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Community Based Corrections: Viable Alternative To Incarceration

1808 words - 7 pages

Community-based corrections alleviate overcrowded correctional facilities, reduce taxpayer burden, and rehabilitate offenders, while providing effective, efficient low cost methods of supporting public safety, community rehabilitation, behavior modification and personnel responsibility, because it uses multiple approaches and involves both legislative and judicial personnel in all steps of the process. Community-based corrections facilities are located in the community and support diverse rehabilitative programs including restitution, community service and repayment of monetary fines (Moses, 2007). Community-based correction is not incarceration; there is accountability, responsibility and supervision with graduation within nine and twenty four months of enrollment (Honarvar, 2010). Probation, day reporting and house arrest, which use global positioning satellite tracking devices, are forms of community-based corrections, which cost less than five dollars a day (Honarvar, 2010). The efficiency by which community corrections reduce cost, prison populations, and decreases this rate judges should disposition to these programs in lieu of incarceration (Honarvar, 2010). The state spends taxpayer money on building correctional facilities and staff to supervise offenders, while the research shows reduced recidivism rates when community service and other alternative methods of rehabilitation are used (Hovarvar, 2010). However, to maintain the balance of justice and rehabilitation, society demands incarceration for all criminals. Judges continue to support determinate sentencing guidelines over reducing the taxpayer’s burden and placing victimless crime offenders in community workhouses (Taylor, 2011). The issues of restitution and public safety is better addressed when criminals are monetarily paying their debt to society and skills are learned for future employment opportunities. Preserving the criminal justice system and reducing the burden on the taxpayer goes hand in hand, however, not focusing on community service and alternative methods of punishment continue to prove counterproductive to zero recidivism.
Community-based corrections have been show to be an effective alternative to incarceration (Moses, 2007). Researchers have a positive attitude towards community-based corrections, while the public’s perception is negative. The focus of the research is economic effectiveness and humanistic treatment of the offenders. The results indict a need for wider implementation of community-based correction programs. The funding is significantly lower for taxpayers than correctional facilities (Moses, 2007). Community-based correction reduces the overall cost spent on corrections; reduces the prison population and gives the public more control over its criminal population. “Landerville agreed “It is possible to speak about real saving of public funds by using community corrections only when “they are presented as alternatives to imprisonment...

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