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For years debate has rumbled in this country over prison overcrowding. More recently, there has been an additional spotlight on issues that are exacerbated when prisons are over capacity, such as prison rape and the use of restrictive housing (housing inmates in isolated conditions). In the case of prison rape, federal standards have been placed on institutions through the passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). General consensus among corrections professionals is that a lack of internal action diminished their voice during the creation of the PREA standards. There is consequently a large motivation for correctional institutions to work to address concerns regarding restrictive housing. Groups like Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Association of State Correctional Administrators have all been contributing to this effort by each creating their own guidelines for using restrictive housing. 2014 was a great opportunity for us to reflect on how Transformation Project (TP) will benefit institutions as they look to revise how they house inmates that are a threat to themselves or others. Not only does TP provide programming for restrictive housing, where there has historically been a dearth of programming, it works to increase the amount and quality of interaction between staff and participants, as well as provide a measure for assessing progress in restrictive housing. All of these efforts are included in the recommendations across invested organizations, adding additional value to TP curriculum. In addition to strengthening TP in restrictive housing, this year we began exploring ways the program can be modified for use in a women’s facility. While there is much work to be done in this area, we are excited to bring adaptions to the curriculum that will specifically address the needs of justice involved women. We look forward to continuing the development process with our partners at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York, Nebraska, as this group has been instrumental to providing essential expertise and feedback. As debates around corrections issues roll on, in the coming months we look forward to solidifying TP’s role in the rehabilitation of inmates throughout the course of their incarceration.



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