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| Evident Change

A new tool guides justice system agencies in creating a more well-rounded service array to meet the needs of the people they serve. Many individuals who have been impacted by the juvenile and/or criminal justice systems have unaddressed needs and traumas. These needs often lead them to—and keep them in—a cycle of justice system involvement. This guide was created to help agencies make strong community and cross‑system connections that will ultimately improve the way people are treated and served.

| NCCD

NCCD conducted a survey to assess system-level responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by justice and child welfare agencies. The survey, open for eight weeks, was answered by 185 respondents from 20 states and Australia. Responses represented the views of staff from juvenile and adult probation and parole departments, juvenile and adult residential detention facilities (including jails and prisons at the adult level), and child welfare agencies.

Respondents were asked about their agencies’ responses to the pandemic, including safety measures taken to protect staff and clients, problems encountered and remedies employed, and needed resources. A summary of the results are presented here. Additional survey results can be found here.

| NCCD

During physical distancing, more parent and child contact is taking place via videoconferencing technology. In many jurisdictions, virtual meetings are playing a crucial role to assess parents’ and children’s readiness for potential reunification. Video visits present new challenges and new opportunities. Families may be experiencing new stressors related to the coronavirus pandemic and visits over video.

| NCCD

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the juvenile and adult justice systems. Many prisons, jails, and detention facilities are taking steps to alleviate the spread of the virus by releasing individuals early. Consequently, community corrections agencies are bracing for the inevitable increase in their populations and the new challenges it will bring.

| NCCD

As much of the world goes online to conduct business during the COVID-19 pandemic, visits in the fields of child welfare and corrections are happening virtually rather than in person. NCCD has tips for making video visits work for children at different developmental stages.

| NCCD

NCCD has a number of resources for those who work in corrections and for other justice-oriented agencies. Find them here, and watch for regular updates.

| NCCD

The February issue of NCCD News describes how NCCD can help agencies qualify for Family First funding; reports on a new study that looks at gender disparities in the juvenile justice system; highlights a new blog post by Sarah Koenig, Serial podcast creator and Media for a Just Society Awards winner; and new resources on transforming the youth justice system from NCCD and the Positive Youth Justice Initiative.

| Chris Baird

This is the final brief in the six-part series titled A Question of Evidence, Part Two. In this brief, Chris Baird summarizes the major problems identified throughout the series regarding risk assessment models, then goes on to suggest four steps toward remedying those problems. 

| Chris Baird

This is the fifth brief in the six-part series titled A Question of Evidence, Part Two. In this brief, Chris Baird discusses the research behind structured professional judgment (SPJ) models, a less structured approach to risk assessment favored by the justice field. The brief also addresses concerns with the validity, reliability, equity, and utility of SPJ models.

| Chris Baird

This is the fourth brief in the six-part series titled A Question of Evidence, Part Two. In this brief, Chris Baird explores the research behind many current models, discusses methods commonly used to measure “predictive power,” and outlines what is required to measure the efficacy of various approaches to risk assessment.

| Chris Baird

This is the third brief in the six-part series titled A Question of Evidence, Part Two. In this brief, Chris Baird identifies flaws in the logic employed to support the use of criminogenic needs (or dynamic risk factors) in risk assessment. While assessing needs is a critical component of assessment, much of what is advocated combines the roles of group data and the actual treatment needs of the individual. This brief also discusses the appropriate role of needs assessment in case planning and service delivery.

| Chris Baird

In the first of his six-part series of briefs titled A Question of Evidence, Part Two, Chris Baird explains his reasons for revisiting the topic of his 2009 paper, A Question of Evidence: A Critique of Risk Assessment Models in the Justice System. According to Baird, the issues addressed in his earlier paper “remain in force today, further complicated by increased expectations emanating from new methods of analysis.