New York City, like any other major city in the world, experiences different kinds of crimes against its residents. These crimes include rape, murder, assassinations, child sexual abuse, family quarrels, and theft among others. Sometimes, these cases when reported may end up in police departments for a long time without any success with the perpetrators behind bars. However, at times, these criminals are arrested and the right action taken against them. Over the years, criminal justice in New York City has undergone significant changes which may explain the reduced illegal activities in this vast city of America. In the past, Incarceration was the chief penalty for all criminals. The only difference that existed was the length of the sentence depending on the extent of the crime. However, in the current years, this kind of sentencing has changed due to reduced incarceration rates, and also the death penalties have decreased gradually. The department of justice is currently focusing on other alternatives that apply to the offenders. This essay focuses on the use of probation as an alternative to incarceration, its impacts, challenges, and effects on offenders under the rehabilitation theory in the Criminal Justice Department.
Probations in this city are managed and governed by the Department of Probations. Officers are assigned the obligation of monitoring offenders and providing reports for the justice department. It is a form correction that is an alternative to incarceration. Probation applies to both adults and the young generation. It is different from imprisonment since criminals are allowed in the society but under strict supervision from these officers. This probation may vary in length depending on the decision made by the judge. Probation services may include working voluntarily in community work for a predetermined period under observation to determine how well these offenders perform in the real environment without taking part in any other crimes (McGarry, Yaroni &Addie 2014). If the offender undertakes these activities and follows them to the letter, the judge may decide to pardon his/her crimes. However, on rare occasions, the offender may be sentenced to both probation and also imprisonment. Probation is a way of preparing the criminal for the outside life on completion of their sentence. After placing a person on probation, they are required to carry out their probation work and also attend programs suggested by the justice department. These will help guide and correct the behaviors of these criminals before they are allowed back to the community. During probation, the offender is required to adhere to the set rules to avoid new charges.
Early before the implementation of the new policy, the offices of the department of probation were centralized meaning that offenders under probation did not receive the appropriate monitoring and assessment. It was hard for these officers to travel to every town to inspect the offenders regularly which may have resulted to these criminals engaging back in their old criminal activities merely because they did not receive the best correction. This was majorly the reason why the Neighbourhood Opportunity Network (NeON) was initiated. Its main aim was to move these offices closer to the offenders' neighborhoods for a better inspection by the officers. Decentralization allowed better and stronger connection with the community leaders, the officers and also the offenders. This decentralization of their offices allowed these officers to get familiar with services in a particular community and even the behaviors of each offender (McGarry, et al, 2014). It also permitted engagement of the families of the offenders in assisting them to change their characters for the betterment of the whole community. With these services done by the offenders, the town may develop regarding cleanliness and also in elimination idleness in the neighborhood. Notably, idle minds give individuals the opportunity to plan evil activities in the community.
Since the implementation of the NeON policy in the year 2011, it has so far proved successful by ensuring that three main components of this initiative are observed and followed to the letter. The first element involves engaging officers in the life of these criminals. This is a very crucial move since it builds the connection between the two for a better working relationship. These officers can learn more about the criminal's life, and what they aim to achieve in life. These are some necessary information that helps evaluate the mindset of their clients and the best way to help them take their life back. Officers can gain this knowledge by communicating with these offenders when they report to their offices. They can also learn more when they visit their communities and interact more with their families. However, it is not an easy task to obtain information from these criminals. Therefore, these officers receive individual studies and training on how to handle their clients. Each time these officers visit the place of work in the offender's community, they can interact with leaders in the city and also the criminals as they work. Interactions allow the building of a relationship network that grows gradually as the participants communicate more. Families are also engaged to help guide their relatives on the right paths. These officers also introduce the criminals to various organizations in the community that may improve the individuals after completing their probation time. This network building is another element that has made NeON very successful. Finally, engagement of the community in the proper correction of the criminals has helped bring this initiative to success. Various groups are created and are involved in meetings with the officers and other stakeholders to discuss the multiple issues affecting the criminals, how to improve their relationships and also ways to help these offenders get back to their families and their communities.
Productive partnership between the department of probation (DOP), the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has allowed the development of the probation department. It has also allowed the agency to change some of their policies to evidence-based policies to enable better and more efficient strategies to assist clients on probation achieve their ultimate goal (Ziedenberg, 2014). The DOP gained technical assistance from these agencies. In particular, George Keiser contributed mostly to the provision of knowledge to the officers in this department. Another way that helped this administration succeed is the engagement of meetings with other officers proficient with probation strategies. Such meetings allowed these officers to share ideas and also discuss the various common issues affecting their departments and the best approaches to follow to solve these problems. Probation department in New York has reached its success because of the high level of experience and expertise of its officers as compared to other agencies in other towns. This skill favors this department since officers can provide critical and well-evaluated decisions and strategies that support the success of its staff.
There exist different types of theories of correction depending on the cultural practices in a particular area and also the effectiveness of this approach. Probation as a form of correction in New York City lies more on the rehabilitation side than on the other theories. These criminals carry out community work while still attending programs that help guide and correct their moral activities. These programs may include drug correction centers and also educational institutes (MacKenzie, 2012). These programs are referred to as rehabilitation centers for the criminal thus identifies probation with the rehabilitation theory of correction. The approach acts as guidance on ways to follow when monitoring these forms of behavior corrections such as probation. Scientists and experts argue that any correction that does not involve rehabilitation as a guide is bound to fail and may result in increased crime rates (MacKenzie 2012). Crimes are said to be initiated by factors surrounding the individual or within the individual such as the wrong company of friendship and also negative attitudes. If the department of justice desire to put an end to these crimes, then they have to work effortlessly to ensure that they eliminate these critical factors through rehabilitation. The New York City DOP has one advantage that makes it easier to use rehabilitation theory. The level of expertise of its officers makes it possible for them to utilize this philosophy. Also, the change of policies to evidence-based policies has allowed these officers to use scientific evidence to formulate the right strategies to correct offenders. These programs assist the offenders to change their ways and also build some future connections that can support them.
The essence of probation is to reduce the rate of crimes in the city. It also helps curb the increasing population in prisons by taking back offenders to the community to carry out community work and even enroll them in programs to assist them. Sometimes imprisonment does not change the criminal but just stops the crime for a particular period before the individuals are released back to the society. Probation is also essential since it gives the offenders a chance to engage in activities that may help them in future and also receive educative lessons on life. The government can reduce the amount of money spent on maintaining criminals in jails by reducing the number of people sentenced to prison. They are also able to cut the budget of workers in communities since these offenders are engaged in community work such as cleaning the environment.
Probation has proved an efficient way to reduce the rate of crime. New York City, for instance, has experienced a reduced rate of crimes over the years. Experts point out that this may have been as a result of the reduced use of incarcerations, but instead they have shifted their form of correction to probation. Research has also shown that when criminals receive an early discharge, they are motivated to do well and change their life for the better. In turn, crimes have declined in New York. Therefore, incentives are necessary to both the innocent and also to the charged criminals since it is a way of motivating them.
Evidence-based policies that the New York Department is putting into place have assisted the officers in crime level evaluation. They can determine the risk of crime tendency among individuals assigned for probation terms. With this knowledge, they can allocate more workforces to the individuals marked as high-risk targets (Ziedenberg, 2014). After determination of these individuals, assessment of the best measures and strategies are formulated to ensure that these individuals are kept on the watch and also that their behaviors are corrected. When the individuals have completed their time in probation, the governments connect them to available jobs through the connections built during the probation period.
With all the positive impacts of probation stated, this program is also faced with various challenges that require being settled for more effectiveness of this program. The officers in this department experience a large workload of reports and even manage a large number of criminals on probation. This has caused some officers to quit their jobs due to overloading. Another challenge that is faced by these officers is harsh environments. Since they are required to monitor each offender in their community, they are required to travel to various backgrounds. Some of these cities are harsh and threaten the safety of these officers. Harsh environments are due to some of these offenders havi...
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