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Papers From the Harvard Executive Session on Community Corrections (2013-2016)

Following is the complete list of papers from the Executive Session on Community Corrections, sponsored by NIJ and the Harvard Kennedy School's Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management.

Title, Author and DateDescription
​Shackled to Debt: Criminal Justice Financial Obligations and the Barriers to Reentry They Create (pdf, 26 pages)
By Karin D. Martin, Sandra S. Smith, Wendy Still
January 2017
​Formerly incarcerated people face a considerable number of obstacles to successful re-entry. Their ability to graduate from community supervision is complicated by their low and eroding levels of education and skills, serious mental and physical health conditions that often go untreated, and alcohol and drug addictions which are issues nurtured in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage.

This paper describes trends in the assessment of criminal justice financial obligations (CJFOs); discusses the historical context within which these trends have unfolded; and reflects on the unintended consequences. It also raises concerns on restitution implementation and who benefits from it. Finally, the paper ends with considering alternative models for the effective and fair deployment of fines, fees, and restitution in the criminal justice context.
Building Trust and Legitimacy Within Community Corrections (pdf, 28 pages)
By Wendy Still, Barbara Broderick, Steve Raphael
December 2016
Over the past three decades, the U.S. incarceration rate has increased to historic highs, while crime rates have dropped significantly. In addition to the 2.3 million people incarcerated in our nation’s jails and prisons, 4 million individuals are on probation or parole at any given time.

The individuals on probation and parole are the largest part of the correctional system. Yet, this aspect of corrections has been largely absent from the national conversation surrounding incarceration rates and criminal justice reform. This paper discusses the need for a new model of community corrections that can improve public safety while recognizing that people on probation and parole are members of the communities in which they live and are supervised.
Future of Youth Justice: A Community-Based Alternative to the Youth Prison Model(pdf, 36 pages)
By Patrick McCarthy, Vincent Schiraldi, Miriam Shark​
October 2016
This paper provides recommendations for implementing community-based alternatives to the youth prison model through four domains of action — reduce, reform, replace, and reinvest.

For 170 years, since our first youth correctional institution opened, America’s approach to youth incarceration has been built on the premise that a slightly modified version of the adult correctional model of incarceration, control, coercion, and punishment — with a little bit of programming sprinkled in — would rehabilitate young people. Sometimes the names attempt to camouflage the nature of the facility, but whether they are called “training schools” or “youth centers,” nearly all of these facilities are youth prisons.

The leadership, commitment, and courage that are beginning to be seen in efforts taking place across the country and highlighted within this paper are needed in every state to, at long last, close every youth prison and replace this failed, harmful approach with one that can help youth get back on track.
Community-Based Responses to Justice-Involved Young Adults (pdf, pages)
By Vincent Schiraldi, Bruce Western and Kendra Bradner
September 2015
This bulletin proposes a new criminal justice paradigm for young men and women ages 18 to 24. Noting that the human brain has been clinically shown to not fully mature prior to the mid-20s, the authors suggest new institutional methods and processes for young adult justice that can meet the realities of life for today’s disadvantaged youth involved in crime and the criminal justice system. The authors envision a system that extends the reach of the juvenile court to reflect a modern understanding of the transition into adulthood. Their primary recommendation is that the age of juvenile court jurisdiction be raised to 21, with additional, gradually diminishing protections for young adults up to age 24 or 25.
Date Created: January 13, 2017