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ASCA 2014 Top Five Critical Issues Report

The ASCA June 2014 Critical Issues Report has been completed.  The top five critical issues identified by agency heads included:

1. Staff Issues – Recruitment (shortages), Selection, Retention (turnover), Succession, Safety, Wellness, Compensation, Training, Discipline, Union, Managers, Experience, Culture.
2. Administrative Segregation – Policies and Procedures, Practices
3. Mental Health/Medical Services
4. Reentry Services Development
5. Budget Matters

Click here for the full June 2014 Critical Issues Report.

2013 Current Issues In Corrections Survey - Top Ten Identified Issues

ASCA conducts and annual survey of member agencies to gather information on the top issues facing corrections and a survey was conducted in June 2013.  Click here for the top ten issues identified by the responding agencies.

ASCA 2013 Current Issues in Corrections Survey

The Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) conducts an annual survey of its membership to identify the current issues faced by correctional agencies and their relative priority.  In June and July 2013, ASCA conducted a survey of members to identify and rate the level of importance of the top four issues facing their agencies and to rate issues identified in previous surveys to determine the continuing relevance of these issues for their agencies.  Thirty agencies responded to the survey.

In 2013 the most identified top four issues that agencies are dealing with included:

  1. Population management; increasing inmate population;
  2. Recruiting and retaining correctional staff;
  3. Budget;
  4. Managing mental health population; and
  5. Cost of inmate medical care.

Click here for the report of the 2013 Current Issues in Corrections Survey.
Click here
for a summary of the 2013 Survey.

Bridging the Correctional Education Information Gap: Lessons Learned from Piloting a Voluntary Correctional Education Data Collection System

D. Lee, D. Giever, M. Tolbert, and L. Rasmussen, 2012
This report summarizes the findings from a pilot of the revised Correctional Education Data Guidebook and a secure online data collection system. It provides an overview of the project's history and pilot activities, presents information about correctional education drawn from the pilot states' data, and describes the pilot states' experiences collecting and submitting data and the lessons learned from the pilot.
Click here for the report.
Click here to visit the Correctional Education Data Network website.

ASCA and APAI Guiding Principals Document

ASCA and the Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI) Executive Committees have developed a draft document outlining the guiding principals for ongoing work and cooperation between the two Associations.  Click here for the draft of the guiding principals.

Evidence-Based Adult Corrections Programs: What Works And What Does Not (2006)

This study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy provides a comprehensive review of evidence-based programs for adult offenders.  Click here to download the report.

Mental Health Screens for Corrections

Julian Ford and Robert L. Trestman; and Fred Osher, Jack E. Scott, Henry J. Steadman, and Pamela Clark Robbins

Mental Health Screens for Corrections reports on two projects to create and validate mental health screening instruments that corrections staff can use during intake. The researchers created short questionnaires that accurately identify inmates who require mental health interventions. One mental health screen was found to be effective for men and is being adapted for women; the other has effective versions for both men and women. The screening instruments are reproduced in the appendixes.

Click here to download a copy of Mental Health Screens for Corrections.

Reposted with permission of the National Institute of Justice,

Health in Prisons: A WHO Guide to the Essentials of Prison Health (2007)

A continuing challenge in public health is to get services to the people who need them the most, especially those who are hardest to reach. Yet it is a sad reality of life that, at any one time, a high proportion of those with multiple health problems are incarcerated in the prisons of each country. They are certainly reachable, for a certain period at least.  For more than a decade, WHO has had a network of countries of the European region (with more than 30 countries now involved) supported by senior representatives approved at the ministerial level that gather to exchange experiences and evidence on how best to make prisons healthier places for staff as well as prisoners. The detection of serious communicable diseases such as HIV infection and tuberculosis, accompanied by adequate treatment and the introduction of harm reduction measures as necessary, contributes significantly to the health status of the communities from which the prisoners come and to which they return. In addition, it is now known that substance dependence can satisfactorily be treated in prisons. The many imprisoned people who have mental health problems can also be helped.

This guide outlines some of the steps prison systems should take to reduce the public health risks from compulsory detention in often unhealthy situations, to care for prisoners in need and to promote the health of prisoners and prison staff.

Click here to download a copy of Health In Prisons: A WHO Guide to the Essentials in Prison Health.

Reposted with permission of the WHO Regional Office for Europe 2007, ISBN 978 92 890 7280 9,

Repaying Debts - 2007 CSG Justice Center Report

The Council of State Governments Justice Center issued a publication in October on why victims and children of people released from prisons and jails often do not receive the restitution and support they are owed. Repaying Debts is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive guide, supported by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, that details how policymakers can increase financial accountability among people leaving correctional facilities, improve rates of child support collection and victim restitution, and make individuals’ transition from prisons and jails to the community safe and successful. The report recommends very specific strategies to improve how people released from prisons and jails meet their court-ordered financial obligations. It also provides examples from states that have successfully implemented some aspect of these strategies, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Download the report summary

Download the full report
Click here for the on-line version

Click here to see other reentry resources from the Justice Center.

Economic Impact of Prison Growth (4-13-10)

The Congressional Research Service released a report on the economic impact of prison growth due to the unprecedented expansion during the last few decades, with a more than 400% jump in the prison population and a corresponding boom in prison construction. The corrections sector is in stress as states seek to reduce prison populations and rein in costs. Congress is involved in the debate via federal contracts with private prisons, proposed legislation to create a task force on the prison system, increased funding to reduce recidivism, a proposed bill to allow collective bargaining for public sector correctional workers, proposals to alter rules for the 2010 Census count, and rural development efforts. This report discusses this prison growth, prison employment and construction, the private sector, the economic impact of this growth and the challenges policy makers face.  Click here for the CRS report

2010 PEW Prisoner Population Report

The PEW Research and ASCA collected data regarding prison population and developed this report on prisoner population in May 2010.

Pregnant Inmates Issue

Rebecca Project Report - Mothers Behind Bars

Click here for the Rebecca Project Report

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

Report on Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities 2008-2009

The Department of Justice's Review Panel on Prison Rape has issued its Report on Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Correctional Facilities.
In compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, the Review Panel conducted public hearings and gathered data based on the survey described in the Bureau of Justice Statistics report Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09.  Click here for the report.

PREA Response from ASCA to Attorney General

In response to the Department of Justice's request for public comment on the standards proposed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) submited a letter with general and specific comments. Click here to read ASCA's response.

Booz/Allen/Hamilton PREA Cost Study Report

Under a contract from the Department of Justice, Booz Allen Hamilton analyzed the cost to implement the PREA standards.  The results of their study were released on July 18, 2010 in a report entitled Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA): Cost Impact Analysis.  – Click here for the PREA Cost report

Justice Department Releases Proposed Rule in Accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act

Click here for information about the publishing of the revised proposed PREA Standards and public comment period.

Cell Phones in Prisons

Initiatives by ASCA to Address the Illegal Use of Cell Phones Issue

Click here for a series of documents that demonstrate the extent to which ASCA and its members have been engaged over the last several years in pushing for legislative and regulatory authority to jam inmate use of cell phones.

ASCA, NIJ and FCC Cell Phone Webinar Documents

As you know, ASCA and NIJ cosponsored a webinar in partnership with FCC  to discuss methods for combating the use of contraband cell phones in prisons was held earlier today. We would like to express our special thanks to Director Jon Ozmint (SC), Secretary Gary Maynard (MD) and Commissioner Chris Epps (MS) who participated on the panel representing ASCA and their respective states and did an excellent job. 
Click here for webinar documents.

NTIA's December 2010 Report on Cell Phones In Prison

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) submits this report in December 2010 in response to a direction from Congress in December 2009.   Click here for more information.

Cell Phones in Prison Symposium Held During ASCA Summer Meetings

The ASCA Summer Meeting got off to a great start with a Friday morning Special Symposium on the Illegal Use of Cell Phones in Prisons co-sponsored by ASCA and NIJ. Click here for information about the symposium.

Cell Phones in Prison Webinar

ASCA and NIJ cosponsored a webinar in partnership with FCC to discuss methods for combating the use of contraband cell phones in prisons. Click here for more information.