Printer Friendly
Treatment Courts

Alternatives to Incarceration

Lawmakers, law enforcement and community activists agree that effective public safety strategies must include a variety of responses to crime and criminal behavior. Mass incarceration and a focus exclusively on arresting and jailing offenders has not provided sustainable solutions.

The community policing philosophy requires that police use holistic and proactive approaches to improving the health and safety of our communities, and for this reason the COPS Office offers the field support on critical alternatives to incarceration: successful reentry and the use of treatment courts. Community policing officers play a very important role in building trust with returning citizens, and in supporting efforts to reduce recidivism rates, while treatment courts (veterans, drug and mental illness) can address the underlying root causes of some criminal behavior.

cops office resources

The Collaboration Toolkit for Law Enforcement: Effective Strategies to Partner with the Community
Designed to help law enforcement initiate partnerships within their communities to collaborate on solving crime problems at the neighborhood level

Crime Prevention Research Review No. 5: Effects of Correctional Boot-Camps on Offending
Summarizes the findings from a systematic review of the evidence on the effectiveness of correctional boot-camps and suggests that boot-camps are not an effective correctional approach

The Early Release of Prisoners and its Impact on Police Agencies and Communities in California
Offers the views of many police leaders about how tomorrow's law enforcement agencies may need to assume a new leadership role, working with other criminal justice agencies as well as social service and private organizations, in solving the problem of high recidivism among persons released from prisons

Effective Alternatives to Incarceration: Police Collaborations with Corrections and Communities
Examines the role of police in community-based alternatives to prison and highlights programs that are effective in dealing with crime, while keeping low-risk offenders in the community

Mapping for Community-Based Prisoner Reentry Efforts
Explores ways in which mapping can aid police responses to prisoner reentry

Monitoring Offenders on Conditional Release
Provides police officials with an overview of community supervision, discussing the characteristics of offenders, the varieties of monitoring strategies, and the identification of best practices in probation/parole-police partnerships

Prisoner Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety
Discusses the potential organizational and community-level challenges to expanding law enforcement's role in reentry, along with suggested strategies for overcoming these obstacles from both practical and policy perspectives

Promoting Partnerships between Police and Community Supervision Agencies
Identifies the benefits, challenges, and key elements of partnership for Police and Community Supervision Agencies

Justice for Vets
A division of the National Association of Drug Court professionals that helps communities bring together local, state and federal resources to directly serve veterans involved in the justice system due to substance abuse, mental illness, or trauma

National Drug Court Institute
Offers resources for Drug Courts, including information on Juvenile, DWI, and Tribal Courts

National Center for State Courts
Provides information for Mental Health Courts, including additional problem-solving courts such as Community Courts and Fathering Courts
An excellent resource for all types of information on reentry from the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs

"The Released"
A moving "must see" full-length video available for viewing from the Frontline website

The Justice Center
A resource of the Council of State Governments concerning criminal justice and the mentally ill

President's Task Force
Director's Corner
The Attorney General's Community Policing Tour
Resource Center
Dispatch COPS E-Newsletter
The Beat Podcast
Supporting Safe Schools

Icon Twitter logoIcon Facebook logo Icon YouTube Logo