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Building Gender Informed Practices at the Pretrial Stage: Lessons Learned About Implementing the Inventory of Needs (ION) in Dutchess County, New York

NCJ Number
Stevyn Fogg; Becki Ney
Date Published
April 2016
13 pages
After reviewing the history of the development of a gender-specific pretrial screening tool for women (the Inventory of Need), this monograph describes its implementation in Dutchess County, NY.
Hamilton County (Cincinnati), Ohio, is a jurisdiction that has long focused on effective pretrial practices and improving responses to women defendants at the pretrial stage. It created a multidisciplinary policy team in 1999 to study the circumstances of women defendants and develop policies that would improve their chances to complete pretrial supervision successfully. In the decade following those initial efforts, the work continued to evolve. In 2010, Hamilton County developed a project with the University of Cincinnati and supported by the National Institute of Corrections. The project drafted a gender-specific pretrial assessment tool, called the Inventory of Need (ION) Pretrial Screening Tool. The ION was used to guide referrals to health and human services. A later empirical test of the ION found important differences between male and female defendants. In 2013, the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women began working with the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community corrections (OPCC) to develop a more robust pretrial process for women. The implementation strategy used in Dutchess County's implementation of the ION is described. It involved setting clear goals; establishing an implementation team to guide the effort; cultivating buy-in from staff, stakeholders, and the women; obtaining well-informed, expert guidance; examining agency-specific factors that could support or prevent implementation of a gender-informed strategy; implementing the ION and accompanying strategies with fidelity; and designing a data plan to measure results. 8 references