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Seeking shelter from mass incarceration: Fighting criminalization with Housing First

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Prison Policy Initiative on 09/11/2023 by Brian Nam-Sonenstein

Housing is one of our best tools for ending mass incarceration. It does more than put a roof over people’s heads; housing gives people the space and stability necessary to receive care, escape crises, and improve their quality of life. For this reason, giving people housing can help interrupt a major pathway to prison created by the criminalization of mental illness, substance use disorder, and homelessness.

For this briefing, we examined over 50 studies and reports, covering decades of research on housing, health, and incarceration, to pull together the best evidence that ending housing insecurity is foundational to reducing jail and prison populations. Building on our work detailing how jails are (mis)used to manage medical and economic problems and homelessness among formerly incarcerated people, we show that taking care of this most basic need can have significant positive downstream effects for public health and safety.

Using housing to interrupt cycles of incarceration

Homelessness, substance use disorder, mental illness, and incarceration are deeply intertwined experiences. Around 45% of adults in the United States who have been diagnosed with serious mental illness  also have a co-occurring substance use disorder. People with such dual diagnoses are 12 times more likely to be arrested than people with neither diagnosis. This is borne out in prison populations. A study of Iowa’s state prisons, for example, found nearly 54% of people with serious mental illness also had a substance use disorder. Continue reading →

Fentanyl mixed with cocaine or meth is driving the ‘4th wave’ of the overdose crisis

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NPR on 9/14/2023

The mixture of stimulants like cocaine and meth with highly potent synthetic opioids is a fast-growing driver of fatal overdoses in the U.S.

Since 2010, overdoses involving both stimulants and fentanyl have increased 50-fold, and now account for 32% of U.S. overdoses in 2021 and nearly 35,000 deaths, according to a study published Thursday in the scientific journal Addiction.

“We’re now seeing that the use of fentanyl together with stimulants is rapidly becoming the dominant force in the U.S. overdose crisis,” says Joseph Friedman, the lead author of the study and a researcher at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “Fentanyl has ushered in a polysubstance overdose crisis, meaning that people are mixing fentanyl with other drugs, like stimulants, but also countless other synthetic substances.”

Continue reading –>

Troy Hatfield, Monroe Probation Deputy Chief and POPAI President, Received National Award

News Release on 09/13/2023

Since 1989, the National Association of Probation Executives (NAPE) and the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University have recognized the Probation Executive of the Year by presenting the recipient the Sam Houston State University Award. This year’s recipient was Troy Hatfield, Deputy Chief Probation Officer for the Monroe Circuit Court Probation Department in Bloomington, Indiana. This national
award was presented at the recent American Probation and Parole Association national conference in New York City where Hatfield served as a presenter for the Reducing Revocations Challenge project funded by Arnold Ventures.

Hatfield is now in his 26th year serving as an Indiana probation officer. He started his career as a juvenile probation officer in Owen County, Indiana. After coming to the Monroe Circuit Court Probation Department in 2004, he quickly moved to leadership and supervisory roles, being promoted to a Community Corrections Supervisor in 2006 and Deputy Chief Probation Officer in 2008.

Since becoming Deputy Chief, Hatfield has served on numerous statewide committees and boards, including the Probation Officers Advisory Board and the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana for which he currently serves as President. Monroe Circuit Court Chief Probation Officer Linda Brady who serves on the National Association of Probation Executives Board, nominated Hatfield for the award stating, “Troy’s service on both of these state-wide boards has been instrumental in making positive and progressive changes in the community supervision of offenders. His impact locally has been tremendous during his tenure. He provides strong leadership in this department has helped us move toward more effective use of evidence-based

Nationally, Hatfield is a member of the American Probation and Parole Association.

Hatfield’s contributions to the field of probation have been recognized through two prestigious awards. He was awarded the Founder’s Award by the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana given to those who are dedicated to improving the field of probation. In May 2023, we was honored with the John Augustus Award given to one probation officer each year in the state of Indiana by the Probation Officers Advisory Board
to the Judicial Conference of Indiana.

Crime Trends in U.S. Cities: Mid-Year 2023 Update

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CCJ on 7/2023 by Ernesto Lopez

This study updates and supplements previous U.S. crime trends reports by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) with additional crime data through June 2023. It examines monthly crime rates for 10 violent, property, and drug offenses in 37 American cities. The 37 cities are not necessarily representative of all cities in the United States. Not all cities reported data for each offense (see Appendix), and the data used to measure the crime trends are subject to revision by local jurisdictions.

POPAI Fall Conference Updated News: Download Conference App, Pack Your Bags, See You There


Fall Conference Information

Attendees and Exhibitors will get full information in the Conference App. No smartphone?  log into the Whova website.

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NAVIGATE the event agenda and logistics, even without Wi-Fi or data. Access useful information like ridesharing and local attractions through the Community Board


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For feature details, visit Whova


POPAI Board: Elections

  • Slate of candidates has been posted. there are two contested races. Probation Officer 2023 Members in District 5 will vote for their representative and the At-Large position, all other Probation Officer 2023 Members will vote for the At-Large position.
  • Next Steps:
    • Probation Officer Members attending the Fall Conference will receive a paper ballot in their name tag at check in on September 20.

Wear POPAI: Gear

POPAI Gear will be available on site at the Fall Conference.


Updated and published again 09-18-2023