[ Browse by Service Category : Criminal Justice and Legal Services : Sub-Topics of Criminal Correctional System (10) ]

Alternative Sentencing/Supervision

Programs that provide formal supervision of offenders released conditionally on probation or parole or confined to their homes or other venues in the community; that offer alternatives to involvement in the juvenile justice system for youth involved in minor summary conviction offences; or that provide the option of participating in counselling, educational or work programs as an alternative to incarceration in a correctional facility, payment of a fine or other sanctions. Defendants convicted of less serious crimes may be sentenced to simple probation, i.e., supervision in the community under the direction of a probation officer. For other crimes, a judge may choose from three intermediate sanctions: community confinement, intermittent confinement, and home detention. For more serious crimes, judges may impose a split sentence, in which the defendant spends a short time in prison and the remainder of the sentence in one of the intermediate sanctions. Community confinement means residence in a treatment centre outside the prison walls, such as a halfway house or drug rehabilitation centre. Community confinement may be imposed instead of prison time, or as a means of easing transition back into the community after time spent in prison. Intermittent confinement means the defendant is free to go to work or live at home for part of the week, but must spend time in jail on weekends. Home confinement is a judicially managed system of punishment and control for offenders deemed safe enough to live in their own homes, but requiring a higher degree of supervision.

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Ex-Offender Halfway Houses

Community-based programs that provide congregate living arrangements and a wide variety of counselling and supportive services for ex-offenders who recently have been released from a correctional facility but who require a gradual transition from that highly structured and supervised way of a life to a relatively free and normal existence in the community.

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Ex-Offender Reentry Programs

Programs that help people who have been released from a correctional facility make a successful transition to community life. Services generally include an assessment of the individual's needs, discussion of options and short-term case management involving coordination of needed services which may include housing location assistance, job training, job placement and retention services, legal assistance, literacy skills development, GED courses, parenting classes, life skills training, access to food and shelter resources, and other sources of support.

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Inmate Support Services

Programs that provide emotional support and friendship (through correspondence or other mechanisms) for individuals who are incarcerated in a correctional facility; facilitate continued contact between inmates and family members, friends and significant others; work to vindicate and free from prison, inmates who claim to be innocent of the crimes for which they have been convicted and sentenced; and/or ensure that inmates receive the services and support they need to solve problems arising from their incarceration and/or prepare for their release.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.


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