What Works in Community Corrections

An Interview with Dr. Joan Petersilia

quick summary

Dr. Joan Petersilia is one of the nation's most respected experts on community corrections. In 2007, she spoke with Pew's Public Safety Performance Project about what policy makers should know about the research on these critical programs.

Community corrections are non-prison sanctions that are imposed on convicted adults or adjudicated juveniles either by a court instead of a prison sentence or by a parole board following release from prison. Community corrections programs are usually operated by probation and parole agencies, and the programs can include general community supervision as well as day reporting centers, halfway houses and other residential facilities, work release, and other community programs. All community corrections programs have the multiple goals of providing offender accountability, delivering rehabilitation services and surveillance, and achieving fiscal efficiency.

Probably 99 percent of all community corrections programs in the U.S. today have not been scientifically evaluated. So, identifying which ones are most effective is impossible.

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