Residential halfway houses are a critical part of the community corrections system in many states and the federal government. Recent attention is given to the nature of services provided to people residing in the centers. Dr. Faye Taxman and her team conducted a study that was cited in the New York Timesregarding the efficacy of these centers that was published on December 13, 2012. The study identified several improvements to advance practices of services available to offenders. For further information about this study, visit the"What Works in Residential Reentry Centers Monograph" section of our publications page.
Caudy and Viglione receive award at Addiction Health Services Research Forum
Post Doctoral Researcher Michael Caudy and doctoral student Jill Viglione each received a Travel Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the Addiction Health Services Research Forum in New York City, October 2012. Pictured to the right with Dr. Redonna Chandler, NIDA.
New MA concentration offered in Policy and Practice
ACE! Contributes to Perspectives 2012 Summer Issue
ACE! will be providing quarterly research updates to the American Probation and Parole Association's publication, Perspectives. In this edition, ACE! faculty describe the importance of researcher-practitioner collaborations. And, in our commitment to the field, GMU Graduate students working at the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) are providing research updates to the fields of probation and parole. Each quarter graduate students will write an update for Perspectives. Stephanie Ainsworth and Jennifer Lerch contribute to the inauguration of our commitment to translate research into practice. Here is the link to their contribution on pages 30-35:
Click here for the online version.
Deputy Director Danielle Rudes Receives Teaching Excellence Award
ACE!'s Danielle Rudes has been honored with the 2012 Teaching Excellence Award! A ceremony was held April 9 by the Center of Teaching Excellence to honor this year's eight winners. Pictured to the right, Dr. Rudes receives congratulations from Provost Peter Stearns before the event. Also acknowledged was Assistant Director Shannon Portillo as a Teacher of Distinction. We are very proud to have two outstanding professors here at ACE!
To find out more, please visit George Mason's Newsdesk.
Op-Ed in TheFree Lance-Star by Dr. Faye S. Taxman & Dr. Danielle S. Rudes
Dr. Faye S. Taxman and Dr. Danielle S. Rudes published an op-ed in The Free Lance-Star in April, titled "Far better ways to fight crime than imprisonment." The article discusses how for over 30 years the primary mechanism for crime fighting in the United States has focused on building and expanding the capacity of our prison systems. The complete article can be read on The Free Lance-Star.
The Road from Crime
The Center for Advancing Correctional Exellence (ACE!) contributed to the development of this film. Peek inside to better understand desistance.
New Partnership with Virginia Department of Corrections
ACE! has recently formed a partnership with Virginia Department of Corrections to discuss and better
understand how crime evidence-based research applications can affect procedures, policy and probation officer training. Pictured to the right, ACE! Director Faye Taxman speaks to Virginia Department of Corrections professionals during a recent visit to George Mason's Fairfax campus on February 28, 2012. Through this partnership, ACE! has been involved with the development of a new strategic plan and will assist in the implementation of the proposed changes throughout the department. During this process, researchers from ACE! will conduct surveys and observations in order to better understand how these changes are implemented and sustained in the organization. For the full story on George Mason's News page, please visit:
Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Sentencing and Corrections
As part of the ongoing RNR Simulation Tool project, ACE! and the Bureau of Justice Assistance are funding two systematic reviews examining key moderators (i.e. age, gender, criminogenic needs, etc.) of the effectiveness of correctional interventions. These two reviews may be published under the auspices of the Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group if they are accepted. The funded terms are:
Gabrielle Chapman, Ph.D. and Mark Lipsey, Ph.D. of Vanderbilt University's Peabody Research Institute to conduct a systematic review of the Effects of Intervention Programs for Adult Offenders on Criminogenic Needs and Recidivism. This review assesses the impact of intervention programs on dynamic criminogenic needs and will explore which types of programs have the largest effects on criminogenic needs. Chapman and Lipsey will also assess the impact of changes in criminogenic needs on recidivism reductions.
Alex Piquero, Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas and Wesley Jennings, Ph.D. from the University of South Florida are to conduct A Systematic Review of Ethnicity, Gender, Age and Antisocial Attitudes as Moderators of Violent Recidivism. Piquero, Jennings and colleagues will explore the role that demographic risk factors play as moderators of violent recidivism. Additionally, they will examine the impact of antisocial attitudes, a dynamic criminogenic need, as a moderator of violent recidivism.
ACE! is very excited about both of these projects and is looking forward to seeing the results generated by two groups of scholars with a great deal of experience conducting quality systematic reviews and primary research! The findings from these studies will be used to inform the RNR Simulation Tool to better estimate program effects.
Mason Researchers Form Study Group on Behavioral and Health Interventions
Mason researchers, across disciplines, have joined together to further the development and testing of sound behavioral and health interventions. A study group has been formed to capitalize on the enormous talent at Mason in this particular area from various perspectives. The aims of the study group are to:
1) further develop the scholarship of GMU on interventions;
2) galvanize the talent of GMU faculty and students to make important contributions in this area including design, methodologies, translational, and application; and
3) generate more funding to support research, graduate students, and community partnerships.
Dr. Taxman in the National Institute of Corrections February 2012 Newsletter
Corrections as a Partner in Crime Deterrence
What is the role of corrections in crime deterrence and reduction? Dr. Faye Taxman, director for the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence at George Mason University, says that evidence-based correctional programming and a shift among the corrections workforce toward an intervention model of doing business can heighten the role of corrections as a partner in deterring crime.
In a podcast interview with the Vera Institute of Justice, Taxman highlights this and other insights. In particular, she notes the importance of providing training for staff to support the cultural shift needed to encourage them to engage with offenders effectively and provide offenders with the services they need.
“We’ve got a workforce that we really need to help…learn to use their people skills better,” Taxman says. “And, you know, unfortunately in most corrections agencies, probation and parole, not enough of the pre-service or in-service training is devoted to these topics.”
In addition, she notes the need for a “continuum of care,” a process for meeting the needs of offenders from reentry and beyond.
Collaborative and creative research to advance evidence-based practices
ACE! conducts collaborative and creative research to assist policy makers and correctional practitioners with using evidence-based practices and treatments. We work with our partners in crafting new policies focused on preventing criminal behavior instead of simply responding to it.
VIDEO: In November 2011, Dr. Faye Taxman spoke with VERA Institute of Justice director, Michael Jacobson, about how US corrections systems can adopt practices to help reduce recidivism - a shift that will require substantive and cultural changes.
Interested in Graduate School at GMU?
Here are a few research opportunities for our students. Explore, consider, and discuss exciting research to advance the field of crime and health policies!
Spotlight: ACE! Welcomes Undergraduate Research Assistants
Working within the framework of George Mason's Students as Scholars Initiative, ACE! hires several Undergraduate Research Assistant positions each semester and over the summer. These positions provide students with insight to life in graduate school, opportunities to work with faculty, and first-hand experience at scholarship inquiry and development within an active criminal justice research center. Undergraduate Research Assistants participate in ACE! orientation and project-specific training and are assigned a graduate student mentor for the duration of their research assistantship. Students are given weekly task lists that outline their project-related duties so as to provide a simple structure to follow. To find out more about this program, please see page 11 of ACE!'s March 2012 publication of Advancing Practice. ACE! is pleased to welcome Sarah M. Soliman as our Undergraduate Research Assistants for the spring semester.
Sarah M. Soliman is a freshman at GMU majoring in Information Technology with a concentration in Information Security and a minor in Software Engineering. She aspires to one day intern or do research for the government and to publish a research paper before she graduates. As of now, she plans on graduating a year early (three years as an undergrad instead of four). Sarah also aspires to get into a well renowned law school after graduating. Although Sarah is fascinated with technology, she is passionate about law, justice, and human rights. Sarah plans to combine her two interests down the road in regards to her future career.
JSTEPS An implementation study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), where five federal jurisdictions are introducing Contingency Management, an evidence-based practice using rewards and sanctions, with members of their Probation populations.
Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) A project funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, where we are working to develop a RNR Simulation Tool to assist agencies to use the risk-need-responsivity approach in practice through defining the type and nature of correctional options available in their jurisdictions.
EMTAP In this project, we are working with researchers from across the country to create a synthesis of evidence in the area of justice health, beginning with a review of existing meta-analyses that have been conducted to examine the different interventions tested, outcomes measured, study techniques, and resulting evidence.
ACE! Director Dr. Faye Taxman is a methodologist specializing in randomized trials and interventions for individuals involved in the criminal justice system. She is recognized for her work in the development of the seamless systems of care models that link the criminal justice with other service delivery systems. Faye is a leader in translational research and has developed numerous tools that advance the field.
ACE! Deputy Director Dr. Daniell Rudes' research falls at the nexus of organizational theory and socio-legal studies where she is broadly interested in understanding how street-level workers negotiate organizational change and the impact their decisions have upon policy and practice. Danielle is involved in qualitative fieldwork and data collection examining various aspects of organizational change among police in Trinidad, among Federal Drug Court work-groups, and with correctional officers in Maryland.