On August 25, 2012, The Oregonian reports about a change in the risk assessment process that is conducted prior to an offender being released from jail/prison. Since 1979, Oregon has been using a system call the “Oregon Case Management System,” to measure the risk of an offender committing new crimes within three years of their release. The reliability of this process is low compared to what other states use. The new system is similar to what an insurance company would use to measure the risk of you getting into an accident, which affects your insurance rates. The new tool is called, the Oregon Public Safety Checklist and will generate results based on a list of questions/criteria that the parole/probation officer must complete. Results will show if the offender is a low, medium or at high risk of re-offending. Results will show the risk of offending within three years of release, arrest for property crime within 5 – 10 years, and the risk of arrest for crime against another person within 5 – 10 years.
The arguments for this change is that it is more reliable, and the arguments against this tool is that it may understate a person’s actual risk and end up releasing riskier offenders back into society. Is there really a perfect system for assessing the chance of a criminal re-offending? What do you think about this tool? Isn’t there always going to be a margin of error? To see the specific elements of the checklist, visit Oregon Public Safety Checklist and click this link for the full article written by Maxine Bernstein at Oregonian.
Before the mic, Rapper Rick Ross was a Correctional Officer for the Florida Department of Corrections. For the full interview and story in Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/on-the-cover-rick-ross-gangster-of-love-20120815
In what is often stereotyped as a male dominated industry, it’s not only inspiring but refreshing to see that the current Director of the Oregon Department of Corrections is Colette Peters, the first woman in Oregon history to hold this position. Colette Peters was appointed as Director of the Department of Corrections in February 2012 after Max Williams left the position. Before becoming the Director of the Department of Corrections, she was the Director for the Oregon Youth Authority.
Oregon Public Broadcasting interviewed Colette Peters in March 2012, you can read the full story and even listen to the interview where you will really get to know her, her experiences and her views about the corrections system.
Very interesting stuff and I encourage all of you to listen to the interview and share with anyone that is considering a career in the field of corrections and criminal justice. The interview is about 15 minutes long, but well worth it.
For the OPB Interview: http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/new-doc-director-colette-peters/.
Another detailed one on one interview conducted by Council 75 Communications Director Don Loving: http://orafscmecorrections.unionactive.com/index.cfm?zone=/unionactive/view_article.cfm&HomeID=250357.
In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn is no longer allowing the media to tour prisons. Many are assuming this decision is a result of some sort of cover up. The reasoning behind the decision is of safety concerns, but Gov. Quinn doesn’t specify whose safety he is actually concerned for. Shouldn’t we be able to see the products/results of our tax dollars? For the full, but sort story which also available as a recording: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/14/quinn-security-concerns-prompted-end-to-media-tours-of-prisons/
Do you think this was the right decision?