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THURSDAY, MAY 7, 1998202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Many jurisdictions across the country are implementing successful, cost-effective alternatives to traditional incarceration and improving efforts to reintegrate nonviolent offenders into the community, according to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The agency recently released "Critical Elements in the Planning, Development, and Implementation of Successful Correctional Options," which documents those successes.

Corrections options programs promote sanctions other than jail time, where violators also receive treatment combined with appropriate social and vocational services to help them rejoin the community as productive, law-abiding citizens. BJA worked with nine jurisdictions from across the country that are currently operating successful correctional options programs to develop the document. Descriptions of the nine programs are included in the document.

A profile of the document's three chapters appears below:

Chapter 1 addresses the elements of program planning. It also includes information on who should be involved in the effort, encourages individuals developing the program to consult with key decisionmakers in the community and suggests ways to evaluate the program's effectiveness.

Chapter 2 outlines a process for choosing program features and developing an administrative structure to support the program and discusses which offenders the program should target and how to select cost-effective services that meet the target population's needs. It also addresses recruiting and training staff and how to build public support for the program.

Chapter 3 addresses tasks that are essential to program administration and ensuring the program's long-term success. It includes information on establishing performance-based benchmarks and timetables to guide program operations. It also covers delivery of each program component and how to provide continuing supervision and services to participants who are released into the community.

BJA has been supporting correctional options initiatives since passage of the Crime Control Act of 1990. BJA provides both financial and technical assistance to communities implementing correctional options initiatives.

For additional information about BJA or its programs, visit its Internet web site at: For information on OJP and its programs, visit its web site at: To obtain a copy of the document, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at 1-800/851-3420.

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BJA 98-110

For additional information, contact Doug Johnson at 202/616-3559