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NCJ Number: 68853 Find in a Library
Title: THREE DILEMMAS IN COMMUNITY SUPERVISION OF OFFENDERS
Journal: PRISON JOURNAL  Volume:59  Issue:2  Dated:(AUTUMN-WINTER 1979)  Pages:2-16
Author(s): T R CLEAR
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Corrections
Washington, DC 20534
Contract Number: DA-5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DILEMMAS IN COMMUNITY SUPERVISION OF OFFENDERS - PURPOSES, SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS, AND METHODS OF SUPERVISION - ARE ANALYZED HISTORICALLY IN SEARCH OF CONTEMPORARY SOLUTIONS.
Abstract: LIKE ALL SOCIAL INVENTIONS, COMMUNITY SUPERVISION OF OFFENDERS ORIGINATED WITH DIVERSE AIMS, BOTH STATED AND UNSTATED, INCLUDING PRISONER RELEASE TO COLONIZE AMERICA, PROBATION AS A HUMANE ALTERNATIVE TO PRISON, AND EARLY RELEASE (PAROLE) TO REWARD PRISONERS FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR. CONFUSION TODAY RESULTS FROM THIS VARIETY OF PURPOSES, SOME PRAGMATIC, SOME IDEALISTIC. LACK OF AGREEMENT ALSO ABOUNDS REGARDING THE APPROPRIATENESS OF COMMUNITY-SUPERVISED PUNISHMENTS FOR PARTICULAR OFFENDERS. THE NOTION OF 'WORTHINESS' HAS BEEN USED TO DESCRIBE OFFENDERS EXPECTED TO REFORM WITHOUT PUNISHMENT AS WELL AS TO DESCRIBE THOSE MERELY EXPECTED NOT TO CAUSE SOCIETY HARM. MOREOVER, THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERABLE CONTROVERSY AND TENSION AMONG LAWMAKERS, THE JUDICIARY, AND PENOLOGISTS OVER WHO DECIDES ON THE RECIPIENTS OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION. A FINAL AREA OF PERSISTENT UNCERTAINTY HAD BEEN THE QUESTION OF HOW TO PROPERLY SUPERVISE OFFENDERS IN THE COMMUNITY (I.E., DOES SUPERVISION INVOLVE THE SURVEILLANCE OR THE SOCIAL WORKER APPROACH?). WITH RISING PUBLIC FEAR OF CRIME, INCREASING UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG NONOFFENDERS, AND A RENEWED PUBLIC CALL FOR HARSHER PENALTIES, COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS ARE AGAIN UNDER FIRE. THE CRITICISMS DERIVE PARTLY FROM A LACK OF TRUST IN PAROLE AND PROBATION DECISIONMAKERS AND PARTLY FROM A LOWERED RESPECT FOR OFFENDERS' 'WORTHINESS'. TO REASSERT ITSELF, COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS SHOULD FOCUS ON THE CLARIFICATION OF PURPOSES, ON THE CONTROL OF DISCRETIONARY DECISIONMAKING (I.E., MORE VISIBILITY SO THAT DISCRETION IS NOT ABUSED), ON THE IMPACT MEASUREMENT OF COMMUNITY ALTERNATIVES ON OFFENDERS, ON INDIVIDUALIZED REFERRALS, AND ON FLEXIBILITY IN LINKAGES BETWEEN CLIENTS AND COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTS. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community-based corrections (adult); Correctional reform; Offense classification; Probation; Probation or parole decisionmaking
Note: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN 'A MODEL FOR THE SUPERVISION OF THE OFFENDER IN THE COMMUNITY'
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68853

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