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Justice Policy Journal - Volume 2, Number 2 - Fall 2005

(ISSN 1530-3012)


From the editor

By Randall G. Shelden, M.A., Ph.D.

From the Editor

Well, we are well on our way to respectability! This is the second issue of the journal this year. This time we have five good research papers covering a wide variety of topics, as you can easily see. Topics include the subject of a rarely discussed sub-group within the prison population those who are deaf (Twersky-Glasner and Sheridan). Also, an article explores the impact of globalization and the hope of establishing "enterprise zones" (Ingram) in addition to the important subject of correctional education and recidivism (Ubah). We also have a critical look at the controversial subject of risk classification tools (Pfeifer, Taxman, Young), plus a subject not directly related to crime and delinquency, that of the effectiveness of organizations that serve the poor, many of whom are children and youth involved in the juvenile justice system (White et al.). Finally, we have added a new section (common among many journals), that of a "research brief." This one presents expert testimony in Chicago about girls' violence (Schaffner).

On behalf of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, I hope readers will enjoy reading these articles and make use of them in your own research. Also, I urge readers to submit articles for the next issue which is anticipated to be next spring. It is hoped that in the very near future we will be able to publish the journal at least three times a year, if not four. Even if you have short articles that could qualify as "research briefs" (e.g., expert testimony, preliminary results of research) and even book reviews (which would be a good addition to the journal) send them to me at the following e-mail: [profrgs@cox.net]

Editor Randall G. Shelden, M.A., Ph.D.

Vocational, Educational and Psychological Assessments of Deaf Inmates

By Aviva Twersky-Glasner and Matthew J. Sheridan

A number of important sociological and psychological factors result from linguistic development delay and cultural dissonance. These are unique to the deaf and hard of hearing offender population and need to be taken into account in efforts to assess the vocational, educational and psychological needs of deaf prison inmates. This paper discusses these various factors and provides suggestions for corrections officials to remediate these problems.

Aviva Twersky-Glasner
New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission
Aviva Twersky-Glasner is a Doctoral Candidate in Criminal Justice at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has earned a Master of Philosophy degree in Criminal Justice from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and Master of Arts degrees in both Forensic Psychology and in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. Her dissertation research centers on the cultural and linguistic deficits of deaf inmates. Ms. Twersky-Glasner works as a Research Scientist for the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. Email: aviavi43@yahoo.com

Matthew J. Sheridan
Georgian Court University
Matthew J. Sheridan is a corrections professional with more than 35 years of experience. Currently, he is an Executive Assistant with the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission and an adjunct professor at Georgian Court University. His doctorate was completed at Rutgers University and his dissertation explored the personal prison experience. Current research includes the study of prisonization utilizing the convict autobiography as an ethnographic tool. Email: matt.sheridan@njjjc.org

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other: The Benefits and Challenges Associated with Risk Classification Tools

By Heather L. Pfeifer, Faye S. Taxman, and Douglas Young

The use of risk-assessment tools in the juvenile justice system has introduced more standardized methods in how cases are processed and individual offenders are treated. Yet, their development remains extremely challenging. Despite the diverse nature of the juvenile justice population, agencies often adopt a 'one-size fits all' approach when developing these instruments, which has led to a significant proportion of misclassified youth. Consequently, these instruments have been challenged on numerous grounds. This paper presents a case study of a classification tool currently under development for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice to illustrate some of the challenges researchers face when developing and implementing a standardized risk classification instrument for a juvenile population. A number of recommendations are presented on how researchers can improve these instruments' predictive efficiency, and on how agencies can overcome obstacles in their implementation.

Heather L. Pfeifer Ph.D.
University of Baltimore
Heather L. Pfeifer is an assistant professor in the Division of Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of Baltimore. Address all correspondence to Heather L. Pfeifer, University of Baltimore, Division of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 1420 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201; email: hpfeifer@ubalt.edu

Faye S. Taxman Ph.D.
University of Maryland, College Park
Faye S. Taxman is the Director of BGR and an associate research professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the PI for NIDA's Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) Coordinating Center.

Douglas Young M.S.
University of Maryland, College Park
Douglas Young is a research associate at the Bureau of Governmental Research [BGR] at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Research Brief: Violence Against Girls Provokes Girls' Violence

By Laurie Schaffner

As arrests of girls for violent offenses rose in the 1990s, public concern about adolescent girls' aggression grew around the notion of "girl-on-girl violence." This research brief explores that idea and argues that young women are indeed experiencing violence, but not necessarily from each other, as much as from the effects of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and poverty. Indeed, girls suffer more from "adult-on-girl violence," evidenced by legislators' refusal to fund infrastructure such as housing, jobs, and schools; voter apathy; and the ruthlessness of a highly-profitable prison system. These factors, more than any change in girls' behavior, have combined to usher in the era of the criminalization of social problems.

Laurie Schaffner
University of Illinois at Chicago
Laurie Schaffner is a sociologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of Girls in Trouble with the Law, a study of court-involved young women and the adults who work with them, forthcoming in July 2006 from Rutgers University Press. She can be reached at schaff@uic.edu

Measuring Organizational Capacity among Agencies Serving the Poor: Implications for Achieving Organizational Effectiveness

By Michael D. White, Christopher Fisher, Karyn Hadfield, Jessica Saunders, and Lisa Williams

Organizational capacity has emerged as a critical issue as social service agencies seek to do "more with less." Prior research, however, has failed both to operationalize capacity and to produce empirical support for its perceived positive relationship with organizational effectiveness. This paper describes an effort to create an organizational capacity-measuring mechanism for agencies serving the poor, homeless and hungry, and using simple bivariate analysis, explores the relationship between capacity and organizational effectiveness. Findings here fail to find a significant overall relationship between capacity and effectiveness, though certain elements of capacity appear to be more important than others. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential explanations and their implications for future research.

Michael D. White
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Michael D. White, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Deputy Director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay. Dr. White's primary research interests involve the police, specifically use of force, training and performance measurement. E-mail: miwhite@jjay.cuny.edu

Christopher Fisher
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Christopher Fisher is a senior research assistant with the Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center (John Jay College of Criminal Justice), an adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a doctoral candidate in criminal justice at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research interests include homicide - particularly bias-motivated homicides, bias crimes, investigative psychology, forensic psychology, and policy analysis and evaluation. E-mail: cfisher@jjay.cuny.edu

Karyn Hadfield
Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island
Karyn Hadfield is a Training Specialist at the Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island and a doctoral student in criminal justice at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research interests include the management and treatment of sex offenders, victims of sexual assault, serial violent offending, and post-traumatic stress in first responders. E-mail: khadfield@jjay.cuny.edu

Jessica Saunders
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Jessica Saunders is a senior research assistant with the Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center (John Jay College of Criminal Justice), a graduate teaching fellow at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a doctoral student in criminal justice at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research interests include advanced statistical modeling, homicide and sexual violence. E-mail: jsaunders@jjay.cuny.edu 

Lisa Williams
Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County
Lisa Williams is the planning and policy analyst for the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County and a doctoral student in criminal justice at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research interests include sex offender legislation and public policy, juvenile delinquency, and psychiatric co-morbidity and substance use drug abuse treatment. E-mail: lwilliams@jjay.cuny.edu

Globalization, Inner City Crime and the Coming Legitimacy Crisis

By John Ingram

The presence of crime in society today is a multifaceted problem. It is the result of many factors and no attempt will be made here to explain all crime. What can be said is that the economic forces of globalization have set in motion a group of circumstances that have created environments that are friendly to the formation of criminal activity and have led to a legitimacy crisis in American society. Many community factors recur as correlates of crime and victimization. Those include concentrated poverty, residential mobility and population turnover, family disruption, and population density. All of these things have been influenced by globalization and all contribute to the problem of crime. I argue that through a better understanding of the global forces that are at work in the inner cities, (including world systems, world polity, and world culture theory) law enforcement officers and policy makers can better understand crime and better address the problem through proactive policy implementation. These policy implications include the adaptation of enterprise zones and micro-loans, a broader implementation of school vouchers, and the decriminalization of some narcotics. I argue that the failure of policy makers to recognize the issue of inequality that has been progressing over the last several decades and to react to it, will lead to a general legitimacy crisis in society.

John Ingram
Colorado Springs Police Department
John Ingram is a Detective working at the Colorado Springs Police Department. He has a Masters Degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado in Criminal Justice. E-mail: INGRAMJO@ci.colospgs.co.us

An Examination of Academic, Policy and Social Considerations of Correctional Education and Offender Recidivism: Lessons for 21st Century Criminology

By Charles B. A. Ubah

There has been a serious lack of examination of academic, policy and social considerations of correctional education and offender recidivism. The very few studies that have attempted to carryout such examination, have done so in passing without much attention to academic, policy and social considerations of correctional education and offender recidivism. They seemed to stop at a point where a more detailed examination of academic, policy and social considerations of correctional education and offender recidivism is needed. To fill this gap, an examination of academic, policy and social considerations of correctional education and offender recidivism is the focus of this study. An examination of these considerations may be too important and too costly to ignore in 21st Century-criminology.

Charles B. A. Ubah
Georgia College & State University Milledgeville
Charles B. A. Ubah is an Associate Professor of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Sociology and Public Policy in the Department of Government and Sociology at Georgia College & State University Milledgeville. Dr. Ubah's primary research interests involve the corrections, specifically correctional policy, programs, offender rehabilitation, reintegration and recidivism.

Keywords: adult corrections, education, prisons, recidivism, reentry

Posted in Volume 2

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