S. Rudes
- Research Considerations for Using Electronic Technologies with Community Supervision
- Fines, Fees, and Debt in Community Corrections: Past, Present, and Future
Ebony L. Rhuland and Nathan W. Link
- Thoughts from the Multi-Site Evaluation of the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Demonstration Field Experiment
Pamela K. Lattimore
- A Supervision Policy with Scope: Revisiting Washington State’s Swift-and-Certain Initiative
Christopher M. Campbell, Jacqueline van Wormer, and Zachary K. Hamilton
- Parole Decision-Making: Moving Towards Evidence-Based Practice
Ralph C. Serin, Kaitlyn Wardrop, Laura Gamwell, and Jennifer Shaffer
- Back-End Sentencing and Opting Out of the Parole Process: Two Areas for Further Study in Corrections and Reentry Research
Michael Osterman, Jordan Costa, and Bernadette C. Hohl
- Family Work in Corrections: Trends from Efforts in Youth Justice
- Understanding Rapport in Supervision Settings
- Lessons from the Multi-Site Family Study of Incarceration, Parenting, and Partnering
Christine H. Lindquist, Tasseli McKay, and Anupa Bir
- Putting a Square Into a Circle: The Story of Boot Camps A Tribute to Doris MacKenzie’s Work
Faye S. Taxman, Lindsay Smith, and Danielle S. Rudes
- Supermax Incarceration: Current Evidence and Next Steps in Improving Research and Policy
Daniel P. Mears
- Advances in Corrections Research: Understanding How Prisons Continue to Influence Maladjustment
H. Daniel Butler, Jonathan R. Brauer, and Jacob C. Day
- Criminal Justice Reform in California: A Lesson for the Nation?
Charis E. Kubrin
- Examining the Field’s First Multisite Reentry Experiment: Lessons Learned from the Evaluation of the Opportunity to Succeed (OPTS) Aftercare Program
Janeen Buck Willison, Shelli B. Rossman, and Caterina Roman
- Returning Home: A Pathbreaking Study of Prisoner Reentry and Its Challenges
Christy A. Visher and Nancy La Vigne
- Considerations on the Multi-Site Evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative
Pamela K. Lattimore and Christy A. Visher
- Key Findings and Implications of the Cross-Site Evaluation of the Bureau of Justice Assistance FY 2011 Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects
Christine H. Lindquist, Janeen Buck Willison, and Pamela K. Lattimore
- A Time for Mercy
- Building on Reentry Research: A New Conceptual Framework and Approach to Reentry Services and Research
Carrie Pettus-Davis and Stephanie C. Kennedy
II. Community Corrections
III. Prisons and Jails
Afterword: Intensive Non-Intervention
Todd R. Clear
Pamela K. Lattimore, Ph.D., is Senior Director for Research Development for RTI’s Division for Applied Justice Research with responsibility for leading multidisciplinary research focused on improving understanding of crime and the criminal justice system. She has more than 30 years of experience evaluating interventions, investigating the causes and correlates of criminal behavior, and developing approaches to improve criminal justice operations. Dr. Lattimore has led multiple multisite, multimodal evaluations, including the NIJ-funded evaluations of the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Demonstration Field Experiment, a multisite randomized controlled trial to study the effectiveness of swift and certain sanctions to improve probationer outcomes, and the Multisite Evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, a quasi-experimental evaluation of 16 adult and juvenile prisoner reentry programs. Dr. Lattimore is principal investigator for the research for the Arnold Ventures’ funded Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research, which focuses on improving pretrial risk assessment and outcomes, and is leading an NIJ-funded project to develop, test, and implement the Integrated Dynamic Risk Assessment for Community Supervision (IDRACS), an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that will incorporate dynamic risk factors and indicators of supervision practice to more effectively model the risk posed by people under community supervision. She is a past Chair of the American Society of Criminology Division on Corrections and Sentencing, a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and a recipient of the American Correctional Association Peter P. Lejins Researcher Award, the American Society of Criminology Division on Corrections and Sentencing Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Academy of Experimental Criminology Joan McCord Award for distinguished experimental contributions to criminology and criminal justice.
Beth M. Huebner, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her principal research interests include the collateral consequences of incarceration, racial and gender disparities in the criminal justice system, and public policy. She is currently serving as co-principal investigator for the St. Louis County MacArthur Safety + Justice Challenge and collaborating on a study of monetary sanctions in Missouri with funding from the Arnold Foundation. She is the past chair of the Division on Corrections and Sentencing for the American Society of Criminology and Vice-President Elect of the American Society of Criminology.
Faye S. Taxman, Ph.D., is a university professor at George Mason University. She is a health service criminologist recognized for her work in the development of seamless systems-of-care models that link the criminal justice system with health care and other service delivery systems and reengineering probation and parole supervision services. She has conducted experiments to examine different processes to improve treatment access and retention, to assess new models of probation supervision consistent with RNR frameworks, and to test new interventions. She has active "laboratories" with numerous agencies including Virginia Department of Corrections, Alameda County Probation Department (CA), Hidalgo County Community Corrections Department (TX), North Carolina Department of Corrections, and Delaware Department of Corrections. She developed the translational RNR Simulation Tool (www.gmuace.org/tools) to assist agencies to advance practice. Dr. Taxman has published more than 200 articles. She is author of several books, including Implementing Evidence-Based Community Corrections and Addiction Treatment (2012, with Steven Belenko). She is Co-Editor of Health & Justice. In 2018, she was appointed a fellow of the American Society of Criminology (ASC). In 2019, she received the Lifetime Achievement award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Sentencing and Corrections, which has recognized her as Distinguished Scholar twice as well as conferred on her the Rita Warren and Ted Palmer Differential Intervention Treatment Award. She received the Joan McCord Award in 2017 from ASC’s Division of Experimental Criminology. She has also received numerous awards from practitioner organizations such as the American Probation and Parole Association and Caron Foundation. Dr. Taxman earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice.
“This is a timely and thought-provoking book that focuses on the results of landmark evaluation research on courts, sentencing and corrections. The authors’ recommendations for improving this research will move us closer to definitive answers regarding ‘what works’ in courts and corrections.”
Cassia Spohn, Regents Professor, Foundation Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University
“This remarkable handbook documents the major contributions of a three-decades movement in evidence-based corrections. In so doing, it offers an invaluable education to a new generation of scholars, takes stock of knowledge on intervention effectiveness, and maps out key directions for future research and practice. Comprehensive and erudite, this volume is an essential resource for all those wishing to understand and improve the quality of American corrections.”
Francis T. Cullen, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, University of Cincinnati (Past President, American Society of Criminology)
“Policy and practice in sentencing and corrections is often far from objective; instead of being based on evidence the agenda is frequently driven by political ideology, anecdotal evidence, and the fad of the month instead of research evidence. By comprehensively and rigorously examining landmark studies, this distinguished group of scholars examines what works and what doesn’t and where new methods or approaches are needed. A must read for policymakers, practitioners and academics; this book will be invaluable in providing guidance to decision makers as they consider critical questions in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Doris Layton MacKenzie, Professor, Pennsylvania State University, ret., University of Maryland, ret.
“The First Step Act was a minimum effort to make the criminal justice system more effective in reducing crime, increasing fairness, and facilitating rehabilitation. This volume presents evaluations of a rich variety of approaches and evaluations for doing that and for pursuing research to achieve those ends.”
Alfred Blumstein, J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research, Emeritus Carnegie Mellon University, Past President of the Operations Research Society of America, The Institute of Management Sciences, and the American Society of Criminology, Fellow of the AAAS and ASC
“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the urgent need for large reductions in jail and prison populations. This volume is a must read for policy makers looking for practical steps forward for achieving this goal.”
Daniel Nagin, Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
“This important new book by major scholars brings together seminal empirical research in one place. It also comes at an important time. Recent declines in crime and widespread uncertainty by elected public officials across the United States about the effectiveness of costly imprisonment provide a window for significant changes in criminal justice policy and practice. This change is already happening in many places, but the science reviewed in this volume provides a solid empirical foundation on which policy makers can rely to move our country forward toward more peaceful communities and a more effective and humane system of justice.”
Sally T. Hillsman, Former Executive Officer, American Sociological Association; former Deputy Director, National Institute of Justice; former Director of Research, the Vera Institute of Justice; former Vice President for Research and Technology, National Center for State Courts; Elected Fellow, AAAS, NAPA
“What a treasure of important landmark studies in the field of sentencing and corrections. Scholars and policymakers will find this volume invaluable for documenting prior work, but also clearly pointing the way for a productive future.”
Susan F. Turner, Professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society; Director, Center for Evidence-Based Corrections; Director, Online Graduate Program in Criminology, Law & Society, University of California, Irvine
“Identifying successful or even ‘promising’ practices in criminal justice is like catching lightning in a bottle, flashes of insight that help illuminate, if only for a moment, the next step along the path. In this new version of the Handbook, Lattimore, Taxman and Huebner have done remarkable work in capturing and distilling key knowledge in a broad range of criminal justice topics that will make the work of criminal justice professionals more productive, and the lives of millions of American citizens involved in the criminal justice system, better and easier. All those working in this critical public policy field are greatly indebted to them.”
Brent Orrell, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute