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Trends and Issues in Community Corrections Acts, Final

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1995
276 pages
This report explores trends and issues in Community Corrections Acts (CCAs) in the United States, which are statutes that provide administrative structures and State funding to localities in order to involve citizens, criminal justice officials, and other human services representatives in planning and delivering improved community correctional services at the local level.
In the early 1970's, policymakers in Minnesota, Iowa, and Colorado adopted CCAs that were to serve as models for many aspects of community corrections programming and financing in the following years. Although the statutes adopted were different in many ways, each was intended to encourage and provide State funding for the support of citizens and local units of governments in planning, developing, and administering correctional programs at the local level. Two decades later, almost half of the States have adopted laws patterned after these early CCAs, and legislators in several other States are considering following suit. In tracing trends in CCAs over a period of more than 20 years, this report provides a basis for identifying the defining features that allow a statute to be classified as a CCA. It also identifies major differences among such acts. The review of defining features and points of divergence in turn allows the construction of a small number of CCA models and the development of a series of charts that depict major variations in key dimensions of CCAs. CCAs reflect a variety of explicit and implicit goals, focus on different types of offenders, involve a wide variety of types of administrative agencies, and use a number of different funding schemes. They also differ in how they define community corrections and in how they conceptualize and give meaning in practice to the role of the community in CCAs. These differences are reflected in varying degrees of centralization and decentralization of correctional services, different modes of citizen participation, diverse approaches to deinstitutionalization or prison population reduction, and varying levels of emphasis on rehabilitation in the community. Each of these dimensions of difference is discussed in this report, and the differences are categorized in order to assist the field in developing some common language and understanding. This helps officials to understand the choices available to them in adopting or refining a CCA. 18 figures, a listing of CCAs by State, and 255 references

Date Published: July 1, 1995