Source: (2010) Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Dept of Justice.

Recent research has found that community supervision, or probation, of offenders has become a desirable alternative for use by the courts. The benefits of community supervision include the ability to address the ever growing problems of jail overcrowding, to monitor conditions of supervision, to enforce interventions to hold offenders accountable, to address offenders’ substance abuse issues, to help offenders change their behavior, and to protect the general public. This report addresses the use of community supervision specifically by tribal court judges. The report first discusses community supervision and the qualifications that make offenders eligible for receiving this sentence. This is followed by a discussion on the benefits to tribal justice systems of using community supervision which include providing a viable alternative to jail or other confinement, freeing limited space allocated for those offenders who pose the most threat to public safety, providing cost savings to tribes, and adding credibility to the tribal justice system and to imposed sentences. The benefits to the community and victims of using community supervision include a chance for restoration, enhanced public safety, and enhanced credibility and accountability of the tribal justice system. The benefits to offenders who receive community supervision are also discussed and include the ability to remain at home, the ability to maintain a connection to the community, access to needed treatment and other resources/services, and the ability to maintain involvement in spiritual and cultural practices. The report also discusses the role of the tribal probation officer and ways that tribal court judges can support community supervision. (abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.gov).


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