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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 171280 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Control Rationale for Reinvesting in Community Corrections (From Critical Criminal Justice Issues: Task Force Reports From the American Society of Criminology, P 106-119, 1996, American Society of Criminology, ed.)
Author(s): J Petersilia
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: American Soc of Criminology
Columbus, OH 43212
Sale Source: American Soc of Criminology
1314 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper argues that more resources should be directed toward improving the surveillance and treatment services of probation and parole.
Abstract: The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 focused its spending authorization on expanding prisons, imposing longer sentences, and hiring more police. Although such tough-on- crime legislation has political appeal, it has almost no support among criminal justice practitioners and scholars. Criminal justice professionals generally agree that current policy fails to prevent youth from entering and continuing lives of crime; and they leave the vast majority of criminals, who are serving sentences on probation and parole, unaffected. Current policy focuses on those offenders whose criminality has escalated to the point of requiring incarceration, which has proven to be costly and ineffective in reducing crime. Probation and parole programs that include effective surveillance and treatment are needed. There are program models that are effective in reducing recidivism rates, and the public supports rehabilitation over incarceration for offenders convicted of drug possession and use (but not drug traffickers). The public must be convinced that probation and parole achieve a sufficient level of punitiveness and surveillance to promote safety and accountability. In the instances in which organizational capacity ensures compliance with court-ordered conditions, programs have reduced recidivism by 20 to 30 percent. Sufficient financial resources must be provided to ensure that the programs that combine both treatment and surveillance can be implemented. 1 table, 3 figures, and 15 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Corrections policies; Intensive supervision programs; Probation or parole services; Public education
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