Class Notes (837,194)
Canada (510,160)
Sociology (4,081)
SOC209H5 (195)

Chapter Nine

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Nicole Myers

Chapter Nine: Alternatives to Confinement Key principles that are related to the effectiveness of correctional treatment programs 1. Risk: programs must be matched to the risk level of the offender. Using inappropriate alternative programs may not provide assistance to the offender and could place community at risk 2. Need: treatment interventions should address underlying factors like substance abuse that are related to offending behavior 3. Responsivity: treatment intervention should match the learning styles and abilities of individual inmates; ‘one size fits all’ approach must be avoided. Diversion • Oldest and most traditional alternative to confinement • Objective is to keep offenders from being processed further into the CJS; avoidance of negative labeling and stigmatization; reduction of costs of CJS and provision of services • Target first-time, low-risk offenders • Require offenders to take responsibility for their behavior and agree to fulfill few conditions within a specific time period for example: paying restitution to victim, completing community hours etc. • Some diversion programs are targeted at offenders who have committed more serious offenses like DTCs for example • No evidence in Canada that diversion programs have any impact on recidivism. Probation • Most widely used alternative • In cases where no minimum penalty is prescribed, judge may put offender on probation. • Can be used in conjunction with a period of incarceration, including intermittent sentences. Max time a probation order can be in effect is 3 years. • Not available for federal offenders except for cases where offender is sentenced for 2 years in confinement and a probation order could be attached making it 3 years. • Probation is ordered in 45% of cases • 5 ways offenders can be on probation: - part of a conditional discharge - as a condition of a suspended sentence - part of an intermittent sentence - as a sentence on its own - following a prison term of less than 2 years • Probation can be included with any disposition: - Fine - Imprisonment up to 2 years - Conditional sentence - Intermittent sentence • Conditions: Must comply with all 3 - keep the peace and be of good behavior - appear before court when required to do so - notify court or probation officer of any change of name, address and occupation • Other conditions a judge could impose: - report as required to probation officer - to abstain from drugs/alcohol - to abstain from owning/carrying a weapon - to provide support and care of dependents - to perform community service work • Any one who fails to comply with conditions can be charged with a breach of probation which is a hybrid offense carrying max penalty of 2 years • Supervision plays a critical role in effectiveness of probation. The relationship between the probationer and the probation officer is important. Few attributes are: - establishing and maintaining a good rapport - considering individual needs of offender - maintaining a proper balance between control and assistance • Intensive supervision programs involve special groups of probationers like sex offenders. The caseloads are smaller and the officers can meet clients more often. • Important for officer to select appropriate strategy that matches the requirements and need of the offender. For offenders who are less cooperative, approach based on control is more effective and for those who want to change, an approach that provides support and encouragement is effective. • Probation officers play a dual role: providing support to offenders + enforcing conditions of probation order. If an offender indulges in drug use/has a relapse, how should he consult his officer about treatment options while revealing he had a relapse? Disclosing that he had a relapse would be a breach in the order and to not disclose might result in offender committing more crimes to support his addiction. • Effectiveness of Probation: probation is most effective with those offenders who are in a stable personal relationship, are employed, have high
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