to prison. The programs are planned by local Community Corrections Advisory
Boards composed of a broad representation from the criminal justice system and
the community. Selected participating counties have decreased prison commitments
from the eligible offense categories by 34 percent while commitments from non-
participating counties have risen 14 percent. The cost for the community programs has averaged $2000 per offender while the cost for incarcerating is $11,000
per offender in Kansas. To date, programs have been established primarily in
urban counties where more community resources are available. The prison overcrowding task force has recommended revising the incentive formula to increase
rural county participation.
Although one of the effects of such a program may be to increase counties'
compliance xv'ith jail standards, cautions concerning other effects should be
noted. Minnesota has had a community corrections program since 1973 which
encourages counties and groups of counties to develop a variety of local
corrections services. Local correctional planning has increased and services
have improved, but the numbers of offenders participating have not had a
significant impact on state prison populations. Further, although costs have
varied greatly among participating counties, decentralization on the whole has
been more expensive than the state-operated system.
Sentencing Guidelines. The primary purposes for designing sentencing guidelines
have most often been to reduce sentencing disparity and to ensure fixed penalties
for violent crimes. In a recent review of issues concerning sentencing
guidelines compiled by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, it was noted
that while some states have developed guidelines with the reminder that "the
capacities of state and local correctional facilities are finite, other states
have ignored prison capacity limits when developing guidelines. An example of
the latter case is Pennsylvania where, following enactment of sentencing
guidelines, the governor has recently been compelled to request a large
appropriation for prison construction and renovation. Other issues addressed
in the Department of Corrections analysis suggest that extreme caution be taken
in considering sentencing guidelines since unanticipated consequences could
adversely affect prison population growth.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.