ACA Research Council Update

Article excerpt

The American Correctional Association's Research Council is a standing committee charged with advising ACA's Executive Committee, Board of Governors, committees and members, as well as the corrections field at large regarding the use of research to inform policies and practices. Last month, members of the Research Council met during the Winter Conference in Florida.

ACA President Harold Clarke selected me to serve as the new chair of the council and Lettie Prell, research director for the Iowa Department of Corrections, to serve as vice-chair. Newly appointed and returning members joining the council include: Allen Beck of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, James Beck of the U.S. Parole Commission, Marlene Beckman of the National Institute of Justice, George Braucht of the Georgia Department of Corrections, Christopher Chinapoo of the Trinidad and Tobago DOC, Cathy Fontenot of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Brian Grant of the Correctional Service of Canada, Lynettee Greenfield of the Virginia DOC, Edward Latessa of the University of Cincinnati, Marilyn Moses of NIJ, Dan Storkamp of the Minnesota DOC, and Richard Tewksbury of the University of Louisville. In addition, Peter P. Lejins Research Award recepients are honorary members of the council. At the January meeting, the members made plans to build upon the accomplishments the council has achieved in recent years.

The Research Council has significantly expanded its activities under the leadership of my immediate predecessors, Tewksbury and, before him, Howard Snyder, chief of Recidivism, Reentry and Special Projects for BJS. During their tenures, the council sponsored a number of workshops at ACA conferences, including the very popular Author Meets Critic series; assumed responsibility for supporting the Research Notes column and a special correctional research issue of Corrections Today; and developed stronger ties with other organizations. The council also recommends to the ACA Awards Committee its nominee for the Peter P. Lejins Research Award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to corrections research.

Since its inception, the Author Meets Critic series has covered a wide variety of subjects. The sessions provide an opportunity for conference attendees to hear from researchers who have addressed controversial subjects and to participate in a critical examination of their work. At the 2008 Winter Conference in Texas, a session on Devah Pager's book, Marked: Race, Crime and Finding Work in An Era of Mass Incarceration, was organized by Marilyn Moses. Previous sessions have hosted the authors of reports on prison rape, Project Greenlight, the Vera Report on American Prisons and research on community corrections.

Through the Research Notes column in Corrections Today, council members have authored or identified important subjects and potential authors on research subjects of interest to ACA members for the past three years. …