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Alternatives to Simple Incarceration - Essay Example

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Summary
The case of Joe Jones is perfect for devising an alternative to simple incarceration. He is 30 years old, married and a father of a child. He was recently laid off from his job, where he had worked for eight years. Even though he is skilled at his job, he was not able to find job fast enough…
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Alternatives to Simple Incarceration

Download file to see previous pages... Keeping such a large number of people in confinement is proving to be a financial strain on governments. Many first time offenders and people like Joe Jones who are not a threat to public safety can be safely integrated into the society under supervision. This will definitely save a lot of tax payer's money and will contribute positively to the rehabilitation of the offender.
Having seen many people like Joe Jones during my tenure, I feel that it is high time for an alternative to be introduced into the system. A system can be devised which will take into consideration the public's point of view, the concerns of the government and the situation of the offender.
Paramount focus should be given to public safety. For this an Electronic Monitoring Program1 can be introduced so that the offender will be under surveillance 24 hrs a day. This can be affected by fitting the offender with a tamper sensitive ankle or wrist device, which along with the telephone line will keep the authorities informed about the whereabouts of the offender. Public safety can be ensured by this step. ...
Moreover this system can reduce recidivism (Joan Petersilia, Minimizing Harm as a Goal for Crime Policy in California, http://www.ucop.edu/cprc/rubin.html). One California study has shown a two third decrease in crime rates after implementing such a program.
Not only should the offenders be put under surveillance, but they should be subjected to rehabilitative treatments (in the case of substance abusers), employment programs, easy access to specific types of counselling etc. They should even be encouraged to further their studies in course of the probationary period. This will definitely help in their reintroduction into society. Another advantage is that these programs will keep the offenders busy, leaving them with no or very little time to get lured back to crime.
Joe Jones
Joe Jones wants to make amendments for his actions and put all of this behind him. I will present him with the alternate program where he will not have to spend time in prison, but attend employment programs, offer community services etc, while having the option to further his studies. Since he wants to repay his victims, he may draft a letter to each of them, apologizing for his actions and conveying his sincere wish to repay them. I myself will have to explain to the victims the reason for Joe not spending time in prison. I will have to explain how the issue of public safety has been addressed in this program. Also how this program will benefit Joe Jones and in due course the victims themselves, when Joe will finally be able to repay them. Public awareness of the Alternative Program is very important for the success of the program. So enlightening the victims about the course of action taken against the offender is an integral part of successfully ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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