02 Oct 2022
by Dr Frank Porporino

Advancing Corrections Journal - Call for Papers for Issue #15

The Call for Papers is now open for our next Edition of the Advancing Corrections Journal. Submit your paper by 28 February 2023.

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Aims and Scope of Advancing Corrections

The ICPA believes that development of a professional and humane corrections should be grounded in evidence. Respect for evidence is a hallmark of the ICPA. But evidence is of little value unless it is understood and put into action. Our semi-annual Journal Advancing Corrections is intended to fill the need for researchers to speak more clearly to practitioners and practitioners to speak in a more evidence-informed way to their colleagues. We want to provide a forum for both researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines (criminal justice, education, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, public health, and social work) to publish papers that examine issues from a unique, interdisciplinary and global perspective. Your paper could be an evidence-informed discussion of an important correctional issue, an overview of some new research findings and their implications for practice, a description of an innovative program or approach, or an informed commentary on some aspect of managing a key issue in corrections.

The Journal invites submission of papers that can be digested and appreciated by practitioners, managers, policy-makers and other correctional professionals. Authors are welcomed to submit papers for one of three sections of the Journal.  Featured Research Articles should be more research oriented and scholarly, including the usual practice of referencing the relevant literature. Another section called Views and Reviews welcomes shorter and thoughtful discussions of a particularly relevant or emerging issue/topic. And finally, a section we are calling Practice Innovation in Corrections would like to profile what is going on in a given agency/jurisdiction that is especially innovative and can be of interest broadly to others.

THEME for the 15th Edition: “What IS Effective Reintegration?”

Incarceration as a last resort should be a core operating principle for Criminal Justice Systems around the world.  We know it isn’t, and that’s unfortunate.  Correctional agencies are often at the receiving end of penal populism fuelled by conservative, tough-on-crime political rhetoric.  Dysfunctional Criminal Justice Systems are the end result.  Nonetheless, correctional agencies have no choice but to focus on the eventual ‘return’ of the people we incarcerate back to their communities.  As is often noted, they mostly ‘all come back home’, and an eye on both decency and public safety demands that corrections does all that it can to assist in Reintegration, Re-entry, Resettlement (or whatever terminology we might choose to use).  But what is Effective Reintegration? The core message of the desistance paradigm highlights four distinct types of ‘reintegration’ – not just the personal – but the social, legal and moral dimensions that have to work in tandem. The personal dimension, which we tend to focus on often exclusively, is about change in managing personal risk factors. But this often isn’t achievable without the other dimensions being supportive of change. The social dimension is about acceptance, belonging and access to opportunities and services in one’s community. Without enhancing the community’s ability to assimilate (and support) offenders towards reintegration – perhaps no real reintegration is possible no matter what correctional agencies can do themselves. The legal dimension requires that we aim to eliminate the stigmatizing and exclusionary effects of conviction.  And the moral dimension speaks to the need for reparation in earning some form of redemption as a citizen of good character.

For this Edition, we welcome both evidence and practice-informed discussions of how the various dimensions of Effective Reintegration have been (or can be) achieved.  We want to explore the variety of policies, programs, settings, services and treatments encompassed under the ‘REINTEGRATION’ umbrella and provide examples of successful approaches, including examples of public-private partnerships and other collaborative efforts that have overcome obstacles and inertia in implementation.  Stakeholders from whose experience we can learn collaboratively may include our probation, parole, and community corrections front-line staff; academic and other researchers; managers and leaders; the wider justice system (including prosecutors, judges, police…); the many not-for-profit, statutory or private organizations with whom we partner to support desistance (and other aims); victim advocacy organizations; families, communities and volunteers; and of course, our service-users. Some questions for which we are looking for some answers include:

  • What approaches and why, including delivered with partners, demonstrate positive impact on desistance (human and social capital), on public safety, or restoration and reintegration?

  • How can Community Corrections develop a more consistent practice ethos of ‘care and support’ rather than just surveillance and control?

  • Which strategies can build judicial and public confidence, usefully involve communities, or impact successfully on reintegration and reparation?

  • What approaches respond most effectively to females, youth, indigenous populations, other minorities, the mentally unwell, addicted or other specific groups?

What research is needed to move us further forward in achieving more effective reintegration?
 
Read more about the Advancing Corrections Journal and to see how you can submit a paper for Edition #15.