Mental Health and Recovery in Criminal Justice

The topic for the 32nd. television show produced by the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) and the Office of Cable Television is “Mental Health and Recovery.”

The program provides an overview of mental health issues within the criminal justice system from experts from the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health, University Legal Services plus interviews with two CSOSA administrators/experts. The program addresses conditions in D.C. and throughout the country.

What are the lessons learned from research and application? What should society understand about mental health and recovery within the criminal justice system? What will lead to greater support of programs and resources for successful reentry?

Transcript available at

The host is Nancy M. Ware, Director, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

Participants-first segment:

Stephen T. Baron, Director, D.C. Department of Behavioral Health

Tammy Seltzer, Director, Jail and Prison Advocacy Project, University Legal Services Protection and Advocacy Program for the District of Columbia.

Participants-second segment:

Thomas Williams, Associate Director, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

Ubax Hussen, Social Worker, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency:

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

DC Public Safety Radio won the 2015 awards for best podcast and best audio from the National Association of Government Communicators.

DC Public Safety Radio and Television won the Government Customer Service Community of Practice (Cgov) 2014 Overall Excellence and Best Use of technology Awards. See  .

DC Public Safety Television won two top awards for public affairs television in 2015 from DCTV and three additional first-place awards in 2014

For FY 2013 through FY 2015, we recorded 218,700 unique visitors, 633,000 visits and 1,924,300 page views (excluding robot searches).

We welcome your comments or suggestions at


Corrections Monitoring and Reentry-DC Corrections Information Council-DC Public Safety Television

The topic for the twenty-fifth television show produced by the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency is “Corrections Monitoring and Reentry.” The program is a combined effort of the D.C. Corrections Information Council and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

The portal site for “DC Public Safety” television, radio, blog and transcripts is

Transcript available at

Current Television Program:

The program provides an overview of the DC Corrections Information Council: It:

  • Discusses the formation and history of the CIC.
  • Addresses the legislative mandate of the CIC.
  • Discusses outreach and interaction with the D.C. community about the work of the CIC and D.C. residents who are incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the D.C Department of Corrections DOC.

Participants-first segment:

  • Michelle R. Bonner, Esq., Chair, CIC
  • Rev. Samuel Whittaker, Board Member, CIC

Participants-second segment:

  • Cara Compani, Esq., Program Analyst, CIC
  • Courtney Stewart, Chairman, The Reentry Network for Returning Citizens

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’ website shapes rigorous research into a central, reliable, and credible resource to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works in criminal justice.

A new website lists and evaluates prisoner re-entry programs nationwide. Launched by the Urban Institute, the Council of State Governments, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Prisoner Reentry Institute, the “What Works Clearinghouse” can be seen at

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 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 .

The Office of Violence Against Women offers stalking response tips for corrections, prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, victims and victim advocates. They are posted on OVW’s website at .

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 .

The U.S. DOJ Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships held two successful webinars on Faith and Community Based approaches to Reentry and Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives. Click the links below to watch/listen to these informative webinars.

  1. Faith and Community Based Approaches to Responsible Fatherhood and its Impact on Delinquency Prevention, see
  2. A Look at Faith & Community-Based Approaches to Offender Reentry, see

The Louisiana Department of Corrections/Division of Probation and Parole is offering radio shows on offender reentry. Please visit their website at

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services offers podcasts at

The Minnesota Department of Corrections offers a YouTube channel at .

The Facebook page for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections is .

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Facebook Page is

The Twitter page is .

Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency:

We welcome your comments or suggestions at .

The website for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency is . The social media site is .

Television and radio programs are 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.


Women Offenders – DC Public Safety Television 2011

Women Offenders – “DC Public Safety”

Welcome to DC Public Safety – radio and television shows on crime, criminal offenders and the criminal justice system.

This program celebrates five years of “DC Public Safety” television.

“Women Offenders” features discussions with a policy maker within the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency and the Director of Our Place D.C. (one of the most comprehensive programs for women offenders in the country). The second half features a CSOSA employee who runs groups for women offenders and a participant currently under CSOSA supervision.

Between 2007 and 2010, the number of women on CSOSA’S daily caseload increased eight percent. Participants have higher rates of involvement in substance abuse, mental health issues and histories of sexual victimization. Approximately 50 percent of female offenders report having been evaluated, diagnosed or treated for mental health issues.

CSOSA is currently reorganizing operations to better supervise and provide programs for female offenders. Teams of Community Supervision Officers (know elsewhere as parole and probation agents) have received gender specific training. Treatment groups for women offenders are expanding. A new day reporting center has been created. Partnerships with groups such as Our Place D.C. have been expanded.

The production attempts to describe the increase of females under CSOSA supervision (and throughout the nation) and the steps employed to address the issue.

CSOSA is also reorganizing agency operations to better supervise high-risk offenders.

Guests for this program:

Participants-first segment:

  • Dr. Debra Kafami, Executive Assistant, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency
  • Ashley McSwain, MSW, MSOD, Executive Director, Our Place DC

Participants-second segment:

  • Dr. Willa Butler, Group Facilitator, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency
  • Talynthia Jones, an offender on Dr. Butler’s caseload.

The show is packed with video footage to enhance the viewing experience.

See for our radio shows, blog and transcripts.

Transcript available at

We welcome your comments or suggestions at or at Twitter at

The host is Leonard Sipes. The producer is Timothy Barnes.