Community-Based Intermediate Sanctions
It is reported that in 2011, the federal government through FBD reported approximately 1.5 million cases that are drug related. A number of innovations have been adopted in the courts in order to help in dealing with various complicated drug cases. Apart from the normal court verdicts, drug courts provide offenders with treatment and monitory services with the aim of rehabilitating the offenders. Depending on the structures of the courts, different treatment programs that are closely monitored are adopted. Through the graduation programs at different levels of treatments, drug offenders are effectively gauged on the levels of their rehabilitation. In order to realize the desired results of the drug offenders under rehabilitation within the court systems, it is key for the courts to have certain features pertinent towards realization of this general effectiveness. Firstly, the court systems should be integrated with different treatment mechanisms so as to cater for offenders suffering from different addictions. Apart from the treatment of alcohol, the treatment of other drugs should also be included in the plans. Secondly, there is need for constant monitoring activities to be included in the court systems. This can be embraced to include urine tests and other tests which help in ascertaining health status of persons under rehabilitation. Finally, there is need for different reinforcement measures to be included in the court rehabilitation systems. This could involve negative actions such as sanctions that punish persons who fail to adhere to the set procedures. Consequently, the use of rewards should also be initiated for offenders who readily act as desired in order to encourage them in embracing the changes.
In the course implementing supervised probation, there should been close engagements with the offenders. Apart from allowing for the achievement of monitory services, close engagement will allow the offenders to effectively be introduced to a lawful life.
Despite the effectiveness that could be witnessed through the court systems, is evident that there are a number of challenges that the court systems witness that could generally compromise the rehabilitation process for the offenders. Firstly, the high population at the courts risks the process for ensuring justice for drug offenders besides the treatment measures. The high population derails the justice procedures besides from the course of delivering different treatment plans. In addition, the many court processes are often costly and could generally face financial distress in the event of high population of offenders with other different cases that should also be considered. As a result of this, intermediate sanctions have been embraced that entails immediate alternative measures to the court systems. The sole aim of these measures is to help drug offenders’ change from criminal behaviors to lawful actions. These intermediate measures are mostly community based. Among the forms of intermediate sanctions commonly adopted include, delivery of community service, home detentions, boost camps, among other different measures that varies from one system to the other.
Home detention is one of the intermediate sanctions that have been highly embraced over the recent years. The detention criterion is always assumed for persons with gross offences. The use of electronic monitoring is essential in the process of adopting of home detention mechanisms. Through these electronic monitory services, there is great cost limitation. This is form of intermediate sanction is effective in that it affirms public safety through the strict control systems that eliminates any possibility of criminals escape. In addition, the effectiveness of these mechanisms is pronounced through the confidence in the legislative systems that it allows. Another key form of intermediate sanction that is common is the use of day reporting centers. The strategy has highly helped in the reduction of the stress of the over populated jails that cannot contain the increasing number of offenders of different nature. The measure also allows for reduction of costs in maintaining the offenders in jails. Through the daily reporting, the offenders can be evaluated if at all they are putting up to lawful life in the society. Undesired results could allow for other measures like court systems to be embraced that allows for continuous monitoring of offenders behaviors.
The use of these various forms of intermediate sanctions is effective because of the low costs that are related to them. Despite low operational budgets, the measures can efficiently be carried out. Moreover, intermediate sanctions are based on close monitory services. The services play a critical in ensuring that the offenders adapts to lawful environments as desired. Any gross undesired actions on the part of the offenders are easily identified and necessary courses of actions are put in place. Moreover, a number of these mechanisms are goal oriented. Every action assumed should be in the support of the rehabilitation process of the offenders. However, the use of community based intermediate sanctions could also be vulnerable in the event of gross criminals. The free space allowed for persons could provide opportunity for unlawful actions that are not in the best interest of the community.
In summary, it is evident that in the process of adopting measures for punishing criminal acts, there is need for extensive analysis on the strategy to be adopted. Analysis should take into consideration effectiveness of the strategy to be adopted apart from the costs related to the measure. Close monitory remains critical in the achievement of the desired objectives.
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