DOI: 10.1177/08874034231221433 ISSN: 0887-4034

Agency Directors’ Reflections on “Success” in Community Corrections: The Role of Traditional and Alternative Measures

Kellie D. Alexander, Jeffrey S. Nowacki, Tara Opsal, Shelby Sims
  • Law

Community corrections has risen in popularity as a method to reduce incarcerated populations. Although researchers have pointed to the value of thinking about success outside of the traditional recidivism metric, many of the agencies that engage in this sort of work are evaluated by oversight agencies based on traditional metrics such as recidivism and program completion. To understand how alternative measures of success are integrated into different dimensions, we surveyed a sample of leaders across community corrections agencies in six states and asked them to share their perceptions about the goals of their agency, the programming they offer, and the metrics to which they are held accountable; we also examined their mission statements. Responses from more than 30 agencies indicate there is a cultural space and a pragmatic use for agencies to integrate alternative measures more formally into their assessment processes but that strictures from oversight agencies are a notable obstacle.

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