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Community Corrections Programs

Claudett Minott, Jessica Schubert
  • Author
    Claudett Minott

    Claudett Minott has been a teacher for over 30 years. She started teaching after receiving a Bachelor's degree in Education. She has worked with remedial students in Science and Math. She has expertise in lesson planning and curriculum writing.

  • Instructor
    Jessica Schubert

    Jessica is a practicing attorney and has taught law and has a J.D. and LL.M.

Explore the community corrections programs. Learn about community corrections orders, and study the importance and different types of community-based corrections. Updated: 06/14/2022

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What is Community Corrections?

Community corrections, also known as deinstitutionalization, are programs that manage criminal offenders outside of correctional facilities and in the community. Community based corrections are strategies that decrease expenditure on corrections, decrease the rates at which there are repeat offences, and reduce overcrowding in correctional facilities. In fact, community-based corrections was a response to the level of overcrowding in prisons in the 1960's. At that time, physical abuse was rampant in prisons and there were little to no accommodations made for inmates who were mentally ill. The rates at which released inmates would reoffend were also very high. A community correction order (CCO) is a sentence that is imposed by a judge allowing an individual to serve their sentence in the community.

Community corrections is often geared at restorative justice. Restorative justice refers to restitution by the offender in different forms. Offenders may be sentenced to community service, ordered to pay a fine, or complete other duties. For example, an offender whose crime is the destruction of property with graphite may be ordered to restore the defaced premises.

Public safety is a crucial component of community correction programs and there are systems put in place to screen offenders and limit the negative impacts on the community. For example, registries and residence restrictions are used to manage sex offenders in the community. These help to discourage reoffence and inform the community of sex offenders that reside there.

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Different Types of Community Corrections

There are a wide range of community-based corrections programs that are aimed at rehabilitating offenders and decreasing recidivism, or the tendency of a relapse or reoffend. Different types of community corrections have different target groups, but all are geared toward helping individuals with reintegration.

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses are transitional community-based facilities that help to reintegrate people with criminal histories back into society. The term halfway is derived from the fact that these facilities serve as a midpoint between confinement in lockup (or a rehabilitation facility) and independent living. Halfway houses are generally structured and offer a range of services including social, educational, and mental. They accommodate people with substance abuse disorders, criminal offenders, and mental illnesses after institutionalization.

Halfway houses for addicts are typically called sober living homes and have a structured drug and alcohol testing program, curfew, and other rules that help to ensure a successful transition. They usually house people who have gone through a medical detoxification program and non-violent offenders who have jobs and travel to and from work. Halfway houses are designed to be accessible to the community and offer a support system that is often limited at home. For example, there are usually counsellors on staff to help residents with problems that they have.

Work-Release Programs

Work-release programs are those that serve as an alternate sentencing option, allowing prisoners who have gained enough trust to have paid employment outside the correctional facility. Prisoners are able to develop certain job-based skills that make them more marketable and integrated when their sentences have been completed. Prisoners that qualify for work-release programs are typically those that pose a low security or flight risk. Community based correction programs also include study release programs which allow inmates to take part in academic, technical, vocational or trade school. Both study and work release programs are designed to improve an inmate's skills.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common form of community corrections?

Probation is the most common form of community corrections for convicted offenders. Probation refers to a period where offenders are under strict supervision.

What elements make up community corrections?

Community corrections encompasses rehabilitation, educational training, employment assistance, ensuring public safety, and offender monitoring. These elements help to reintegrate offenders into the community.

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