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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135629 Find in a Library
Title: Punishing Smarter: Penal Reforms for the 1990s
Journal: Brookings Review  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1989)  Pages:3-12
Author(s): J J DiIulio Jr
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 10
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the current state of corrections in the United States and proposes more effective uses of community-based corrections and incarceration.
Abstract: Although the effectiveness of incarceration in reducing crime rates is uncertain at best, dangerous and chronic offenders still require secure institutions. Other offenders can be supervised in the community with greater cost effectiveness. Neither imprisonment nor community-based supervision, however, have been generally structured and administered to have their intended effects. Three alternatives to institutionalization have proven themselves and should have expanded use. One program is "house arrest plus." Under this program, the offender is subject to electronic surveillance as well as regular face-to-face or telephone contact with supervisors. Those who violate program conditions are swiftly incarcerated. Another program involves community service orders. This consists of close supervision, the performance of socially useful tasks, the payment of restitution to victims, and payment of the costs of supervision. A third type of program is intensive supervision. Unlike conventional supervision, the offender's every move is coordinated to ensure compliance with supervision conditions. Prison conditions can be improved through enlightened policies and practices. This includes hands-on leadership in headquarters and in the field; a strong organizational culture, high morale, and a sense of mission; unit management; excellent line staff training, labor-management relations, and inmate-staff communications; a results-oriented approach; and an openness to outside guidance.
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system reform; Incarceration
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community service order; Electronic monitoring of offenders; House arrest; Intensive supervision programs; Unit management
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