A new paradigm for supervising offenders in the community Environmental Corrections is an innovative guide filled with rich insights and strategies for probation and parole officers to effectively integrate offenders back into the community and reduce recidivism. Authors Lacey Schaefer, Francis T. Cullen, and John E. Eck move beyond traditional models for interventions and build directly on the applied focus of environmental criminology theories. Using this approach, the authors answer the question of what officers can do to decrease opportunities for an offender to commit a crime. Readers will learn how to recognize and assess specific criminal opportunities in an offender’s past and gain the tools and strategies they need to design an individualized supervision plan that channels offenders away from these criminogenic situations.

Why Opportunity Matters

Why Opportunity Matters

The research evidence is conclusive: Current probation and parole practices do not work. Criminogenic risks are not greatly reduced, offenders are not regularly deterred, and public safety is not reliably enhanced. Most agencies focus either on offender control or offender treatment (while ignoring the other). Moreover, as discussed in the previous chapter, neither is routinely performed well. Clearly, then, a new organizing framework is needed to create effective supervision strategies. We require an innovation in community corrections; one that targets the known causes of crime, both internal and external to the individual offender.

Determining what causes a person to be a criminal is a difficult, often controversial task. The explanations are varied, but do share one thing in common: There ...

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