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Special Feature: Community Corrections

Community corrections is a critical part of the public safety system that helps to reduce crime and victimization by supervising individuals in the community under legal authority. These corrections programs are changing lives, reducing harm, and helping to build communities.

Probation, pretrial services, and community treatment organizations work together to match the right supervision and service to the right person at the right time, with the goal of helping people to break free from a cycle of crime. But breaking that cycle remains a major challenge for the justice community.

Among individuals placed under federal community supervision in 2005, more than 40 percent had been rearrested at the end of a five-year follow-up period. In addition, a study focused on state facilities showed that three-quarters of prisoners released from state prisons in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within five years of their release.

While recidivism remains an issue, research has identified what makes interventions effective in reducing the cycle of crime. Academic and program evaluations suggest that evidence-based interventions, which combine the core principles of rehabilitation, deterrence, procedural justice, and collaboration, can significantly reduce recidivism.

To succeed in the future, corrections programs should:

  • Focus resources on approaches that are proven to work.
  • Change laws, policies and practices that are ineffective.
  • Target treatment and supervision only to those who need it.
  • Reallocate resources appropriately.

To help inform practitioners and policy-makers, the National Institute of Justice’s has reviews of community corrections programs and practices, detailing what works, what doesn’t, and what is promising in achieving specific outcomes.

Every year in July, we recognize Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week. This is an opportunity to show appreciation for the efforts of and services provided by community corrections professionals throughout the United States.

To recognize the contributions made by the men and women who hold community corrections positions nationwide, NCJRS presents this compilation of resources related to the community corrections field. Please select a page from the box under the “Community Corrections” heading to learn more.

Links from the NCJRS website to non-federal sites do not constitute an endorsement by NCJRS or its sponsors. NCJRS is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of any off-site pages that are referenced, nor does NCJRS guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of information. NCJRS is also not responsible for the use of, or results obtained from the use of, the information. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from non-federal sites.