Intermediate Sanctions

Intermediate Sanctions

CRJ300 Introduction to Criminal Justice

Colorado State University – Global Campus

The purpose of this consultation is to define intermediate sanctions and to supply three potential program options for the Department of Corrections. There are three factors that will have foremost consideration when determining possible intermediate sanctions: historical analysis of recidivism, offender history of violence, and the nature of offences committed. These factors, in addition to statistical research, will influence the recommendations made to the Department of Corrections.

Intermediate Sanctions

Intermediate sanctions are programs utilized by corrections that provided balance between probation and incarceration. These programs can be more than just an alternative to prison; they can also serve as a potential long term solution to rising prison populations. In addition to this, intermediate sanctions have shown greater success in rehabilitation than incarceration alone (Langan, 1994).

With the age of the largest generation, Baby Boomers, steadily increasing, the Department of Corrections has seen a rise in inmates over the age of 50. As an offender ages, the chances of them returning to prison decreases. Similarly, the number of Boomers incarcerated has increased 55% over the last two decades (Uggan & McElrath, 2013). This specific demographic of offenders provides an area of opportunity this consultation will address for the potential options considered for intermediate sanctions.

The programs that will be focused on as best suitable options for intermediate sanctions are Intensive Supervision Probation/Parole, Day Reporting Centers and Work Release Programs, and Halfway Houses. These three programs that have shown over the years quantifiable success in reducing recidivism without increasing risk to the public.

Day Reporting Centers and Work Release Programs

Day Reporting Centers are “ highly structured, nonresidential programs that offer treatment and close supervision to offenders who have not succeeded with traditional supervision, such as parole or probation” (Vuong, Hartney, Krisberg & Marchionna, 2010). Day Reporting Centers, as well as Work Release Programs, allow their participants to live their lives with more normality than they would in other probation programs. The offenders are able to leave during the day and return to the center at night while remaining under the agreed upon supervision.

The length and intensity of a program at a Day Reporting Center will always vary depending on the offender and their parole terms. Generally, the length of time an offender will spend in a Day Reporting Center program will be much longer than what their length of incarceration would be. Unlike incarceration, Day Reporting Center program and Work Release programs are much more flexible and can benefit a wider demographic. This allows for rehabilitation efforts to reach a wider variety of offenders from different backgrounds making it possible to cater to their different needs (Vuong, et al., 2010).

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses offer newly paroled offenders a chance to build a social network including employment opportunities or skills training, and, ideally, rehabilitation opportunities and programs (Costanza, Cox & Kilburn, 2015). There are many factors that can contribute to success at a halfway house, beginning with analyzing potential candidates. Ideal candidates for release to a halfway house are typically older, educated, non-violent offenders with a limited or minimal criminal history (Costanza, et al., 2015). Additionally, it has been shown that halfway homes that provide programming that target substance abuse issues as well as encourage increased participation at religious services lends to successful re-entry into the community from the home.

Halfway houses also offer resources for helping offenders who have longer sentences reintegrate back into society, which, in turn, lowers their risk of rearrest. To further benefit the offenders, halfway houses can also provide employment resources for those with terms of gainful employment being a factor to the offenders completing their parole. Typically, parolees who successfully complete halfway houses, go on to complete the rest of their terms of parole without recidivism.

Intensive Supervision Probation/Parole

Intensive Supervision Probation/Parole (ISP) is another viable option, but with stricter guidelines. ISP allows the offender to live at home but it is pertinent that they adhere to the terms of their parole agreement. While on ISP, a parolee will be checked up on daily, whether at home or at work. Their assigned parole officer can check on the parolee without notice, and the parolee is subject to random urine analysis tests whenever the parole officer deems necessary (May, Applegate, Ruddell & Wood, 2014). ISP programs are designed to regulate an offenders schedule with the intent of keeping a close watch on the offenders conduct to reduce the chance of recidivism, prevent dangers to the public, and to reinforce productive and lawful habits in the offender. ISP programs can be an intense regiment, and, similar to Day Reporting Centers, the length of time an offender will spend in an ISP program depends on their individual sentencing (May, et al., 2014).


The recommendation of this consultation is as follows: the Department of Corrections would benefit from implementing the three sanctions outlined in this report. Non-serious, non-sexual offenders account for a surprising yet notable amount of generated revenue that could be utilized by the department. Halfway Houses present opportunities to the ageing population and afford them resources that increase their success in re-entry. Day Reporting Centers can benefit repeat drug offenders that end up cycling in and out of the system. Intensive Supervision Parole is a recommended option for offenders who have been unsuccessful in traditional parole programs. These three options are viable for a wide range of offenders and provide the Department of Corrections with the ability to assist more offenders with intermediate sanctions.


Langan, P. A. (1994). Between Prison and Probation: Intermediate Sanctions. Science, 264, 791–793. Retrieved from

May, D. C., Applegate, B. K., Ruddell, R., & Wood, P. B. (2014). Going to jail sucks (and it really doesn’t matter who you ask). American Journal of Criminal Justice: AJCJ, 39(2), 250-266. doi:

S.E. Costanza, Stephen M. Cox and John C. Kilburn. (December 31, 2015). The Impact of Halfway Houses on Parole Success and Recidivism. Journal of Sociological Research. Retrieved from

Uggan, C., & McElrath, S. (2013, February 4). Six Social Sources of the U.S. Crime Drop – The Society Pages. Retrieved October 12, 2019, from

Vuong, L., Hartney, C., Krisberg, B., & Marchionna, S. (2010). The extravagance of imprisonment revisited. Judicature, 94(2), 70-80. Retrieved from

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