Farmers, and the amazing things they do!

Today I ran across a brief note I wrote a while ago. I share it here to encourage.

I have this image in my mind of a large corn field. Am looking right at it, and asking myself, "What could be going on" inside those stalks as they float and sway collectively in the gentle, and sometimes unkind outdoor wind? What about their cells and the elements within that "organized" themselves from seedling days, to fully grown maize plants, and ultimately produce bountiful ears of corn for its harvests?

No doubt the farmer presumably did their best to till the soil, weed, fertilize and water the young plant. Following that, then what’s inside and outside the seedling takes over – the cells, the soil, sunshine, wind, rain and, who knows what else. In the end, we have a harvest like no other as the outcome. Success for the farmer and the farm. And the corn too! All they did was create conditions most suited for the seedling to work successfully with what's within, and without, and thrive. Pure genius!

Well, it made me think of you, and amazing work you do everyday, and how it’s so like "farming". We apply our best selves, and leverage resources at our disposal to create conditions for our customers to utilize what is inside, and outside of them to thrive. Playing your “A” game at all interactions with clients, making every little time we have with them matter. Like the farmer, we can be confident that what's inside, and outside our "corn" will work together to complete the work, and produce the bountiful harvest we are going for.

So today, let me encourage you in your work, and also wish you much continued success.

With much humility,

Sobem Nwoko

President

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Elderly Prison Inmates: Specifying Priorities for Care and Staff Training

Elderly Prison Inmates: Specifying Priorities for Care and Staff Training

Melissa Inglis, East Central University & Tracy Tully, City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Geriatric inmates are the fastest growing demographic in United States prisons, accounting for approximately 16% of the total prison population (Metla, 2015). Despite this alarming statistic, criminological research on the topic of   geriatric inmates is lacking. While many state agencies are attempting to conduct research about this topic, there are few scholarly studies on the aging prison population in the United States. Even fewer scholarly studies address the subject of geriatric care and staff training in correctional facilities. 

This is an important topic due to the high number of elderly inmates currently incarcerated as well as the high number of inmates who are growing old in prisons. According to the Bureau of Justice, the number of prisoners age 55 or older sentenced to more than 1 year in state prison increased 400% between 1993 and 2013, from 26,300 (3% of the total state prison population) in 1993 to 131,500 (10% of the total population) in 2013 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016). Additionally, the number of sentenced federal prisoners age 65 or older grew at 94 times the rate of the overall prison population between 2007 and 2010 (Fellner, 2012). Chow (2002) found that the increase in the elderly federal prison population has been occurring since at least 1989 and has been of high concern to federal prisons, yet not a great deal has been done to address this increase in the population.

Read more: Elderly Prison Inmates: Specifying Priorities for Care and Staff Training

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Incarceration: The Motherhood Effect

Incarceration: The Motherhood Effect

Timothy Daty, University of New Haven

Over the years, the impact of parental incarceration on families has been a widely explored research topic within the field of criminal justice. In examining parental incarceration, researchers often analyze how children react cognitively to a parent’s imprisonment. In the United States, 1.5 million children have a parent currently serving time in prison (Hairston, 2012). Until recently, most family research studies focused on paternal impacts on child development (Wildeman, 2009). This is unsurprising, given that women currently occupy approximately 8-10% of prison populations within the United States (Arditti, 2015). However, since 1980, the number of female prisoners has increased by 646% (Harrison & Beck, 2006). In most of these cases, the female prisoners are mothers (Harrison & Beck, 2006). This has presented a new challenge within the study of family dynamics and criminology. 

Given the rising levels of incarceration within the United States, research is now exploring how maternal incarceration may influence children in both childhood behavior and long-term success. While there are many variables to consider, Wildeman & Turney (2015) advance that a child’s upbringing is a predicator for how they will behave following maternal imprisonment. Children are astute and can commonly detect their mother’s propensities for crime. In these cases, children with problematic mothers are more cognitively prepared for maternal incarceration.            

Read more: Incarceration: The Motherhood Effect

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Can Social Disorganization Explain Terrorism?

Prioritizing Untested Sexual Assault Kits

Joseph Dule, University of New Haven

The article “County-Level Correlates of Terrorist Attacks in the United States,” by Lafree and Bersani (2014), draws on social disorganization theory in effort to develop and test a set of hypotheses about the expected effects of several structural measures on the frequency of county-level terrorist attacks.  The possible link between social disorganization theory and terrorism is well articulated by Durkheim (1951 [1930]), who suggested that a well-organized society integrates members into the whole, provides them with a sense of community, and offers them realistic goals and aspirations.  If there is a breakdown in social organization within that community, both informal (family, work, school, and voluntary organizations) and institutional (law and the legal system) sources of social control lose their ability to channel individuals into conventional behavior.   Consequently, social actors may choose to engage in a wide array of antisocial behavior, to include political violence.

Read more: Can Social Disorganization Explain Terrorism?

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Moving Beyond BAC in DUI Screening Tools

Moving Beyond BAC in DUI Screening Tools

Kevin Earl, University of New Haven

Many assessment tools of DUI offenders, as well as sanctions, are based mainly on Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). However, Dugosh, Festinger, and Marlowe (2013) found evidence that BAC is not a predictor of recidivism, and they presented an assessment tool that adequately predicts DUI recidivism. This is the first empirically driven effort to determine a clinically useful tool to assess recidivism risk for DUI offenders.

Read more: Moving Beyond BAC in DUI Screening Tools

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The Evidence-Based Human Services Organization

Interview with Kim Scorza, CEO, Seasons Center for Behavioral Health

1. Can you summarize the work of your agency, in terms of the target population served, geographic area, and types of services provided

Seasons Center is a comprehensive behavioral health center offering a broad range of services to the people and communities in Northwest Iowa since 1959. The primary service area for Seasons is nine counties in rural northwest Iowa:  Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, and Sioux. In July 2016, Seasons was awarded a new contract to provide services for victims of crime, expanding the service area to include an additional ten counties: Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Monona, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, and Woodbury. In August 2016, Seasons opened an office in Sioux City (Woodbury County).  At the beginning of 2016-2017, Seasons began providing school-based services at the Cherokee School District.

Read more: The Evidence-Based Human Services Organization

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The Evidence-Based Justice Services Organization

Prioritizing Untested Sexual Assault Kits

Interview with John Keene, Chief Probation Officer, San Mateo County Probation Department 

1. Can you summarize the work of your agency, in terms of the target population served, geographic area, and types of services provided

The San Mateo County Probation Department has the honor of serving the citizens of San Mateo County, California by providing services to individuals placed on supervision by the Superior Court of San Mateo County. Our mission is to enhance community safety, reduce crime, and assist the victims of crime through offender accountability and rehabilitation. To achieve our mission we provide a variety of direct services to offenders as well as through contracts with community based organizations and other governmental agencies.

Read more: The Evidence-Based Justice Services Organization

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What’s Promising in Prisoner Reentry?

Meredith Emigh, University of New Haven

Approximately 90-95% of prisoners eventually will be released to return to the community; this equates to more than 700,000 released prisoners each year in the United States (Morani, Wiloff, Linhorst, & Bratton, 2011). Due to shifting priorities in the criminal justice system since the 1970s, not only has there been a six-fold increase in released prisoners, but they also have more and different needs than the ex-prisoners of the past (Petersilia, 2004). Prisoners of the last few decades have served longer sentences, with fewer rehabilitation programs, and are less likely to receive parole services while transitioning to the community (Petersilia, 2004).

Read more: What’s Promising in Prisoner Reentry?

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The Tale of 2 Healthcare Pros

Mass shootings inevitably generate the usual process reviews to determine why, and how to prevent it in the future. Then, there's of course the finger pointing and blaming. It reminds me of this tale of the 2 pros which I will now tell to you with the utmost appreciation for the challenges of your work. I also tell it with the utmost humility in hopes to encourage you.

The 2 pros went off to work. The one, a surgeon and, the other, a counselor. I will tell you the tale of the surgeon first and then the counselor’s.

Read more: The Tale of 2 Healthcare Pros

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Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE): Further Evaluation of Swift and Certain Sanctions

Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement

David L. Myers, PhD, University of New Haven

In recent decades, concerns over rising prison populations, high monetary costs of secure corrections, persistent recidivism rates, and adverse impacts of incarceration strategies on families and communities have fueled efforts to develop alternative sanctions that do not compromise community safety. Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) is a community supervision program for substance abusing probationers, particularly those with longer histories of drug use and extensive involvement with the criminal justice system (Hawken, 2010; Hawken et al., 2016; Hawken & Kleiman, 2009). In contrast to many contemporary criminal justice strategies, rather than focusing on the severity of punishment as a deterrent, HOPE seeks to increase the swiftness and certainty of relatively modest sanctions. Evaluation results from HOPE research have been supportive, leading to similar approaches spreading throughout the country.

Read more: Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE): Further Evaluation of Swift and Certain...

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