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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73011 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Implementing Community Service Programs in Correctional and Probation Agencies
Author(s): M S Ward
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Implementation problems encountered when locating community service programs within probation and correctional agencies are a focus of this paper. Autonomy of the programs is recommended.
Abstract: Due to understaffing and inadequate structures and finances probation agencies, asked to perform too many functions, often do not implement the community service option clearly and consistently. In addition, the bureaucratic nature of probation departments, in part owing to their official nature, augurs against advocacy for clients. To integrate a community service program within a probation agency, such a program should be legitimized by official recognition of its viability, and run by an autonomous unit within the probation agency. Such a unit should have final responsibility in setting the limits and time parameters of the community service obligation. Autonomy is needed in order to implement and run community service programs within correctional agencies as well. The Montgomery County Department of Corrections' experience in this regard illustrates this point and offers both the insights solutions of implementation problems. The Alternative Community Services Program provides a voluntary alternative for selected offenders. Giving the program the agency status has ensured its accountability and visibility, and the establishment of an advisory board comprised of lay citizens has ensured the necessary community-wide acceptance. The program autonomy is enhanced by its location in a public library. This also removes any punitive distinction that may accrue from locating the program in either a detention or pre-release facility, and is more conducive to privacy and one-to-one interviewing. A description of the prosecutor's role and staffing patterns in the Montgomery County program, and eight references are included.
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Corrections management; Maryland; Probation or parole agencies; Probation or parole decisionmaking
Note: Paper presented at the Fourth Symposium on Restitution and Community Service Sentencing, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 24-26, 1980
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