Community corrections acts (CCAs) are state laws that use financial incentives to encourage local agencies to develop and operate alternatives to incarceration.
Community probation remains the most popular form of alternatives to incarceration used today. It is community supervision of an offender under court-imposed sanctions for a specific time period and with conditions the probationer must follow in order to remain on probation.
Pretrial diversion: courts impose supervision before a guilty plea so the person can assist in case preparation, and court is assured defendant will appear. Deferred adjudication: Defendant enters into an agreement with the court to complete conditions of probation within a time period. If they do this successfully the charges will be dropped. One free “bite of the apple”. This does not get offered multiple time. Usually reserved for youthful, non-violent offenders. Suspended sentence: community supervision of offender on deferred adjudication Suspended execution of sentence: Probation instead of prison. For example three years in prison suspended to two years probation.
The precursors to probation: Benefit of clergy: if you were an member of the clergy you could request to have your criminal case transferred to church courts (ecclesiastical). Many times the punishment of death was not imposed in these courts and even imprisonment was not put on clergy despite the attempts of the English Kings to change this rule. Judicial reprieve/suspended sentence: When a convicted person applied for a pardon to the Crown their sentence would be suspended or held off until they heard from the appeal. Recognizance: The defendant promises to appear in court and released into community with no supervision. Reserved for minor crimes and first time offenders.
In Massachusetts: 1841 John Augustus owned a store near the court house and used to observed the court proceedings. He saw many people who were simply charged with alcohol related offenses being sentenced to prison. He offered the court the chance to release those charged with public drunkenness into his care promising they would appear in court when required. He eventually included females and juveniles in his charges. By his claim in 1102 people he handled only 1 ever failed to appear but a friend stated it was more like 10 out of 2000 people. Still good odds.
Today 60% of the 7 million people under the supervision of courts or correctional departments are on probation so it is the most often used form of alternative to incarceration. 77% of the people on probation are male and 23% women.
Probation has certain components: Presentence investigation-conducted by the probation department. This is where they find out who you really are. Crime accused of Past criminal history Educational/social/economic Family life Employment Basically are you a threat to the community? Once on probation the probationer is assigned to a caseworker who works with the person to be sure they are on track for meeting the conditions of probation. The probationer is referred to what court ordered services they need such as substance abuse treatment, parenting, anger management. Finally is surveillance whereby the probationer is required to report and the case worker checks up to be sure the person is doing what they are supposed to be and more importantly not doing what they are not supposed to be doing.
All probation comes with conditions. Some are standard: For a detailed list refer to page 167 in your text. Special may include: attending needed treatment, avoiding certain people.
Intensive Probation Supervision (IPS): provides greater community supervision for offenders who pose a greater risk to the community. This is reserved for about 4% of those on probation. If a person poses a great threat to the community they would most likely not get probation.
Probation Enhancement IPS: Reduces the caseload of the Pos to allow for the greater supervision. If a PO has a case load of 100 + they certainly can not effectively supervisee all of those probationers. By reducing the case load the Pos have less people and more time. They are finding that under this type of supervision there are more technical violations versus legal ones. It is because the Pos can watch every move a probationer makes. Not many people can survive scrutiny like that.
How does one get released from probation? You serve the time successfully You fulfill all the imposed conditions early and the PO and court agree You are revocated. That means you did not meet your conditions or you violated one or more the conditions.
Revocation: Legal violation: you committed another crime while on probation (DUH on you for doing that) Technical: failing to follow one or more of the conditions of probation for example attending classes, staying away from certain places/people. In the case of Memphis v. Rhay (1976) the Court ruled that probationers who are facing revocation have the right to legal counsel. In Gagnon v. Scarpelli the Court ruled the probationer has the right to: Written notice of charges Disclosure of the evidence against them Be heard and present witnesses Confront witness against them and cross examine A neutral and detached hearing body Written statement by fact-finders as to the evidence relied on and reasons for revoking the probation It basically gave the probationer the same rights as in a criminal court.
Evaluating probation: It is cost effective when compared to how much it costs to house inmates in prison. It does provide a measure of punitiveness (punishment) since you are not completely free to do what you want. Surveillance alone is usually not enough and needs to combined with treatment for whatever specific issue the probationer may have.
Community service is a condition of probation imposed to try and pay back the community: It is important that site is correct for the person. You do not want someone on probation for crimes against children to be working in a day care. The intake is also important as it must be sure the community service will serve the probationers needs as well. Placement falls under the same concern as listed above. Termination of community service is usually measured in hours rather than a job being completed.
Restitution is court ordered payment of money to the victim by the offender to try and compensate them for their loss.
In the time of 1925-1980’s if you were sentenced to prison the restitution was forfeited. As victim rights became an issue there have been victim compensation funds developed. These are government operated funds that victims can apply for to try and recoup financial losses due to a crime.
Fines are a fixed amount of money an offender must pay to the court. They are punitive and yet flexible. You would not impose a fine of $1 million on a person who makes $10k a year. This is part of other sanctions usually such as probation and do provide a source of income for the court.
Day fines: these are not paid every day.
Day fines: Offenses are broken down into punishments units. These units are then converted into days of pay. The offenders income is then broken down into daily units and this is multiplied by the punishment units.
1. Chapter 6
2. Is there a need for alternatives to incarceration?
What type of offenders