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.
Lawrence W. Sherman and Heather Strang
This article takes a look at the conclusions from twenty years of restorative justice (RJ) innovations and their status as of 2011. The discussion is primarily concerned with the face-to-face restorative justice conference (RJC), which combines offenders, their victims, and their respective families and communities, in order to decide what the offender should do to answer for his crime/s. It analyzes the evidence for the comparative effectiveness of justice with and without RJ conferences, and reviews the history and theories of RJ. The next section summarizes the logic of evaluation research on RJ, and is followed by reports of the available research on six given comparisons. This article also studies the global social movement that promotes the use of RJ.
This article examines risk assessment, which is defined as the identification of “risk” and “protective” factors that make involvement in crimes more or less likely. It lists the available risk assessment methodologies, the empirical research on their legitimacy, and the ethical and legal issues related to their use. It considers the importance of risk assessment to sentencing, and then identifies the types and accuracy of risk assessment. This article also shows some uses of formal risk assessment in sentencing. Several concerns related to risk assessment are also addressed.
Sentencing Councils and Commissions: Exploring the Role of Advisory Bodies in the Contemporary Punishment Environment
Although formal sentencing guideline schemes are most developed in the United States, England and Wales, a number of other countries have created sentencing bodies to undertake a variety of functions. Sentencing councils and commissions have become an important element of the contemporary punishment environment. This article compares and contrasts the functions of a number of representative sentencing councils and commissions, including the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission and the United States Sentencing Commission, among others, to examine how such bodies supplement the work of courts and government departments. Ultimately, the article presents some conclusions about the optimal characteristics for such a council.
This article explores questions regarding the social side of delinquent behavior. It begins with discussing crime as a group behavior, suggesting that, as social beings, humans sometimes indulge illegal or unacceptable behavior when others are present that they would never contemplate doing alone. Following this, it reviews some evidence on the social nature of crime and delinquency. Although delinquent behavior is predominantly group behavior, some offenses are more likely to be committed in groups than others. It suggests that the motivation to engage in delinquency ordinarily arises after a group assembles and as a consequence of group interaction and then discusses the implications of sociality, focusing on peer influence and some ecological theories. The search for the social aspects of delinquency remains one of the most vital areas of research in contemporary criminology.
Francis T. Cullen and Paula Smith
This article explores the role of rehabilitation as a core purpose of American corrections. Section I argues that rehabilitation has been a fundamental sensibility of the correctional enterprise from its beginning stages. Despite the seeming hegemony of the punishment model for more than three decades, this abiding belief that the correctional system should not only punish but also “correct” remains strong. Section II traces the seeming collapse of the rehabilitation model in the 1970s. Section III presents what has become the dominant rehabilitation model, which is typically captured under the label of the principles of effective correctional intervention. Section IV concludes with a discussion of the future of rehabilitation as a core purpose of American corrections.
Steven Belenko, Kimberly A. Houser, and Wayne Welsh
This article discusses drug treatment in state prisons, focusing on inmates in state correctional facilities. It analyzes drug and alcohol use patterns and drug treatment involvement of state prison inmates using data from the Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities that was conducted between October 2003 and May 2004. It then considers the effectiveness of prison treatment, as well as the economic benefits of such treatments. Finally, this article takes a look at the future directions and the principles of effective prison drug treatment.
Aaron Chalfin and Steven Raphael
This article reviews the connections between work and crime. Section I discusses a simple microeconomic model of criminal participation, which models criminal participation in terms of the traditional time-use allocation model that forms the bedrock of the economic analysis of labor supply. To assess the extent to which the model is supported by existing empirical research, Section II reviews three bodies of literature: research by economists on the relationship between incentives and participation in crime measured at the individual level, experimental evaluations of labor market interventions targeted at former prison inmates, and research analyzing the aggregate relationship between crime and measures of macroeconomic conditions. Section III analyzes the effects of past criminal activity on future employment prospects operating through the effects of having served time, while Section IV offers some conclusions.
Edward P. Mulvey and Carol A. Schubert
The juvenile court was established to separate adolescent offenders from the potentially harmful effects of involvement in the adult criminal justice system. Due to glitches in this plan, there have been mechanisms for transferring particular adolescents to the adult criminal justice system and punishing them accordingly. The debate about the appropriate time and policy to incarcerate these adolescents in adult facilities still goes on. This article, under the person-environment “fit”, explores how the fundamental orientation and the operational realities of the adult versus juvenile system appear to affect young offenders in terms of both their prison experience and their life afterwards. Furthermore, it identifies unique issues of particular needs of adult prisons and jails when dealing with adolescents, highlighting the fact that addressing the issue of what to do with serious adolescent offenders requires more than simple political posturing. Finally, it considers the reentry issues associated with young prison releases.