Faith Lutze Discusses Community Corrections

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    • 00:01

      [MUSIC PLAYING][Community Corrections][How would you define community corrections?]

    • 00:16

      FAITH E. LUTZE: So community correctionsis any time an offender is supervised in the communitythrough probation, parole, halfway house, communityjustice centers.So just any time the state is basicallysupervising someone as a sanction in the community.[Faith E. Lutze, Professor in the Department of CriminalJustice and Criminology, Washington State University][What is the value in learning about community corrections?]

    • 00:40

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: Community corrections is really importantto the criminal justice system.It's the largest part of corrections,with over 5 million people being supervised in the community.About 700,000 are released from prison each yearinto the community.And so that transition from prison to being re-integrated

    • 01:02

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: is very important.[What first inspired you to start academic workin the field of community corrections?]What inspired me to work in community correctionswas a research project.I had started my career doing all prison research,institutional corrections, and looking at prison environments

    • 01:25

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: and institutional adjustment.And then I had an opportunity in Spokane, Washington,to do a research project on neighborhood-based supervision.And it was a very innovative projectwhere they were going to place community correctionsofficers-- generally known as probation and parole officersin other jurisdictions-- they were basically policing them

    • 01:46

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: in community-oriented police substations-- cop shops.And so taking them out of the officeand putting them into the community.And when I went to talk to them about this new program,this innovation, I was just so impressed with howthey were envisioning it, what theywanted to achieve in terms of workingnot just with offenders, but the community, their families,

    • 02:09

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: stakeholders in the community.And so it just really opened up the doorin terms of just how important community corrections isand just how complex it is in terms of affecting change.[What key thinkers have most inspired you?]

    • 02:30

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: The key thinkers that have inspired my work-- oneis a historian, David Rothman, and hewrote a book called Conscience and Convenience.And I read it at the beginning of my careeras a graduate student.And basically he argues that our conscience is oftenin the right place when we think about what wewant to do for people and how to improve the system.

    • 02:54

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: But we often over-rely on convenience,because we can't necessarily follow throughon what needs to be done or how we should do it.And so David Rothman-- very influential.So how do we get those big ideas from theory and our philosophyinto practice that actually works?

    • 03:15

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: So then, also, just working-- you know,the works of Pat Vanvoorhis, Frank Cullen,Lynne Goodstein-- they were all doingwork in the 80s and early 90s on effective change.So how do you bring individuals through institutions,through systems, and into the community in a way that

    • 03:38

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: reduces harm, that has kind of a human rights perspective to it?And then also the work of Todd Clear, who just reallyis trying to figure out, how do wemove from mass incarceration to reinvesting in communities?[What periods of history in the development of communitycorrections fascinate you the most, and why?]

    • 04:02

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: The period in history where community corrections reallyemerged was during the Progressive Era.And that really was thinking about individuals differ,and change happens at a different paceand as a process.And so the progressives really thought about,how do we work with individuals in terms

    • 04:24

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: of moving from-- either diverting them from prisonsor jails into the community and using professional discretionto work with folks.And I mean, that still influenceswhat we do in community corrections today.But the most innovative period is really right now.

    • 04:45

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: I'm just very excited about contemporary communitycorrections.Contemporary community correctionsis such an exciting period of time,because for the first time-- you know,we're moving away from a punitive-basedand trying to move away from mass incarceration.And so what that means for community corrections

    • 05:06

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: is we're moving towards evidence-based.We're looking at the complexity of community corrections.We're looking at the various issues that affect individuals,affect systems.And so this is a very exciting time of change,and it's going to be really interesting to seewhere we move to in the next 10, 20, 30 years.[How important is theory in the study of communitycorrections?]

    • 05:32

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: Theory is very important to community correctionsbecause we need to know why people do what they do,what causes certain behavior, and that's true for offendersas well as staff.And so obviously, chronological theoryis important, but also theories in terms of mental health, drug

    • 05:54

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: addiction, poverty, social services--those kinds of things.So just a broad array of theory isvery important to understanding what causes behavior.[Are there any major academic debates in the fieldof community corrections?]I wouldn't say there's so much major debate in the field

    • 06:16

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: as there are big challenges in the field.So right now, evidence-based practice is very important.So how do we bring the science of what we know worksto the people in the field who are conducting, overseeingsupervision, and working with offenders?

    • 06:36

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: So the good news is what works, so that'swhat we should invest in.But it also creates challenges, because whatabout innovative and promising programsthat we don't have research on yet to tell us whether they'llbe effective or not?And so there's some concern about if we only

    • 06:57

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: invest about what we know in in terms of cumulative knowledge,then does that sort of stifle innovation in terms of programsthat we don't have evidence yet asto work but they're promising.[How do you bring research to practice?]

    • 07:18

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: Bringing research to practice-- so obviouslyour major universities and a lot of foundationsare investing a lot of money in researchand discovering what works.So our work gets published in various places--books, peer-reviewed journals.And then we have to really kind of bring it

    • 07:40

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: to the leaders in corrections.So oftentimes, that means the Secretaryof the Department of Corrections,or wardens, or the leaders of treatment programs,and those innovative programs.And so once we bring it to them, we then need to assist.And you know, how do you interpret the research?

    • 07:60

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: And then their expertise is, how do you take what worksand move it into practice?So how do you do it within the complex systemsthat they work in-- organizationsthat are oftentimes entrenched in traditional practices.And so big challenge, but an exciting challenge.People are ready for that change and for that collaboration.

    • 08:24

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: But it takes time and it takes people willing to kindof champion that change.[Can you provide any examples of key research in the field thathas had a direct impact on policy?]Research, I would say, in the last 20 years,just really took on a life of its own.

    • 08:45

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: So instead of talking about what doesn't work and being,I think, critical of the system in a consistent way, basically,people start asking, well, what works?And not just what works, but why does it work,and how does it work?And once we sort of changed that questionfrom being critical to being proactive and positive

    • 09:09

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: about what does work, it really took on a life of its own.So I would say Andrews' and Bonta's work on risk assessmentreally sort of move the field forwardto think about who are we most likely to be effective in termsof treating, where should we put our resources,

    • 09:29

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: who's at the greatest risk of failure,and how do we help them to be successful?And then I would say just methodologically,we developed really rigorous research strategiesin order to do really good research.And then with the advent of meta-analyses,where we can look at a group of studiesand see how effective they are, what works, what doesn't work,

    • 09:53

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: what works really well, maybe not so well.Once we were able to do that, I think that body of evidencereally started to move the field.[How has the field changed in recent years,and what developments do you consider most significant?]I think the developments that are most significant

    • 10:14

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: are twofold.One is really looking at evidence-based practice.So how does our research inform and substantiate what works?And then how do we bring that into practice?And the other thing is looking at systems.So what are core correctional practices?So what do organizations and agencies--

    • 10:34

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: how do they need to be structured, organized,resourced in order to do effective change?Because no matter what, our research says,if agencies aren't prepared to implement change,then it's not really possible to do that.[What do you think the future holds for the fieldof community corrections?]

    • 10:59

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: An important aspect of the future of community correctionsis really-- as we move away from mass incarcerationand reducing prison populations, thenthat often means transferring more offendersto the community.And it's really important, if we're going to do that,that we need to invest in community corrections.

    • 11:20

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: And so often we kind of think of community correctionsas an afterthought to the system.And right now the Federal Bureau of Prisonsis reducing their prison populationfor nonviolent drug offenders by 7,000 over the next few years.And without the resources, in terms of more community

    • 11:40

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: corrections officers, treatment, mental health,support services to support that increase in offendersbeing released from prison, then we're notgoing to be successful.So even though we have the evidence of weknow what to do to be successful,without the resources and investingin community corrections, then the risk of failure increases.

    • 12:00

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: [What are the kinds of issues that are unique to communitycorrections?]A unique aspect of community corrections is-- well,it's twofold.On the one hand, it's an invisible profession.So we think of police, courts, prisons, law-- but community

    • 12:27

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: corrections kind of just is invisible.It just kind of goes along even though itserves one of the largest populationsin the criminal justice system.And so when they do their job really well--which they do most of the time-- we never hear of it.It's invisible.But when an offender, especially re-offends in a violent way,

    • 12:50

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: then it's a very public failure.So I think what's interesting about community corrections isthat when they're very successful,no one really knows about it.But when they fail, it becomes, oftentimes a national incident.And then we react by creating policies that are oftentimes

    • 13:14

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: an overreaction, not to say that that horrific event obviouslyshould be investigated and responded to,but oftentimes, we take action relatedto the most extreme cases and then apply it to everyone.And that, I think, is just a challenge

    • 13:36

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: that is very difficult to overcome,but something that we need to do if we're going to be effective.[Does it ever get discouraging when a successful study doesnot get any press while an unsuccessful study does?]So for the people who work in the system,that's very stressful, because when something goes wrong,

    • 13:57

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: they know they're going to be professionallyand personally critiqued on what went wrongand why it went wrong.And you know, we're dealing with humans.And so there's no way to control for every possible outcomeall the time.And so when our media especially hyper-focuses

    • 14:18

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: on a negative outcome, it gives the misperceptionthat community corrections isn't effective,or the professionals who are doing the work are notsuccessful, and that's really unfortunate,because most of the time, they are successful.Most of the time, they're doing great work.And they can't control for every single incident that may occur.

    • 14:40

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: And so-- yeah, it can be frustrating for peoplewho work in the field, because then the reactionary policiesare oftentimes over-punitive and can evensabotage the success of some offendersand be counterproductive.[What new research directions do you find most exciting,and where would you like to take your own research?]

    • 15:05

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: For future research, it's really importantto start thinking about community correctionsofficers as experts, who are boundary spanners, whowork across professions in their work.So we can't continue to sort of thinkthe criminal justice system and community correctionsofficers can do it alone.

    • 15:27

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: We really need the help of those parallel systemsand to share responsibility.So community corrections officersreally do span across institutionsinto mental health, social services, education,employment-- all of those things that really affect offenders

    • 15:48

      FAITH E. LUTZE [continued]: where we need a shared expertise to really do a good job.And so for my future research, that'swhat I look forward to working on--is how do community corrections officers effectivelybecome boundary spanners, get recognized for that work,and have that expertise integrated into the field?[MUSIC PLAYING]

Faith Lutze Discusses Community Corrections

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Abstract

Dr. Faith Lutze discusses the almost invisible field of community corrections, the section of the criminal justice system that includes probation and parole. She highlights the pros and cons of evidence-based practice. Lutze also stresses the need for greater investment in community corrections as the United States moves away from mass incarceration.

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Faith Lutze Discusses Community Corrections

Dr. Faith Lutze discusses the almost invisible field of community corrections, the section of the criminal justice system that includes probation and parole. She highlights the pros and cons of evidence-based practice. Lutze also stresses the need for greater investment in community corrections as the United States moves away from mass incarceration.

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