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Kim M. Lowry, Director Office of Communications
Office of Justice Programs

National Institute of Corrections Advisory Board Meeting
Washington, DC
June 10, 2008

Thank you, Reggie and Morris. I’m pleased to be back here addressing the Board.

I’d like to touch on just a few of the highlights from OJP’s report, which we have streamlined and hope you find useful.

Statistics

On Friday, BJS released two reports – Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007 and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2007. Here are some of the findings:

  • As of June 30th of last year, there were almost 1.6 million prisoners under state and federal jurisdiction.

  • That number is up 1.6 percent from year-end 2006, but percentage-wise, the prison population grew more slowly in the first half of this year than in the first half of last year.

  • The number of jail inmates reached more than 780,000, which is up by more than 14,500 from mid-year 2006.

  • Also, the 12-month period that ended on June 29, 2007 saw the smallest rate of growth in jail inmates since 2001 (1.9 percent).

  • All told, almost 2.3 million inmates were held in custody in state and federal prisons or local jails.

  • In terms of admissions and releases, the growth in prison admissions exceeded the growth in releases (3.1 percent to 2.8 percent).

  • Local jails admitted about 13 million people during the 12-month period ending June 29, 2007.

  • The number of unconvicted inmates held in jails has been rising. Sixty-two percent of inmates held in local jails were awaiting court action.

  • Jails also added slightly more beds than inmates and were operating at 96 percent of rated capacity.

BJS is also getting ready to release its report on sexual victimization in local jails in 2007. June 17th is the scheduled release date for that.

On July 9, BJS is scheduled to release a report on sexual victimization in juvenile facilities, covering the years 2005 through 2006.

Over the next three months, BJS will be fielding its annual survey of jails, its next mid-year prison survey, a survey on jails in Indian country, and surveys on deaths in custody and law enforcement-related deaths.

BJS is also collecting data for the 2006 National Judicial Reporting Program, which will provide information on the sentences felons received in state courts.

SMART-Related Activities

Our SMART Office continues to work on drafting the final national guidelines for sex offender notification and registration. We received more than 200 comments on the proposed guidelines. The final guidelines will be published sometime this year.

In other SMART news, we’re developing software for jurisdictions that will make it easier for officials to classify sex offenders who come from another jurisdiction into their own.

Also, the SMART Office released the Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management Training and Technical Assistance Program solicitation. The goal of that program is to improve policies and practices for managing sex offenders and to help ensure compliance with the SORNA provisions of Adam Walsh. The application period closed on May 29 and proposals are under review.

We’re also holding the SMART symposium in Baltimore on July 30th through August 1st.

I’ll also refer you to the August issue of Corrections Today, which will include an article on research into the effects of residency restrictions for sex offenders.

Conferences

As we speak, NIJ staff are out in Denver at the Innovative Technologies for Community Corrections Conference, which is organized and hosted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center’s Rocky Mountain Regional Center.

NIJ will also sponsor a presentation on findings from the SVORI prisoner reentry evaluation at the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Conference in D.C. on June 26-27.

NIJ and BJS staff will be at ACA’s Congress of Corrections in New Orleans in August. BJS will present PREA findings, including prison and jail rankings, as well as updates on PREA activities.

I’d also like to plug the NIJ annual conference, which will be held in Arlington on July 21st through 23rd. The conference will include corrections-oriented panels involving both researchers and practitioners, and will cover topics such as reentry, jail and pre-trial detention, prison sexual violence, and alternatives to incarceration. There will also be a plenary session entitled, “More Prisons, More Prisoners: Time for a Policy Change?” That promises to be an interesting discussion.

Solicitations

In terms of solicitations, I already mentioned the solicitation from the SMART Office, which is closed.

NIJ also has one open on researching justice system responses to sexual violence in corrections facilities that closes on June 18th. NIJ seeks proposals primarily focusing on staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct.

Our Community Capacity Development Office and Winston-Salem State University have partnered to invite Weed and Seed sites to apply for the Reentry Public Safety Initiative Technical Assistance Project. This project will provide in-depth training and technical assistance on maximizing reentry resources for up to eight Weed and Seed sites. Sites will be selected this month.

BJA also has several solicitations of relevance to corrections agencies:

  • The Byrne National Initiatives program, which closes tomorrow (June 11).

  • Correctional Facilities on Tribal Lands Program, which closes Thursday (June 12).

  • A National Training and Technical Assistance Project, which is open until June 25.

  • And the Byrne JAG local program, which is open until July 8th.

Community Corrections and Victims

Finally, just two other items of note:

  • This summer, NIJ will release its Web topic page on community corrections. The page will include a summary of research done in the area.

  • And this fall, OVC is scheduled to release its Impact of Crime on Victims curriculum, which will provide a standardized model for corrections-based victim service providers.

These are just a few of the highlights. Thank you.

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