Jails were never supposed to be detox centers. They weren’t designed as treatment providers. As jails see more and more people suffering from substance abuse disorders walk through the door, we’re facing an uncomfortable reality: We weren’t supposed to, we weren’t designed to, and yet WE ARE a primary change agent in the fight against addiction in our country.
Pretrial decisions can have heavy consequences. Individuals involved in the pretrial phase of the justice process are considered still-innocent of any crime, so the decisions that are made must be weighed carefully. Pretrial reform is a hot topic in our country today, and the use of a risk assessment during the pretrial phase is under great scrutiny.
When it comes to reducing recidivism, we have some specific recommendations, strategies, and tactics that have demonstrated substantial positive results for practitioners. What these strategies all have in common is they’re essential parts of evidence-based organizations.
The opioid crisis has created an unmatched challenge in the history of correctional facilities, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Jails are uniquely positioned to step up and make a difference, and many are. As of January 2018, jails in 30 states provide MAT, and the number is climbing.4 As more jails find ways to stand up to opioids in their communities, it paves the way for others to follow.
Reducing recidivism is one of the most important things we can do as supervision professionals. It’s also one of the hardest. Part of what makes recidivism so difficult to tackle is that successes and failures happen on the individual level, but only systemic change can truly make a difference.
Restrictive housing, when used effectively, can help jail staff maintain safety and protect vulnerable inmates. However, overuse of this tool has led to ongoing problems for jails throughout the country. Constant vigilance of restrictive housing procedures and practices is necessary.
Pretrial practices are seeing upheaval across the country, and as many jurisdictions push for reforms, there is an abundance of information and misconception in the public eye. Ground yourself in the basics of pretrial, and learn what successful counties have in common.
One of the primary ways jails can limit their liability, accurately classify inmates, and efficiently handle an influx of inmates is by using pre-classification, also known as initial classification, housing.
One third of adults in prison are mentally ill. One quarter have a co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorder. Prison inmates are seven times more likely than others in their community to have a substance abuse disorder.
Don’t just manage cases; manage your caseload. Taking in the full spectrum of your caseload and monitoring how individual cases fit into it can help you ensure you’re giving your clients the most appropriate level of supervision and resources.