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Solved by verified expert:As
a new correction professional (i.e. correction officer, probation
officer, addiction treatment specialist, etc.) discuss the skill set
required to handle the responsibilities in working in a particular area.
For example, you are working with an inmate on intensive supervision.
Your title is Probation Officer. What skills will you require to work
effectively with this inmate and remain in compliance with the rules of
the department? Review the reading material and think about what the
skills in terms you may need. Write in terms of a scenairo to present
for the position, the case/charges, individual special needs if any, and
expected outcomes. This is an opportunity to apply all you have
learned about alternatives to incarceration and current efforts toward
addressing the new approaches
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CHAPTER 9: INTERMEDIATE SANCTIONS AND COMMUNITY
CORRECTIONS
LECTURE OUTLINE:
1. The Case for Intermediate Sanctions.
a. Unnecessary Imprisonment.
i. Most sanctions imposed in the United States and in other Western
democracies do not involve imprisonment.
ii. Probation is the most common sanction in the U.S.
iii. Prison as punishment is not very effective, yet it continues to dominate our
thinking on punishment.
b. Limitations of Probation: There is good reason to believe that probation is
ineffective with serious offenders.
i. Probation officer caseloads are too large for meaningful supervision.
1. Because probation officers handle 100+ offenders at once, the
average probationer gets maybe 15 minutes of contact a week.
2. Such limited time may be insufficient to help the probationer
achieve a lifestyle change.
ii. Intermediate sanctions can improve traditional probation supervision in
two ways.
1. It can intensify supervision.
2. It can provide specialized programs better suited to an offender’s
needs.
c. Improvements in Justice: Judges complain that their sentencing choices are
limited.
i. The array of possible sanctions between these traditional probation or
prison permits a judge to better match the sentence to the crime,
especially when prison seems too harsh.
ii. Intermediate sanctions allows judges to tailor the punishment to the
offender’s situation.
2. The Continuum-of-Sanctions Concept.
a. This concept incorporates a range of correctional management strategies that vary
in intrusiveness and control (see Figure 9.2).
b. For example, under the Delaware model, offenders are graded on the seriousness
of the current offense and the perceived risk of a new offense.
c. Advantages of this concept:
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i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
Increased flexibility in the corrections system
Greater responsiveness in management of individual offenders.
Reduced costs.
May be codified into law or operated as a practice agreed to by various
agencies responsible for corrections.
3. Problems with Intermediate Sanctions.
a. Determining who should operate intermediate sanctions—probation, parole,
institutional corrections, or new agencies (public and private).
b. Selecting Offenders. Should it be based on the seriousness of the offense for the
problems of the offender? In practice, both are considered, though intermediate
sanctions programs must carefully consider what the stakes are—what the
potential losses to victims and the system are should the offender fail (injury,
negative publicity, public pressure, etc.).
c. Assessing the risks involved.
4. Widening the Net: Implementing intermediate sanctions has had consequences.
a. Wider nets: reforms increase the proportion of people in society whose behavior
is regulated or controlled by the state.
b. Stronger nets: reforms augment the state’s capacity to control people by
intensifying the state’s intervention powers.
c. Different nets: reforms create new jurisdictional authority or transfers it from one
agency or control system to another.
5. Varieties of Intermediate Sanctions.
a. Sanctions Administered Primarily by the Judiciary.
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i. Pretrial diversion: these typically target petty drug offenders.
ii. Fines: although more than a billion dollars in fines is collected annually in
the United States, its use of fines pales in comparison to other Western
countries.
1. The United States makes little use of fines for crimes more serious
than vehicle violations;
2. To deal with concern that fines exact a heavier toll on the poor,
Sweden and Germany use the “day fine” system, which bases the
fine amount on the offender’s income.
iii. Forfeiture: A criminal sanction that had lain dormant since the American
Revolution; the government seizes property derived from or used in
criminal activity; no finding of guilt is necessary for the forfeiture.
iv. Community service and restitution: reparative alternatives that rest on the
assumption that the offender can atone for their offense. With prisons
overcrowded and judges searching for efficient sentencing options,
interest in these sanctions has increased. Both assume that the offender can
atone for his or her offense with a personal or financial contribution to the
victim or society. The evidence is mixed as to the success of such
programs, suggesting that simply implementing a program is no guarantee
of success.
6. Sanctions Administered in the Community.
a. Probation-Day Reporting (treatment) Centers: Probationers in some jurisdictions
realized they could disregard probation rules with relative impunity. Probation
centers are residential facilities where persistent violators attend daylong
intervention and treatment sessions, etc.
b. Some states have created restitution centers where those behind in their restitution
can go to catch up. So far, there is little research, but the research that exists
suggests the rearrest rates are not any different than for traditional programs.
c. Intensive supervision probation (ISP): targets offenders subject to incarceration
and should help alleviate crowding. Because it involves strict and close
supervision it responds to community pressures to control offenders. Early
evaluations suggest ISP does reduce the rearrest rate. However, close supervision
produces higher technical failure rates.
3
d. Home confinement: Terms of incarceration are served in offender’s own home.
Flexible – a variety of plans could be employed. Costs nothing to house the
offender. Punishment is more visible to the community. Significant communities
ties can be maintained. Goals of reintegration, deterrence, and financial
responsibility are served simultaneously. Most offenders so placed resemble
inmates more than probationers. Effectiveness wears off after a few months.
Suited for low-risk offenders who have relatively stable residences.
e. Electronic monitoring.
i. Ordinarily combined with home confinement or as a condition of
probation.
ii. The number of people being monitored is difficult to estimate because the
equipment manufacturers consider this privileged information.
iii. Two basic types of monitoring devices exist:
1. Passive monitors respond only to inquiries.
2. Active devices continuously send signals.
iv. Recently, GPS have become more feasible. These would provide 24-hour
verification of the offender’s whereabouts.
7. Sanctions Administered in Institutions and the Community.
a. Shock incarceration: the offender is sentenced to a term in jail or prison, then after
30–90 days, the judge reduces the sentence. Critics argue it combines the
undesirable aspects of both probation and imprisonment. Studies suggest no
change in recidivism rates than otherwise expected.
b. Boot camps: a variation on shock incarceration; offenders serve a short-term
institutional sentence and are put through a physical regimen designed to develop
discipline and respect for authority. Proponents argue that many young offenders
get involved in crime because of a lack of self-respect and an inability to order
their lives. However, studies show that only those that are carefully designed,
target the right offenders, and provide rehabilitative services will show beneficial
results. The research to date has not been promising in regards to the issue of
success of boot camps.
8. Making Intermediate Sanctions Work.
a. Sentencing Issues: center around sentencing philosophy and practice. Most
recently, greater emphasis has been placed on deserved punishment—similar
offenses deserve similar punishment.
i. ISP for one and a heavy fine for another might violate the equal
punishment rationale of just desserts.
ii. For such sanctions to work, exchange rates consistent with the principle of
interchangeability must be developed so that one can be substituted for or
added to another.
iii. Different forms of intermediate sanctions must be calibrated to make them
equivalent as punishments despite their differences. Because intermediate
sanctions fall between imprisonment and probation, they could potentially
4
increase the number of midrange severe punishments and thereby improve
justice.
iv. Advocates of deserved punishment argue that it is not automatically
evident how intermediate sanctions compare with either prison or
probation in terms of severity, nor is it clear how they compare with each
other.
v. Some offenders seem to prefer prison over intermediate sanctions, but
there are troubling racial distinctions in preferences. Hence, this may
exacerbate the racial disparities evident in prisons.
b. Selection of Offenders – intermediate sanctions must be reserved for appropriate
offenders, but must be made available regardless of race, sex, or age. Because of
the reluctance of judges to divert from prison, many intermediate sanctions are
billed as alternatives to prison but actually serve as alternatives to probation, boot
camps being an example.
c. Probation alternatives have the same problem. Probation alternatives (probation
enhancements) are intended for those high-risk offenders most in need of
surveillance and control. However, conservative case selection usually finds them
ineligible for the program. Therefore goals are not achieved. When prison
alternatives are applied to non-prison cases, money is not saved. When probation
enhancement programs are provided to low-risk offenders, they cannot reduce
much crime.
d. Problems of bias: Race, sex and age bias are of particular concern.
i. The concern is that white, middle-class offenders will receive less harsh
treatment.
ii. Alternative sanctions also tend to be designed for men, not women.
iii. Solution is neither obvious nor uncontroversial.
iv. Unless program administrators work hard to widen their program’s
applicability, nonwhites will be more likely to remain incarcerated than
receive alternative sanctions and will be more likely to have tougher
supervision instead of regular probation.
9. Using Surveillance and Control in Community Corrections.
a. Most alternative sanctions have been created in a time when the focus was on “get
tough on crime.” Most, therefore, emphasize toughness. In order to “sell”
alternatives to incarceration, many intermediate sanctions use heightened
surveillance and control.
5
b. Surveillance helps treatment providers assess if the treatment is working. Some
suggest that surveillance deters crime by making offenders less willing to commit
crime (since they’re being watched) and by catching active criminals earlier
sooner than later.
c. Community corrections uses four general types of control strategies:
i. Drugs.
1. Antabuse—frequently given to alcohol abusers.
2. Depo-Provera—sometimes called chemical castration.
3. Thorazine and Clorpromazine—used for certain psychiatric
problems that lead to violent behavior.
4. Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil—used for offenders who suffer from
depression.
ii. Electronic controls.
1. Electronic monitoring
iii. Human surveillance.
1. Personal contact with subjects allows correctional workers to
process things like body language, paralanguage, attitudes, odors,
etc.
iv. Programmatic Controls.
1. Most widely used techniques of surveillance and control.
2. Example: drug testing
10. The New Corrections Professional
a. The advent of intermediate sanctions has changed the work world of the
professional in corrections.
b. There are three major shifts in the working environment of the correctional
professional.
i. Non-government organizations have emerged to administer community
corrections programs.
ii. An increased emphasis on accountability has reduced individual
discretion.
iii. Professionals currently work within boundaries described as guidelines.
iv. These specify policy options for different types of cases.
c. Third, the relationship between the professional and the client has become less
important than the principles of criminal justice that underlie that relationship.
d. These three trends have had effects on correctional professionals.
i. The professional is now more accountable.
ii. The professional is more oriented towards carrying out agency policy.
iii. This has implications for the motivation and training of staff.
iv. It also means the traditional three-way balance between offender, staff and
bureaucracy has been shifted so that the latter is more important.
11. Community Corrections Legislation
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a. The main thrust of community corrections legislation—to limit dependence on
prisons—comprises three aims:
i. To reduce the rate and number of people sentenced to prisons.
ii. To reduce tax revenues spent on corrections by transferring the costs and
the funding to less-expensive local correctional facilities.
iii. To reduce prison populations.
b. Have those aims been achieved? It is complicated.
12. The Future of Intermediate Sanctions and Community Corrections
a. Some way must be found to overcome the seemingly immutable tendency of the
criminal justice system to resist placing offenders in less restrictive options and
instead keep increasing the level of corrections.
b. Community support for these programs must increase; too often citizens fear the
offenders in their midst.
c. The purposes of these sanctions must be clarified—no program can operate
successfully for long if its goals are not clearly defined.
LECTURE NOTES:
This chapter opens by making the case for intermediate sanctions. The authors construct
their argument by exploring the necessity of prison; they recount the limits of probation, and
introduce system-wide shortcomings when it comes to realizing justice. When teaching about
the system’s deficiencies, it might be helpful to review the purpose of corrections. Have students
reiterate what they identify as the primary goals of corrections.
When defining intermediate sanctions, understand the concept of continuum of
sanctions. This chapter introduces a variety of intermediate sanctions. In reviewing this chapter
addresses discretion and its role in corrections. The chapter also covers the principle of
interchangeability. This idea speaks to how intermediate sanctions can be calibrated.
The continuum approach offers a simple way to illustrate the concept of intermediate
sanctions; however, do not underestimate complications associated with such practices. Three
areas of focus are: selecting agencies to administer the sanctions, selecting eligible offenders,
and the unfortunate predicament of net widening. Data is not yet comprehensive enough to
evaluate the effectiveness of intermediate sanctions, but the authors assert that despite problems,
we should not abandon the practice. Rather, they discuss strategies that may help intermediate
sanctions work more effectively. Relate the problems to the strategies.
Each new set of ideas and corresponding practices brings forth new directives, new
challenges, and new procedures for correctional professionals. The world of corrections keeps
changing. To better understand the sanctions learned, think about how these amendments and
adjustments affect the role of the correctional professional.
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