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At CJI, we work with departments of corrections, sheriffs' departments, and jail administrators in a wide range of ways.

BJA Restrictive Housing Reform Implementation Assistance Program

In October 2021, CJI was awarded a cooperative agreement from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, housed within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, to assist state corrections agencies in improving their restrictive housing practices and safely reducing their use.

BJA Program Goals:

  1. Provide support and assistance to correctional agencies that are ready to implement reforms
  2. Develop practices for correctional agencies to use in collecting and analyzing data to measure the impact of reforms
  3. Create resources based on national implementation efforts that will be made available to correctional agencies and facilities engaged in or considering restrictive housing reform

This work spans a 30-month period and includes training and technical assistance on effective implementation; restrictive housing policies and practices; and data collection, use, and reporting. Additionally, CJI will convene restrictive housing experts and the sites selected for participation in the project and produce resources for the field.

NIC Restrictive Housing Training and Technical Assistance Program

Since 2017, CJI has coordinated the National Institute of Corrections restrictive housing training program, revising the Managing Prison Restrictive Housing Populations curriculum, creating the new jail-focused curriculum, and providing these trainings in partnership with NIC. CJI has trained staff from 33 state corrections departments and 36 jail systems.

To reach a broader audience, NIC has recently turned its attention to digital and virtual efforts. CJI is assisting in the development of a video series and conversion of an abbreviated Managing Restrictive Housing Populations training to a virtual instructor-led training format.

Facilitating Behavior Change

Under a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Corrections, CJI developed a training to support corrections staff in implementing core correctional practices, which are evidence-based strategies and skills that can be applied in any interaction with individuals involved in the justice system to support behavior change. The training is designed to be delivered in a blended format, combining virtual instructor-led training and in-person training. In 2021, CJI adapted the curriculum to a fully virtual training and developed a training for trainers to support widespread implementation.

Institutional Corrections Research Network

CJI is the convenor and planner for the Institutional Corrections Research Network (ICRN)/National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP) Meetings, sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

The network is comprised of corrections researchers from state agencies and federal partners. Several years ago, the convenings shifted from an annual in-person events to a virtual format.

The goals of the convenings are 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; and
  • Further the work of the corrections field in its understanding and application of research by bringing together agency-based researchers to discuss issues and share insights on research conducted within agencies that operate correctional institutions.

State Department of Corrections Training & Technical Assistance

CJI provides state-specific training and technical assistance to corrections departments to support implementation of evidence-based practices.

CJI is assisting with the Alaska Department of Corrections with enhancing the quality of programs for incarcerated individuals offered throughout state facilities. Included in this initiative is an analysis of gaps in availability and accessibility to programs, training on facilitation of groups using cognitive behavioral interventions, and staff training to monitor and provide ongoing staff development on group facilitation skills.

Similarly, CJI is supporting Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) by providing training and technical assistance to implement core correctional practices by all direct-care staff, regardless of position, to impact long-term behavior change. Additionally, DPS&C is implementing group facilitation training for peer tutors and mentors in state facilities throughout the state. To support this effort, CJI trained DPS&C staff so they can sustainably train these tutors and mentors to effectively work with other incarcerated individuals.

BJA-Funded Restrictive Housing Reform in South Dakota

In 2013, CJI was awarded an Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Program grant to assist the South Dakota State Penitentiary in reforming use of restrictive housing.

CJI assessed restrictive housing operations, worked with staff of all levels to design a new restrictive housing program, and provided implementation and performance measurement assistance. As a result, the department’s restrictive housing population has been reduced by half, overrepresentation of Native American individuals and people with mental illness in restrictive housing have decreased, and there have not been any declines in facility safety.

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