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Changing Concepts of Supervision
Supervision is one of the important processes in the criminal justice system. It involves overseeing the performance of criminals on probation. Over the years, the concept of supervision has been used by law enforcement agencies to achieve various goals geared toward improving the quality of delivery systems in the criminal justice system (Alarid, 2016). One of the concepts of supervision that have changed a lot over the years is the manner of its application. Before the turn of the century, supervision was often done through physical visits to correctional centers and having one-on-one talk with the criminals with regard to their progress. However, due to technological advancements, supervision in the contemporary world is done through surveillance cameras (Morgan & Maguire, 2012).
This has increased the efficiency of the process because it helps in saving time and giving the supervisors a chance to observe everyone in their absence. Unlike in the past, when supervision was merely done as a formality, the concept has changed a lot in the recent past in terms of it involving community members and embracing the need to improve security (Morgan & Maguire, 2012). Community policing is a concept that developed from the changes made to the element of supervision, whereby people are involved in monitoring and reporting about the progress of criminals on parole. In addition, the criminals get a chance to show their respective communities that they can be resourceful individuals if given a chance or opportunity to do so. These changes have been influenced by factors such as the increasing demand for higher security, the high cost of operations, technological advancements, and globalization (Alarid, 2016).
The Classification Process and Effectiveness of Probation
The criminal justice system is a network that involves many individuals that play various roles geared towards reducing the rates of crime and the welfare of criminals in various facilities. Classification often happens after criminals have been sentenced to time in prison (Mair, 2013). The main aim of carrying out this activity is for the ease of monitoring and supervision. One of the advantages of classification is that it reduces congestion in prisons because individuals charged with minor offenses are often put on parole where they serve part of their sentence outside the prison. A major disadvantage of classification is the fact that it affects the trust that the public has on the criminal justice system and their officers (Alarid, 2016).
Research has established that many people do not trust the credibility of probation programs because officers could be vulnerable to giving compromised decisions on the conduct of criminals and their suitability to rejoin their respective communities (Mair, 2013). Although classification has played a major role in the growth of community corrections, it is important for the relevant authorities to ensure its integrity is maintained throughout the process (Alarid, 2016). This plays a crucial role in ensuring in streamlining the criminal justice system by ensuring that all the objectives are met in a satisfactory manner. The advantages of probation outweigh the disadvantages because it is cost-effective and solves the challenge of overcrowding in prisons. Research has established that if the option of probation was nonexistent, most of the prisons would be overpopulated and consuming a lot of taxpayers money in terms of operations and management (Mair, 2013).
Recidivism refers to the habitual relapse into crime (Zara & Farrington, 2015). Over the years, probation has applied as one of the strategies for reducing the rate of recidivism. Criminals on probation are often watched closely by officers who often report on their progress and eventually, their ability to stay away from crime. However, studies have established that it is extremely hard for anyone to ascertain that someone has gotten back to criminal ways without any substantial evidence. One of the ways in which probation helps in to address recidivism is by engaging the criminals in focus groups that allow them to talk freely about their crimes (Zara & Farrington, 2015). Legal experts argue that such initiatives help the criminals to reflect on the purpose of their life, past mistakes, and the things they would like to change in order to improve their lives.
Probation also provides criminals with an opportunity to understand the perception of the community about crime and the people involved in it (Alarid, 2016). This period puts them under the scrutiny of both the probation officers and the public, thus making it hard for one to think of relapsing to criminal ways. In addition, criminals also get a chance to learn new skills that they can use to earn a decent living without engaging in unlawful activities. A combination of probation and other criminal justice interventions such as community service plays a major role in addressing the challenge of recidivism because the criminals often learn new skills that they can use to earn a living, as well as receive a lot of goodwill from the public (Zara & Farrington, 2015).
Alarid, L.F. (2016). Community based corrections (11th ed.). New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Mair, G. (2013). What matters in probation. New York, NY: Routledge.
Morgan, R., & Maguire, M. (2012). The Oxford handbook of criminology (5th ed.). Los Angels, CA: OUP Oxford.
Zara, G., & Farrington, D.P. (2015). Criminal recidivism: Explanation, prediction and prevention. New York, NY: Routledge.