Over the years, community-based correctional facilities have been used as alternatives for incarcerations, especially in dealing with minor criminal offenses. However, the alternative has received a fair share of support and criticism concerning its effectiveness. Proponents of community-based sanctions consider it as a legitimate option to serving a jail term because they are cost-effective (Alarid & Del Carmen, 2012).
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On the other hand, its critics argue that they a not effective substitutes when dealing with high-profile criminal cases because most of the facilities lack enough capacity to meet their five primary goals. The first one is reducing overcrowding in prisons. The second one is increasing public safety by limiting the interaction between the public and individuals that have a criminal history (Davies, 2009). The third goal is to help offenders get back into the community smoothly by supervising their behavior and attitude towards the public. The fourth objective is reducing the degree of habitual relapse into crime by offenders.
Offenders in community correction facilities are often mentored into making positive life choices that improve their lives and relationship with the public. The final objective is reducing the costs incurred by the federal government in maintaining prisons and prisoners (Davies, 2009). One of the most important elements of community-based sanctions is determining their effectiveness. The criteria used in achieving this feat entail understanding the expected outcomes. According to experts, the expected outcomes of engaging the services of community-based sanctions often apply as the benchmarks for determining whether the approaches used were effective or not (Alarid & Del Carmen, 2012). For example, if the level of offender recidivism reduces, then the approach is deemed effective because the primary objective has been met.
Alarid, L.F., & Del Carmen, R. (2012). Community Based Corrections 9th Edition. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Davies, M. (2009). Punishing Criminals: Developing Community-Based Intermediate Sanctions. New York, NY: Green Wood Press.