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What If Corrections Were Serious About Public Safety?

NCJ Number
Corrections Management Quarterly Volume: 2 Issue: 3 Dated: Summer 1998 Pages: 12-30
Date Published
19 pages

The recommendations of Wisconsin's 1996 Governor's Task Force on Sentencing and Corrections are discussed with respect to their rationale and the evolution of the ideas on which they rest.


The proposals grew from an unconventional analysis of what public safety is, how it is produced, and the contribution that corrections agencies can make to its production. The task force concluded that public safety is different from a lower crime rate and from the conviction and punishment of villains. It concluded that public safety is a condition, specific to places, in which persons and property are not threatened by attack or theft. It also concluded that assets available to counter these threats are either local or must be applied in particular places at particular times to match the particular risks posed by and to the people who live and work there. Thus, the task force built on developments in problem-solving community policing and in neighborhood-oriented probation and parole. The group recommended a comprehensive re-deployment and a bottom-up management system for corrections agencies. It noted that corrections managers would need new methods for oversight and supervision of line workers and that a new information would be needed to facilitate problem-solving and analysis at all levels. 35 endnotes

Date Published: January 1, 1998