Community Corrections

Sanctions are mechanisms of social control that are used for enforcing a society’s values and standards within the cultural bounds of acceptable behavior. These may include ostracizing, shaming and public beatings. There are sanctions that are meant to be applied on the intermediate basis as improvement and conformity with society’s values is monitored. For instance, when people misbehave in mass, presenting huge financial and logistical requirements for facilitating punishments like imprisonment, the appropriate sanctions may include moderate fines, community service, restorative justice and fair restitution. In fact, restorative justice was largely undertaken after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

There are several modes of penalization for the crime committed: restitution, community service, and fines. Restitution is the process where offenders are required to compensate their victims for the damage or loss caused by their actions. The challenge with restitution is that it may be difficult to apply in unusual circumstances like when conventional strategies do not exist. Community Service is an unpaid undertaking assigned to convicts through court orders in place of jail terms, and include: working at an old persons’ home, assisting the disabled, and a cleaning exercise at a public facility. A challenge to community service is that the convicts may be idlers who may further extend their reckless behaviors to these sections of the community. Even so, it has the advantage that lawful and meaningful work is accomplished for the good of the community. Fines are monetary penalties imposed on defendants and it is paid to the courts. However, fining is not widely applicable to most offenders have insufficient funds for paying them, and those that have may not be discouraged to commit crime.

Boot camps resemble military institutions that disciplines through rigorous physical assignments aimed at correcting defiant individuals so that they learn to follow the rules, obeys the authority, and improve their conduct. Many therapists criticize the method as it lacks psychological therapy to redress the underlying behavioral problem which could have been acquired over time. However, there are some instances where individuals remarkably improve their behavior.

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Probation is a situation where convicted offenders are set free through court rulings so long as they meet specific conditions that includes that the defendants does not commit more offences during the probation period. To monitor them effectively, they are ordered to regularly report to the probation office to give information about their whereabouts and activities they engage in. The probation term is set by the court, the state, or through statute which when completed, the probationers are discharged. The method is most common if the offenders are young persons or have no criminal records. It has the benefit that the probationers continue with their lawful activities.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is a navigational system of 24 satellites communicating with ground computers. It is used to determine the longitudes and latitudes of receivers through the computation of the time differences that it takes for signals to reach a receiver from multiple satellites. GPS was initially incorporated as a military navigation aid for air, sea, and ground forces. Today, it is assisting with many civilian undertakings, such as in boats and ships navigation, location of automobiles, emergency rescue, and mining precision. The main advantage is that its application has overcome many limitations of earlier navigation aids. The main disadvantage is the invasion of privacy that it presents.

Despite criticism, I would prefer the method of restorative justice to be used when settling disputes since it promotes dialogue Restorative justice is a way of approaching justice while emphasizing on the interests of the offender and the victim with the aim of redressing the damage caused by the criminal conduct. Its main focus is not on punishing the offender. It is a cooperative process with an active participation of the victims where the offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their action. Depending on the crime, offenders may be required to apologize, return the stolen property, or pay for the damages. It has in fact shown the highest levels of offender accountability and victim satisfaction. This ensures peace and security in the community because it is less likely to result in bitterness and hard feelings that may motivate retaliation.

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