Week 5: Correctional Practices in Community Settings

Published by Brenda I. Belcher

Apr 4, 2021

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Week 5: Correctional Practices in Community Settings

Each year, it costs billions of dollars to incarcerate criminal offenders. In addition, millions of families struggle with financial and emotional hardships due to the offender’s lost income and absence as a spouse and/or parent. Children who grow up with a parent in prison often suffer more mental health issues and educational challenges than children who do not. Therefore, there is growing interest in community-based alternatives to incarceration.

This week, you explore community-based alternatives to incarceration, such as diversion, probation, and parole. You also consider issues and challenges related to offender reintegration into society.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate the role of shaming in reintegration programs
  • Develop a community-based corrections plan
  • Apply labeling theory to criminal behavior    

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Hanser, R. D. (2017). Introduction to corrections (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Chapter 5, “Probation” (pp. 104–127)Introduction to Corrections, 2nd Edition by Hanser, R. Copyright 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications, Inc via the Copyright Clearance Center.    
Hanser, R. D. (2017). Introduction to corrections (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Chapter 15, “Parole and Reintegration” (pp. 370–395)
Introduction to Corrections, 2nd Edition by Hanser, R. Copyright 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications, Inc via the Copyright Clearance Center.    
Stohr, M. K., & Walsh, A. (2017). Corrections: The essentials (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Chapter 9, “The Corrections Experience for Staff” (pp. 188–211)Corrections: The Essentials, 3rd Edition by Stohr, M. K.; Walsh, A. Copyright 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications, Inc via the Copyright Clearance Center.    
Stohr, M. K., & Walsh, A. (2017). Corrections: The essentials (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Chapter 10, “Community Corrections: Parole and Prisoner Reentry” (pp. 212–235)
Corrections: The Essentials, 3rd Edition by Stohr, M. K.; Walsh, A. Copyright 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications, Inc via the Copyright Clearance Center.    
Berman, G., & Adler, J. (2018). Toward misdemeanor justice: Lessons from New York City. Boston University Law Review, 98(3), 981–997.Kamenetz, A. (2015, April 28). Delinquent. Dropout. At-risk. When words become labels.Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/04/28/399949478/delinquent-dropout-at-risk-whats-in-a-nameKopak, A. M., & Frost, G. A. (2017). Correlates of program success and recidivism among participants in an adult pre-arrest diversion program. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 42(4), 727–745.

For this article, skip the Methods, Measures, and Results sections on pages 732–741.
Wilson, D. B., Brennan, I., & Olaghere, A. (2018). Police-initiated diversion for youth to prevent future delinquent behavior. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 14, 1–89.

For this article, skip the Objectives, Methods, and Results sections on pages 14–27.

Required Media

Steinberg, R. (2018, April). What if we ended the injustice of bail? [Video file].Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/robin_steinberg_what_if_we_ended_the_injustice_of_bail

Optional Resources

Serial Productions. (Producer). (2018). Serial: A madman’s vacation [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://serialpodcast.org/season-three/8/a-madmans-vacation    Serial Productions. (Producer). (2018). Serial: Some time when everything has changed [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://serialpodcast.org/season-three/9/some-time-when-everything-has-changedSerial Productions. (Producer). (2018). Serial: You’ve got some Gauls [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://serialpodcast.org/season-three/2/youve-got-some-gauls


Discussion: Does Shaming Have a Place in Reintegration?

A woman drives on a public sidewalk to get around a stopped school bus. The judge sentences her to stand on a busy street corner for two days holding a sign that reads, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.” Is this type of shaming effective?

The use of shaming as a punishment and a deterrent has gained traction in recent years, especially amidst concerns of prison overcrowding. In this Discussion, you examine whether shaming is a useful tool in the reintegrative process. In doing so, you consider the work of Australian criminologist John Braithwaite, whose theory of reintegrative shaming suggests that some types of shaming are useful while others are destructive.

By Day 3

Post a response that addresses the following:

  • Is shaming a useful tool in reintegration programs? Why or why not? Support your argument with professional experience and theories (e.g., Braithwaite’s reintegrative shaming theory) from this week’s Learning Resources.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two colleagues:

  • Choose a response that is different from your own.
  • Respectfully challenge or add to your colleague’s argument.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 5 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:Week 5 Discussion


Assignment: Community-Based Corrections Plan

In 2018, citizens of California voted in support of Proposition 57, a law allowing non-violent offenders to be eligible for parole before they completed their sentence. As a result, thousands of offenders were released into communities that were ill-prepared to offer adequate supervision and reintegration services, leaving many vulnerable to recidivism.

Given the passage of laws, such as Proposition 57, and the decarceration movement, criminal justice practitioners must be knowledgeable about community-based alternatives to incarceration and best practices for helping newly released offenders successfully reintegrate into their communities.

For this Assignment, imagine that the deputy mayor of your city contacts you to arrange a meeting to discuss how to reduce the number of inmates in local jails and prisons due to overcrowding. How would you respond? What plan would you put into place?

By Day 7

Submit a 1,000- to 1,200-word plan to inform the deputy mayor of the community-based alternatives to incarceration.

Organize your plan into the four parts noted below. Each part should address for your audience the details and questions below, and your response should have the characteristic of a proposal that presents a solution or answer to each question.

Part I: Diversion

In 250–300 words, address the following questions:

  • In what circumstances would diversion be an appropriate alternative to arrest and incarceration? Be specific and support your response by referring to labeling theories.
  • Which types of diversion programs would you recommend implementing in response to the crime problems in your city (or a city close to you)?

Part II: Probation

In 250–300 words, address the following questions:

  • In which circumstances would probation be an appropriate alternative to incarceration?
  • Which specific probation conditions do you think would be most effective for preventing recidivism and why?
  • Which aspects of probation do you think probationers would find most challenging?

Part III: Parole and Reintegration

In 250–300 words, address the following questions:

  • Is early release from prison a good strategy to reduce overcrowding? Why or why not?
  • What are the primary challenges parolees might encounter during parole and reintegration? What factors might contribute to and detract from their success?
  • Which community resources or programs would you recommend to ensure parolees’ success and reduce the likelihood of recidivism?

Part IV: The Role of Supervision

In 250–300 words, address the following questions:

  • What are the roles of probation and parole officers in the supervision of probationers and parolees?
  • How can you avoid or address the most significant challenges probation and parole officers encounter in their day-to-day activities?
  • If you were given approval to hire additional probation and parole officers, what are some of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions you would look for in candidates? What kind of training would you recommend?

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK5Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 5 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 5 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK5Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 5 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 5 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7

To submit your Assignment:Week 5 Assignment


Journal: What’s in a Label?

In this week’s Discussion, you explored Braithwaite’s theory of reintegrative shaming. This theory falls under the broader umbrella of labeling theories, which suggest that labeling a criminal offender as “deviant” or “bad” increases the likelihood that he or she will continue to reoffend. Labeling often begins during an arrest and continues as the offender stands before a judge and serves his or her sentence. It can also occur outside of the criminal justice system once friends, family members, and co-workers learn of the crime.

In this Journal, you consider how labeling contributes to the criminal path of first-time offenders. You also explore how diversion strategies may be a viable alternative for first-time offenders.

By Day 7

Write a 300-word Journal response to the following prompts:

  • How can labeling affect the criminal path of first-time offenders?
  • What diversion strategies could be used as alternatives for first-time offenders?    

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Journal for review and grading, do the following:

  • Click the Week 5 Journal Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 5 Journal link. 
  • Next, click Create Journal Link.
  • In the title box, enter the title of the Journal Entry. Please title it: WK5Journal+last name+first initial.
  • In the Entry Message box, type your Journal Entry or click Browse My Computer and select the document you saved as “WK5Journal+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • Click Post Entry.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 5 Journal Rubric

Submit Your Journal by Day 7

To submit your Journal:Week 5 Journal


Week in Review

This week, you explored community-based alternatives to incarceration, such as diversion, probation, and parole. You also considered issues and challenges related to offender reintegration into society.

Next week, you reflect on existing themes or trends that might affect how the correctional system operates in the future.

Next Week

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