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Community Corrections Essay

Introduction:

1. Corrections and the tools used to punish and rehabilitate offenders.
2. Introduce Community Corrections.
3. Introduce Thesis- A community corrections sentencing strategy applies a range of intermediate punishments and would better meet the needs of the penal system, convicted offenders, and the community by lowering costs and prison overcrowding, while keeping intermediate crime offenders out of jails and prisons.

Body Paragraphs:

1. How Community Corrections provides alternatives to imprisonment. 2. How Community Corrections is designed to consider both the safety of local residents as well as the treatment and rehabilitation needs of the offender. 3. How Community Corrections reduces prison overcrowding.

4. How Community Corrections allows judges’ a more graduated sentencing system that offers an selection of intermediate sanctions including fines, community service, electronic monitoring, house arrest, intensive probation and boot camps.

Conclusion: How a Community Corrections sentencing strategy is effective in its ability to help rehabilitate offenders and keep prisons clear of intermediate offenders.

Reference Page:
APA formatted reference page.

Using community corrections to better meet the needs of the penal system, convicted offenders, and the community.

The United States correctional system serves two main specific functions in relation to criminal offenders. The correctional system serves as a tool for punishing offenders and forcing the offender to pay for their crimes, it also serves as a means for rehabilitating offenders and preparing them for successful reentry into society. The correctional system today uses probation, parole, imprisonment, and the death penalty to both punish and rehabilitate offenders. A community corrections sentencing strategy applies a range of intermediate punishments and would better meet the needs of the penal system, convicted offenders, and the community by keeping intermediate crime offenders out of jails and prisons.

Community corrections describes programs that provide alternatives to the imprisonment of offenders in jails or prisons. These programs include activities located in the same areas in which offenders live and work. Community corrections options are designed to consider both the safety of local residents as well as the treatment and rehabilitation needs of the offender. According to (Morris & Tonry, 1990), a more comprehensive sentencing strategy that relies on a range of intermediate punishments including; fines, community service, intensive probation, and electronic monitoring would better meet the needs of the penal system, convicted offenders, and the community.

Community corrections can be very beneficial to the individuals who are placed on probation in a sense that it gives them a second chance to redeem their wrongs in society. (Foster, Burk, 2006). Community corrections vary from city to city and state to state, and were originally decentralized under the control of local courts. (Foster, Burk, 2006). Currently, community based alternatives to prison are either state run programs, or county run programs subsidized by the state. Community corrections affect society in a number of positive and negative ways. The positive effect is that probation cuts down on prison and jail costs, and can save hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars that it would cost to feed and house offenders if they were sentenced to prison or jail. A negative effect on society is that you honestly cannot determine whether, the probationer or parolee will abide by the terms of release.

Most prisons are experiencing overcrowding. Several states in the south were ordered by federal mandate to either relieve the overcrowding of the prison system or adapt to other forms of corrections (Petersillia, 1998). This created the concept of intermediate sanctions. Intermediate sanctions are the end result of the idea that imprisonment and probation are both used excessively. (Morris and Tonry, 1990). It was argued that intermediate sanctions could relieve overcrowding, enhance public safety and rehabilitate offenders while producing cost saving to the jurisdictions that imposed them (Petersillia, 1998). (Morris and Tonry, 1990) argued that imprisonment and probation are both used exceptionally, with a near emptiness of useful alternatives in between.

They argued that judges should be allowed a more graduated sentencing system that offers an selection of intermediate sanctions including fines, community service, electronic monitoring, house arrest, intensive probation and boot camps. This, they felt, was crucial as different punishments are viewed differently by various criminals. Boot camp prisons were designed to relieve the overcrowded prison system by reducing the financial costs to the state with the secondary goal of rehabilitating offenders (Mackenzie and Shaw, 1990). (Mackenzie and Shaw, 1990) found the majority of boot camp participants showed stronger positive feelings about their prison experience and were more motivated about the possibility of personal change rather than those who served their sentence in traditional prisons.

(Hermes, 2008) stated, “From 1987 to 2007, the amount that states spent on corrections increased 127 percent, more than six times the 21 percent increase that states directed to higher education over the same period, according to the report. The report written from the Pew Center stated that, “the Pew Center on the States also shows that increases in states’ corrections budgets are far surpassing those for higher education.”(Hermes, 2008). The report from the Pew Center also showed that Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Oregon, and Vermont spend more on corrections than on higher education.

Corrections expenses are higher than ever and are on the rise. If the corrections system does not change it will continue to cost states more and more every year. Funding these prisons this way takes money away from higher learning universities and colleges and the students of our future, the time for change is now. A community corrections sentencing strategy is effective in its ability to help rehabilitate offenders, keep prisons clear of intermediate offenders, all while serving the community by lowering costs of prisons and leaving room for the most violent offenders out in the community.

Reference Page
Community Corrections. (2002). In World of Criminal Justice, Gale. Retrieved from http://lib.kaplan.edu/login?url=/login?qurl=http://www.credoreference.com.lib.kaplan.edu/entry/worldcrims/community_corrections.

Deschenes, E. & Petersilia J. (1994) . What punishes? Inmates rank the severity of prison vs. intermediate sanctions. Federal Probation, Vol. 58 Page: 3

Gale. (2008). West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, Edition 2.
capital punishment

Hermes, J. J. (2008). 5 States Spend More on Prisons Than on Colleges. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 54(27), A17.

Mackenzie, D. & Shaw J. (1990). Inmate Adjustment and Change during Shock Incarceration: The Impact of Correctional Boot Camp Programs” Justice Quarterly, Vol.7: 1:125-150

Morris, N., & Tonry, M. (1990). Between prison and probation: Intermediate punishments in a rational sentencing system. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pearson Education, Inc. (1995-2010). Sentencing and the Correctional System Summary, Chapter 11.
Petersilia, J. (1998). A Decade of Experimenting with Intermediate Sanctions: What Have We Learned” Federal Probation. 62:7-20.

Schwarzenegger, A. Governor (2010).http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/jan/08/overcrowded-and-expensive-governor-addresses-calif


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