The Potential of Community Corrections to Improve Safety and Reduce Incarceration

Overview

As the size and cost of jails and prisons have grown, so too has the awareness that public investment in incarceration has not yielded the expected return in public safety. This creates an opportunity to reexamine the wisdom of our reliance on institutional corrections—incarceration in prisons or jails—and to reconsider the role of community-based corrections, which encompasses probation, parole, and pretrial supervision. However, it could also be an opportunity wasted if care is not taken to bolster the existing capacity of community corrections. With this report, Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections provides an overview of the state of community corrections, the transformational practices emerging in the field (including those in need of further research), and recommendations to policymakers on realizing the full value of community supervision to taxpayers and communities.

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