The criminal justice system and the United States law enforcement, has embraced community corrections, because of its impact in assisting the incarcerated persons in their transition back to society. The aim of introducing community correction was to serve as an alternative to imprisonment for those serving their jail term but have reformed or demonstrated positive behaviors.
While the approach mainly happens outside the prison setting, there are stringent measures enforced by the authorities to oversee the correctional process and to prevent ex-convicts from re-offending. Similarly, the probation department conducts follow-ups and supervision to address the needs of that undergoing community program. The court system usually enforces sanctions and makes decisions based on the reports compiled by parole officers on whether offenders should return to society or prison.
The offender will have successfully completed the process if she or he exhibits signs of behavioral change and mental stability. This paper seeks to review and analyze the case of Robert, an incarcerated for burglary and drug abuse, with the aim of establishing why the correctional assessment is necessary for him. In addition, the paper will explore the needs of the individual, as well as the applicable evidence-based practices that help Robert to re-enter society.
Robert is about to complete his jail term having convicted for armed robbery. The 26 years old has previous criminal history and numerous arrests associated with burglary, and drug possession. With four arrests and five times in incarceration, it is difficult to establish whether he would successfully transit back to society as a reformed person.
However, he has demonstrated positive behaviors during incarcerations by abstaining from drugs and alcohol. Besides, he goes for regular counseling sessions, having struggled with bipolar disorder some years back. Similarly, he underwent medication and has not demonstrated any signs of behaviors in the recent past. With the recent assessment of the offender, community correction is the best alternative option that will help him during the transition period.
Importance of Community Correction Assessment
In Robert’s case, it is imperative to pursue community correctional assessment to ascertain whether his claims abstaining from heroin abuse, mental issues, and behavioral progress. It is a complex and important process involving data collection, and comprehensive risks and needs investigations. Community correctional assessment will help those tasks with monitoring or supervising the offender to establish the risk of recidivism (Taxman et al, 2007). Aside, assessment helps professional carrying out the process to categorize the inmate based on levels of risks, which include low, moderate, and high.
Considering that Robert is serving his fifth consecutive jail term for different offenses, a community correctional assessment is required to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he will not re-offend. Aside, correctional assessment helps relevant entities to change the lives of inmates before re-joining society to deter criminal activities and transform the communities.
As such, the procedure, which is mandatory, is helpful in Robert’s case, to assess his behaviors purposely for further decisions on whether should be incarcerated, granted parole, or serve the remainder of his term under probation. Lastly, community assessment is important in collect in data collection and analysis of the offender behaviors outside prison facilities. It helps parole officers to establish and predict the behaviors of an individual in a community environment.
While Robert claims to have abstained from drug abuse and alcohol and promised to abstain from these substances during the transitional period, it is difficult to validate considering the nature of security in prison. As such, it could be an excuse for seeking alternative corrections outside prison. Therefore, assessment is quite useful in his case, to determine behavioral changes, mental issues, and attitudes.
The correctional assessment, which is conducted courtesy abuse-screening tools, psychiatrists and other professionals, plays a crucial role in assessing the offender risk level, and applicable treatment programs (Taxman et al, 2007). Similarly, it guides the criminal justice in key-decisions for those chosen to undergo community corrections.
From the assessment, Robert is in dire need of psychological needs like professional counseling and support from his family and the community. He suffers from bipolar disorder, which could be the result of stress and previous drug addiction. Secondly, the individual needs medical attention to diminish depressive issues attributed to recidivism. Additionally, Robert needs the support and compassion from the community, to allow him to live as a law-abiding citizen, after the transition.
Evidence- Based Practices
In the justice system, evidenced-based practices, acquired through scientific research, is applicable in reducing recidivism. More importantly, the choice of EBP depends on the risk and needs of the offender. In the case of Robert, given his recidivism risk level and criminal history, some of the evidence-based practices suggested for community correction include rehabilitation and stress management.
The rehabilitation program will deter him from abusing alcohol and banned substances. It is an approach recommended by many scientists capable of producing the desired results. For instance, many drug addicts placed under rehabilitation often recover from their addiction. Secondly, stress management is highly recommended to reduce maniac and depressive episodes. It will help Robert to forget about his previous ordeal, before transiting to society.
Concisely, this paper has analyzed Robert’s case, to establish the importance of the community correctional assessment, a risk factor associated with recidivism. Given his history, he should undergo a correctional assessment to establish the needs and appropriate solutions. As such, the solutions suggested are scientifically driven and guarantees better outcomes.
Taxman, F. S., Cropsey, K. L., Young, D. W., & Wexler, H. (2007). Screening, assessment, and referral practices in adult correctional settings: A national perspective. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34(9), 1216-1234.
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