The Four Principles of Community Corrections
Professor Jodi Levit
December 17, 2012
Community corrections are “non-prison sanctions that are imposed on convicted adults or adjudicated juveniles either by a court instead of a prison sentence or by a parole board following release from prison.” (Joan Petersilia Para. 1) There are four general principles of effective intervention that have become organizing concepts of community corrections in what has become known as the “what works” movement. In this paragraph I will describe all four of the general principles of effective intervention, risk principle, criminogenic need principle, treatment principle, and fidelity principle, and the way they work.
The first of the four principles of effective intervention is risk principle. Risk principle tells us that intervention programs should use a mix of cognitive and behavioral strategies (Wright, 2012.) This is saying that the intervention should target high risk offenders, to prevent them from reoffending. Research has proved that targeting high risk offenders works more often then targeting low risk offenders. Certain offenses are considered low risk and others high. That is what qualifies you as a low and high risk offender by what offense you committed the first time. Moreover, research also shows that targeting low-risk offenders with intensive treatment can actually increase their reoffending (Latessa, 2010). That is why within the four principles it does not target low right offenders. I agree with this system completely, we should pay more attention to the more serious offenders, because if they did a serious offense in the first place, they will do it again, and we FOUR PRINCIPLES3
must target these people to try and stop them. According to Gendra and Paparozzi with Corrections Today, “When Robert...