What is Community Corrections?
In the late 90’s, the community corrections environment was altered significantly. The emergence of Restorative Justice Organizations and the replacement of “lock ‘em up” approach to incarceration prompted vast and broad change. These dramatic changes affected the public sector as well as the private sector. In the long-term state prison system, the impact of these changes is one that will certainly continue.
The political and socioeconomic environment is also undergoing significant change. There is a dramatic movement toward a more-conservative approach in dealing with social issues such as crime and welfare. These shifts will have an impact on the care provided as well as the participants served. Changes in state statutes will make commitment to state mental health facilities easier, while other law changes will make release more difficult. The increasing numbers of inmates in the Department of Corrections is increasing the need for mental health and substance abuse services. Courts are being allowed to certify youths as adults at younger ages. The need for more secure facilities for those individuals who commit violent offenses and are diagnosed with mental retardation or another developmental disability is growing. Each of these issues must be considered as we develop our plans for the future.
As an integral part of the criminal justice system community corrections serves the community through efficient and effective programs designed to encourage personal responsibility, reduce criminal behavior and promote public safety in the community. Community Corrections provides the offender the opportunity to continue work, support their family, and be productively involved with the community.
Community correction residential facilities provide community based transitional services and supervision strategies to offenders released from the Division of Adult Institutions, as well as offenders under community supervision who are in need of additional structure. Services as these facilities may include substance abuse assessment and treatment, counseling, employment, educational, and housing assistance, and linkages to other community-based resources and services.