In response to recognition in the late 1960s and early 1970s that traditional incarceration was not working, alternatives to standard prison settings were sought and developed. One of those alternatives-community-based corrections-had been conceived in the 1950s as a system that might prove more progressive, humane, and effective, particularly with people who had committed less serious criminal offenses and for whom incarceration, with constant exposure to serious offenders and career criminals, might prove more damaging than rehabilitative. The alternative of community corrections has evolved to become a substantial part of the criminal justice and correctional system, spurred in recent years not so much by a progressive, humane philosophy as by dramatically increasing prison populations, court orders to "fix" overextended prison settings, and an economic search for cost savings. Although community correction programs have been in place for some 40 years now, to date no comprehensive reference resource has tackled this topic.
Accessible and jargon-free and available in both print and electronic formats, the one-volume Encyclopedia of Community Corrections will explore all aspects of community corrections, from its philosophical foundation to its current inception.
Shannon M. Barton-Bellessa is a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Indiana State University. She earned her undergraduate degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College, her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and her PhD from the University of Cincinnati. Her journal publications have been in the area of community corrections, correctional officer job satisfaction, cognitive programming, and the juvenile justice system.
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