Summary: Off Paper: The Criminal Justice Podcast from the FJC focuses on issues of federal criminal justice and, more specifically, how those issues affect probation and pretrial services officers and their clients. When an individual has finished serving any time and successfully completed release requirements, that person is “off paper.”
Dr. Michael Siegel, Senior Education Specialist, Federal Judicial Center, created the Leadership Development Program for U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officers (LDP) in the mid-1990s. Since that time over 1,000 officers have graduated from the program, many of whom have gone on to lead their districts as chiefs, deputies, and supervisory officers. Through LDP and other programs, Dr. Siegel is, in large part, responsible for creating a culture of leadership in U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services. Over his more than thirty-year career at the Federal Judicial Center, he has conducted leadership seminars with virtually every part of the court family: judges of all kinds, clerks of court, court executives, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. His portfolio of programs and projects includes many other topics as well. In this episode of Off Paper, Dr. Siegel discusses LDP’s origins, the characteristics of good leaders, and his perspective on leadership generally and within the federal courts.
U.S. probation and pretrial services professionals discuss the wellness challenges facing the system and the National Wellness Committee’s work to address them. Chair of the National Wellness Committee, Melinda Torres Felix discusses what it means to be physically and mentally well, where the Wellness Committee has been, where it wants to go, and the resources and help available to officers. Monica Mannino, Supervisory U.S. Probation Officer in the Eastern District of Missouri and Vice Chair of the Wellness Committee, Chief Wade Warren of the District of North Dakota, Chief Melissa Alexander of the Middle District of North Carolina, Tiffany Vega, U.S. Probation Officer from the Northern District of Illinois, and Johnny Alexander, U.S. Probation Officer from the Western District of Kentucky, also share their unique perspectives.
This special episode discusses actionable strategies for improving mental health, increasing personal and professional productivity and fostering happiness in yourself, and those around you. Judge Jeremy Fogel, former director of the Federal Judicial Center and current Executive Director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute, and Dr. Dacher Keltner, founding Director of the Greater Good Science Center, host of the Center's award-winning podcast, "The Science of Happiness," and professor of psychology at the University of California Berkeley, share their personal strategies for managing challenges and suggest manageable steps anyone can take to achieve a better sense of balance during unbalanced times.
Retired chief U.S. probation and pretrial services officers Tony Anderson, Belinda Alexander-Ashley, Ph.D., and Yador Harrell discuss their personal experiences of racial bias in their lives and careers, their reactions to the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed Black men and women by police officers, and their suggestions for alleviating racial discrimination in the probation and pretrial services workplace.
Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt, professor of psychology at Stanford University and MacArthur “genius” award recipient explains that although our brains are “wired” to see differences, research shows that self-awareness and thoughtful and deliberate decision making can help end the subtle and subjective discrimination we see and experience in our personal lives and workplaces.
U.S. probation and pretrial services officers January Welks and Jennifer Simone discuss how the pandemic has called for new ways of thinking and working, in some cases leading to positive change in both their professional and personal lives. Officers Welks, Simone, and colleagues across the country, on the front line of the pandemic, share the adjustments they make to remain healthy and safe while continuing to keep the wheels of justice moving. Clinical psychologist Guy Bourgon, a second time guest, reacts to their stories and describes how knowing your "why" and being proactive, predictable, and people-focused can help officers manage crisis. He explains how being forced to implement new practices can move organizations and individuals past the inertia that impedes change, making them stronger and better.
Host Mark Sherman talks with bank robber turned Georgetown law professor Shon Hopwood about how the system can help and hurt an inmate’s return to society. Shon’s unusual legal journey began during a twelve-year stint in federal prison for robbing banks. While there, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of two of his petitions, giving his life an unexpected turn. While on supervised release, Shon overcame many of the obstacles that stand in the way of most inmate’s successful reentry into society, to include finding a good job and attending the University of Washington School of Law on a Gates public interest scholarship. Today, he is a member of the bar, teaches constitutional and criminal law at Georgetown University Law School, and represents prison inmates before the federal courts. As a criminal justice reform advocate, he also lobbied successfully for the 2018 passage of the First Step Act.
Host Mark Sherman talks with Judge Nancy Gertner (ret.) of Harvard Law School, Dr. Francis Shen and Dr. Judith Edersheim of Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior, and FJC education attorney Cassandra Snyder about a unique educational initiative developed by the FJC and Harvard that is helping judges, pretrial services officers, and probation officers think through, in a science-informed way, the complex issues they confront every day, and develop alternatives that might serve as an antidote to the revolving door of the criminal justice system.
Chief U.S. Pretrial Services Officer Christine Dozier of the District of New Jersey has become known for her unique philosophy that “reentry begins at arrest.” Chief Dozier served in that role for 15 years before retiring in October 2019. During that time she transformed her agency from being a traditional provider of pretrial services, to one on the cutting edge of innovation not just in pretrial work, but in in criminal justice more generally. Chief Dozier’s approach has enabled the District of New Jersey’s pretrial services office to become a leader in release rates and successful outcomes for individuals on pretrial supervision. She has taken a systems view, illustrating that an individual’s success on pretrial release can have a positive impact on their sentence, reentry to the community following incarceration, and post-conviction supervision. Host Mark Sherman talks with Chief Dozier about the present and future of federal pretrial services, and what she learned as a leader over the course of her tenure.
In this episode of “Off Paper” Clark Porter talks about his journey and his work assisting returning citizens to make the difficult transition from prison to community. Clark Porter was arrested for robbing a post office in St. Louis at age seventeen in 1986. He was sentenced to thirty-five years in federal prison and ended up serving fifteen years. While on parole he received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. Soon after that, he obtained a master’s degree in social work from St. Louis University. Ultimately, Clark was hired as a community resources specialist with the U.S. Probation Office in the Eastern District of Missouri—the same office that supervised him while he was on parole.
Streaming Content Chief U.S. Probation Officer Connie Smith and Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez, both of the Western District of Washington, will discuss the roles of the officer who conducts the presentence investigation and the sentencing judge; individualized sentencing and avoiding unwarranted sentencing disparities; and the importance of taking a science-informed approach in the presentence and sentencing process.
Chief U.S. Probation Officer Connie Smith and Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez, both of the Western District of Washington, will discuss the roles of the officer who conducts the presentence investigation and the sentencing judge; individualized sentencing and avoiding unwarranted sentencing disparities; and the importance of taking a science-informed approach in the presentence and sentencing process.
On this episode of Off Paper, host Mark Sherman talks to Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, Kate Desmond, and Keith Murphy, who work together on the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice’s Smart Supervision Project—an effort to gather and use neuroscientific, culturally specific, trauma-informed research and information in the department’s work. Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia is an assistant professor of public psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University, where she directs the Avel Gordly Center for Healing and serves as a subject-matter expert for the Smart Supervision Project team. Kate Desmond is a community justice manager at the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, where she manages the department’s Gresham office and leads the Smart Supervision Project team. Keith Murphy is a probation administrator in Multnomah County and the lead probation and parole officer on the Smart Supervision Project team.
On this episode of Off Paper, host Mark Sherman talks to Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, Kate Desmond, and Keith Murphy, who work together on the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice’s Smart Supervision Project—an effort to gather and use neuroscientific, culturally specific, trauma-informed research and information in the department’s work.
There are many disciplines and experiences that go into the successful supervision of justice-involved individuals. On this episode of Off Paper, the criminal justice podcast from the FJC, host Mark Sherman talks to an individual whose career weaves together many of those threads. Dr. Robert Kinscherff is a clinical forensic psychologist and attorney with more than thirty years of experience in forensic mental health. He has been a Senior Fellow in Law and Neuroscience at the Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience, a collaboration between the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy at Harvard Law School. Dr. Kinscherff also has broad governmental experience having held senior state positions in Massachusetts administering in-patient forensic mental health services, juvenile and adult court clinic operations and diversion programs, as well as specialty courts for persons with mental illness and significant addiction, trauma and multi-system involvement. Mark’s discussion with Dr. Kinscherff explores all those facets of his training and experience and his observations regarding important issues in supervising justice-involved individuals. Off Paper: The Criminal Justice Podcast from the FJC focuses on issues of federal criminal justice and, more specifically, how those issues affect probation and pretrial services officers and their clients. When an individual has finished serving any time and successfully completed release requirements, that person is “off paper.”