Both halfway houses and work release are both residential programs. Halfway houses are residential community correctional facilities for parolees and probationers. This program can also be applied as an intermediate sentencing before prison. Work release is a program where offenders can acquire job skills to enable them to maintain employment while at the same time allowing for restitution, before release.
Working in a halfway house would be quite challenging given that there is a program to implement. However, it would be much easier to supervise the probationers and parolees since they understand they understand that violations could lead them back to prison. They are also motivated and eager for a full release. Some of the challenges I might face include limited funds at the halfway house and be implementing the heavy monitoring associated with the program.
Programs such as the John Craine House have several advantages such as being less costly than the prison system hence saving on taxpayers’ money, they allow women to spend time with their children, and they are associated with a very low rate of recidivism. For this reason, they should be expanded.
Correctional boot camps adopt a military approach to instilling discipline through intensive physical training and hard labor. Their positive aspects include saving on costs by reducing the time served in prison and they reduce the rate of recidivism. They have, however, been accused of enforcing intensive physical activities which have led to injuries and even reported deaths in a few cases. They may also inflict trauma on the victims.
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Parole or probation enhancement includes day reporting centers and community service while house arrest is a true alternative to prison.
Electronic monitoring (EM) enhances the supervision of offenders under house arrest through the use of technology such as the global positioning system (GPS) to monitor their location. EM has been accused of net widening while others criticize it for being just a profitable scheme of private companies. EM also leads to feelings of shame and family problems that arise from staying at home.
Electronic monitoring works through transmitters and receivers. The offender is fitted with an electronic device such as an ankle monitor which can transmit to a home-based receiver using radio-frequencies. This way, the offender has to be within a certain range of the receiver or else it sounds an alarm to the correctional supervisor. The other type of EM is the global positioning system which unlike house arrest, allows for more movement. It uses a GPS tracking device fitted on the offender to monitor his or her day to day activities. Some of the technical problems of EM include the jamming of GPS systems, false positive reporting, locations being off by as much as three miles, and the offenders tampering with the alerts.
Day reporting centers are meant to provide resources, educational programs, and other constructive activities such as counseling to probationers or parolees. This ensures they spend their time engaging in positive activities instead of crime. Therefore, day reporting centers accomplish their objectives.
Unlike traditional justice approaches which focus on the punishment of the offender, restorative justice focuses on the offender, the victim, and the community throughout the process. Restorative justice does this by emphasizing the need for an offender to acknowledge their crime and admitting to the wrong done to the victim and the community.
Monetary restitution and community service are both forms of reparations by offenders to compensate for the harm done. They differ in that monetary restitution involves paying off a certain amount of money to the victim while community service involves unpaid labor to the society.
For juveniles who are too young to work full time, they can work part-time on community services or for their victims.
It is fair since in most cases probationers are employed, unlike parolees who face difficulties in obtaining employment due to their criminal record. Also, while the probationer may have been working, parolees have been in prison.
Fees are court-imposed reimbursements that the offender pays for the administration of the criminal justice system, therefore not punitive, while fines are punitive. This is why their collection is treated differently. They should not be treated the same since they are not imposed with the same objective.
Day fines have failed to catch on in the American justice system for two main reasons, first due to the failure of offenders to pay the day fines and second, because research has shown that they do not lower the rate of recidivism.
During re-entry into the community, prisoners face various issues including obtaining employment, housing, difficulties in reuniting with the family, and stigmatization.
Prisoner reentry can lead to the victim having safety concerns. However, through restorative justice, prisoner reentry can be beneficial to the victim through restitution where they can feel that justice is served.
Issues related to prisoner reentry and the impact to their families include the prisoner reintegration into the family and rebuilding family trust and bonds. There might be bitterness especially between parents and children who might feel that they have been neglected.
Yes, I would, meeting the offender and expressing how his or her violent actions have affected me psychologically, physically, and mentally would help me overcome the post-traumatic stress and eventually forgive the offender. It would also ensure that the offender feels remorse for his or her actions by getting to know how the actions affected my life. The impact statement would also assist the correctional officers in determining the best correctional measures to take for the offender.
The primary qualifications of a good parole member are integrity, intelligence, and good judgment to gain public confidence and command respect. These qualities are necessary to enable in the making of informed, sound, and unbiased parole decisions.
Since the prisoner is being released into the community, the parole board should have a good relationship with the community to enable in identifying the best parole conditions for effective community-based correction of the offender.
As a parole board member, I would consider first the safety and interests of the community. Also, I would evaluate the victim impact statement, and the judge sentencing remarks. Finally, I would assess the prisoner’s attitude towards his past crime and his or her reentry plan into the community.
I would prefer discretionary release as it would allow me to gain social support and a smooth transition from the prison and back into the society. This ensures an effective reentry plan which would ensure that I don’t go back to the life of crime. This is unlike mandatory release whereby I would be unprepared.
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