Information Technology

Value of Corrections Information: Benefits to Justice and Public Safety – 2016

Correctional services are provided as part of a systemic approach wherein agencies interact with an individual as they move through the criminal justice system. Each of these agencies collect information about justice involved individuals that should be shared in order to support their supervision. The primary purpose of this white paper is to provide a better understanding of the corrections domain, the value of information captured in corrections and how this information may be leveraged by the larger criminal justice system to support various agencies and the people they serve.

Assessment Tools and Other Information Technology

Risk/Needs/Responsivity Assessment Tools

Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System — Congressional Research Service, 2015 (PDF)
This report discusses legislative proposals to implement a risk and needs assessment system in federal prisons, the principles of Risk-Needs-Responsivity, critiques of risk and needs assessments, and specific issues that Congress needs to consider before enacting any legislation.

Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States — Council of State Governments, 2013 (PDF)
This review summarizes research conducted in the United States to examine the performance of instruments designed to assess risk of recidivism, including committing a new crime and violating conditions of supervision, among adult offenders.

A Comparison of Risk Assessment Instruments in Juvenile Justice — National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2013 (PDF)
This study examined the validity, reliability, equity, and cost of nine juvenile justice risk assessment instruments.

Using Offender Risk and Needs Assessment Information at Sentencing: Guidance for Courts from a National Working Group — National Center for State Courts, 2011
This document provides guidance to help judges and others involved in the sentencing decision understand when and how to incorporate RNA information into their decision-making process. The guide reviews the principles of a research- or evidence-based approach to sentencing, identifies other uses of risk assessments and offers a set of guiding principles for incorporating RNA information into the court’s sentencing decisions.

Performance Management Tools

Correctional Operations Trend Analysis System (COTAS) Validation — Florida State University, 2011 (PDF)
This report provides research findings and recommendations on the Florida Department of Corrections’ Correctional Operations Trend Analysis System (COTAS), which was designed to provide administrators with trend analysis and risk assessment of inmates’ involvement in violent events.

COMPSTAT for Corrections — Center for Evidence-Based Corrections, 2006 (PDF)
This white paper describes how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) would benefit by adapting the COMPSTAT strategic control system and implementing it to address management and performance challenges. The paper also describes the elements of the COMPSTAT system, how those elements work together to change an organization’s behavior and increase its effectiveness, and issues to consider when implementing the COMPSTAT system in the CDCR.

You Get What You Measure: Compstat for Community Corrections — Pew Charitable Trusts, 2007 (PDF)
This policy brief describes the growing trend among community corrections agencies to measure and manage the results of their programs and interventions.

Joe Russo,
Corrections Technology Coordinator