Corrections policies can have a potentially significant impact on nearly every facet of the criminal justice system as well as on society as a whole. Well-intentioned policies often result in unintended negative consequences while failing to achieve desired outcomes. For instance, research indicates that current probation and parole systems are ineffective and that parole violators contribute significantly to prison overcrowding. Criminal justice professionals can help ensure more positive outcomes by carefully weighing the strengths and limitations of both new and existing policies and determining their relevance to existing realities of the criminal justice system.
For this Discussion, review the Learning Resources, identify a policy related to sentencing or corrections, and evaluate the policy. This policy can be relevant to community corrections rather than institutional corrections, and it can encompass the disparate impacts of corrections practices on various populations. For example, the locations of some correctional institutions—particularly those housing women and juveniles—are often quite far from where offenders’ family members live. Your evaluation of a corrections policy can encompass any aspect of corrections that is impacted by sentencing practices or corrections policies.
Post a description of the policy you selected. Explain the strengths and limitations of the policy. Then, explain the changes you might make to the existing policy and why.
- Wilson, J. Q., & Petersilia, J. (2011). Crime and public policy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Chapter 16, “Sentencing” (pp. 467–498)The chapter explores sentencing policies and the ways in which they are applied across various states. It highlights the impact of these different policies on sentencing practices. The chapter closes with recommendations for goals of sentencing policy reform.
- Chapter 17, “Community Corrections: Probation, Parole, and Prisoner Reentry” (pp. 499–531)The chapter highlights current challenges faced by many community corrections programs. These include lack of support and funding and high-recidivism rates. It also highlights notable exceptions of successful programs that have adopted approaches that differ from the norm.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/ This webpage contains graphic displays of criminal and corrections trends.
- Newsbatch. (2009). Death penalty. Retrieved from http://www.newsbatch.com/deathpenalty.htmThis web page contains an article that examines the use of the death penalty though 2009 from a socio-historical perspective as well as provides links to other resources on the topic.
- University at Albany, Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center. (2013). Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics. Retrieved from http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/ This site provides a variety of statistics on criminal justice topics and trends.