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Washington, DC, United States

Ostermann M.,Office of Policy and Planning
Crime and Delinquency | Year: 2011

This study addresses the phenomenon of inmates voluntarily forgoing parole supervision and opting to remain in prison until the maximum expiration of their sentence. The research was conducted to inform public policy makers about the potential repercussions of this decision-making process and to help guide future policy and legislative proposals that would target this group of inmates. Bivariate and multivariate analyses are used to explore characteristics of this population with regard to postrelease recidivism and prerelease indicators of recidivism. A 2005 group of voluntary max outs are contrasted with those who are forced to max out due to continual parole denial as well as those who are released to parole supervision. All offenders were released in the state of New Jersey. Although several between-group differences were apparent between both max out groups and the parole group at a bivariate level, differences between the two max out groups were far less pronounced. Multivariate Cox regression models indicated that, after controlling for pertinent predictor variables, the likelihood of experiencing a new arrest and/or incarceration after release did not significantly differ according to group membership. Findings suggest that parole boards that make decisions in discretionary release systems should more closely analyze the release opportunities that already present themselves to their agencies but are not capitalized on. Because those who are forced to max through continual denial of parole demonstrated such similar prerelease characteristics to the voluntary max out group, it is unlikely that many who would have otherwise voluntarily maxed their sentence would be paroled if the ability to make this decision were taken away. © The Author(s) 2011. Source

Levenson J.,Lynn University | Letourneau E.,University of South Carolina | Armstrong K.,University of South Carolina | Zgoba K.M.,Office of Policy and Planning
Justice Quarterly | Year: 2010

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between failure to register (FTR) as a sex offender and subsequent recidivism (N = 2,970). No significant differences were found between the sexual recidivism rates of those who failed to register and compliant registrants (11% vs. 9%, respectively). There was no significant difference in the proportion of sexual recidivists and nonrecidivists with registration violations (12% vs. 10%, respectively). FTR did not predict sexual recidivism, and survival analyses revealed no significant difference in time to recidivism when comparing those who failed to register (2.9 years) with compliant registrants (2.8 years). Results fail to support the supposition that sexual offenders who fail to register are more sexually dangerous than those who comply with registration requirements. The punitive emphasis on registration enforcement may not be justified and might divert limited resources away from strategies that would better facilitate public protection from sexual violence. © 2010 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Source

Wolff N.,Rutgers University | Vazquez R.,Rutgers University | Frueh B.C.,University of Hawaii at Hilo | Shi J.,Rutgers University | And 2 more authors.
Psychological Injury and Law | Year: 2010

At least half of the women inside prison have mental health problems, have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse during their formative years and often in adulthood, and have addiction problems. Only a minority of these women receive treatment for their behavioral health problems associated with trauma while incarcerated, even though these problems are risk factors for returning to prison after release. This study focuses on the traumatic experiences and behavioral health problems of a group of female inmates who volunteered in August 2009, to be screened for admission into an integrated trauma-reentry program implemented at an adult female correctional facility. Of the 278 women who self-referred for screening, 196 preliminarily met the time eligibility criterion of residing at the prison for eight to 24 more months. Half of these women (n = 97) were actually time-eligible for screening and agreed to be screened. Of this sample of treatment-seeking soon-to-be-released female prisoners, the vast majority (93%) reported significant and complex histories of traumatic event exposure and high rates of either posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or sub-threshold PTSD, past alcohol and other substance abuse or dependence, other axis I psychiatric disorders, and subjective distress. Identifying trauma exposure histories and associated behavioral health problems within this population and providing effective interventions holds potential promise for preparing incarcerated women to manage their post-release lives in ways that will keep them safe, healthy, and in the community. © 2010 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC. Source

Wolff N.,Rutgers University | Frueh C.,University of Hawaii at Hilo | Shi J.,Rutgers University | Gerardi D.,Office of Policy and Planning | And 2 more authors.
Psychiatric Services | Year: 2011

Objectives: This study examined the traumatic and stressful event exposure history and psychiatric health characteristics of soon-to-be released female inmates who self-referred to specialty post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. Methods: The final sample (N=209) included female prison inmates aged 18 or older who were assessed for trauma exposure and axis I disorders with standardized clinical instruments. Results: The rate of serious mental disorders was high. Presence of psychiatric disorders was significantly associated with a history of traumatic event exposure and full or subthreshold PTSD, and high rates of overall traumatic event exposure (88%) and childhood sexual or physical trauma (74%). Descriptive profiles of specific lifetime traumatic and stressful events were associated with psychiatric disorders. Conclusions: Findings suggest strong behavioral effects associated with lifetime traumatic and stressful event histories and indicate major psychiatric health care needs among female prison inmates that are likely unmet by existing services. Source

Grace M.B.,Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response | Cliffer K.D.,Office of Policy and Planning | Moyer B.R.,Tunnell Consulting Inc | Coleman C.N.,Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations | And 9 more authors.
Health Physics | Year: 2011

Following the attacks of 11 September 2001, emergency preparedness within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as at the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, received higher visibility, new mandates and increased funding. Emergency deployment teams increased the frequency of drills to enable better response to the health consequences of mass-casualty incidents. Interagency coordination has also continued to increase to more efficiently and effectively leverage federal resources toward emergency medical preparedness for both civilian and military populations. Copyright © 2011 Health Physics Society. Source

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