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Corrections

Key Initiatives

2014-2015

  • To reduce recidivism and promote public safety, each program shall continue using approved evidence-based strategies geared to increase client success and to track and report program outcomes by assessed risk levels proven to predict risk for committing new crimes.

  • To assertively seek funding and programmatic opportunities at all levels to enable our clients to succeed in being more productive citizens.  The current economy with high unemployment, government changes and budget challenges at all levels is reducing funding for offender programs and services.  The management team will collect data and work collaboratively with stakeholders in assessing the environment to provide policy-makers with accurate information and recommendations that promote public safety and long-term fiscal responsibility.

  • To maintain and promote respectful and inclusive workplaces the department shall continue using the established M.E.E.T. model to help recognize, respond to, and resolve day-to-day workplace situations.   Cultural competence of staff and the organization will continue to be a training priority for all DOC staff members.  

  • To continue to participate in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) sponsored by KDOC Juvenile Services and to achieve measurable improvements in the policies and practices impacting detained youth.  The work includes collaborating with consultants from the Annie E. Casey JDAI and representatives from four other Kansas sites (Shawnee, Johnson, Douglas and Wyandotte counties).  The JDAI work is anticipated to last five years (until 2016).

  • To complete a pilot project with Wichita State University (WSU) and the District Court to develop an evidence-based pretrial risk assessment instrument using local data gathered from detainees at the adult detention facility.  The Pretrial Services staff are in the process of completing 1200 sample assessments with adult detainees for analysis.  Once the instrument is tested and deemed to be valid it will be a District Court decision in how to use it when making release decisions after arrest and booking at detention.

  • To sustain operations at Judge James V. Riddel Boys Ranch (JRBR) while county and state officials and legislators work on short and long term funding solutions necessary for the County to keep the program in business.  Currently funding is provided through June 30, 2014.  Work will continue toward solving the funding issues to improve the system and to keep JRBR in business.

  • Community Corrections will effectively implement the new Justice Reinvestment Initiative funding to increase behavioral interventions in partnership with COMCARE and Higher Ground to improve success of high risk adult felony offenders on probation.   The Council of State Governments and KDOC are providing funding and technical assistance for quality assurance. 

  • Community Corrections will continue to work with the District Court Judges to refine and expand use of an evidenced-based risk assessment instrument at the presentence phase of criminal proceeding on designated presumptive prison cases to assist the judiciary in making sentencing decisions.  The new process was established in collaboration with District Court Services using data locally developed by Community Corrections with Wichita State University.  The information can be valuable to public safety in measuring risk to reoffend if granted a departure sentence from presumptive prison to probation, as well as making assignment decisions to standard or intensive probation.

  • To expand and improve the consolidated department-wide staff training program to meet the training needs for those working with juveniles and those working with adults to enhance knowledge and effectiveness in delivery of evidence-based techniques and practices.  Training will be expanded focusing on developing supervisor skills in measuring quality assurance and guiding staff development.

  • To demonstrate collaborative leadership across systems by advocating and being a resource to facilitate use of evidence-based policies and practices to improve the coordination and integration of service delivery to youth and families with complex needs.  The department will continue to provide an education liaison located at the juvenile court to assist workers with court-involved youth with education issues and to work on policy issues establishing arrest alternatives at schools, truancy intervention, credit retrieval, transition planning and alternative discipline policies to zero tolerance to reduce expulsions and suspensions and to increase student success and graduation rates

2013 Progress On Key Initiatives

  • To reduce recidivism and promote public safety, each program shall continue using approved evidence-based strategies geared to increase client success and to track and report program outcomes by assessed risk levels proven to predict risk for committing new crimes.

    • Progress:  Accomplished and ongoing.

  • To assertively seek funding and programmatic opportunities at all levels to enable our clients to succeed in being more productive citizens.  The current economy with high unemployment, government changes and budget challenges at all levels is reducing funding for offender programs and services.  We shall demonstrate leadership and provide policy-makers with accurate information and recommendations that promote public safety and long-term fiscal responsibility.

    • Progress:  Accomplished and ongoing.  Community Corrections received new grant funding to expand behavioral health interventions to adult felony offenders through the Juvenile Reinvestment Initiative.  Partners include COMCARE and Higher Ground to provide expanded mental health and substance abuse interventions.  The Council of State Governments is providing technical assistance to assist with quality assurance as the expanded interventions are implemented.  Another significant accomplishment has been work with county and state government and the public on the value of Juvenile Riddel Boys Ranch (JRBR) and the need to reform the way residential placements serve juvenile offenders, track results and pay for services.  JRBR has been scrutinized and has been held up to serve as a model.  The state legislature allocated additional funds for SFY 2014 while these issues are studied.  This work continues with the Legislature in 2014 where bills to address the JRBR funding needs in the short- term and the necessary system changes to address the long-term are being considered.

  • To continue to participate fully in the planning, implementation, operation and/or monitoring of any county-approved programs from the Criminal Justice Alternatives Master Plan to reduce demand for adult detention services.

    • Progress:  Accomplished and ongoing.  New initiatives include a pilot project with the District Court and Wichita State University (WSU) to develop and validate an evidence-based pretrial risk assessment instrument.  Staff from the Pretrial Services Program are field testing the instrument by interviewing detainees at the adult detention facility for analysis by WSU.  The goal is to complete a sample of 1,200 assessments by the end of 2014. 

      Another project is underway at Community Corrections to implement and refine a risk assessment at the presentence stage of criminal proceeding for felony offenders with pending sentences of presumptive prison.  The project is being implemented in cooperation with Court Services.  Their staff are completing the risk assessments on offenders facing border box sentences.  The information is being provided to judges for consideration when making sentencing decisions.

  • To maintain and promote respectful and inclusive workplaces the department shall continue using the established M.E.E.T. model to help recognize, respond to, and resolve day-to-day workplace situations.   Cultural competence of staff and the organization will continue to be a priority training all DOC staff members in the new 8-hour class titled Diversity Phase V during 2013.  

    • Progress:  Accomplished and ongoing.

  • To improve student success of youth involved with the juvenile justice system at both the policy and individual case levels by continuing to provide an education liaison position housed at the juvenile court offices. 

    • Progress:  Accomplished and ongoing.  Significant accomplishments include arrest alternatives for youth who commit minor offenses at schools, a truancy pilot project with the schools in the West High School feeder pattern, improved transitions from placements to school and effective implementation and use of the new transition school.  The arrest alternative program was presented at the Annual Models for Change meeting in Washington, DC as a successful example of collaborative leadership and community engagement in bringing about positive changes.  The director and the juvenile justice education liaison presented the workshop to a national audience of experts in December 2013.

  • To maintain summer schools provided by the school district for our juvenile detention, residential and boy’s ranch facilities to enable students to earn credits and improve their academic skills while in placement.

    • Progress:  Accomplished and ongoing.

  • To continue to expand and improve a consolidated department-wide staff training program.

    • Progress:  Accomplished and ongoing.

  • To continue to participate with the Kansas Department of Corrections – Juvenile Services in the Annie E. Casey Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) by working collaboratively with community and justice system stakeholders to collect and analyze data and make agreed upon improvements.  The work will also involve collaborating with consultants from the Annie E. Casey JDAI and representatives from four other Kansas sites (Shawnee, Johnson, Douglas and Wyandotte counties).  The JDAI work is voluntary and anticipated to last five years (until 2016). 

    • Progress:  Ongoing.  Work is focused on expediting case processing for detained youth and examining detention practices to improve conditions of confinement.  A therapist from COMCARE has been co-located at the juvenile intake and assessment center and dedicated to completing court-ordered evaluations on detained youth.  Studies were completed and recommendations were offered to implement automated and/or personal telephone reminders for pending court hearings to reduce bench warrants for failure to appear for court and an immediate intervention in handling youth charged with sexually harmful behaviors.  Decisions are pending on the recommendations.  Inside the detention facility work is focused on reducing physical restraints and room time.  To increase understanding of the juvenile justice system a system walk through document was developed and placed online for easy access.

  • To continue to plan and facilitate cross-systems policies and practices to improve coordination and integration of service delivery inside our community to youth and families with complex needs.
    • Progress:  Significant leadership and system changes stalled these efforts. The juvenile court has new administration and judges.  The contractor for child welfare changed.  The state department of children and families changed leadership in the regional office.  Grant funding for a cross-systems coordinator that was provided for many years by the state was discontinued.  The department planned for and presented opportunities for collaboration and technical assistance from Georgetown University on the Crossover Youth Practice Model.  The proposals are being considered by the leadership at each of the entities.  A decision on the next steps is expected early in 2014.