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National Evaluation of the Correctional Options Demonstration Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
J. Austin, C. M. Johnson, D. V. Hoffman
Data from multiple program sites were used to evaluate the Correctional Options Demonstration Program (CODP), which sought to demonstrate useful innovative programs that target nonviolent offenders who otherwise would have been incarcerated.
CODP provided Federal funding to State and local governments to develop alternatives to incarceration. They included community-based sanctions, shock incarceration programs, intensive probation, electronic monitoring, drug courts, and other programs designed to have the greatest impact on youthful offenders who can be punished more effectively in a setting other than traditional incarceration. The evaluation results revealed that the pilot programs had success in achieving their implementation goals. However, many obstacles delayed program implementation and impaired the delivery of treatment services. Findings also strongly supported the concept of correctional options systems rather than correctional options programs. Overall, the CODP has demonstrated the feasibility of a prudently managed range of front-end alternatives, back-end alternatives, or a combination. The project also demonstrated that incarceration alternatives can cost-effectively free prison space for serious and violent offenders, while not jeopardizing public safety. It also documented the elements that are critical to the planning, development, and implementation of successful correctional options and developed a consortium of nonprofit organizations and experienced correctional practitioners to facilitate technology transfer to other jurisdictions. Tables, figure, and 59 references
Date Created: December 17, 2008