CJS230 - Community Corrections

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Title: Community Corrections Submitted by: Travis Hance Course: CJS230 Instructor: David Foltzer

CJS230 - Community Corrections What are community corrections? How do community corrections affect the society in which they are practiced? What hypothesis can you make about community corrections and their overall effectiveness within the correctional system?

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Community corrections is a term which applies to both the original forms of punishment, and modern alternative forms of punishment, applied today due to the large amounts of convicts and inmates currently inhabiting and taxing the criminal justice system. Originally, the term community correction was applicable because the ‘community’ demanded retribution for crimes committed. Once an offender had paid for the crime, they were expected to rejoin the community as a whole. As the size of towns and cities increased, the concept of community corrections changed. Now this concept represents a different type of punishment, one which reduces the load on the actual prisons, with the hope that those who receive alternative sentences are of a less dangerous type of criminal. Community corrections specifically effects the prison systems by potentially reducing the inmate load and allowing alternative means for monitoring those who have been convicted, owe a societal debt, and yet pose a minimal risk to society through a program which releases them with varying degrees of monitoring. These programs have been continuously proven to lighten the load of the current prison systems with great effectiveness. “These alternatives, founded on probation and the suspended sentence, supervise more than twice as many offenders as are held in secure confinement.” (Foster, 2006). The idea that we must reduce the load

CJS230 - Community Corrections on the prison system has been met with relative success throughout the United States over the past twenty years. “We have also increased the numbers of persons under community supervision by pursuing the policy of net widening, which means pulling lesser offenders into the system under more formal controls than would have been the case previously. Thus, both populations—the incarcerated and the non-incarcerated have increased dramatically in a relatively short period of time.” (Foster, 2006).

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How would you describe prison systems in foreign countries? How do other nations view imprisonment and put it into practice? What might happen with the U.S. prison system if the United States adopted another country’s prison system?

I strongly believe that the prison systems within our country represent a sincere desire to protect the rights of the citizen. Other countries often reduce or even outright refuse to acknowledge basic human rights. While we as Americans do not always achieve perfection in our form of punishment, we can at least be proud that we protect a basic set of human rights that are applied based upon our Constitution. Should we adopt another countries set of guidelines, and in my opinion, any other countries legal guidelines we would simply be stepping backwards in time to less effective means. We as a nation have adopted a general set of guidelines that allow us a period of time to address serious crimes. During that period of time we have an appeals process that allows those in the

CJS230 - Community Corrections

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criminal justice system to continue to examine facts and search in such a manner that can uncover potential errors within the process.

What type of community correction idea might you recommend to implement in your community? Explain your answer.

I believe that the biggest advantage we can provide to the entire criminal justice system as a whole is simply first, to increase the amount of funding that is available to communities, and second, to increase professionalism through education. While a push for educated officers and public servants has increased, the low cost of the average salary does not support what we should expect. I therefore believe that we must support public servants by offering continuing education that is either free or a drastically reduced tuition cost. There are numerous private college institutions that offer alternative means of education, and I am shocked that states have not instituted a specific form of education for public education that is nationally and regionally accredited. This type of education would help public servants acquire, both initially and continually, the type of skills needed to help administer the correctional needs of the community. It would give them the tools needed to ensure that violent offenders receive the appropriate sentence and confinement, while non-violent offenders receive options that can allow them to pay their debt to society while not applying additional burdens to the taxpayers. “These chronic offenders will be confined in prison. Other offenders will be supervised under less severe (and less expensive) sanctions in non-

CJS230 - Community Corrections secure settings. If prison populations are to be brought under control, to level off, or even go into decline, as some advocates have argued should happen, the system of dealing with criminals outside jail and prison must be more coordinated and highly developed.” (Foster, 2006). This idea of continuing and reduced educational cost for public servants is the best concept that I see as a way to improve the correctional, and for that matter, the public service system as a whole.

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CJS230 - Community Corrections References

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A. Corrections: The Fundamentals, by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc. Page 455

B. Corrections: The Fundamentals, by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc. Page 458

C. Corrections: The Fundamentals, by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc. Page 459