Community Correctional Programme
Letting inmates engage in community services instead of incarcerating them is more effective in decongesting the prison cells, especially when it comes to criminals with charges of minor offences. It should be noted that incarcerating criminals is costly in terms of feeding and accommodation; therefore, putting the minor offenders on community service will not only ease the congestions in the prisons but also lessen the cost of keeping inmates in prison cells.
In the United States of America, community correctional program has two models. The first model is described as integrated . It entails some guidelines for sentencing and discretion of the judiciary with , probation and parole preferences. Within the second model of community correctional programme, some states have constituted certain programs that allow the correctional authorities to redirect the already sentenced criminal offenders into another or correctional programs and or paroles. Both of these community correctional models are very effective in reducing congestions in prisons and less costly as compared to incarceration.
Instead of imprisoning an offender and letting him or her do nothing, community correctional program will engage the offender into varied activities and hence continue to be productive in the society despite that fact that he or she is serving some punishment. This does not only serve to decongest the prison cells but also ensures that the offender is not removed from the context of the society. It is therefore easy to reintegrate an offender placed on community correctional program than the incarcerated criminal offenders. With this kind of program, the main goals are to punish the offender and hold him or her accountable, protect the public safety, decongest the prisons; both the victims and the locals get restitution for offence committed against them and increase the community service work.
In conducting this kind of program, criminal offenders must be localized in the sense that they should serve their local community instead of being taken to work in communities further from their homes. This will assist the correctional authorities in monitoring the offender as the authorities can get information from the on the conducts of the offender.
The need to decongest the prison cells is long overdue; the number of inmates being admitted has already surpassed the capacity of most . It is therefore crucial that inmates are engaged in certain activities that will assist in reintegrating them back into the society. Moreover, the minor criminal offenders should be placed on community correctional program to also help decongest the prisons and reduce the cost of keeping inmates in prisons. Some minor offenders should just be flogged and left to go instead of taking them to prison (Diktter, 2002).