Community corrections Essay Example

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Community corrections

Risk principle

The risk principle stipulates that higher intensity services should be reserved for higher risk cases. This is predicated on observations that higher risk cases respond better to more intensive services than to less intensive services, while lower risk offenders fare as well or better with minimal intervention. Module 8.3, slide 16.

The risk principle asserts that services of higher intensity should be a reservation of the cases that poses a higher risk. It is observed that cases that pose higher risk always show a positive respond to services that are more intense unlike with lower risk offenders who require a minimal response. An example is that low risk offenders tend to have connections to their home, family, job, and friends that always define the offenders as low risk, and going into residential corrections program together with higher risk offenders can damage those existing connections hence increasing the chance of reoffending.

Responsivity principle

The responsivity principleasserts that the styles and modes of service should be matched to the learning styles of offenders. This increases the potential for treatment gain, ultimately mitigating recidivism. Module 8.3, slide 16

The responsivity principle states that the modes and styles of service offered to offenders should be marching with their learning styles. Upholding the principle of responsivity enables mitigation of recidivism. An example is when a correctional counsellor gets the opportunity to interact and hence address a criminogenic need of the offender leading to the success of the correctional program.

Needs principle

The needs principle states that the target of the service should be matched to the criminogenic needs of the offender. Criminogenic needs are a subset of risk. They are characterised by their potential for change; they are case characteristic in that, when altered, they reduce the likelihood of recidivism. Module 8, slide 16.

According to the needs principle, the criminogenic of the offenders should in a match with the target of the service. Criminogenic needs have a feature of their potential to change. Their flexibility to change therefore reduces the chances of recidivism. Example is when priority is given to the drivers of the criminal behaviour in the offender hence specific programmes specific to addressing the behaviour are enacted like creating employment if youths engage in theft due to unemployment.


Decarceration can simply be defined as the reduction in prisoner numbers by the introduction of other options – principally community based. The trend in the use of prisons and community based options is ostensibly a product of the philosophical position that prisons should be an option of last resort, and should only be exercised when there is an overwhelming requirement for the protection of the community. In accordance with his philosophy, there has been pressure applied to develop a broader range of sentencing options that can be applied to keep offenders out of prison. Module 2.3, slide 5.

Decarceration is viewed as the reduction of prisoners in prisons by using other options that are basically community orientated. A broader range of sentencing options is always adapted so that offenders are out of prison. The reason for decarceration is because prisons are viewed as the last resort, and they can only be engaged when there is dire need to protect the community. Another reason for decarceration is argued that it is the cost factor. Many believe that the cost of maintaining the offenders in the community is cheaper and impacts positively on their lives as compared to imprisoning the offenders. An example may include the offender being taken for vocational training in the community programs instead of being taken to prison.

Injunctive measures


(banning legal conduct)

Travel (e.g., from jurisdiction, to specific criminogenic spots)

Association (e.g., with other offenders)

Possession of weapons

Use of alcohol

Professional activity (e.g., disbarment)

Injunctive measures refer to the banning of legal conduct. In this regard when an offender poses a risk to the community, he or she may be banned from legal conducts like driving in cases where he has been involved in notorious careless driving. Another example is when an offender has misused his or her gun; he or she may be banned from possessing weapons. Module 1.3, slide 4.

Law and order campaigns

The delivery of correctional programs does not take place in a vacuum, rather it takes place in a highly charged political environment were media and community interest is great. Since the late sixties, politicians of all persuasions have used the public’s anxieties and fears of being the victim of crime to promote their political party as the one having the answers. This has spawned the term “law and order campaigns” to describe the process where differing sides of politics attempt to outbid each other in the range and punitiveness of approaches to dealing with the problem of crime. Adherents to ‘law and order’ have a fundamental belief in the efficacy of harsh penalties as deterrents combined with incarceration as the best method to reduce crime .Module 1.3, slide 4

Law and order campaigns explain the process by which political parties on different divide looking for power seek to outdo each in their approaches that they intend to adopt in dealing with crime problems. Political parties tend to show the public that when elected they will ensure adherence to law and order as they believe penalties that result from disobeying the law reduces crime offences. Political parties that do not promote law and order campaign may be viewed unable to handle crimes hence weak. An example is when political parties campaign on the platforms of how each will ensure that law and order is upheld. They tend to convince the public on the measures they plan to enact to ensure offenders face the law.

Risk control

Risk control/assessment concentrates on the likelihood of a particular offender re-offending and makes use of standardised assessment and actuarial tools to quantify risk. From this assessment of risk, mitigation strategies can be applied to reduce the potential of re-offending (electronic bracelets, curfews, etc.). Module 2.2, slide 5

Risk control has a keen interest in the potential of particular offence recurring by the offender hence standardised assessment and actuarial tools are used so that the risk is quantified to avoid recurrence. An example is when mitigation strategies like curfews are adopted as risk control mechanism to control reoccurrence of the offence by the offender. Risk control aims at eliminating any exposure of risk that may cause potential harm.

Net widening

This net widening/broadening effect refers to the unintentional phenomenon of increasing the reach of the criminal justice system to draw in people who would otherwise not normally have been charged with an offence. Rather than reserving the criminal justice system for the more serious, high risk repeat offenders, alternative measures (community based options) widen the ambit of the criminal justice system. Module 2.3, slide 5.

Net widening is defined as an unintentional circumstance that leads to increased reach to the justice system leading to drawing in people who would not have been charged with an offence. The criminal justice system should be reserved for dangerous offenders however the community-based options widen the ambit of criminal justice system. Net-widening has a severe impact on the aboriginals and young people because the consequences of its effects are unevenly distributed in the community. An example is when police officers search the whole community when looking for a missing offender. The effects of the searching may be adverse as it may lead to arrest of innocent people.

Risk reduction

Risk management involves an assessment of risk in order to put external limits or constraints on behaviour. Constraints, as discussed in modules 3 and 4, can include curfews, urine analysis, home detention, reporting. Module 7, slide 14.

Risk reduction involves putting external constraints on the behaviour of the offender to reduce the effect of the offence. An example is enacting home detention to restrain the offender from harming the public. Such rules are always adapted when the offender posses high risk to the public. By enacting home detention to volatile offenders the purpose of reducing the effect of the offence to the community at large is achieved. When the offenders are given freedom of association they might do more harm unlike when they are home detained.

Dual relationship

Dual relationships, as the name implies, occurs when a professional engages in multiple or overlapping relationships with their client, with an associated violation of professional boundaries. Common examples of dual relationships can be seen where medical practitioners have sexual relationships with their patients, and, increasingly it would seem, teachers have sexual or intimate relationships with their students. However, dual relationships do not only involve sexual relationships and can occur on an emotional or financial basis as well. Module 10, slide 20.

A dual relationship is defined as a professional engaging in an overlapping relationship with their clients that has an association with violation of the professional limitations. Dual relationship leads to professional judgements that are compromised, and the judgements come after a breach of the ethical code of conduct. An example is when police engage the prisoners for sexual favours. On the same note, the dual relationship is not only based on sexual relationship and can also involve financial and emotional. Often, people in higher positions have been viewed as taking a parenting role over those with low positions, in turn, those who are under their charge become retarded in their emotional and social and emotional development.