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2023 Annual Research Conference Presentations

The International Community Justice Association (ICJA) would like to thank all of those that attended this year's Annual Research on Criminal Justice. Below is a list of the presentations that were submitted to the association. If you are a speaker and you don't see your presentation listed, please reach out to Toni at today!

2023 Conference Theme:

Centering People in Community Justice:
Enhancing Responsivity Through Diversity,
Equity, Inclusivity and Belonging

Justice Counts: You Can’t Change What You Can’t Measure - Stephanie Villanueva, Madelyn Roman-Scott

When policymakers react to criminal justice trends like increases in reported crime, all too often they must do so based on stale, submerged, or scattered data or on anecdotal evidence.  Criminal justice policymaking requires timely and actionable criminal justice data. Justice Counts, a bureau of Justice led project, is a suite of tools built by the field, for the field that creates a community of data to drive decision-making. The Council of State Governments Justice Center will provide an overview of how Justice Counts helps policymakers better understand the ways that past reform efforts are shaping the flow of people through their jurisdictions and help shape the narrative with up-to-date data and resources from Justice Counts.  

*This workshop is eligible for 1.5 Changing Offender Behavior Credits (COBs)


Behavioral Health and Community-Centric Supports for Returning Citizens: Successful Collaborations in Massachusetts - 

Whitney Kraemer, Mike Kane, Tara Dhanraj

This workshop will highlight two innovative practices in Massachusetts that support people returning to the community from incarceration: Behavioral Health for Justice Involved Individuals, coined BH-JI, and the state's first After Incarceration Center. Through presentation and Q&A, attendees will learn about both initiatives including successes, challenges and lessons learned to date.


Massachusetts residents with a history of incarceration are 120 times more likely to die from opioid overdose than the general population; the risk is greatest in the first month after release.  Individuals with severe mental illness are more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized. The goal of Massachusetts Medicaid’s Behavioral Health for Justice Involved Individuals (BH-JI) intervention is to disrupt the cycle of relapse-reoffending-incarceration-release-relapse without the opportunity for treatment for mental health and/or substance use disorder. BH-JI is intended to demonstrate improved health outcomes; decreased fatal overdoses; increased community tenure; effective, efficient healthcare utilization and sustainable financing.  It builds on successful grant-funded models including Transitions Clinic in California, WISR in Massachusetts and the state prison re-entry initiative in Ohio. 


Massachusetts’ first After Incarceration Center located in Worcester, MA will open in June 2023. The Center will provide a person-first, judgement free and inclusive resource center for people reentering the community from incarceration and their families.  The Center will be governed by a multi-structure board that provides guidance on the day-to-day operations as well as larger scale vision. The governance structure will be led by people with lived experience to ensure the voices of the clients of the Center are consistently centered and heard.


Utilizing Supportive Housing as an Investment to Decrease Recidivism for Those Leaving Incarceration - Terri Power

This presentation will begin with providing a definition and overview of supportive housing, highlighting its significance in assisting individuals leaving incarceration with a successful and safe community reintegration.  Then, I will highlight two statewide programs in Ohio utilizing supportive housing as a platform to improve the lives of previously incarcerated individuals.  Finally, the FUSE initiative will be presented which showcases one of CSH’s initiatives in identifying and housing frequent users of systems. Participants will leave with an understanding of incorporating supportive housing as a possible solution in working with their clients.

Supportive housing is an evidenced based solution that leads to stability, better health and other positive outcomes. Supportive housing has over 20 years of research showing the success of working with individuals who are homeless and chronically homeless. Supportive housing has also been successfully utilized in reducing recidivism for individuals leaving state prisons and local jails. Tenants in supportive housing are provided affordable housing with wraparound support services, which can significantly reduce returns to jail/prison and homelessness, reliance on emergency health services, and improve overall quality of life.

Three programs will be highlighted to show the effectiveness of supportive housing with previously incarcerated individuals. Two statewide programs in Ohio will be presented: Returning Home Ohio (RHO) and Community Transitions Program (CTP). Funding, target population, collaborative partnerships, referral process, service components, program management and most recent outcomes, including the low recidivism rate, for both programs will be presented.

FUSE, Frequent User System Engagement, is a CSH initiative for local communities to identify and work with frequent users of jail, healthcare, shelters and/or other crisis public services. It is a proven model that uses data across systems to identify and understand the frequent users and then improve their lives through supportive housing. The FUSE program serves as a catalyst for systems change and improved coordination. The FUSE initiative in Franklin County, Columbus will be highlighted as an example, focusing on identification, coordination with the jail, and the decrease in jail days that have been shown. Other FUSE programs across the country will also be mentioned.

*This workshop is eligible for 1.5 Changing Offender Behavior Credits (COBs)

Why Staff Stay in Corrections: The Importance of a Stay Interview for Staff Retention - Jacob Sadon, Jodi Glitzenstein

It is important to understand why staff may be leaving your Agency, but it is equally if not more important to understand why staff are staying at your Agency. This is often an overlooked data set when studying staffing shortages. Far too often Agencies focus on recruitment while minimally addressing retention. This workshop will address the importance of a Stay Interview, the components and technical aspects of a Stay Interview, and our own experience and results completing an evidence-based Stay Interview at a corrections agency. We will share our successes and failures throughout the process as well as our moments of comic relief. This will be an engaging and interactive workshop that provides practical and implementable skills and processes for your Agency.

Addressing the Needs of People with Mental Illness Under Community Supervision - 

Andrea Murray-Lichtman, Dr. Rebecca Smith, Dr. Tonya Van Deinse

Estimates suggest that up to 1 million people on probation have a mental health condition, and approximately 55% of those with mental illnesses on probation have a co-occurring substance use disorder. Further, individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders often face additional challenges, including unemployment, unstable housing, and lower levels of treatment engagement. Given these complex and co-occurring needs, probation agencies need evidence-informed practices to support people on probation who have mental illness and substance use disorders and to help them remain stable in the community and complete the terms of their probation. This session will summarize the research on the prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders among justice-involved people and evaluate the evidence on specialized mental health probation approaches. In addition, the presenters will discuss an innovative implementation strategy, clinical case consultation, for enhancing probation officers’ capacity for addressing the needs of people on probation. The session will conclude with a discussion about how this strategy and other mental health probation approaches can be used to promote responsivity. 

*This workshop is eligible for 1.5 Changing Offender Behavior Credits (COBs)

Chilling the Amygdala: Strategies for Staff to Manage Client Agitation and Aggression - 

Dr. Randy Shively, Kelly Pitocco, Dr. Amanda Pompoco

This session will describe the Strategies pilot program between Alvis, Inc. and the University of Cincinnati Center for Justice and Communities (UCCJC) funded by a JAG grant. The approach assists staff in applying a model to reduce tension when justice-involved participants are resistant or agitated. The three-part approach includes strategies to reduce the incidents of agitation, techniques to de-escalate tense situations and recommendations for post-incident debriefing and remediation. The de-escalation portion includes three components: (1) TIME – steps for the staff member to prepare themselves for de-escalation, (2) CEASE – steps to engage the individual with empathy and reasonable suggestions towards calm and (3) RESPOND – offering choices with attending consequences to help the person gain control and choose to act in a more reasonable way. Given the frequency of past trauma in the lives of those in the justice system, staff need strategies to help clients manage their emotions and support their use of problem solving and decision making. Panel will share insights and anecdotes from Alvis staff participants and some preliminary positive outcomes from the grant.

*This workshop is eligible for 1.5 Changing Offender Behavior Credits (COBs)

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