Dismas Charities Turns Out In Force For Annual International Corrections Conference


Over 70 Dismas Charities Management and Executive staff members, including Chairman of the Board Bill Ferko, attended the 51st Annual International Community Corrections Association (ICCA) Research Conference in mid-November in Boston. Dismas also used the opportunity for its Leadership Development and Best Practices Conference. The five day conference covered a wealth of topics including managing offenders with complex needs, leading the resilient, high performance organization, forensics, group facilitation, diversity and behavior change, housing, recidivism, cultural issues, new developments in neuroscience and intervention, youth reintegration programs, treatment issues for women, reducing DUI’s, enhancing cognitive skills for young adult offenders, veteran’s affairs, the impact of risk and needs matching, juvenile offenders, treatment applications, closing the revolving door, probation, support structures, substance abuse treatment for adolescents, and group interventions. ICCA is the largest and most diverse community corrections association with delegates from six continents who meet every year in the Doing What Works conference. Dismas Executive Vice President Jan M. Kempf and Dr. David Robinson, President and CEO of Orbis Partners, Inc., presented Dismas’ research on “The Impact of Risk and Needs and Strength Matching on Program Outcomes in a Large Re-entry Organization.” Kempf and Robinson provided the most recent research regarding the risk needs and strength assessment used by Dismas. Over the past 10 years Dismas has devoted efforts to the implementation of risk, needs and strengths assessment to augment case planning across its re-entry facilities in the United States. An innovative feature of the model is the incorporation of client strengths within the assessment process using the Service Planning Instrument (SPIn), developed by Orbis. At the same time, Dismas also updated attendees on Dismas’ state-of-the-art client information management system (FreshStart) which collects relevant information for managing re-entry populations. During the workshop, Kempf and Robinson described the information resulting from these innovations. They also explored some of the key results of analyses of two large databases from assessments, and shared their findings about changes in re-entry populations. The lectures provided new knowledge showing that measuring strengths provides key predictive information to inform case planning for offenders in the re-entry process. Other photos of Dismas attendees are on this and the following page.

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