At CJI, we work with departments of corrections, sheriffs' departments, and jail administrators in a wide range of ways.
Our work with those agencies includes developing and implementing safe and efficient restrictive housing practices, conducting assessments in general or post incident reviews, implementing evidence-based programming, forecasting jail populations, and developing promotional exams for jail personnel.
Examples of our work in this area include:
Reshaping Restrictive Housing in South Dakota
Restrictive housing is used in prisons across the country to achieve goals including behavioral control, violence prevention, discipline, and inmate protection. Simply put, restrictive housing, sometimes called administrative segregation or solitary confinement, typically involves separating inmates from those in general population, restricting contact with staff and inmates, and curtailing participation in activities including recreation, shared mealtimes, and other programming.
CJI worked with the South Dakota Department of Corrections (SD DOC) to reshape the practices surrounding the use of restrictive housing. Working with nationally recognized experts in the areas of high security confinement, mental health, and evaluation, CJI and SD DOC developed strategies that fit local practices, policies, and conditions. The work included:
- Reviewing and assessing current practices and capacities;
- Developing data-driven, alternative strategies to safely and effectively reduce restrictive housing bed days and reduce the safety risks posed by inmates during and after their time in restrictive housing;
- Provide implementation support, technical assistance, and measure fidelity; and
- Track performance measures.
For more information, please visit our publications.
Sheriff’s Department Promotional Exams
Staff selection for promotions are important decisions within correctional environments. CJI designs, administers, and scores promotional exams for correctional officers applying to be sergeants, lieutenants, and captains at county-based jails in Massachusetts.
Institutional Corrections Research Network/National Corrections Reporting Program and Jail Research Network Meetings
We have worked with National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to coordinate and facilitate the Institutional Corrections Research Network/National Corrections Reporting Program annual meeting for the past 6 years. The ICRN meeting, as it is known, is used to provide recommendations for a national research agenda and to assist the corrections field in further developing infrastructure to have high quality data that is shared through national partnerships. In the past few years, we have added the Jail Research Network meeting, which brings together sheriffs, data analysts, jail professionals, and corrections researchers to share research and best practices.
Throughout these meetings, we gather input from correctional researchers and practitioners and support the corrections research community of practice. We provide a wide portfolio of meeting and logistic planning efforts, including commissioning white papers, presentations, and webinars on important topics in corrections; compiling key themes and narratives to guide research agendas; and creating meeting websites to store and share valuable information. Click here for more ICRN resources.