Community corrections center programming is based on a theoretical framework supported by research. This framework places high priority on the following programming concepts:
Multi-disciplinary holistic approach
Criminal behavior must be addressed on every level and by every component of the criminal justice system. Weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings bring all community corrections collaborators together to discuss progress.
Coercive treatment has positive outcomes
Treatment is not necessarily only successful when sought voluntarily. It can be imposed on those who represent a public safety threat, and meet reasonable success.
Progressive education & vocational training have positive social impact
Participants who become equipped to contribute to society can fulfill their needs and become responsible citizens.
Correctional interventions must follow principles of accountability, structure and supervision
Participant performance must result in consequence. Consequences for compliance or non-compliance must be predictable and consistently implemented by supervising agents and program staff.
Services must be gender specific
Education, substance abuse treatment and mental health services are designed to meet the needs of both males and females in gender exclusive groups.
Services must be culturally competent
Programming draws on community resources including bilingual tracks based on community needs.
In the early 1990s, the Commonwealth commenced a systemic effort to provide for more effective and efficient criminal justice sentencing and specifically address prison overcrowding. As a result, the Office of Community Corrections was established in 1996 by virtue of Massachusetts General Law chapter 211F. The Office of Community Corrections is a division of the Office of the Commissioner of Probation.
The Office of Community Corrections is guided by its enabling legislation contained in Massachusetts General Law Chapter 211F:
“Section 2. (a) There is hereby established subject to appropriation within the office of the commissioner of probation an office of community corrections…
Whose purpose is to establish a continuum of community corrections programs and services statewide.
The Goal of this chapter is to ensure and promote public safety by developing community corrections programs for appropriate offenders.”