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Exploring Sustainable Strategies for Decreasing Recidivism through Interdisciplinary Research Baltimore

A Letter to the Editor, 1971

My father held a variety of jobs, however, he ended up selling heroin to support his habit.

Decades after his death, it is considered cruel and unusual punishment to deny medical care—including treatment for withdrawal.

For time immemorial it should be considered inhumane to deny spiritual counseling when requested.

Whether assistance was provided with the sheet remains a mystery, however, both sides at any time are well aware that transparency can be tricky.

This is why I care about prison reform!

Join me July 17-19, 2018 in Baltimore

Decreasing Recidivism: 1st International Conference

Exploring Sustainable Strategies for Decreasing Recidivism through Interdisciplinary Research


June 17-19, 2018

Vulnerable populations are confronted with wicked problems for which social scientists and policy makers have struggled to design effective sustainable solutions. Vulnerable population groups such as ex-offenders, homeless, veterans, and chemically-dependent persons confront a myriad of colliding barriers to successful re-entry into society. Colliding barriers such as inadequate housing options, unsustainable employment, unreliable transportation, untreated mental health challenges, improper childcare, and poor self-esteem block the successful reintegration in the community, and as such, become contributing factors to higher rates of recidivism. Conceived as the tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior, recidivism is a perfect example of a wicked public policy issue not fully understood because of its multidimensional nature.

The purpose of the 1st International Conference on Decreasing Recidivism is to explore the root causes and various dimensions – political, economic, social, spiritual, and cultural – that must be taken into consideration while devising concrete strategies to tackle recidivism effectively. Specifically, the conference will bring together an international group of scholars and practitioners from diverse disciplines (economics, sociology, public administration, political science, public policy, criminal justice, social work, business, anthropology, law, psychology, psychiatry, information technology, journalism, education, public/mental health, etc.) to collectively explore the multiple facets of the problems and emerging opportunities of decreasing recidivism locally and around the world. In their papers, conference participants can address numerous themes and issues, such as:

Innovative Evidence-based Approaches and Recidivism Reduction

What are some evidence-based pragmatic approaches that have proved to be effective in helping ex-offenders and other individuals struggling with addictive behaviors to not relapse into their previous conditions?

Challenges Confronting Mentally Ill Inmates 

What best practices have been identified to help inmates suffering from mental illnesses? Besides incarceration, what other alternatives to correct the behaviours of mentally ill offenders should be considered? Are incarcerated mentally ill youth and young adults likely to have an educational disability?

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Ex-Offenders Reintegration

Is there empirical evidence of civil society, non-profit and non-governmental organizations playing an advocacy role for effective reintegration of returning citizens? Have CSOs been effective in reaching ex-offenders and other individuals struggling with addictive behaviors?

Lawmaking and Social Justice

Could the elimination of state/local government laws that prevent ex-offenders from getting jobs be a cost-effective strategy and long-term solution? From a fiscal responsibility perspective, are tax-dollars best used with short and long-term incarcerations? Are there empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of being tough on crime and mass incarcerations?

Faith-based Organizations and Recidivism Reduction Efforts

Looking at post-incarceration, is there empirical evidence of long-term positive impacts of prison ministries? In other words, do inmates getting spiritual counselling relapse less than others? Are spiritual leaders involving their memberships in mentoring ex-offenders and other individuals struggling with addictive behaviors?

Academic Institutions and Social Equity

Is there evidence of moving from research to policy and best practices to improve the lives of ex-offenders and other individuals struggling with addictive behaviours? What are some of the tested theories which practitioners could rely upon while designing concrete strategies for reducing recidivism? Could embracing an interdisciplinary action research paradigm lead to better strategies to reducing recidivism? What are the best benchmarks for performance measurement in assessing recidivism reduction efforts?

Corporate Social Responsibility and Job Creation

Could Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) provide long-term employment solutions to ex-offenders and other individuals struggling with addictive behaviours? From a corporate social responsibility perspective, what are the threats and opportunities of improving college and career readiness for individuals at pre-incarceration, incarceration, and post-incarceration stages?


Community Corrections Centers (CCCs) and Contract Facilities (CCFs)

Is there empirical evidence supporting the relevance of CCCs and CCFs in reducing recidivism? Is it in the best interest of CCFs to foster recidivism reduction strategies? What are the pros and cons of the current trend toward prison privatizations?

Educational and Vocational Needs for Incarcerated Youth

Whose responsibility is it for meeting the educational and vocational needs of youth and young adults in the juvenile justice system? Are there effective educational and vocational services being made available to them? Are juvenile correctional agencies and public education agencies working together to ensure that these youth transition smoothly to a community-based educational or vocational setting after release from incarceration?

Submission of Paper and Panel Proposals

The conference program committee welcomes the submission of proposals for individual papers, professional workshops and fully formed panels. High-quality conceptual, theoretical, empirical, and policy- and practice-oriented research is welcome. All proposals should: (1) briefly explain how the paper, workshop or panel connects to the overall conference theme, (2) note the individual conference track in which the proposal best fits, (3) include 3-4 keywords, and (4) provide complete contact information for the corresponding individual. Proposals for individual papers or workshops should include an abstract of 250-400 words. Proposals for fully formed panels should consist of three to four complementary papers and include an abstract of 400-600 words.

Review of paper, workshop and panel proposal submissions is ongoing and will close on April 15, 2018. Proposals should be emailed to the program committee chair, Dr. Gedeon M. Mudacumura

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