Karol Lucken and Thomas G. Blomberg
This article outlines the corrections system of America. It traces the history of the corrections system and offers some observations on what led to the massive prison buildup. It considers the possibility that the core of the problem is the inconsistencies in practice and ideology, which helped create a system that is not only contradictory and volatile, but indecisive and regressive. This article concludes that a well-balanced justice system can be attained by better using criminological and scientific knowledge.
Christy A. Visher and Jeremy Travis
This article reports that rehabilitation for prisoners is still not dead. It reveals that prisoner reentry programs have been implemented nationwide for the past ten years, and that current knowledge on prisoner reentry is strong enough to determine the principles of effective programs. This article also suggests that future research in this field should focus on interdisciplinary and longitudinal studies of prisoner reintegration that uses multiple outcome measures, in order to be able to understand the complete effects of current social policies.
Wesley G. Skogan
This article takes a look at the roles disorder plays in relation to crime; one of these is its ability to cause other forms of crime. It lists the various definitions of disorder, and looks at the ways that disorder is measured and studied. The latter half of the article outlines current knowledge about the role of disorder as a tool of neighborhood destabilization and decline.
Doris Layton MacKenzie
This article studies the effectiveness of corrections-based work and academic and vocational education programs for offenders. It summarizes the present education, vocational, and work programs, as well as their goals and theoretical explanations for why they may affect recidivism, or a relapse into crime. It also reviews the research on the effectiveness of these programs. This article concludes with a theoretical proposal that states that effective programs are those that produce cognitive transformations.
Thomas P. LeBel and Shadd Maruna
This article focuses on the growing difficult realities of moving from prison to the community. It refers to several narratives of people who have experienced—and struggled—with the transition, and also sheds some light on the relevance of creating and supporting programs that promote family and community bonding. This article also emphasizes the importance of giving people the chance to redeem themselves and start over.
Edward E. Rhine
This article outlines the striking changes that have occurred in parole release and supervision over the last two and a half decades. It reveals that most of the prisoners are now released “mandatorily,” where they don't have to discretionally appear in front of a parole board to set their release dates. It then shows how parole boards make these decisions, as well as the implications of these decisions for parole agents. Finally, the article discusses the culture of supervision and public safety.
Stan C. Proband
Probation remains the most common form of correctional supervision. Well over half of sentenced offenders, over four million at any one time in recent years, are under the control of probation agencies. This article discusses probation and community penalties. Section I provides a brief history of the evolution of probation since 1970. Section II discusses the scale of probation. Section III offers a brief survey of knowledge concerning the effectiveness of community penalties in widespread use. Section IV discusses possible futures for probation.
Peter W. Greenwood and Susan Turner
A delinquency record is one of the strongest predictors of adult criminality. Preventing delinquency helps stop the onset of adult criminal careers and thus reduces the burden of crime on its victims and on society. This article focuses on community-based programs for youths. It reviews the concept of evidence-based practice in juvenile justice, its benefits, and the challenges for adoption by agencies. It begins by presenting an appraisal of the traditional juvenile justice programming. It then reviews the methods currently accepted as the best way to identify the most effective programs. Following this, it gives a comprehensive overview of community-based programs that work, with some information about programs that are proven failures. Finally, it describes how jurisdictions are implementing the best of these programs and overcoming the challenges they meet.
Faye S. Taxman
This article serves as a comprehensive review about community-based correctional supervision, which is a subfield of corrections where offenders are supervised and given services outside prison and jail. It surveys topics that are usually ignored and misunderstood, and then studies the history, supervision conditions, programs, and recidivism rates of persons on probation and other intermediate sanctions. The next section identifies a set of central principles that can reduce recidivism, provided that they are correctly implemented.
James L. Nolan Jr.
This article assesses the success of “therapeutic jurisprudence,” which is placed in the setting of problem-solving courts. Some examples of these problem-solving courts are domestic violence courts, drug courts, and community courts. It reviews the changes of these specialty courts within the United States and in other countries, and determines some basic differences in their approaches. Next it observes that the difference between treatment and punishment becomes even more blurred, which results in practices that are more corrective than those found in a normal criminal court. This article emphasizes that Americans may do well in learning about and following the example set by the legal-cultural qualities of the other countries that are discussed.