University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. John T. Kirkpatrick, Director of Justiceworks: A Northern New England Consortium for the Study of the Prevention and Control of Crime
Analysis of Risk Factors for Selection in the “1/2 Time Incarceration Pilot Program” in Strafford County
The “1/2 Time Incarceration Program” has been presented to the Strafford County district judges, probation / parole, police departments and county prosecutors by the Strafford County Department of Corrections. The program is designed to provide drug and alcohol counseling, work opportunity, educational and vocational training with possible job placement assistance at the conclusion of the sentence for those who have maintained a good work ethic. Incarceration would consist of twelve hours during the day at the facility to participate in these various programs and twelve hours during the night monitored at home.
The program may be a possible solution to the overcrowded conditions of correctional institutions such as the Strafford County jail. Overcrowding is a serious problem that many correctional institutions face today. With continuous construction of correctional institutions, the backlog of sentenced offenders in county jails continues to put pressure on both the jails and the courts. The Strafford County jail, for example, was built to handle 68 residents and is now housing 138 inmates, almost double its capacity. Along with the decrease in population this program may also reduce recidivism.
Strafford County Jail contacted Dr. John T. Kirkpatrick to assist in research with two specific aims 1) to determine aggregate characteristics of the current residential population of the jail, and 2) to determine the parameters of risk for the “1/2 Time Incarceration Program”. My research for Justiceworks included confidentially reviewing current inmate files on site at the Strafford County jail; analyzing data from the sample to determine aggregate level characteristics of the residential populations compared to other risk profiling for similar programs elsewhere in the nation; and lastly constructing interviews with staff: the Superintendent, Director of Jail Industries, Director of Educational Services, Director of Drug and Alcohol Treatment, and Director of Life Skills. The five staff interviews will be reviewed for special areas of concern voiced by experienced staff within the facility.
This research will benefit: 1) Strafford County jail, which will be relieved of overcrowding 2) the residents of Strafford County jail who will be afforded an intermediate sentence as an alternative to full time incarceration and lessen their prospect for repeat offending, 3) correctional institutions nationwide, should the implementation of this program prove successful.