U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Executive Session on Community Corrections

Date Published
September 27, 2017

Correctional policy is rapidly changing. As populations of incarcerated individuals continue growing to historic levels, leading policymakers are rethinking their management of individuals passing through the criminal justice system.

To understand how to address this rapidly changing field, NIJ and the Harvard Kennedy School convened an “Executive Session on Community Corrections” to develop new ideas surrounding criminal sanctions and the role of community organizations and agencies in supervising and working with those who have been involved in crime. By engaging leading policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from around the country, this Executive Session aims to develop our best practice and thinking for professionals across the safety and justice spectrum.

From the inaugural meeting of the Session, which was held in Cambridge over three days in September 2013, members have tackled a broad array of themes. Topics have included current opportunities and challenges for reform, collaborative models for community justice, developmentally appropriate responses to justice-involved young adults, the experiences of those under supervision, the role of risk assessments in community corrections, and how to craft a positive role for community corrections in the overall health and well-being of communities. These and other themes will be built upon and expanded in the remaining meetings.

Papers From the Harvard Executive Session on Community Corrections (2013-2016)

Following is the complete list of papers from the Executive Session on Community Corrections, sponsored by NIJ and the Harvard Kennedy School's Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management.

Title, Author and Date Description
From Evidence-Based Practices to a Comprehensive Intervention Model for High-Risk Young Men: The Story of Roca (pdf, 28 pages)
By Molly Baldwin and Yotam Zeira
September 2017
This paper focuses on the gap between research- and theory-based practices and a fully functioning intervention model, and how Roca has worked to bridge this gap and achieve positive outcomes.

Part I reviews eight prominent evidence-based practices in community corrections as identified by CJI and NIC. Part II explores how Roca learned of these principles and how it worked internally to integrate them and develop its Intervention Model. Part III explains Roca's Intervention Model and revisits the eight evidence-based practices, explaining how each one is implemented in the Model.

The conclusion draws some lessons from Roca's work with evidence-based practices and suggests that Roca's Model is an alternative to traditional community corrections.
Shackled to Debt: Criminal Justice Financial Obligations and the Barriers to Reentry They Create (pdf, 26 pages)
By Karin D. Martin, Sandra S. Smith, Wendy Still
January 2017
Formerly incarcerated people face a considerable number of obstacles to successful re-entry. Their ability to graduate from community supervision is complicated by their low and eroding levels of education and skills, serious mental and physical health conditions that often go untreated, and alcohol and drug addictions which are issues nurtured in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage.

This paper describes trends in the assessment of criminal justice financial obligations (CJFOs); discusses the historical context within which these trends have unfolded; and reflects on the unintended consequences. It also raises concerns on restitution implementation and who benefits from it. Finally, the paper ends with considering alternative models for the effective and fair deployment of fines, fees, and restitution in the criminal justice context.
Building Trust and Legitimacy Within Community Corrections (pdf, 28 pages)
By Wendy Still, Barbara Broderick, Steve Raphael
December 2016
Over the past three decades, the U.S. incarceration rate has increased to historic highs, while crime rates have dropped significantly. In addition to the 2.3 million people incarcerated in our nation’s jails and prisons, 4 million individuals are on probation or parole at any given time.

The individuals on probation and parole are the largest part of the correctional system. Yet, this aspect of corrections has been largely absent from the national conversation surrounding incarceration rates and criminal justice reform. This paper discusses the need for a new model of community corrections that can improve public safety while recognizing that people on probation and parole are members of the communities in which they live and are supervised.
Future of Youth Justice: A Community-Based Alternative to the Youth Prison Model(pdf, 36 pages)
By Patrick McCarthy, Vincent Schiraldi, Miriam Shark
October 2016
This paper provides recommendations for implementing community-based alternatives to the youth prison model through four domains of action — reduce, reform, replace, and reinvest.

For 170 years, since our first youth correctional institution opened, America’s approach to youth incarceration has been built on the premise that a slightly modified version of the adult correctional model of incarceration, control, coercion, and punishment — with a little bit of programming sprinkled in — would rehabilitate young people. Sometimes the names attempt to camouflage the nature of the facility, but whether they are called “training schools” or “youth centers,” nearly all of these facilities are youth prisons.

The leadership, commitment, and courage that are beginning to be seen in efforts taking place across the country and highlighted within this paper are needed in every state to, at long last, close every youth prison and replace this failed, harmful approach with one that can help youth get back on track.
Community-Based Responses to Justice-Involved Young Adults (pdf, pages)
By Vincent Schiraldi, Bruce Western and Kendra Bradner
September 2015
This bulletin proposes a new criminal justice paradigm for young men and women ages 18 to 24. Noting that the human brain has been clinically shown to not fully mature prior to the mid-20s, the authors suggest new institutional methods and processes for young adult justice that can meet the realities of life for today’s disadvantaged youth involved in crime and the criminal justice system. The authors envision a system that extends the reach of the juvenile court to reflect a modern understanding of the transition into adulthood. Their primary recommendation is that the age of juvenile court jurisdiction be raised to 21, with additional, gradually diminishing protections for young adults up to age 24 or 25.


  • Molly Baldwin, Founder and CEO, Roca, Inc.
  • Kendra Bradner (Facilitator), Project Coordinator, Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Barbara Broderick, Chief Probation Officer, Maricopa County Probation Adult Probation Department
  • Douglas Burris, Chief Probation Officer, United States District Court, The Eastern District of Missouri, Probation
  • John Chisholm, District Attorney, Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office
  • George Gascón, District Attorney, San Francisco District Attorney's Office
  • Adam Gelb, Director, Public Safety Performance Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Susan Herman, Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing, New York City Police Department
  • Michael Jacobson, Director, CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance; Professor, Sociology Department CUNY Graduate Center, City University of New York, Institute for State and Local Governance
  • Sharon Keller, Presiding Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Marc Levin, Policy Director, Right on Crime; Director, Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Glenn E. Martin, President and Founder, JustLeadershipUSA
  • Anne Milgram, Vice President of Criminal Justice, Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Jason Myers, Sheriff, Marion County (OR) Sheriff's Office
  • Michael Nail, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Community Supervision
  • James Pugel, Chief Deputy Sheriff, King County (WA) Sheriff’s Department
  • Steven Raphael, Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California Berkeley
  • Nancy Rodriguez, Director, National Institute of Justice
  • Vincent N. Schiraldi, Senior Advisor, New York City Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice
  • Sandra Susan Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California Berkeley
  • Amy Solomon, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General and Co-Chair, Federal Interagency Reentry Council Staff Working Group, Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice
  • Wendy S. Still, Chief Adult Probation Officer (retired), San Francisco Adult Probation Department
  • John Tilley, State Representative, Kentucky Legislature
  • Steven W. Tompkins, Sheriff, Suffolk County (MA) Sheriff's Department
  • Harold Dean Trulear, Director, Healing Communities; Associate Professor of Applied Theology, Howard University School of Divinity
  • Vesla Weaver, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Yale University, Institution for Social and Policy Studies
  • Bruce Western, Faculty Chair, Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School; Director, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy; Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice
  • John Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • Ana Yàñez-Correa, Executive Director, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

National Institute of Justice, " Executive Session on Community Corrections ," September 27, 2017, nij.ojp.gov:
Date Created: August 14, 2019