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Special Feature: Community Corrections

A major challenge for the justice community is the "revolving door" of the state and federal prison systems. Three-quarters of prisoners released from state prisons in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within five years of release from prison. Additionally, among persons placed on federal community supervision in 2005, more than forty percent had been rearrested at the end of the 5-year follow-up period.

There remains much to understand about the pathways taken to criminal and delinquent behavior, but there is much we now know about what makes interventions effective in reducing recidivism.

Academic and program evaluations suggests that evidence-based interventions, which combine the core principles of rehabilitation, deterrence, procedural justice, and collaboration, can significantly reduce recidivism.

Community corrections is a critical part of the public safety system that helps reduce crime and victimization by supervising people in the community who are under legal authority. Probation, parole, pretrial services, and community treatment organizations work together to match the right supervision and service to the right person at the right time, working to help individuals break the cycle of crime.

Community corrections programs are changing lives, reducing harm, and helping to build communities. To succeed in the future, these programs need to 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; and reallocate resources appropriately. Through the National Institute of Justice's CrimeSolutions.gov, reviews of community corrections programs and practices are posted to help inform practitioners and policy makers about what works, what doesn't, and what's promising in achieving specific outcomes.

National Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week, recognized each July, is dedicated 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 topic from the section at the right under the heading “Community Corrections” to learn more.