NCSC on “Fathering” and “Reentry” Courts

The National Center For State Courts (NCSC) has recently published “ACHIEVING THE FULL POTENTIAL OF REENTRY AND FATHERS COURTS“. In it the author, Jane Macoubrie draws parallels between Reentry and Father’s Courts. I found the comparison of interest, especially since I was ignorant as to the existence of “Fathering Courts”. According to the author, there are 81 existing [fathering]courts or closely court-integrated fathers programs” across the U.S. There is even a hybrid Father’s Reentry Court in Washington D.C. The publication points out the significant similarities between Fathers Court and Reentry Court. As the author states, “they both serve individuals who face significant barriers to employment, are unemployed or underemployed, are usually poorly educated, frequently have a criminal background, and may also have physical or emotional illnesses, literacy issues, substance abuse problems, or multiple-partner fertility”.

Significantly, this publication poses an additional question of some importance to the Problem-Solving Court field. Is the accelerated proliferation of problem-solving courts into distinct specialty courts dealing with limited populations an issue that needs to be addressed?

EXTRA: A Special Internet Tool To Learn EBP

A new internet tool is now available to teach “Evidence Based Practices” (EBP)  to the criminal justice field. Although specifically targeting lecturers and trainers, this free, interactive “Model Curriculum for Judges”, can be an effective interactive educational tool for anyone.  “Evidence-Based Sentencing To Improve Public Safety & Reduce Recidivism”, was developed by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), in partnership with  the National Judicial College (NJC), and the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI).

Evidence Based Practices (EBP),  originated in the medical field and only recently has been applied in the corrections field.  Evidence-Based Sentencing (EBS), as defined by the National Center for State Courts, are “those practices used in the field of community corrections that are proven by the best research evidence to reduce offender recidivism”. In my opinion, a working knowledge of this science based sentencing approach is critical for every reentry court judge and  related personnel. I’ve spent many  hours acquainting myself with the curriculum ( 6 hours of video , powerpoint and other materials). The NCSC interactive internet courseis the best introductory educational tool available on EBP and should be used extensively by  the reentry court field.

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