The followingpaper is an evaluation of the available community correctionalfacilities. The paper provides a deep insight on the various types ofcorrectional facilities, as well as, the procedures applied in them. The information in the paper is obtained using various datacollection techniques. The methods include visiting court sessions,reading the laws of the United States of America as well as holdingmeetings with various personnel within the community correctionsystem.
Arraignment isthe criminal proceeding, during which, a defendant officially appearsbefore a court. The defendant learns of the offences he or she facesfrom the complainant, indictment information or another chargingdocument. The defendant has the options to enter a plea of guilty ornot guilty, or otherwise, as accepted by the law. During thearraignment, the court decides whether to set a bail for the accusedor to release them on the defendant`s recognizance (Hoskins, 2011).
During thearraignment, the defendant learns more about the charges against him.The court arranges an attorney for the accused. Besides, the judge orthe prosecutor decides whether the accused will be either released orheld in a prison until trial. He conducts a hearing session to gatheradditional facts such as whether the defendant has a family nearby,criminal records, and whether he or she has threatened thecomplainant or the witnesses. In addition to the above facts, thejudge also considers whether the defendant poses a potential dangerto the community (Neugebauer, 2000).
I managed tospeak with one of the court clerks and obtained information of thesteps that take place before someone is arraigned in court. First,the crime is reported to crime investigators who conduct aninvestigation to gather evidence. The investigators assist theprosecutors to understand the small and relevant details of the case.There are various investigation agencies such as the Drug EnforcementAdministration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) andthe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). There are occasions that part of the investigations may include anarrest warrant (Barak, Flavin & Leighton, 2001).
The prosecutorsstudies the information they obtain from the investigators. Theattorneys conduct talks with the involved individuals and decidewhether to present the case to the grand jury. Prosecutors approachthe panel when they identify the potential of felony charges in acrime. The attorney provides the evidence and calls upon thewitnesses to testify to the grand jury. The attorney also presents anoutline of the case. Thereafter, the grand jury conducts a secretvote on whether the evidence adduced before them is enough. After thegrand jury approves that there is enough evidence, the defendant isaccused and is referred to an attorney. The attorneys assist thedefendant to understand the details of the case. Also, the lawyersrepresent the defendants in a similar way the prosecutor representsthe government (Lacchè & Stronati, 2011).
Probation isthe act of releasing an offender from detention. The release periodis subject to supervision to ensure good behavior. The process ofprobation begins with assessing the type of felony or misdemeanor theaccused caused. According to the United States Code, the courtconducts an assessment to determine whether the type of offence is ofeither type A (felony) or type B (misdemeanor). These crimes are notsubject to probation, however, it may be granted in instances wherethe accused renders substantial assistance to authorities in terms ofinformation that may help in uncovering the facts of the crime athand. In such a case, type A offenses are subject to a probationperiod of 1- 5 years while type B offenses are subject to a probationperiod of 0-5 years. First time domestic offenders are entitled toprobation in instances where the accused is not sentenced to a termof imprisonment.
Parole is theact of releasing a prisoner temporarily for a particular purpose. Itis also the permanent release of a detainee before the completion ofhis or her sentence on the promise of good behavior. The U.S parolecommission gives parole to inmates. The parole is given if the inmatehas indicated excellent observation of the rules of the law. Besides,it is also given if the release of the individual does not reduce theseriousness of the offense and does not act as a way to disrespectthe law. The parole is evaluated to ensure that it does notjeopardize the public welfare. The offender fills in a paroleapplication form obtained from the case manager. In the case wherethe accused does not fill in the application form, they obtain awaiver. After application, the case manager notifies the applicant ofthe date of hearing. The offender presents his side of the story onwhy he needs to parole during the hearing (Lacchè & Stronati,2011)
There are manysentencing alternatives. Professionals in criminal justice have alsoobserved that due to the reducing prison space, sentencing should bereserved for serious and dangerous offenders. The first type ofalternative is fines. The fines are to punish the offender, tocompensate the state for the offence as well as reduce the occurrenceof future crimes. Second is restitution that is similar to finesalthough the money paid by the offender goes to the victim of thecrime as opposed to the state. Restitution applies in cases where thevictims experienced financial loss. Third is the court-orderedcommunity service where the judge requires the offender to conductsome work on behalf of the community. The performance of such work isusually in exchange for a reduction in fines. The fourth is thepreferred adjudication (Barak, Flavin & Leighton, 2001).
Prison release programs
The releaseprocess of an offender begins six months before the Earned ReleaseDate (ERD). The inmate and the classification officers create theoffender release plan (ORP). The plan outlines the proposed residenceas well as the people that reside there. It also provides details ofthe available services in the area. The community corrections officerensures that the plan does not place the offender at the risk ofrepeating the offense. Besides, the officer also ensures that theinmate will have the access to services and resources. After that,the prisoner obtains a certificate of release (Neugebauer, 2000).
Intensivesupport units provide offenders with a supportive environment withspecially trained personnel to control drug addiction. The offendersexperience a reduced presence of drugs and alcohol in the units.Consequently, they are rehabilitated before their release fromcustody (Hoskins, 2011).
While inprison, the offenders gain technical skills that enhance theiremployability. Specifically, they are involved in occupationaltraining workshops that lead to a career and self-sufficiency.Besides, the offenders obtain entrepreneurial training to enable themopen businesses. While in prison, the offenders are assessed tocreate their employability profiles, they are also linked toemployers who reserve positions in their firms (Neugebauer, 2000).
There arereintegration programs that ensure the offenders access to adequatehousing. The programs create linkages with the families of theoffenders before their release to establish the possibility ofaccommodation. Besides, the programs also ensure that offenderswithout families obtain accommodation in facilities created for thehomeless (Barak, Flavin & Leighton, 2001).
There aremental health services designed to convert individuals diagnosed withmental illness and committed nonviolent crimes from the criminalsystem to the treatment for mental illness. The aim of the facilityis to reduce the jail time for the offenders. The service alsoreduces the levels of criminal recidivism (Lacchè & Stronati,2011).
a. There arecircumstances that can lead to a sentence during probation. First, ifa defendant fails to comply with certain obligations or conditions ofthe probation, they are liable to suspension after a revocation oftheir probation period. For example, if an offender fails to complywith the drug treatment program me at the time of probation. Besides,sentencing occurs after the prosecutor convinces the judge that thedefendant committed an offence that led to the probation of thesentence in the first place (DuPont, 2003).
b. There arecrimes for which the sentence probation is prohibited. First, thereare states that do not allow probation for defendants who had priorconviction in the past. Second, probation is unacceptable forindividuals convicted for the sale of hard drugs such as cocaine(Lacchè & Stronati, 2011).
c. Thecommission grants parole based on the sentence provided by the court. Before it is given, the Commission evaluates whether the individualhas served one-third of the term of punishment (Hoskins, 2011).
In the state of Virginia, the arraignment of the defendant occurs onthe same day or a day after the defendant is arrested and charged.The defendant appears before a magistrate or a judge for an initialhearing of the case.The law of the United States allows the defendantto be released before trial in many cases that meet the requirementsfor bail. Before making the decision whether to release thedefendant, the judge obtains information on how long the individualhas lived in the area.
Whenever a person is indicted, he or she is given the information andthe notice that it is believed they committed the particular crimeidentified. The indictment notice also contains information about thecharges placed against him or her. I also learnt that a grand jury iscomposed of 16- 24 members.
In the UnitedStates, the sentencing commission is authorized to restrict probationof domestic violators. The court is allowed to conduct a motion thatcan lead to granting probation to an accused individual. Probation isnot similar to pardon, but a milder form of punishment. Unlike apardon, the convicted individual cannot refuse probation (DuPont,2003).
Barak, G.,Flavin, J., & Leighton, P. (2001). Class,race, gender and crime: Social realities of justice in America.Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Pub.
Dupont, E.(2003). The UnitedStates justice system.Broomall, PA: Mason Crest.
Hoskins, Z.W. (2011). The moralpermissibility of punishment.
Lacchè, L.,& Stronati, M. (2011). Beyondthe statute law: The "grey" government of criminal jsuticesystems: History and theory in the modern age.Macerata: EUM – EdizioniUniversità di Macerata.
Neugebauer,R. (2000). Criminalinjustice: Racism in the criminal justice system.Toronto: Canadian Scholars` Press.