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.
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.
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.