Creating a Reentry Court by Wagging the ‘Probation Tail’
Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Mainstream, 2017 (Forthcoming)
3 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 18, 2017
This short essay explains how a device already used in Arizona, and known as a "probation tail", can be used by judges in appropriate cases to in essence create a reentry court. The original purpose of the probation tail device (an incarcerative sentence followed by a consecutive sentence of probation) was to ensure community supervision by well-trained and well-resourced probation officers, rather than by overburdened and underfunded parole officers. Our proposal is that efforts would be undertaken to allow for a seamless transition from incarceration to probation; in appropriate cases, the tail would include periodic status hearings, and eventual termination (or somewhat early termination) would include a brief "ceremony" with the presence of a handful of family and friends. All of these measures, of course, should facilitate a successful reentry to the community.
Keywords: therapeutic jurisprudence, reentry, reentry courts, sentencing, probation, probation tail
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