Chapter 12 Community Corrections
Community Corrections: Definition and Scope Community corrections is sometimes referred to as noninstitutional corrections. community corrections The subfield of corrections in which offenders are supervised and provided services outside jail or prison.
Community Corrections: Definition and Scope • Community corrections includes: • Diversion • Restitution • Probation • Parole • Halfway houses
Goals and Staff Roles Community corrections has traditionally emphasized rehabilitation as its goal.
Goals and Staff Roles The staff of community correctional programs have two potentially competing roles that reflect different goals: 1.Seeing that offenders comply with the orders of community sentences. 2.Helping offenders identify and address their problems and needs.
Probation One of the most common forms of community correction isprobation. • Probation can be thought of as a type of posttrial diversionfrom incarceration.
probation A sentence in which the offender, rather than being incarcerated, is retained in the community under the supervision of a probation agency and required to abide by certain rules and conditions to avoid incarceration.
Probation A probation agency has three fundamental objectives: Assist the court in matters pertaining to sentencing Promote community protection by supervising and monitoring the activities of persons on probation Promote the betterment of offenders by ensuring that they receive appropriate rehabilitation services
Historical Context The “father” of probation was John Augustus, a Boston shoemaker. In the 1840s, Augustus stood bail for select offenders and promised to monitor their activities and report to the judge. His actions led to the first formal probation law in 1878.
Placement on Probation In deciding whether an offender should be sentenced to probation, a judge considers: • Statute recommendations • Structured sentencing guidelines • Recommendations from the prosecuting and defense attorneys continued…
Placement on Probation • The offender’s freedom or detention in jail before and during trial • Presentence investigation report • Characteristics of the offender and offense
The Presentence Investigation The main task of the presentence investigation (PSI)is to estimate the risk the offender presents to the community and to determine the offender’s treatment needs.
presentence investigation (PSI) An investigation conducted by a probation agency or other designated authority at the request of a court into the past behavior, family circumstances, and personality of an adult who has been convicted of a crime, to assist the court in determining the most appropriate sentence.
The Probation Order There are two types of probation conditions: • Standard (general) conditions apply to all persons on probation • Special conditions are imposed at the discretion of the judge and probation officials and are designed to address the offender’s particular situation.
The Probation Order In recent years it has become increasingly common for jurisdictions to include restitutionorders as part of probation. restitution Money paid or services provided to victims, their survivors, or to the community by a convicted offender to make up for the injury inflicted.
Termination of Probation Ultimately, the probation agency must make recommendations to the court about how probation is to be terminated. • Probationers who have generally fulfilled the conditions of their sentences are recommended for successful discharges. • Probationers who have violated the conditions of probation may be recommended for revocation.
revocation The repeal of a probation sentence or parole, and substitution of a more restrictive sentence, because of violation of probation or parole conditions.
Termination of Probation Revocation can be recommended for two general categories of violations: • Commission of new offenses • Technical violations
technical violations Failure to abide by the technical rules or conditions of probation or parole (for example, not reporting regularly to the probation officer), as distinct from commission of a new criminal act.
Caseload and Recidivism • It is not unusual for probation officers in larger urban jurisdictions to have as many as 200 offenders in their caseloads. • Large caseloads have been criticized for contributing to recidivism.
Parole There are two basic differences between probation and parole: • Parole is not a court-imposed sentence, and • Parole is used with persons leaving prison.
parole A method of prison release whereby inmates are released at the discretion of a board or other authority before having completed their entire sentences; can also refer to the community supervision received upon release.
Parole Parole can be divided into two components: • Parole release is the mechanism for releasing persons from prison. • Parole supervision is a community-based continuation of the prison sentence.
Administration It is helpful to divide parole administration into two areas: • Parole board • Responsible for release decisions • Field service agency • Responsible for supervision in the community
Administration As with probation, there are many differences between states in the way parole is administered, its organization, and it level of autonomy.
Parole Issues Since the 1970s, discretionary parole release has been among the most controversial issues in criminal justice. • Proponents argue that early release provisions are essential for controlling prisoners’ behavior and for containing institutional crowding.
Parole Issues Several criticisms have been directed at parole release: • Parole undermines both retribution and deterrence. • Parole does not sufficiently guarantee public safety. continued…
Parole Issues • Parole is unfair because offenders with similar sentences serve vastly different prison terms. • Linking the degree of participation in prison treatment programs to the possibility of early parole amounts to subtly coercing inmates into programs that are often of questionable effectiveness.
Parole Issues Many jurisdictions have curtailed discretionary parole release. • Many jurisdictions moved to determinate sentencing and increased reliance on mandatory release. • Some states have abolished early release by discretion of a parole board for all offenders.
Intermediate Sanctions Recent dramatic increases in prison, parole, and probation populations have forced community corrections to accommodate growing numbers of offenders. The field has also seen a decline in support for rehabilitation, and a growth in the trend toward intermediate sanctions.
intermediate sanctions Sanctions that, in restrictiveness and punitiveness, lie between traditional probation and traditional imprisonment or, alternatively, between imprisonment and traditional parole.
Intensive-Supervision Probation and Parole (ISP) One intermediate sanction is intensive-supervision probation and parole (ISP). intensive-supervision probation and parole (ISP) An alternative to incarceration that provides stricter conditions, closer supervision, and more treatment services than traditional probation and parole.
Day Reporting Centers One relatively new facet of the intermediate-sanction movement is day reporting centers. day reporting centers Facilities that are designed for offenders who would otherwise be in prison or jail and that require offenders to report regularly to confer with staff about supervision and treatment matters.
Structured Fines, or Day Fines Another relatively new intermediate sanction is structured fines or day fines. structured fines or day fines Fines that are based on defendants’ ability to pay.
Home Confinement and Electronic Monitoring Home confinement is also known as home incarceration, home detention, and house arrest. Home confinement is usually considered more punitive than ISP, but is often used in conjunction with ISP.
home confinement A program that requires offenders to remain in their homes except for approved periods of absence; commonly used in combination with electronic monitoring.
Halfway Houses The goal of halfway housesis to provide offenders with a temporary period of highly structured and supportive living so that they will be better prepared to function independently in the community upon discharge.
halfway houses Community-based residential facilities that are less secure and restrictive than prison or jail but provide a more controlled environment than other community correctional programs.