High Risk Offender Ethnography (2009-2010)
With the third ethnographic research project conducted for CSOSA in Washington, DC CuSAG interviewed reentrants who were considered to have a high probability of recidivism (returning to prison) within 3 years of release to help determine where policies could be made more effective in enabling more successful reintegration to society.

Workshop on Prison-to-Community Reentry Accountability: Towards a "Capital Black Belt" Approach (2009)
On May 1, 2009, CuSAG convened a meeting of community stakeholders, law enforcement professionals, and former inmates from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to discuss efforts to prevent recidivism, the challenges around making the transition from prison to community life, and prevention of youth crime involvement in economically distressed communities.

Violence Reduction Project Ethnography (2006-2007)
The Violence Reduction Project Ethnography (the VRPE) is a current CuSAG contract with the Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency (CSOSA) to carry out an ethnographic study of high crime Washington,DC neighborhoods in order to enhance CSOSA’s understanding of the viability of these neighborhoods and their risks for those reentering them following incarceration. The methods used in this study included: (1) the analysis of statistical data, organizational document, and other secondary data; (2) windshield and walking community observational tours complemented by Key Community and Cultural Expert Interviews; (3) observation of CSOSA programs and activities; (4) Mapping using GIS Technology; and (5) Socio-demographic and Focus Group Interviews of CSOSA staff, parole officers, reentrants, and community stakeholders.   

Presentation to the District of Columbia Annual Judicial Conference (June 15, 2007)
CuSAG was invited to present the preliminary findings of the VRPE at the annual conference of judges in DC who are responsible for sentencing offenders. The purpose was to give judges the opportunity to hear opinions regarding the crime, incarceration, and reentry process from a cross section of stakeholders from CSOSA, parole officers, the community, and reentrants themselves. Methods include: (1) organizational document and other secondary data analysis; (2) observation of RSC program activities; (3) semi-structured interviews of Key RSC staff and representatives of follow up care organizational representatives; and (4) Socio-demographic and Focus Group Interviews of RSC clients (reentrants in residence at the RSC).

Reentry and Sanction Center Ethnography (2007-2008)
From the VRPE, CuSAG is learning that substance abuse problems may be the major obstacle to reentrant successful transition from prison to community, and a major reason for a return to crime and incarceration. CSOSA has initiated the Reentry and Sanction Center, a 28 day residential drug treatment center (the RSC), followed by contracting with certain vendors in the DC area to provide follow-up outpatient care. CSOSA has contracted CuSAG to carry out the Reentry and Sanction Center Ethnography (the RSCE) of the Center,  its staff, its clients, and the follow up care provided by vendors for a better understanding of the process.  

Psychosocial Costs of Drug Trafficking (1990-91)
CuSAG provided consultation to the Research Triangle Institute, National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) in designing and implementing two neighborhood ethnographies in Washington, D.C. to explore how perception of psychosocial costs of drug trafficking differed in two neighborhoods.  This ethnography was part of a large multidisciplinary NIDA study of drug trafficking in the broader D.C. Metropolitan area (including parts of southern Maryland and Northern Virginia). The methods used by CuSAG were in-depth ethnographic interviews, FGIs, and assessment of community needs.

 

   

CuSAG: The Cultural Systems Analysis Group
Department of Anthropology  |  University of Maryland
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