The National Institute of Corrections (NIC), an agency within the US Justice Department’s Federal Bureau of Prisons, has set up a new blog, Juvenile Justice Connection, to “facilitate the exchange of information among juvenile justice professionals,” according to the press announcement. “Juvenile Justice Connection will feature news from NIC, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and other Federal, state, and local sources, including information about professional training opportunities and juvenile justice-related research.”
The blog, so far at least, amounts to brief PR announcements for various government initiatives. The real strength of this site, I think, will be directing people to the forums section, which has been around for a few years but which I just discovered when I started reading the blog. The forum section is well designed and is doing its job well: bringing corrections professionals into contact and collaboration and discussion. Look, for example, at this recent exchange, lifted at random (even though it’s a public forum, I stripped names and email and phone numbers, just because):
First person says:
Hello everyone! Our department is currently in the process of reviewing the Use of Force policy and we would like to review the policies of other facilities while we work through this process. We would appreciate it if any of you are able to forward your policies concerning use of force in an adult facility. Thanks!
Next person replies:
If you can send me your private email I will send you ours. Our new Use of Force Policy has just been approved. Any questions call me.
Third person weighs in:
Send me your email address and I will send our policy to you.
It goes on from there. If the first person follows up, she’ll have half a dozen Use of Force policies to draw on as she revamps her department’s own. (A word of advice for person number one: the Use of Force policy for your juvenile facility should not be a Xerox copy of a Use of Force policy for an adult facility. Juvenile inmates are not adult prisoners!)
Check out the site here and on the Juvienation blogroll to the right.