Community corrections is an extremely important area of the criminal justice system because it helps to prepare inmates for becoming productive members of society. Unfortunately, community-based programs that can serve as effective alternatives to incarceration are substantially underutilized, which underscores a need for a reform of crime prevention policies in the United States. The aim of this paper is to discuss how the topic of community corrections has influenced my knowledge of the criminal justice system.
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Community corrections are the topic that has been the easiest to understand because, unlike other aspects of criminal justice, this is the area of the administration of punishment that is the most familiar to me. It has to do with the fact that a friend of mine has been working at the Department of Corrections for three years. Her responsibilities as a community corrections officer include the provision of day reporting services, housing assistance, mentoring, and family reunification. Re-entry services provided by Fiona help to ensure that parolees receive cognitive-based therapy, avoid substance abuse and engage in pro-social activities. It is extremely important since many individuals after their release into a community exhibit anti-social beliefs and behaviors, thereby threatening social cohesion and safety.
The weekly topic has helped me to understand that evidence-based practices used by community corrections officers help reducing negative peer associations, which are known to improve the effectiveness of programs used by correctional agencies. My understanding of the criminal justice system has been enhanced by the introduction to community corrections topic because it has allowed me to realize that overreliance on imprisonment as the administration of punishment creates the problem of prison overcrowding. The issue is a source of great concern in the country because growing prison populations put a strain on taxpayers. High prison populations increase the rates of misconduct occurrence and have long-standing psychological consequences for inmates. Therefore, there is a need to change the penal system in order to eliminate overcrowding.
Unlike community corrections, the topic of courts has been the most difficult to understand because the courtroom work is associated with complicated interrelationships between such parties as judges, prosecutors, accused parties, complaining parties, and defense attorneys, among others. The determination of an accused party’s guilt or innocence is a process the complexity of which depends on a case, a state, a court’s level, and other elements. Furthermore, the use of plea bargaining and agreements between different parties further complicates the issue.
It has not escaped my notice that community corrections provide housing assistance services for parolees who are unable to find safe and secure housing on their own. By helping ex-prisoners and their dependents to secure housing upon their release, correctional agencies make sure that their clients develop pro-social relationships with the community. It is extremely important because not all parolees are capable of returning back into society after spending considerable time in prison. The weekly topic has also provided me with invaluable insights into the inner workings of the community corrections centers that help released individuals to find home plans and meaningful employment.
The weak topic has been of great benefit to my understanding of the criminal justice system. Now I know that community corrections provide a viable solution for the problem of prison overcrowding and help released individuals to return back into society.