1. Community based corrections are an integral part of society and our modern justice/correctional system. For the most part offenders make both their first and last contact through the community based corrections system.
Community based corrections provide many services to the court/justice system. Some of these services include pretrial release supervision, presentence investigation, probation, detention centers, diversion and day reporting centers, community service work, halfway houses, pre- release centers, as well as mental health and substance abuse services, among other services.
In the modern justice system it is not all that unusual to see a probation officer that has a case load of 100+ offenders.
Non violent offenders generally speaking will be the best served in the community for a lower cost and a better chance of treatment / rehabilitation. Incarceration should be saved for violent, and career criminals who have a much lesser chance of rehabilitation, as the over goal of our correctional system is rehabilitation of offenders.
Community based corrections if used adequately affect society by lowering our jail, and prison population, and by getting treatment for our offenders, rather than just locking them up.
As listed above there are many functions of a community based corrections system.
A prime example would be those that are on day treatment programs, like electronic monitoring programs, where the offender gets to go home at night, however they are required to attend a community corrections counseling treatment program during the day, and submit to required testing etc. This gives the offender to be a productive member of society, i.e. work and receive treatment at the same time, and have more ongoing family support.