Alternatives to Incarceration

Alternatives to Incarceration

Although incarceration is sometimes necessary to protect community safety, research and experience demonstrate that it is a costly and largely ineffective strategy for changing offenders’ behavior. Moreover, incarceration poses special challenges for tribes, many of which do not operate their own jails and must send tribal members to state- or federally-run facilities far away from the tribal community. Those concerned with addressing crime and conflict in culturally-relevant ways point out that confinement is not a traditional form of punishment for most tribes. For all of these reasons, tribes around the country are turning to alternatives to incarceration, such as probation, supervised treatment, community service, cultural education programs, and other approaches that focus on addressing offenders’ underlying needs while holding them accountable for the harm they have caused. Sometimes called “community supervision” or “correctional options,” alternatives to incarceration are becoming a central component of many tribal justice systems.
 

Profiles