Intermediate sanctions which include residential facilities like restitution centers, work release centers, probation and detention centers, house arrests, electronic monitoring, shock incarceration, split sentencing, boot camps, and residential programs of all sorts have become a large part of the correctional system.
Intermediate sanctions can offer increased surveillance, tighter controls on movement, and a more intense treatment for an assortment of maladies and deficiencies, and can provide an increase of offender accountability. For example, the goal of incapacitation may be implemented with surveillance and control of movement.
The trouble with intermediate sanctions is that the system, like the prisons, is crowded. Probation and parole officers’ case loads are so large that it can be nearly impossible to keep up with every inmate on the case load. Inmates slip through the cracks without ever feeling incapacitated, rehabilitated or deterred from criminal practices. Inmates like these can be a danger to society, loose, able to commit new crimes. Another problem is that the sanctions that are required are usually intense with no individual purpose. Many inmates are sentenced to participate in programs that are not geared to their needs. Many times there are too many sanctions for certain persons to handle. For instance a single parent who is required to hold a job, attend meetings, participate in intense programs will not have the time available to meet all the requirements.
Intermediate sanctions are undergoing changes all the time. If the individual needs are assessed and the sanctions are individually applied to the inmate the programs can be beneficial to society. The programs could be more successful allowing a person to reintegrate with better skills. Case loads need to be smaller so that probation and parole officers can maintain a watchful eye and decide whether a person can reintegrate successfully...