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Community Corrections

Special Feature


The vast majority of individuals arrested in America will eventually come into contact with a pretrial, probation, or parole officer.

According to data presented in Correctional Populations in the United States, 2017-2018, at year-end 2018, an estimated 6.4 million persons were under the supervision of U.S. adult correctional systems. Persons supervised in the community on either probation (3,540,000 persons) or parole (878,000) made up the majority of the correctional population at year-end 2018.

Transitioning back into communities following a period of incarceration can be a challenge for a number of reasons, ranging from substance abuse to a lack of employment options. However, corrections officials have the opportunity to work with community treatment organizations to match the appropriate supervision and service to the right person at the right time.

In December 2018, the First Step Act (FSA) was passed. A significant piece of legislation for criminal justice reform, the FSA aims to reform the federal prison system by providing rehabilitative support to offenders so they are better able to succeed once they return to their communities.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP) reentry programs help ensure that youth have the tools to become productive, law-abiding members of society upon their return. The programs are part of OJJDP's comprehensive approach to enhance public safety, hold youth accountable when they offend, and empower all youth to live up to their full potential.

To help inform practitioners and policymakers, NIJ's CrimeSolutions.ojp.gov has reviewed numerous community corrections programs and practices, detailing what works, what doesn't, and what is promising in achieving specific outcomes.

Additionally, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Innovations in Supervision Initiative provides funding for community corrections agencies to develop and implement evidence-based probation and parole practices that address an individual's needs and improve supervision success rates. Improved success rates can lead to greater community safety, fewer admissions and returns to prisons and jails, and increased savings for taxpayers.

Visit the following pages for additional information and resources produced or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs and other federal agencies:

Date Modified: July 6, 2021
Date Created: August 14, 2020