We've compiled top highlights from recent research, policy, and practice resources across the world for our latest IACFP International News summary. Our topics for September and October, 2023 include recent research; policy updates; considerations for practice; and upcoming conferences.
The IACFP Board is making changes in the way it communicates with its members. The first step will be the integration of Higher Logic, a member and customer engagement platform, into the website. This will provide an updated member portal, add the ability for members to engage with one another through the IACFP Connected Community (if they choose to do so), and create a foundation for future additions. If you would like to be part of the beta testing for this, please contact Cherie Townsend at email@example.com.
A Message from IACFP Board President, Dr. Melvin Hinton
Greetings and welcome to the new look International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology (IACFP) Bulletin! [LINK TO NEW E-MAG]
My name is Dr. Melvin Hinton, and I am honored to be the current president of IACFP. I am thrilled to usher in a new era for this publication that is filled with thought provoking content that supports the Association’s primary goals to:
- Promote the development of psychological practice in criminal justice and law enforcement settings
- Contribute to appropriate teaching practices of the psychology of crime, delinquency and criminal justice.
- Support the application of effective treatment approaches for individuals under the care of the criminal justice system.
- Stimulate research into the nature of criminal behavior, exchange scientific information, and publish the reports of scholarly studies of criminal behavior.
- Concern ourselves with relevant public, professional, and institutional issues that affect or are affected by the practice of psychology in the criminal justice system.
The updated redesign of this bulletin is intended to hold the attention of the reader and stimulate the reader's intellectual curiosity while presenting relevant information that will be useful for those in the criminal justice and law enforcement spaces. When the IACFP Bulletin is presented on our Association’s website, it will be in a digital e-magazine format. This will allow our readers the continued ability to translate content into multiple languages using their preferred browser translation tools. The IACFP Bulletin will feature updated cover graphics, news/information regarding IACFP opportunities/events, and links to our website and directions on how to become an IACFP member. We are also looking forward to welcoming new authors.
- “Prison Life and Nordic Exceptionalism”
The Criminology Academy has posted episode 81 of their podcast, “Prison Life and Nordic Exceptionalism with Ben Crewe”. The three areas covered in the podcast are to:
- Compare prison systems in Norway, England, and Wales
- Present the Nordic Exceptionalism Thesis
- Provide a systematic comparative analysis of prison life.
The podcast is hosted by Jose Sanchez and Jennifer Tostlebe,who release new episodes every two weeks.
- Corrections Services Canada Research Report
Corrections Services Canada recently published a research report entitled “Qualitative Examination of Specific Responsivity Factors of Correctional Program Participants with Mental Health Symptoms, Cognitive Impairment, or Learning Disabilities”. A summary of the research report and instructions on how to obtain the full report can be found here. The purpose of the study was to identify how CorrectionalpProgram Officers and Indigenous Correctional Program Officers address the various specific responsivity factors that may interfere with offenders’ participation in correctional programs.
The study found the following:
“Participants often had multiple responsivity factors, which CPOs and ICPOs observed as interfering with their program participation. Responsivity factors were most commonly observed as interfering with participants’ abilities to understand, learn, or apply program content.
In the majority of cases, CPOs and ICPOs provided various accommodations, tools, and support to address responsivity needs, although adaptations were more common in the adapted program streams. CPOs and ICPOs commonly simplified program concepts and materials, prompted participants to use program skills, and worked one-on-one with the participants to review material and/or complete work. Notably, there were also many instances of the participants taking the initiative to address their own responsivity factors by asking for extra support and assistance.”
- Thailand Institute of Justice
The United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI) consists of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and 18 institutes and entities around the world. The mission of PNI is to assist the international community in strengthening cooperation in crime prevention and criminal justice on the global, regional and sub-regional levels, within the framework of the United Nations Crime Program. One of the ways they share information is through the “PNI Newsletter”.
The most recent PNI Newsletter highlights the role of PNI in organizing the 32nd workshop session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. This workshop was held in May 2023 and focused on access to justice and realizing a secure society. As outlined in the posting regarding this issue, they stated:
“...this issue also focuses on the PNI contribution to the UN Crime Programme and includes updates on activities undertaken during 2022 and early 2023 in the implementation of the Kyoto Declaration. With an aim to share information and knowledge, this issue contains three short articles: on Comparing the Negotiations on the Proposed UN Cybercrime Convention with Earlier Conventions, by Dr. Matti Joutsen, on restorative justice for sexual offences, by Dr. Siobhan Lawler and on the topic of the collaborative and people-centred approach to justice reform by Dr. Kittipong Kittayarak. To provide a closer look at individual Institutes, this issue features interviews with directors of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI).
Also, of interest to readers of the IACFP Bulletin is a summary and thumbnail presentation of all recent PNI publications. This is an excellent resource!
- National Institute of Justice Research Conference
After twelve years, the National Institute of Justice recently hosted the National Research Conference, which focused on promoting evidence to action. A summary of the conference and recordings of plenary sessions can be found at this link.
While this conference attracted an audience from the United States, the topics have global application. As noted in the conference summary, a common theme of the conference was the need to bring researchers and practitioners together as early as possible—ideally, during the design and implementation phases of a new program, when dialogue can have the most impact in shaping the direction of both the research and the program.
The session, titled “The Importance of Inclusive Research—How Engaging People Closest to the Issue Makes for Better Science and Greater Impact”, may be of particular interest to readers of the IACFP Bulletin. As noted in the summary, “Inclusive research demands mixed-method approaches to answering research questions… without engaging with people who are closest to the problem, we don’t understand the full context of an issue nor the full implications our research findings.” This is certainly true for justice-involved individuals experiencing serious mental illness and mental health challenges.
3. Upcoming Conferences
- ICPA 2023 Conference, October 22-27, 2023
Registration is open for the ICPA 2023 Conference; additional information is available here. IACFP will be sponsoring the 2023 Distinguished Scholar Lecture, which will be announced in the next IACFP Bulletin.
- 6th World Congress on Probation adn Parole, April 16-18, 2024
The Netherlands will host the 6th World Congress on Probation and Parole in The Hague. Reclassering NL invite interested parties to a varied and inspiring congress on the theme 'The future of probation and parole': how do we see and utilize probation and parole in different settings and developments? What can we learn from the past? And what can we learn from each other? More information can be found here.