Discussion of the Prison in the US

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Discussion on the Reasons for the Declining Prison Populations in the US

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The U.S prisons hold about 1.484,000 adult prisoners. The numbers have declined since 2010 because the punitive crime polices since the 1980s are now being relaxed in many states. They include mass incarceration of nonviolent drug addicts, stiff sentences for repeat offenders, and mandatory sentencing laws. Marijuana has also being decriminalized and the stiff sentences for the offenders are eased now. Six of the states have abolished the death penalty since 2007 as well. Housing of inmates also costs the government a lot of money therefore reducing their numbers will resolve the costs. Some politicians support that some policies on extreme punishment have failed largely and it is reasonable to reduce the confinement period to ease the high number of prisoners.

Discuss the general mission and features of correctional organizations.

Correctional organizations are complex hybrid organizations that utilize two distinct and related management subsystems to achieve their goals. It is concerned with managing correctional employees and the other concerns delivery of correctional services to a designated offender population. The correctional organization appoints correctional personnel to function and control offenders. The mission is to protect citizens from crime by safely and securely handling criminal offenders while providing offenders some opportunities for self-improvement and increasing the chance that they will become productive and law-abiding citizens. The features are that every correctional employee that exercises legal authority over offenders is a supervisor even if he or she is in the lower ranks of the institution. Also, everything a correctional supervisor does may have civil or criminal ramifications for the officer nad the institution as a whole.

Briefly describe the organization of prisons.

Prisons have various departments. There is a central office, which is the central organization that oversees the prison system. The central office has a prison director whose role is to set policy for all wardens and prisons to follow in terms of management and inmate treatment. There are legal divisions that have four to six attorneys who report to the director on inmate lawsuits and offer advice on the implementation of programs in terms of past legal decisions. The administration division in prisons has the budget development and new prison construction departments. It collects information from all states prisons, other divisions and the governors office to create a budget that represents on-going operations and desired programs and growth. The correctional programs division oversees the operations of correctional programs such a religious services, unit management, mental health, security and education while the health care division develops policy, performs quality assurance and looks for ways to make health care more efficient for inmates and less expensive for the prison. The human resource department is responsible for recruitment, training, evaluation and retirement.

Discuss prison industries.

Prison industries are prison programs that are to provide productive work and skill development opportunities for offenders. This reduces recidivism and prepares offenders for re-entry into society. The corporations report directly to the warden because there is a requirement that the industry will be self-supporting or operate from funds generated from the sale of products. No tax funds run the programs and there is strict accountability of funds.

Discuss the rise and operation of supermax prisons.

Supermax prisons are institutions that provide the most secure levels of custody in prisons with long-term, segregated housing for inmates who represent the highest security risks. They have the most violent, disruptive and escape prone inmates from other federal prisons. The inmates in the prisons rarely leave their cells and only an hour in a day is their norm. They eat their meals alone in the cells and no group is permitted to enter the place and can exist for many years separated from the world around them. According to some researchers, the seclusion can lead to emotional, psychological and physical problems.

Briefly discuss the constitutional rights of inmates.

There are some constitutional rights of inmates. They have the right to access courts and appeal their convictions and conditions of confinement. There is greater freedom of religion expression and can restrict mail censorship by prison officials. They are also granted due process for the purpose of inmate disciplinary proceedings. They also have the right to complain about prison conditions. For the process rights, they should have a written statement by the fact finders as to the evidence relied on and the reasons for the disciplinary action as well as having an advance written notice of charges in not less than 24 hours before he or she appears before the hearing committee.

Discuss the civil rights of institutionalized persons.

Civil rights of institutionalized persons protect the rights of people in a state or local facility and are disabled, mentally ill, handicapped, reside in a jail, prisoner pre-trial detention facility. They need to receive medical and mental healthcare, be educates, be granted access to legal counsel, recreation, family communication and exercise.

Discuss the organization of jails.

The size, budget, level of crowding, local views on punishment and treatment and levels of training and education of the jail administrator determine jails organization. The organization starts with the sheriff at the top most level of jails followed by the undersheriff, chief deputy, operation captain, training sergeant and services captain respectively. Correctional officers in direct supervision jails must have active observation to gather information about what is occurring in the module to gauge sources of conflict or tension. They also identify and react to situations before they escalate into serious problems.

Discuss the organization of probation and parole agencies

Probation and parole agencies are subdivided into adult probation that are 32 of the state agencies under the executive branch. 13 of them are under the judicial branch while 5 are under an agency that is a combination of these or a state agency. Juvenile probation is 21 of the state agencies and are organized under the executive branch and 19 are under the judicial branch. Adult parole on the other hand is 43 of the state agencies and is organized under the executive branch. Two of them are under judicial branch while 4 are a combination of state or county agency. Juvenile paroles are 39 of the state agencies and are organized under the executive branch. Six of them are under the judicial branch while 5 are a combination of a county agency or are under a state. Probation and parole officers are peace officers in some states and they have the authority to carry firearms when or when not on duty.

Briefly discuss types of probation systems.

Probation involves a court placing an offender on supervision in the community generally in lieu of confinement. It has systems that are separated into six categories according to Howard Abadinsky. They are juvenile that are administered on a county, state or municipal level. Municipal systems are administered by the lower courts under state laws and guidelines while county systems are operated by the county probation agency. The arm of the federal courts administers the federal system and the state systems are administered by an agency responsible for the central probation system and provide services throughout the state. The state combined systems are probation and parole services administered on a state-wide basis by one agency.

Discuss the models for providing parole services.

There are two models for providing parole services. The independent model indicates that a parole board is responsible for making release determinations as well as supervising persons released on parole. It is independent of any other state agency and reports directly to the governor. The consolidated model illustrates that the parole board is a semiautonomous agency within a large department that administers correctional institutions. The supervision released on parole is under the direction of the commissioner of corrections and not the parole board.


Discuss the profile of prison wardens.

Prison wardens are people who are responsible for all activities, security, and safety of the staff and for inmates in a prison. They establish prison policies, carry out financial and programming goals, and have the most difficult position in the corrections field. They oversee the fastest growing agencies in state government, administer visible operations and are accountable by politicians, press, numerous stakeholders and auditors. The wardens function within a field that is more demanding, involves responsibility and consume an increasing share of public funds.

Discuss the principles of good prison leadership.

There are six principles of good prison leadership. Successful leaders make close alliances with key politicians, journalists, reformers and judges. They receive some basic prison training and come to think of themselves as COs first. The leaders also focus on results rather than process. They follow the management by walking around principle. They hardly renovate but the innovation they implement are far reaching and reasons for them are explained to staff and inmates well in advance. Lastly, they are in office to understand, modify the organizations internal operations and external operations.

Discuss the prison administrator's role in the death penalty.

The administrator presides over the execution of death penalties. Highly trained teams carry out the executions. When there is an actual death-watch, a member of the execution team is with the prisoner always. At the last 5-6hours, two officers are assigned to guard the prisoner. The prisoner then showers, puts on a clean set of clothes and he or she is placed in an empty tomb-like death cell. Then the warden reads the court order.

Discuss prison staff-inmate relationships.

Staff inmate relationships involve behaviour that is not only sexual in nature but has other transgressions like staff performing special favours for inmates or smuggling. The relationships include heartbreakers, exploiters and hell raisers. Heartbreakers who seek to for an emotional bond with a staff member and could lead to marriage. Exploiters use an employee as a means of obtaining contraband or fun and excitement. They act with the assistance of other inmates and are manipulative. Hell raisers on the other hand, engage in a unique kind of psychological warfare and simply want to cause trouble and create hell for the prison system. They have a long history of personal involvement and form relationships as a way to create problems or disruptions.

Discuss the duties and orientations of probation and parole officers.

Probation officers supervise convicted offenders whom the courts have allowed to remain at liberty in the community and being subject to certain conditions and restrictions on their activities. Parole officers supervise inmates who have been conditionally released from prison, returned to their community and report violations of the conditions of offenders release to the body that authorized their community placement and place conditions on their behaviour. The officers have to possess skills of a prison like decision-making, writing skills and interpersonal communication skills. When determining ones orientation, one approach used is the agency hiring a for profit human resource firm that has developed a reliable and valid survey instrument for the purpose. Most probation and parol...

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