Communities Corrections: Foundation or Burden

Categories: Community

There are many different ways for people to face punishment for their crimes. Many aspects of punishment happen within the outside community. These corrections are labeled as community corrections and include parole, probation, and many other things. The idea behind these correctional systems is to keep offenders in the community as to keep community ties, and sometimes jobs while also forcing them to follow rules and regulations to prevent further crime during their time in community corrections. The biggest argument from many sides is whether or not these corrections even work.

Through research and data, it is clear that community corrections are not the most effective method of corrections and should not be expanded due to recidivism rates, effectiveness rates, and the amount of stress these corrections cause on the different communities.

Part of deciding which programs to keep is the effectiveness ratings. Each program within the correctional system is given an effectiveness rating which is an outlook on how the program is doing, and if the program is making a difference or not.

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According to, 2020, at a glance, only 5% of community corrections programs are seen as effective, where 33% are seen to have no effect. These numbers are coordinating with the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS). This effectiveness rate is so low that with the number of people using community corrections, it can pose an extremely large problem. If only 5% of these programs are effective then the rest of the programs allow major offenders to slip through the crack, allowing more problems to be created within the community.

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These problems are exactly what is not wanted by communities, and especially by the legal system. If these programs were to be expanded farther than they already are, then the effectiveness ratings will plummet farther and more people will be faced with more crimes done by criminals who were supposed to be facing their punishments.

These problems are an even bigger problem for the community due to the fact that some of the programs that appear to not be effective include ager management, drug abuse, and even dating violence (, 2020). These programs are only a few with no effectiveness, yet they are some of the scariest to have no effect. They allow a culture of abuse to be formulated and continued with a feeling of little to no consequence, something that should never be possible (, 2020). With no effectiveness come the recidivism rates for offenders. According to Nathan James, 2015, ‘Recidivism is often defined as the rearrest, reconviction, or reincarceration of an ex-offender within a given time frame’ (Pg. 5). The recidivism rates show another way of analyzing how effective a program is, the higher the rate, the less effective the program is. Depending on the criminal that is being rearrested, some members of the community may not see a large problem with these rates.

Although according to Nathan James, 2015, during a five-year study conducted by the U.S Department of Justice, ‘71.3% of violent offenders’ (Pg. 7) were rearrested. These violent offenders include people who may have hurt others, and who possibly have the ability to hurt more people again. This is not what should be seen in programs that want to expand. These people should not be allowed to go back into society and have the ability to cause more trouble and pain while waiting to be arrested again. The violent offenders and people like them should not have the ability to be rearrested at the rates they are. It appears that imprisoning them is a safer way to ensure that for however long these people are forced to review their actions and that way more people aren’t getting hurt within that time period.

Finally, the stress these programs put on society appears to be a larger burden than it is a help to the people who use these programs. The communities these offenders are put back into have to face the fact that these people have the ability to once again commit more crimes, and that according to Nathan James, 2015, they more than likely will be rearrested for more crimes. Following the broken windows theory, many criminals tend to come out of neighborhoods with high crime rates, lowering the value of the neighborhood. Letting a criminal back into a neighborhood with an already high crime rate allows a higher culture of crime to be formed, and more people who do not have the ability to leave that neighborhood to fear more of their neighbors. These neighborhoods are not safe for children to be raised in, and in turn, make more generations of criminals. Children will look to the criminals within their neighborhoods for ways to make easy money to help out their families, all while sending them down a dark path of criminality, and danger. The broken windows theory states that these neighborhoods of high crime show the dangers of offenders, and how their effects are farther than just their household. Allowing community corrections to expand and send offenders back to these neighborhoods to expand their crime rates again, and stresses out the neighborhoods more than they should (Siegel, & Worrall, 2019).


There are many aspects of community corrections that have high hopes, but there is more data to show that an expansion of these programs would be money spent in the wrong programs. These programs show low effectiveness rating, high-stress levels on communities, and even higher recidivism rates. In contrast, the program that seems to show a better use of this money would be the prison systems. At least within these systems, they are forced to review their actions, are removed from the communities, therefore lowering their stress rates, and the crimes they can commit inside a prison are far less impactful than the crimes they are able to commit while in community corrections.

While community corrections appear to be more practical, they are far less effective than imprisonment. Therefore, community corrections should not be expanded as they cause intense stress on the communities they return to, do not appear to work to stop offenders from committing more crimes and do not show any effectiveness in changing offenders into law-abiding citizens. The money spent on expanding these programs would be a waste of funds and would be better spent on prison systems where offenders can be contained and controlled to a better extent.

References (2020). Retrieved March 23, 2020, from James, N. (2018, August 28). Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism. Retrieved March 23, 2020, from Siegel L., Worrall J. (2019). Essentials of Criminal Justice. Cengage, 11(1).

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Communities Corrections: Foundation or Burden. (2016, Jun 13). Retrieved from

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