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CRIM 241 (11)
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CRIM241 Ch5, 6, 8.docx

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Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 241
Professor
Danielle Murdoch
Semester
Fall

Description
PART 2 Corrections in the Community: Alternatives to Confinement CH5–AlternativestoConfinement  Diversion, probation, intermediate sanctions, restorative justice initiatives  Alterative measures driven by escalating cost of confining offenders in correctional institutions & question effectiveness of incarceration as a deterrent Effectiveness?  Does diversion work? Inconclusive, few evaluation, may widen net when focus on low risk/first time offender, may increase system‟s workload and costs  Does problem solving court works? Effective at reducing rates of reoffending  Does probation work? Can be effective if principles of RNR are follwoed  Electronic/GPS? Reduce rates of recidivism, even among serious offenders, but no evidence it reduce prison admin or are less costly than incarceration; negative impact on offender‟s family, hinder efforts to secure housing and employment, privacy issues, net widening, not true alternative to confinement  Conditional sentences? High eates of violations (40%), despite limitations by BillC-10, still used inappropriately by judges; more effective than imprisonment in reducing recidivism  Restorative justice alternatives? Yes evidence show can reduce rates of recidivism and address needs of V/O/C Diversion Programs designed to keep (mostly low-risk, first time offenders) offenders from being processed further into the formal CJS o Objective: kept from being processed further into CJS  thereby reducing cost and social stigmatization  helping offenders address the specific factors that led to their offending o Require offender acknowledge responsibility for their behaviour and agree to fulfill certain conditions within a specified time = If meet conditions, charges withdrawn and not get criminal record  Follow principles of restorative justice  Can be diverted at several points, pre charge post charge post sentence stages  Major concern: 1. Net widening = a potential, unanticipated consequences of diversion programs in which persons who would have otherwise have been released outright by police or not charged by Crown, are involved in the justice system. 2. Programs are coercive and punitive – no choice, programs infringe on rights of accused - charges are withdrawn if offenders waived basic procedural rights in order to gain admission to program Specialized, problem-solving courts = designed to divert offender with special needs from CJS o Eg Vancouver Downtown Community Court, drug treatment courts, mental health courts, aboriginal courts, domestic violence court  Offender may avoid incarceration by agreeing to abide by specific conditions (eg agree to participate in drug abuse treatment programs and submit to regular drug testing)  Three defining attributes: 1. Address underlying problems 2. Involve collaboration among various agencies and disciplines 3. Accountable to community  Abandon adversarial/legalistic approaches, in favour of treatment/rehabilitation, follow principles of RJ  Develop plans that are meant to counter the ‘revolving door’ syndrome that affect many offenders and improve collaboration among justice and social service agencies  Reflect concept of “therapeutic justice” = using law & court‟s authority as change agents to promote the health and well-bring of offenders, while at the same time, ensuring the legal rights of offenders are protected and justice is done.  Concerns: blur line between treatment and enforcement – can be coercive, eg DTC require abstinence instead of harm reduction approach Probation * see ch 6 Intermediate Sanctions A wide range of correctional programs that fall between probation and incarceration (although specific initiatives may include either of these penalties)  Examples: fines, community service, day attendance centres, home detention with or without EM, intensive probation supervision, strict discipline camps (boot camps), conditional sentence orders, halfway houses  Primary objective: To hold offenders more accountable through more restrictive and intensive supervision. o Offender-oriented objectives: Include assurance of real punishment, retribution, and some degree of incapacitation and control. o System-oriented objectives: Aim to reduce institutional population, system costs and recidivism rates. Include Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP) An intermediate sanction that includes reduced caseloads for PO, but increase surveillance for each offender.  Primarily used with youth offenders - More suited for offender who pose greater risk to reoffend  Include treatment interventions and efforts to ensure that probationers are employed.  Rigorous conditions imposed = multiple weekly reporting, strict enforcement of conditions, require offender secure and maintain employment  Reduce prison admission, cut cost, protect public, increase supervision of more serious offenders Conditional Sentences Order (CSO) A sentence where an offender serve the sentence in the community, rather than prison, if risk is determined to be manageable in the community. Supervised by PO  Provincial offender * Only available if offender is sentenced to under 2 years  Required to fulfil statutory conditions + optional conditions (no drugs, provide care for family, community service, treatment program) o If breach, return to court, reverse onus is on offender o Can result in offender being incarcerated  Different from probation, which focus on rehabilitation o Condition sentences are more punitive, with elements of rehabilitation  Stricter conditions and consequences are more severe if breached  Controversy surrounding CSOs o Support by courts – save cost, offender don‟t come out worse o Disliked by public – concern with high violation rates, misuse of sentence by judge  Bill C-10 unavailable for offence w/ bodily harm, drug trafficking, weapon use o Misunderstood by public – view offender as receiving “slap on the wrist” and escaped negative experiences of incarceration  however negative impact with CSO also exist, no less intense, negative impact on work and family, children Electronic Monitoring A correctional strategy that involves using electronic equipment to ensure that the conditions of supervision are fulfilled.  Main objective: to ensure public safety while allowing offender to remain in community  Usually for less serious non-violent offences & have stable residence/telephone o Sex offender/domestic abuse not eligible  Passive = use computer to call offender at random / specified times in order to verify their whereabouts  Active EM systems = offender wears a transmitter that provides a „continuous signal‟ to their location o Eg global positioning system GPS to track location/movement of high risk offenders Potential role of GPS  Determine where offender is at all times, provide greater protection for victims  GPS programs can be „customized‟ to specifying boundaries where offender is not permitted (eg playground, near school)  Monitoring program is designed to alert both offender and agency if breaches area restrictions  Concerns:  PO are not relieved task of supervision, because technology cannot prevent the actual commission of crime  EM and GPS tracking system sold by private company, effectiveness of such strategy may be exaggerated CH6–Probation A sentence where an offender is placed under supervision in the community, by a PO, for a specific period of time.  Can only be used with sentences of under 2 years = PROVINCIAL JURISDICTION  Either as an alternative to custody or in conjunction with a period of incarceration  Max 3 years for adult, 2 for youth  Most widely used alternative to confinement o 45% of all sentences have some form of probation associated with it o Average length = 15 months To be on probation (supervision order) 1. Conditional discharge 2. Suspended sentence 3. Fine + probation 4. Conditional sentence + probation 5. Probation (sentence of its own) – MOST COMMON 6. Intermittent prison + probation (max 90 days) 7. Prison (2 year or less) + probation  If conditional discharge, suspended sentence, or intermittent sentence = MUST be on probation  If fine, incarceration, or conditional sentence = MAY be on probation  If follow incarceration, probation begins either at time of release or on the expiration of provincial parole Conditions  Probation officer can request an increase/decrease/removal of additional conditions o Can reduce total period of probation order, but not lengthen  Statutory conditions – keep peace, obey law, appear in court, notify changes  Additional conditions – 1. Reporting conditions 2. Abstain alcohol/drugs 3. Weapon restrictions 4. Provide support/care for dependents 5. CWS – community work service hours 6. No Gos (cant go into certain areas) 7. No contacts ( victims, known associates, etc)  Breach of probation – can result in a charge (hybrid offence) Diff between probation & parole Probation Parole  Sentence ordered by judge  Granted by PBC  Only for provincial offenders, max 3 years  For federal or provincial released from prison  May be used w/ or w/o a period of confinement  A form of conditional release after confinement  Breach, lead to new charges/trial (new conditions,  Breach, parole revoked (goes back prison), no increase length, incarceration rarely imposed) need trial, or add more conditions  Have statutory conditions & specific conditions  Have statutory conditions & specific conditions Modes of Probation Practice  Due process = CJ is for justice o Example: fair and consistent determination of punishment, court order implemented in a manner respecting rights of offender, accessible and effective complaints procedure  Crime control = CJ should reduce crime o Crime reduction and public protection as main goal, success of probation assessed through reduced reconviction, practice risk assessment  Treatment = Seek to change offender w/o with fear/physical restrain o Assessment of risk and offender-related needs, then make interventions following these assessment, reduce reconviction or associated indicators  Restorative justice = emphasis on making amends o Mediation, conferencing, unpaid community service, increase victim awareness Probation Officer o Federal parole officers supervise offender of provincial parole o Quebec/Ontario – provincial probation officer supervise all Roles and Responsibilities 1. Prepare PSRs on adult offenders 2. Attend court proceedings, apply change of conditions, write progress report, consult with Crown 3. Risk assessment and case assessment planning (interview clients and collateral contacts) determine appropriate interventions 4. Counselling – conduct initial interviews, motivational interviewing, challenge difficult attitudes, facilitate core programs (eg substance abuse management, violence prevention) 5. Service coordination – collaborate with police and social services, identify educational/vocational/employment goals, provide treatment opportunities, locate housing, address family/financial issues 6. Surveillance/enforcement – monitor compliance with conditions, conduct home visits, document violation, prepare violation reports  Pre-sentence reports (PSRs) = document prepared by probation officer, for sentencing judge o Contains information on offender including 1. Criminal record 2. Response to previous sentences if any 3. Offender‟s risk/needs/motivation 4. Family/education/work/community situation 5. Assessment and specialists opinions 6. Victim impact information 7. Available programs and services o For aboriginal, must include info on community and if any community based programs are available (restorative justice, sentencing circles, elder assisted interventions) o In some jurisdiction, PO can make sentencing recommendations Dual role  Support/assist offender (address issues, identify resources, programs)  Enforce probation orders (follow conditions) o PO have discretion to tailor their style of supervision  Hard to handle both roles – eg offender relapsed, ask PO for help to find treatment 
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