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IDOC > About IDOC > Indiana Justice Model Indiana Justice Model

The Indiana Justice Model

The Indiana Justice Model (IJM) serves as the foundation for public safety, guiding the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) in achieving its vision of returning productive citizens to our communities and supporting a culture of inspiration, collaboration and achievement. 

The Indiana Justice Model is a continuing initiative that will work in concert with the Department’s strategic planning initiatives to instill a culture of continuous improvement within the department. This perspective will allow the department to meet any obstacles it may encounter in a proactive and constructive manner, and assist the department in meeting its mission to advance public safety and successful re-entry through dynamic supervision, programming, and partnerships.

The ultimate goal of the Indiana Justice Model is to advance public safety and successful re-­entry through dynamic supervision, programming and partnerships.  It is the expectation of the Agency that staff will strive on a daily basis to uphold the highest standards in the following seven domains.

Goals will be measured in part through the use of the Performance Based Measures System (PBMS), an automated web-based system developed by the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) as a single source of timely and accurate agency- and facility-specific data.  (See Appendix 1 for additional details on PBMS)

Printable version (full): Indiana Justice Model

Seven Components of the Indiana Justice Model

Indiana Justice Model’s Focus on Juvenile Offenders
The Division of Youth Services (DYS) was created to oversee all aspects of care and services for youth committed to the Indiana Department of Correction.  Our agency recognizes that impacting the lives of troubled youth requires separate juvenile and adult services.  DYS adopted a division logo portraying the words Accountability, Beliefs and Commitment.  DYS also adopted the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Balanced and Restorative Justice Model to serve the foundation and core beliefs in providing juvenile justice services.  The model has provided the overarching, guiding principles for facility operations, treatment programs, youth development and community re-­entry.  Our vision is to positively impact the future of Indiana’s delinquent youth and to foster responsible citizenship.  Our mission is community protection, accountability, beliefs that foster responsible community living and competency development.  

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Indiana Risk Factor Assessment and Case Plan
From an offender’s first day, the Indiana Department of Correction starts driving the offender down the road to re-­entry by providing solution-­based re-­entry programs. Each offender develops, in coordination with their Unit Team, a Case Plan.  The Case Plan is developed following the Indiana Risk Assessment System (IRAS), which is based on the following criminogenic risk domains:

  • Criminal History
  • School and Employment
  • Family and Social Support
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health
  • Criminal Lifestyle

By focusing on these risk domains, the Department can identify solution-­based programming that helps break down barriers to successful re-­entry.  Covered are the vital areas of character, education, employment, family, health and mental health, and housing.

Similarly, assessments are also completed for all juvenile offenders.  The Indiana Department of Correction guides the youth down the road to re‐entry by providing evidence‐based programs beginning at day one. Each youth develops, in coordination with their Treatment Team, a Growth Plan.  The Growth Plan is developed by following the Indiana Youth Assessment System (IYAS) via information gathered from Intake Assessment Reports, youth interview, historical case records review, parent input and other assessment results. The IYAS, is based on the following criminogenic risk domains:

  • Juvenile Justice History
  • Family and Living Arrangements
  • Peers and Social Support Network
  • Education and Employment
  • Pro-­‐Social Skills
  • Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Personality
  • Values, Beliefs and Attitudes

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Staff/­Offender Interactions
The staff and offender interactions element sets agency expectations regarding the daily interaction between staff and offenders.  The IDOC’s vision statement supports a culture of mutual respect.  The Agency’s Strategic Plan has established this element as a core component through the combined objectives within the tenet of Organizational Culture.  The Agency is committed to creating a positive organizational environment through the development of “Promoting Positive Corrections Culture” committees in each facility as well. We encourage open and meaningful communication.  It is understood that a professional demeanor instills respect.  Our staff display this professionalism by utilizing the “3 R’s, by being Role Models for offenders, Reinforcing positive behavior and Redirecting inappropriate behavior.

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The Indiana Department of Correction’s programs are another way of preparing offenders to be productive and law abiding citizens upon release.  Following risk assessment, offenders are given a case plan that addresses what programs would work best in achieving a successful transition back into their community. Some of these IDOC programs are substance abuse treatment, mental health, education, parenting and family, vocational and apprenticeship programs, religious services, and cognitive skill classes.   All of these programs are intended to provide offenders with the tools needed to enhance successful re-­entry.

The Indiana Department of Correction, in partnership with Indiana-­based providers and other state agencies, provides formal education programs, both academic and vocational.  The focus of all programs from basic literacy through on-­site college degree programs is to prepare the offender for post-­release employment.  Ongoing research demonstrates a strong correlation among education attainment, employment, and a lack of recidivism.  Increasing educational attainment while incarcerated holds the promise of increasing employment opportunities at sustainable wages and ending a repetitive cycle of involvement in the State’s criminal justice system.

For Juvenile offenders, they are provided access to middle school curriculum, courses aligned to the Indiana Core 40 High School Diploma, the GED and Career Technical programs.  All certified education staff assigned to juvenile facility schools possess special education certification in addition to their content-­area teaching license.  All core academic teachers meet the requirements for being “highly qualified” as defined by the Indiana Department of Education.

The Indiana Department of Correction also provides the opportunity for vocational education to its offenders.  The Indiana Department of Correction in collaboration with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) Apprenticeship Program helps train offenders with structured, on-­the-­job learning in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, as well as new emerging industries such as health care, information technology, energy, telecommunications and more. Registered Apprenticeships help connect offenders hoping to learn new skills with employers looking for qualified workers. This supports their re-­entry into the community, and can help them overcome the obstacles encountered by ex-offenders.

Indiana recognizes the need for a strong, healthy bond between offenders and their families during incarceration and upon release. It is well known that children of an incarcerated parent or parents are more likely to become incarcerated.  Facilities offer gender-­informed and gender-­specific parenting programs to offenders to break the cycle of incarceration. Healthy relationships between offenders and their families, spouses or significant others are important as well.  Programs are offered to promote healthy relationships, healthy marriages, and to assist those recovering from domestic violence.

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Community Supervision & Program
Indiana supervises over 13,000 offenders within our community-­based correctional programs. Community-­based programs include Parole supervision, Work Release and Re-entry Centers, Community Transition Program (CTP) and community placement.  We strive to develop, maintain and expand our relationship with the courts and county agencies in order to provide safe, effective and efficient diversion pre-release  and post release opportunities for our offender population.

For juvenile offenders, the agency is committed to ensure successful transition and to provide aftercare services during a youth’s re-­entry period.  The Division of Youth Services encourages the sentencing courts and/or County Probation Officers to remain involved with each youth during his/her time of commitment to a secure facility and to work with the juvenile and Department staff during  transition back into the community, counties are encouraged to re-­assume jurisdiction of the youths.  Youths considered for release may be discharged based on their initial IYAS Risk Assessment, Age, Offense and/or any additional special case circumstances.  Staff in the juvenile facilities base the release of the youth on the successful completion of required treatment and educational programs as determined by the Treatment Team and approved by the Administrative Review Committee.  If a youth scores a Low or Medium Risk level on the IYAS that youth could be discharged without Community Supervision if the court declines to re-­assume jurisdiction.  Those youth who are 17.5 years of age and older are also discharged without Community Supervision if the court declines to re-assume jurisdiction. Youth who score a High risk on the IYAS risk assessment will be supervised on parole status during Community Supervision.  Those students who are adjudicated of a sex offense will also be subject to Community Supervision.

The DOC/DYS has initiated significant efforts to reduce the length of stay in juvenile facilities by ensuring that youth are placed in the least restrictive environment based on their individual needs and risks.  These efforts focus on providing youth services in the least restrictive environment, development of youth diversion and community-­based treatment programs, and further enhancement of re-­entry and transitional programs.  DYS has worked closely with counties to pilot various community-­based re-­entry programs for students with lower risk.  These Youth could be transitioned to day reporting centers, electronic monitoring and/or re-­entry program placements in the community.

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Victim Services
The IDOC provides services to victims and other concerned citizens through Indiana SAVIN (statewide automated victim information and notification) notification services, sex and violent offender registration, law enforcement notification, facility ALERT Notification Services, referrals, and victim advocacy.  Through these initiatives the Department strives to offer victims and victim service providers a voice in Indiana’s criminal justice system while gaining from their experience and unique perspectives.

The Indiana Justice Model serves as a cornerstone for the Indiana Department of Correction to educate and promote awareness for correctional staff, stakeholders and the public. This model has a two-­fold purpose, which will simultaneously set the future direction of the Agency through the 2010-­2013 Strategic Plan.

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Performance Based Standards (PBS)
Performance Based Standards (PBS) was developed to improve conditions of confinement for youths in correctional facilities across the country so that during the youth’s incarceration they have individualized opportunities to learn and grow, which will increase their chances of success when they return to the community.  PBS was launched by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in 1995.  OJJDP initiated PBS to create national juvenile facility standards that are supported by outcome measures. The facilities report data twice a year and report back on 105 outcome measures for correctional facilities that indicate performance toward meeting standards of the following components of facility operations:  safety, security, order, programming (including education) health/mental health, justice and reintegration. Target areas are identified by a list of outcomes and areas that the facility wants to focus improvement efforts on and strategize for the development of the Facility Improvement Plans.

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