Advantages Of Early Release Programs And Other Alternatives To Prison?

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\ What are some of the advantages of early release programs and other alternatives to prison?

Both early release programs and other alternatives to incarceration have a number of benefits for criminal offenders. These options have become increasingly popular in prisons today with the increasing population and issue of overcrowding. Early release programs are available for prisoners to apply for once they have completed one sixth of their regular sentence. These programs allow the prisoners to receive a temporary absence, which allows them to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community, either at home or at a halfway house (Ex: John Howard Society). This grants prisoners the opportunity to enroll in rehabilitative programs to overcome their issues causing them to engage in crime (ex: substance abuse) and presents them with the required resources and exposure for a gradual, but hopefully successful transition back into the community. This also helps decrease the chances of the offender reoffending and helps prevent future risks/harm to the public’s safety. Some forms of alternatives to incarceration aside from early release programs include probation, electronic monitoring, intermittent sentencing, and parole. Probation is an option that allows offenders to be released from prison and instead be supervised by a probation officer for a maximum of three years in Canada. Often the probation office refers the offender to rehabilitative/ intervention programs like mentioned above to eliminate/reduce the risk factors contributing to their likelihood of reengaging in criminal activities. Electronic monitoring or house arrest is another option where offenders are released from prison, but have to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor their actions and to ensure that they follow their rules and abides to the location restraint. The offender is usually allowed to leave their home to attend school, work, or rehabilitative programs, or to do household duties such as grocery shop, visit doctors, or pay bills. Often there are time restrictions on when the offender can leave and a specified curfew in which they must return home by or else police/probation officer will show up to arrest them if they do not abide by it. This allows the offender to live their lives in the comfort of their own home, but still with restrictions that they must abide by and with monitoring. Intermittent sentencing allows offenders to serve their time on weekends only. For example, they show up at the prison on a Friday at 6pm and they are released the following Monday at 6am. This option is usually granted to offenders who are of low risk and hold a steady employment. This allows the offender to make money and still have a life, but it also still punishes them for their crime. Parole is a last alternative that is available to prisoners who are sentenced to 2 or more years in prisons and have served at least one third of their time or 7 years, whichever is less. Once an offender is granted parole they are released back into the community under the supervision of the CSC to complete the rest of their sentence. This option has conditions that offender must follow in order to reduce their risk of reoffending and to protect the community from further harm. Offenders often have to engage in rehabilitative programs and community activities such as volunteering, schooling, or working, in order for this to be successful. Sometimes offenders can get full parole, which allows them to live in their own homes, but regardless of which type of parole is granted, offenders must regularly meet with parole officers to ensure they are following the rules. Conditions, and if at any time they do not, the parole could be suspended or revoked and the offender could return back to prison. All of these options allow offenders some flexibility to complete the rest of their sentences, but with strict supervision, and the ability to gain access to rehabilitative programs to help