Discuss your views on the practice of allowing convicted offenders to serve all or part of their sentences in the community. Do you support this idea? Do you think it provides value in rehabilitating offenders? Why or why not? Please provide support for your views.
Please see response attached (Posting 97633.doc) (also presented below), including one supporting article. I hope this helps and best of luck!
1. Discuss your views on the practice of allowing convicted offenders to serve all or part of their sentences in the community. Do you support this idea?
I think it depends on the type of crime and the offenders past history of criminal behavior (i.e., risk assessment of potential to re-offend). For example, different countries and states/provinces engage in a sentence calculation for each offender to determine two things: the total length of the sentence length which an offender will be required to serve; and, at what point the offender will be eligible for parole and other forms of conditional release. http://ww2.psepc-sppcc.gc.ca/publications/Corrections/sent_calc_how/index_e.asp. It varies somewhat across country and state, but all criminal justice system engage in this process.
Although I agree, somewhat with the intended goals and theory behind serving all or part of their sentence in the community, recidivism remains high for most offenders and one has to question both the theory and the implications for the safety or the community and the rehabilitation of the offender. For example, one of the goals of allowing convicted offenders to serve all or part of their sentence in the community is that the offender is expected to rehabilitate (try out new behaviors not linked to crime, i.e. job, etc.) through community contact and, for some programs, such as work programs, it will provide the offender a way to pay back the community and feel a sense of accomplishment (rehabilitation). There is some evidence that this works for some offenders, but many re-offend, which means the program is not working as well as intended and indeed is putting the community at further risk at the expense of trying to rehabilitate the offender. However, probation and parole have little effect on the average recidivism rates (see article attached).
One theory that supports serving part or all of their sentences in the community is a general social-psychological perspective on criminal conduct. It assumes that because behavior is learned, the offenders can learn new behaviors through serving out the sentence in the community. Four basic assumptions of this approach are:
1. Criminal behaviour is, for the most part, learned behaviour.
2. The learning of criminal behaviour follows the same principles as the learning of any other behaviour.
3. The major principles of learning are those identified in the laboratories.
4. Behaviour results from the interaction of environmental factors (rewards and penalties for behaviour) and personal factors. ...
This solution debates the practice of allowing convicted offenders to serve all or part of their sentences in the community in terms of agreement or disagreement and if it provides value in rehabilitating offenders, why or why not. Supplemented with one supportive article on effect of incarceration.