The Prison Violence Intervention (PVI) aims to enhance safety and security in prisons for both staff and inmates, and create the conditions necessary for treatment, rehabilitation, and effective reentry.
The Prison Violence Intervention (PVI) aims to enhance safety and security in prisons for both staff and inmates, and create the conditions necessary for treatment, rehabilitation, and effective reentry. PVI relies on direct communication with inmates through call-ins, as well as briefings during intake and documents distributed to cells, to deliver an antiviolence message from community members, information about consequences for further violence, and an offer of help for those who want it. The strategy uses the National Network’s process to identify the institution’s key players and target serious prison offenses such as assaults against staff, multi-inmate fights, and assaults with weapons. In call-in meetings, prison staff informs inmates that further violence by any member of a group will result in swift, certain consequences for its members—things meaningful to inmates, like limits on telephone privileges, personal radio use, television access, or time in the yard. The prison also invites family, influential community members, and ex-offenders to speak to inmates, sharing their experiences with the damage caused by group-related violence. Finally, prison staff explains the help they can offer—opportunities like substance abuse counseling and GED and vocational classes aimed at making good use of their time and helping them come out prepared. Initial reports from the Washington State Department of Corrections, where the strategy was piloted, suggest that it has resulted in significant decreases in violent acts against staff and other inmates.
This report discussed the outcomes of the first year of Operation Place Safety, which uses the principles of the Group Violence Intervention to deter violence in a closed custody unit of Washington Department of Corrections.
Warner, B., Pacholke, D., & Kujath, C. (2014). Operation Place Safety: First Year in Review. Washington Department of Corrections, Unpublished Report.
"When states are judged solely on their incarceration rates, we are ignoring the leading type of correctional control: probation. In fact, some of the states that appear to be least punitive are the most likely to put their residents under some other form of correctional control."
New York City officials are investing new funds in violence reduction initiatives at Riker's Island. Jason Bergman