Criminal History and Employment-University of Maryland-DC Public Safety Radio

Welcome to “DC Public Safety” – Radio and television shows, blog and transcripts on crime, criminal offenders and the criminal justice system.

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Transcript available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/transcripts/2012/06/criminal-history-and-employment-university-of-maryland-dc-public-safety-radio/

Current Radio Program:

The program interviews Kiminori Nakamura, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Professor Nakamura co-authored a groundbreaking report on employment and criminal history that asks the question, “At what point do people with arrests present the same risk as the general population?”  The question has implications regarding the ability or inability of people with criminal arrests to find employment. Employment is a predictor of future involvement in the criminal justice system.

Professor Nakamura and Professor Alfred Blumstein created: “Redemption in an Era of Widespread Criminal Background Checks” at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/226872.pdf stating that for first-time arrestees, the risk of recidivism (rearrest) declined to the level of arrest risk for the general population within 7 years.

Professor Nakamura cited research of others involving people having multiple arrests with the same results but the process of matching the arrest rate for general population takes longer to achieve.

Professors Nakamura and Blumstein’s research received considerable criminological and mainstream media attention. As they wrote in the New York Times Opinion Section, ” In 2010, the Chicago Public Schools declined to hire Darrell Langdon for a job as a boiler-room engineer, because he had been convicted of possessing a half-gram of cocaine in 1985, a felony for which he received probation. It didn’t matter that Mr. Langdon, a single parent of two sons, had been clean since 1988 and hadn’t run into further trouble with the law. Only after The Chicago Tribune wrote about his case did the school system reverse its decision and offer him the job. A stunning number of young people are arrested for crimes in this country, and those crimes can haunt them for the rest of their lives.” See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/opinion/paying-a-price-long-after-the-crime.html.

The website for the University of Maryland Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is http://www.ccjs.umd.edu.

The website for Kiminori Nakamura (University of Maryland)
http://www.ccjs.umd.edu/faculty/faculty.asp?p=210

The website for Alfred Blumstein (Carnegie Mellon University)
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/faculty-and-research/faculty-profiles/faculty-details/index.aspx?faculty_id=9

Special Announcements:

A top priority for Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is to invest in scientific research to ensure that the Department is both tough and smart on crime. The Office of Justice Programs’ CrimeSolutions.gov website shapes rigorous research into a central, reliable, and credible resource to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works in criminal justice.

The National Reentry Resource Center is a project of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Please see the Center’s website at http://www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/. Please see “Federal Interagency Reentry Council Launches Website, Releases Myth-Buster Series” on the front page of the site (see announcements). CSOSA is a member of the Council.

Several requesters have asked for national research on reentry. The Office of Justice Program’s National Institute of Justice reentry research portfolio supports the evaluation of innovative reentry programs. To access these studies and NIJ’s entire reentry research portfolio visit www.nij.gov/nij/topics/corrections/reentry/welcome.htm . Also see data from Pew (below).

Correctional Social Media:

The Pew Center on the State’s Public Safety Performance Project  offers a video on research to reduce recidivism as well as brief  but powerful overviews of reentry and sentencing research. See http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/initiatives_detail.aspx?initiativeID=31336 .

The Louisiana Department of Corrections/Division of Probation and Parole is offering radio shows on offender reentry. Please visit their website at http://doc.la.gov/pages/reentry-initiatives/reentry-radio/ .

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services offers podcasts at http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/podcasts.html.

Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency:

We welcome your comments or suggestions at leonard.sipes@csosa.gov .

The website for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency is http://www.csosa.gov/.

The program is hosted by Leonard Sipes. The producer is Timothy Barnes.

Comments offered on “DC Public Safety” television and radio programs are the opinions of participants and do not necessarily represent the policies of CSOSA or other government agencies.

Best, Len.

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Comments

  1. Criminal Records Florida says

    I think for some criminal offenders they do rehabilitate with help! That being said I also think that an employer should look at what the facts are and at what age the person did the crime and see if they qualify for the position. I am assuming this would be a blue collar position and a small business owner.

  2. Daniel Dempsey says

    Professors Nakamura and Blumstein’s study is fundamentally flawed. Their study never bothered to valididate their original assumption that ex-offenders do in fact pose a greater hazard risk than non-offenders. They used the general overall recidivism rates, rather than collect factual evidence of how many employed repeat ex-offenders committed their new crime AT THEIR PLACE of employment. Their study goes on to state that it isn’t safe to hire an ex-offender until 7 or 10 years after they have been released. Their study is doing harm to society as a whole. Unemployed ex-offenders are 500% more likely to commit a crime than an employed one. To recommend not hiring them until they’ve lived in society for 10 years puts society at risk. It also has a disparate impact on minorities. Shame on them.

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