In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Community Corrections

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Data Sources
  • Sentencing And Pretrial Diversion
  • Probation and Nonresidential Sanctions
  • Drug and Specialty Courts
  • Boot Camps and Residential Sanctions
  • Economic and Restorative Justice
  • Parole and Prisoner Reentry

Criminology Community Corrections
Beth M. Huebner
  • LAST REVIEWED: 30 July 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0038


Most offenders under correctional supervision reside in the community. Community corrections includes a broad array of programs including alternatives to incarceration (such as boot camps or probation) and services, like parole, that aid offenders in making the transition to community life after imprisonment. Professionals in the field of community corrections have the dual role of ensuring accountability to both the criminal sanction and provision of services. There is substantial variation in forms of community sanctions, and these programs can be administered by a broad range of agencies within the criminal justice system, including corrections, courts, probation, and the police. In an era of mass incarceration, correctional agencies have been called on to supervise an ever-increasing number of offenders in the community. Subsequently, scholars and practitioners alike have called for the development and evaluation of community-based correctional programming. The following literature summarizes the prominent works in this area and provides sources of reliable data on a range of community sanctions.

General Overviews

A number of texts and governmental monographs have been developed on a variety of community corrections topics. For example, Alarid, et al. 2008 is an undergraduate introductory text which examines probation, parole, and residential and nonresidential sanctions. Karp and Clear 2002 is a series of probation case studies and this book would be an excellent addition to an undergraduate course or as a supplementary text for a graduate course in community sanctions. A number of governmental reports summarize data on individuals under correctional supervision in the community. Glaze and Bonczar 2008 details national estimates of individuals under probation and parole supervision in the United States. Similarly, Pew Center on the States 2009 provides an astute policy analysis of current topics in community corrections, augmented with current statistics and detailed graphical displays of correctional trends. Both reports are appropriate for established researchers, practitioners, and students. In addition, a number of professional organizations host web-based research libraries. The American Probation and Parole Association maintains an online reference library of national- and state-level reports; the International Community Corrections Association hosts a similar forum with data and reports from the United States and abroad. Finally, the National Institute of Corrections hosts a superb repository of state- and national-level research monographs on institutional and community corrections topics; the Center for Evidence-based Corrections, founded by researchers at the University of California-Irvine, has developed a similar web-based research forum that includes materials on corrections in California.

  • Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, Paul Cromwell, and Rolando V. del Carmen. 2008. Community-based corrections. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

    Introductory textbook including sections on probation, community sanctions, residential sanctions, and prisoner reentry. Each chapter has links to online resources, discussion questions, and case studies.

  • American Probation and Parole Association.

    Professional organization maintaining an online reference library. Website includes policy reports, training materials, and facts and figures on probation and parole in the United States.

  • Center for Evidence-based Corrections.

    Research-institute website hosting original research reports, bulletins, and commentary on institutional and community corrections. Excellent, accessible resource for original research conducted in California.

  • Glaze, Lauren E., and Thomas P. Bonczar. 2008. Probation and parole in the United States, 2007: Statistical tables. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    Annual report describing the probation and parole populations in the United States. Statistics by state and region are provided.

  • International Community Corrections Association.

    International professional group organized with the goal of synthesizing evidence-based research on community corrections. Web resource includes policy papers on a range of correctional topics.

  • Karp, David R., and Todd R. Clear. 2002. What is community justice? Case studies of restorative justice and community supervision. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Edited collection of six case studies designed to illustrate best practices in probation. Excellent addition to an advanced undergraduate course.

  • National Institute of Corrections.

    Comprehensive online resource center for timely research on correctional interventions and treatment. Includes an extensive library of scholarly research and state-level technical reports and commentary.

  • Pew Center on the States. 2009. One in 31: The long reach of American corrections. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Comprehensive narrative and statistical analysis of the prevalence of community corrections in the United States. Includes a number of case studies and detailed graphical analyses; an excellent policy paper for students, practitioners, and researchers.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.