Special Feature: Community Corrections
One of three central pillars of the criminal justice system, the United States corrections system is charged with separating violent offenders from the community, deterring others from offending, and rehabilitating offenders for reentry into the community upon their release.
Annually, more than 600,000 Americans are released from state and federal prisons across the country. For these individuals, transitioning back into their community can be a challenge, and for many it's only a matter of time before they return to prison. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 83 percent of prisoners are re-arrested within nine years of their release.
Community corrections has an important role to play in promoting diversion and alternative sentencing models that promote public safety and prevent future generations from entering the criminal justice system. Incarceration is often the least effective way to encourage long-term recidivism reduction, and it is the most expensive part of the public safety system.
In total, there were more than four million adults nationwide either on parole or probation at year-end 2016. Many of these individuals struggle with a mental illness or substance abuse—sometimes even both—which challenges probation and parole officials to properly set conditions for supervision. With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Parole Resource Center has compiled lessons and evidence-based practices to promote effective collaborations with other community partners.
To help inform practitioners and policymakers, the National Institute of Justice's CrimeSolutions.gov 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.
Select a page from the box under the "Community Corrections" heading for topical resources produced or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs and other federal sources.