Beginning two years ago, CRJ’s SJS and CJI divisions began collaborating to confront a pressing issue within the field of community corrections– the need for residential programs to enhance their effectiveness and adherence to the principles of evidence-based practices to reduce recidivism and improve public safety.

Combining the efforts and talents of two CRJ branches presented the opportunity to showcase collaboration in the true spirit of “What Works”– to bring research, implementation expertise, and practice together to make improvements to programs, the system, and ultimately our clients.  The collaboration yielded a five-year plan for SJS with the primary goal of: Doing What Works and What Matters in Order to Reduce the Risk of SJS Clients Reoffending.

This initiative, known as Operation Integrate, has continued to gain momentum and now has a CJI staff person working with SJS half-time to provide consistent technical assistance and project management during the initial implementation of multiple efforts in the areas of:

  • Assessment
  • Data
  • Programming
  • and Staff development.

In addition to the implementation work, CJI staff have begun a complementary study on the use of Core Correctional Practices (CCP) within SJS.  Over the summer and continuing into early fall, a CJI staff person is spending time at each of the SJS residential programs to observe and learn how staff use best practices with residents.  The two CCPs of focus are how SJS staff build collaborative working relationships with residents and how effective social reinforcement is integrated into their work.  The overall process of Operation Integrate and the results of this study will be presented at the ICCA conference this November.