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Evolution of Community Corrections

Community corrections have evolved into an important component of the correctional system. Probation and parole are the tenets of community corrections and involve the supervisory element in the community, but they differ in various aspects. Probation is mainly a sentencing option that is available to local judges. Convicted offenders are released by judges and magistrates to serve their sentence under a court-imposed condition for a particular period. Parole is an early release of an offender from a correctional institution before the expiration of their sentence on the status of exceptional behaviour and supervision in the society. This process is also a supervised release

Community corrections also include other sanctions such as restitution, intense monitoring, fines and also community service. Commonly these alternative punishments come mainly under the jurisdiction of agencies accountable for the administration of parole and probation. Probation can be traced to the application of several practices exercised in English and also later in American courts. The concept of release on recognizance or bail enabled defendants that agreed to particular conditions of release to return to their community as they wait for their trial (Hanser, 2009).

Judges in the United States exercised their authority in the past through suspension of a sentence of a convicted defendant if justice had been miscarried in any way. Application of judicial power in suspending a sentence was extended to cases where there was no miscarriage of justice. This process began in the 1830s, and such suspensions have consistently been challenged in the New York state court in1894 and also later in the Supreme Court in 1916. Both courts indicated that in the absence of a legal directive, the judges and magistrate did not have the authority to suspend sentences. However, this system was changed, and probation became an option only when the offense is highly small. Crimes such as drug possession were subjected to probation. The primary function of probation is rehabilitation. In the mid-nineteenth century, most offenders were sentenced to determinate sentences. Under this element of sentencing, the offender received a particular amount of time to serve in prison due to s a specific crime. This was highly challenging as prisons became overcrowded. Governors and wardens issued mass pardons had to release offenders randomly to make room for entering prisoners.

Community corrections

Community correction system is a highly efficient alternative to Incarceration. This process involves the supervision and the management of offenders in the community. The offenders usually serve court imposed orders either as a better alternative to incarceration or a condition of their releases on parole. This element means that these individuals must consistently report to their appropriate corrections officer and may have to participate actively in numerous rehabilitation and community work programs.

An effective correction system mainly provides the necessary programs and support in assisting individuals to change their offensive behavior. Several offenders need education, support and also training to help them improve their opportunities of having productive lives. Individuals that serve custodial sentences constantly need transitional help before and after they are released. This process helps them effectively reintegrate into the society and reconnect with their families and friends. Incarceration should be the last resort. Through appropriate sentencing, the judges and magistrates can effectively impose sanctions to criminal offenders with small criminal charges (Sieh, 2006). The penalties can include those in the community corrections and therefore these well-structured programs cannot be termed as soft options. They are highly effective in altering the behavior of the person compared to the short periods of incarceration. An effective corrections system interacts and offers numerous opportunities to improve the lives of the offenders and also deliver economic and social benefits to the community.

Incarceration, however, remains the best option in the placement of some criminals. However, the corrections systems must do more than just depriving some of these offenders of their freedoms. They must adequately provide decent noncustodial sentencing options and assist offenders in reintegrating into the society properly and also prevent re offending.

Reintegrative shaming

Reintegrative shaming is a highly common practice in the current justice system. Reintegrative shaming refers to a particular element of shaming that is imposed as a sanction mainly by the criminal justice system. This sanction is done with the sole purpose of strengthening the moral bond between the offender and the community. Stigmatic shaming has significantly ruined the relationship between the offender and the society. This process might negatively change the life of the offender entirely. However, reintegrative shaming provides a conducive environment that the offender can safely return to the society as a law upholding individual (Miles, and Raynor, 2016). The reintegrative shaming has not entirely been refined; however, its popularity in the society has grown rapidly. The use of reintegrative shaming has not lost its importance in the criminal justice system.

Reintegrative shaming is highly applicable in the society. Rather than creating more crime, the system is actively preventing future acts of crime from happening. Due to reintegrative shaming, the crime rates in most communities have reduced. These communities have effectively communicated shame to individuals that committed these offenses. However, due to stigmatized shaming, numerous bouts of violent behavior are likely to occur from former offenders.

Nothing works concept

The concept of nothing works is based on the belief that prisons have functioned as decaying grounds of good intentions than as institutions that have contained the proper mechanisms that deliver appropriate services to the offenders that need assistance. Martison stated that prisons have already played out their role, and therefore, the offenders cannot be adequately reformed. The prisons systems must be torn down entirely since they do not serve their purpose of rehabilitation. He stated that the current penal system lacked the capacity of developing strategies that will symbolize real restoration because the culture of corrections has become focused and entrenched that it cannot address adequately trey to alter their system. Therefore, the change is highly ineffectual as there is no form of rehabilitative change behind bars.

Martison here clearly stated that the only way to achieve greater results in the rehabilitation system is to create and establish better strategies. This concept has led to modifications on the corrections policy decisions from this point and has led into harsher sentencing imposed on offenders and also high institutional expenses. The federal government cut the spending of the penal institution systems by half(Crow, 2001). People did not comprehend the assertions made by Martinson as prisons began being erected. They ended up spending more of their funds on safety. However, by a research continuum the findings and I individual acquires enables a person to comprehend their analysis. Martinson conducted research through the accumulated statistics of his assessment, and he made the point that it is highly impossible to determine the rehabilitation process unless it happened. Therefore, the nothing works concept highly justified. The society does not need to give up their stance on their recovery procedures. Education and training are not elements of rehabilitation. A person can be highly skilled in various socially acceptable characteristics without being entirely socially competent. Without this element of competence, there is no eventual societal reintegration.

Problem-Solving Courts

Principles of Problem Solving Courts

Enhanced Information

Better staff training especially in the area of complex issues such as domestic violence combined with better information concerning all the affected individuals in the context of crime can assist in the improvement of decision making of lawyers, judges and other justice officials. Information gathered that is of high quality with the help of technology advancement can help legal practitioners in making informed decisions concerning the treatment needs and the associated risks of the defendants directed towards public safety. This process ensures the offenders receive appropriate supervision (Donoghue, 2014).

Community Engagement

Citizens and residents have a significant role to play in assisting the judicial system to prioritize, identify and also solve local challenges. These citizens are usually actively engaged, and this significantly helps in improvement of public trust in the entire judicial system. The greater trust developed assists people to feel safe and also promotes lawful behavior and makes the public more willing in cooperation with judicial officials in the pursuit of justice. Traditional courts have continually minimized contact between their communities and themselves. Wiener, and Brank, (2013), emphasized that finding important roles for the public significantly helps in keeping the community engaged.


Justice system leaders are strategically positioned to engage various people from different backgrounds, government agencies and also community enterprises. They conduct these collaborative efforts to improve public safety. In the process of bringing together justice partners and also reach out to relevant stakeholders beyond the courtrooms, the justice agencies can significantly improve their interagency communication as they effectively encourage greater trust between the government bodies and also the public and therefore enhance new responses, sentencing and diversion options highly necessary to various problems.

Individualized Justice

Problem-solving justice is connected to the element that all defendants must be treated as individuals and not as people on a docket. One of the main forces that have led to the expansion of problem-solving courts is the frustration felt by several front line judicial officials that have do not practice assembly line justice. In contrast, problem-solving justice aim towards moving away from a one size fits all frameworks to justice. Several court cases are not highly complicated within a legal framework.


The justice system can effectively send the message that every criminal characteristic has an enormous impact on the safety of the community has negative consequences. Through insisting on rigorous and regular compliance monitoring and also a clear framework for observing consequences for non-compliance, the justice system can efficiently improve the accountability of offenders


The ongoing and active collection and evaluation of data measuring the process and the results, benefits and costs are important frameworks in the assessment of the effectiveness of operations and also encouraging continuous improvement. Public dissemination of this relevant information can become a highly critical symbol of public accountability. Problem-solving strategies take various approaches. They are mainly concern d about the process; however they also seek additional information. This information is requested through asking questions that are found in the knowledge and research of experts outside the courtroom.

Differences between Problem solving courts and traditional criminal courts

Judges in traditional courts typically turn over custody and also supervision of the offenders to either probation departments or community supervision. These judges usually do not examine the sentenced offenders unless they are brought back to the court for further revocation proceedings. Judges in problem-solving courts closely monitor the entire progress of the criminals and therefore, have more communication and contact with all the relevant criminal justice departments such as the probation and parole offices

Coercive abstinence model

Tonry, (2011), stated that coerced abstinence refers to the drug rehabilitation process that utilizes the process of frequent monitoring and also immediate punishment for the goal of reduction of drug use among the participants. For problematic drug users, any coercion on them in entering treatment is highly unethical. Ordering treatment for a person that does not have a specific treatable condition can only be viewed as the application of treatment as a type of punishment. As punishment is harm on the individual and restricts their liberty, this practice is highly forbidden against the codes of medical ethics. Also coercion of dependent drug users in correction facilities that may benefit from the treatment but are not subjected to penal sanctions for crimes apart from drug possession. When considerations are made for the compulsory treatment of this person, there are several breaches based on the principle of informed consent. There is also little evidence in demonstrating the mandatory treatment of this nature as it is highly effective in meeting the objectives of the drug treatment

Also, on the chances of a quasi-mandatory treatment, It becomes highly likely ethical for drug dependent offenders that have committed more serious crimes compared to the drug possession charge. This is because they may face penal sanctions for these offenses that may cause direct harm to other people and also may be justified in longer periods and also follow the proportionality principle. In the United Stets, some dependent drug abusers might commit repeated crimes of acquisition such as fraud and theft and also dealing drugs. Such offenses carry large penalties than simple drug possession. Therefore, this makes it possible in offering a quasi-compulsory choice in entering treatment that is less restrictive of their freedoms than would the typical penal sanction, People that used drugs and currently face a form of legal coercion may be highly unmotivated to change, and therefore, they will unlikely succeed in the treatment process.

Actuarial approach to risk assessment

The actuarial method is strongly linked with the paradigm of prediction that is highly popular within a violence context. These methods are tailored to predict particular behaviors mainly within a specific time frame. The stated objective of the actuarial framework is the prediction of violence in a relative context through the comparison of an individual to a standard based reference group and also a comprehensive framework for the provision of a precise estimate of the chances of occurrence of future violence. They key strength of this approach is that it highly improves the element of poor reliability and also the validation of an unstructured clinical evaluation. The actuarial framework can effectively help the elevator to estimate in a relative context the risk posed by the individual over a given period compared to a particular reference group.

Actuarial frameworks have been criticized for their inadequacies in practical utility. Therefore, there is an unresolved rationale between the science and practice of this approach. Practitioners have become reluctant in utilizing this method since it can eliminate the credibility of their profession. This is because they view their role in the prevention of violence and not predicting when it will occur. From the prevention of violence framework, actuarial frameworks can inform individuals concerning the overall management or risk levels. However, they do little in informing the practitioners concerning the specific prevention structures (Andrade, 2009). Also, actuarial instruments usually lack a goodness of fit where the offender treatment programs have an element of in congruence between the violence prevention program targets such as their perceptions toward violence and also these risk assessment instruments fail to consider these elements. Although actuarial approaches provide the landscape of precision and objectivity, they constantly yield highly modest correlations with violence and therefore are subjected to several limitations such as measurement error and statistical shrinkage.

Risk needs and responsivity

The risk principle asserts that the offender recidivism can be decreased in the situation where the treatment service levels for the offender are significantly proportional to the risk that the offender will repeat the offense. The need principle states that there is required the focus of correctional treatment, and it must be based on criminogenic needs. Criminogenic needs are those dynamic risk factors that are directly associated with criminal behaviors. Criminogenic needs can highly fluctuate, unlike most static risk factors that can only be changed in one particular direction which involves being increased. They are also immutable to various treatment interventions. Offenders have several needs that deserve treatment, however, not all of their needs are connected with their criminal behavior.

Bowen, and Brown, (2012), stated that the responsivity principle mainly refers to the fact that the process of cognitive, social learning interventions and therefore, these are highly the most efficient way to teach individuals new behaviors without considering whether the behavior is positive or negative. Active cognitive, social learning frameworks mainly operate by the relationship principle where there is an established warm, collaborative and respectful working alliance with the person. Also there is the structuring principle which influences the change direction that leans towards pro social, appropriate problem solving. Specific responsivity calls for various treatment interventions to be considered as personal strengths and socio-biological personality elements. Treatments must then be created to these influences as they have an enormous potential in facilitating or hindering treatment. Treatment interventions can promote learning to the criminal offenders. Offender treatment programs usually involve the process of teaching offenders new behaviors and cognitive patterns and the framework of maximizing this learning experience largely needs attention to various personal cognitive, social factors.


Andrade, J. T. (2009). Handbook of Violence Risk Assessment and Treatment: The New Approaches for Mental Health Professionals. Springer Publishing Company

Bowen, E. & Brown, S. (2012). Perspectives on Evaluating Criminal Justice and Corrections. Emerald Group Publishing

Crow, I. (2001). The Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders: The International library of basic criminology, criminal justice, and penology. SAGE

Donoghue, J. (2014). Transforming Criminal Justice?: The Problem-Solving and Court Specialisation Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice. Routledge

Hanser, R. D. (2009). Community Corrections. SAGE Publications Inc

Miles, H. & Raynor, P. (2016). Reintegrative Justice in Practice: An Informal Management of Crime in an Island Community. Routledge

Sieh, E. W. (2006). Community Corrections and Human Dignity. Criminal justice illuminated. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Jones & Bartlett Learning

Tonry, M. (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Crime and also Criminal Justice. Oxford University Press, USA

Wiener, R. L. & Brank, E. (2013). Problem Solving Courts: The Social Science and Legal Perspectives. Springer Science & Business Media