Title

Targeted Release in the COVID-19 Correctional Crisis: Using the RNR Model to Save Lives

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-2020

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x55e57ca9da98)

Abstract

While the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the lives of people around the world, select populations (e.g., elderly, immune-compromised, and incarcerated individuals) are among the most likely to contract the virus and among the least likely to overcome the illness and regain full health. This paper focuses on the incarcerated individuals and how the coronavirus has added a new and unprecedented threat to correctional facilities that are already overcrowded and ill-equipped to identify and address the medical needs of the inmate population. The risk-need-responsivity model (RNR) should be used to make empirically-informed decisions about the targeted release. The identification and release of inmates who pose the least threat to society will help alleviate some of the burdens associated with prison crowding. Specifically, with fewer inmates, correctional facilities can comply with social distancing guidelines, introduce enhanced cleaning measures, and make necessary institutional adjustments. In so doing they will limit the transmission of COVI-19 within correctional institutions, ensure the safety of staff and their charges, and enable prisons and jails to better accommodate the needs of the inmate population.

Publication Title

American Journal of Criminal Justice

Volume

45

Issue

4

First Page

769

Last Page

779

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1007/s12103-020-09539-z

ISSN

10662316

E-ISSN

19361351

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