To identify implementation barriers and facilitators to the adoption and implementation of programs that provide opioid agonist treatments (OAT) with methadone and buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder in jails and prisons in the United States.
Improving safety and health for correctional workers and people who are incarcerated are widespread yet separate initiatives. Correctional workers and people who are incarcerated experience similar challenges involved with poor workplaces and living conditions, including mental health crises, violence, stress, and chronic health issues, and the available resources lack integration with respect to safety and health promotion. This scoping review sought to contribute to an integrated approach for correctional system safety and health resources and identify studies of correctional resources that address health promotion among correctional workers and people who are incarcerated. Guided by PRISMA, a search of gray literature, also termed peer-reviewed literature, published between 2013–2023 (n = 2545) was completed, and 16 articles were identified. Resources primarily targeted individual and interpersonal levels. At every level of intervention, resources improved the environment for both workers and those incarcerated, with trends of less conflict, more positive behaviors, and improved relations, access to care, and feelings of safety. The corrections environment is impacted by changes from both workers and people who are incarcerated and should be examined using a holistic approach. Future health and safety resources should target the larger correctional environment by utilizing practices, policies, and procedures to improve safety and health for incarcerated people and workers.
Maintaining an inmate’s health can serve as a challenge due to unhealthy background, risky behavior, and long imprisonment. This study aimed to analyze the prevalence of participation in health promotion activities among Israeli inmates and its association with their physical activity levels and subjective health status.
Jail standards ensure that constitutional and statutory provisions are put into operational practice. These standards ensure a greater consistency across the state in jails’ quality of care, use of resources, and operations. They also provide policymakers with a means of assessing and addressing the needs of inmates in a logical, objective way.
Unreasonable workloads, perceptions of insufficient staff, role problems, less control or autonomy, a lack of support at work or home, and exposure to violence were associated with greater stress among jail officers. Jails with characteristics that threatened order and security—having more inmates per officer and greater levels of inmate violence—had higher levels of stress among officer workforces.
Women in rural jails are more likely to screen positive for a serious mental illness compared to men in rural jails and all individuals incarcerated in urban jails, according a study published this month in Criminal Justice and Behavior by researchers from Wayne State University.
An estimated 15% of the 1.8 million incarcerated individuals in the US have opioid use disorder (OUD).1,2 These individuals have a substantially higher risk of overdose after leaving correctional facilities.1 Pharmacotherapy for OUD is associated with reductions in postincarceration mortality, yet as of 2018, less than 14% of correctional systems offered buprenorphine or methadone.3 Over the past 5 years, more municipalities and states have enacted policies to provide access to OUD treatment, but the extent to which this implementation has actually increased buprenorphine use remains unclear.
Assessing an inmate’s risk for recidivism may become more challenging as the length of incarceration increases. Although the population of Long-Term Inmates (LTIs) is burgeoning, no risk assessment tools have been specifically validated for this group. Based on a sample of 1,144 inmates released in a state without parole, we examine the utility of the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) in assessing risk of general and violent felony recidivism for LTIs (n = 555). Results indicate that (a) the LSI-R moderately predicts general, but not necessarily violent, recidivism, and (b) this predictive utility is not moderated by LTI status, and is based in part on ostensibly dynamic risk factors. Implications for informing parole decision-making and risk management for LTIs are discussed.
With the population of adults under correctional supervision in the United States at an all-time high, psychologists and other professionals working in U.S. correctional agencies face mounting pressures to identify offenders at greater risk of recidivism and to guide treatment and supervision recommendations. Risk assessment instruments are increasingly being used to assist with these tasks; however, relatively little is known regarding the performance of these tools in U.S. correctional settings. In this review, we synthesize the findings of studies examining the predictive validity of assessments completed using instruments designed to predict general recidivism risk, including committing a new crime and violating conditions of probation or parole, among adult offenders in the United States. We searched for studies conducted in the United States and published between January 1970 and December 2012 in peer-reviewed journals, government reports, master’s theses, and doctoral dissertations using PsycINFO, the U.S. National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts, and Google. We identified 53 studies (72 samples) conducted in U.S. correctional settings examining the predictive validity of 19 risk assessment instruments. The instruments varied widely in the number, type, and content of their items. For most instruments, predictive validity had been examined in 1 or 2 studies conducted in the United States that were published during the reference period. Only 2 studies reported on interrater reliability. No instrument emerged as producing the “most” reliable and valid risk assessments. Findings suggest the need for continued evaluation of the performance of instruments used to predict recidivism risk in U.S. correctional agencies.
People with mental illness (MI) are overrepresented in prisons, in part, because people with MI stay in prison longer. Correctional officers (COs) use discretion in force, violations, and segregation. Crisis intervention teams (CITs) are being used in corrections to reduce disparities in sanctioning and improve safety. This quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study includes 235 CIT COs who were surveyed before and after training on knowledge of MI, stigmatizing attitudes, and perception of response options. Non-CIT (n = 599) officers completed the same survey. Randomly selected CIT COs completed interviews 6 to 9 months following training (n = 17). CIT COs had significantly lower stigmatizing attitudes, more mental health knowledge, and better perceptions of options following CIT training compared with non-CIT COs. This preliminary
work on CIT use in prison is promising; additional work is needed to determine whether these changes result in behavior change among COs and improvements in outcomes for people with MI.