Prisons • A prison is a state or federal confinement facility that has custodial authority over adults sentenced to confinement. • The use of prisons as a place to serve punishment is a relatively new way to handle offenders.
Early Punishments • Were often cruel and torturous: Generally fit the doctrine of lex talionis: • Law of retaliation • “An eye for an eye”
Early Punishments • Early forms of punishment included: • Flogging • Mutilation • Branding • Public humiliation • Workhouses • Exile
The Emergence of Prisons • It is unknown when the first prison was established. • Punitive imprisonment noted in Europe in the Middle Ages. • American prisons began in the late 1700s. • Early confinement facilities stressed reformation over punishment.
FIGURE 13–1 Stages of prison development in the United States. Stages of Prison Development in the United States
The Penitentiary Era • 1790--1825 • Philadelphia Penitentiary begun by Quakers for humane treatment of offenders. • Rehabilitation through penance (solitary confinement and Bible study). • Known as the “Pennsylvania System.”
The Mass Prison Era • 1825--1876 • Auburn Prison (New York) featured group workshops and silence enforced by whipping and hard labor. • This Auburn system was the primary competitor to the Pennsylvania system.
The Reformatory Era • 1876--1890 • The reformatory style was based on the use of the indeterminate sentence. • Elmira Reformatory attempted reform rather than punishment. • Used a system of graded stages • Gave way to the system of “parole.” • Ultimately considered a failure, since recidivism was still a problem.
The Industrial Era • 1890--1935 • Prisoners used for cheap labor in the era of the industrial prison. • Six systems of inmate labor: contract system, piece-price system, lease system, public account system, state-use system, and public works system. • Labor unions complained that they could not compete. • The passage of the Hawes-Cooper Act and Ashurst-Sumners Act limited inmate labor.
The Punitive Era • 1935--1945 • Characterized by belief that prisoners owed a debt to society. • Custody and institutional security the central values. • Few innovations.
The Treatment Era • 1945--1967 • Medical model suggested inmates were sick and needed treatment. • Most treatments include individual or group therapy. • Other forms of therapy include: • Behavior therapy • Chemotherapy • Neurosurgery • Sensory deprivation • Aversion therapy
The Community-Based Era • 1967--1980 • Based on premise that rehabilitation cannot occur in isolation from the real world. • Prisons considered dehumanizing. • Led to innovations in the use of volunteers and the extension of inmate privileges. • Programs include: • Half-way houses • Work-release • Study-release
The Warehousing Era • 1980--1995 • Public and judicial disapproval of release programs and recidivism led to longer sentences with fewer releases. • Nothing works doctrine • Warehousing of serious offenders designed to protect society. • Prison overcrowding became widespread. • Greater emphasis on incarcerating non-violent drug offenders.
The Just Deserts Era • 1995--present • Based on the justice model. • Emphasis on individual responsibility and punishment. • Imprisonment is a proper consequence of criminal and irresponsible behavior. • Chain gangs, “three-strikes,” and reduced parole.
Prisons Today: Race • The rate of imprisonment for African American males is seven times that of white males. • Bureau of Justice Statistics states that a black male in America has a 32.3% lifetime chance of going to prison; white males have a 5.9% chance.
Prisons Today: State Usage • Use of imprisonment varies considerably between states. • Factors contributing to the variation: • Violent crime rate • Political environment • Funding for prisons • Employment rate • Percentage of African American males • Level of welfare support
Prisons Today: Facility Size • The size of prisons vary. • One out of every four prisons is a large, maximum-security prison house almost 1,000 inmates. • The typical state prison is small. • It costs about $62 a day per inmate.
Prisons Today: Typical System • The typical state prison system has: • 1 high security • 1 or more medium security • 1 for adult women • 1 or 2 for young adults • 1 or two specialized mental hospital-type security prisons • 1 or more open-type institutions
Overcrowded Prisons • Overcrowding is a serious issue. • Prison capacity—The size of the correctional population an institution can effectively hold. There are three types of prison capacity: • Rated • Operational • Design • Rhodes v. Chapman (1981)—Overcrowding is not by itself cruel and unusual punishment.
FIGURE 13–2 U.S. prison population, 1960–2008. U. S. Prison Population, 1960 - 2008
Selective Incapacitation • Selective incapacitation: • Is a strategy to reduce prison population. • Seeks to identify the most dangerous offenders and remove them from society. • Is reflected by career offender statutes.
Security Levels in State Prison Systems • There are three security levels: • Maximum • Medium • Minimum • The typical American prison is medium or minimum custody.
Maximum Security • Most maximum security institutions tend to be massive old buildings with a large inmate population, including all death row inmates. • They provide a high level of security with: • High fences/walls of concrete • Several barriers between living area • Secure cells • Armed guards • Gun towers
Medium Security • Medium security prisons are similar in design to maximum security facilities; however, they: • Usually have more windows. • Tend to have barbed wire fences instead of large stone walls. • Sometimes use dormitory style housing.
Medium Security • Medium security prisons allow prisoners more freedom, such as: • Associating with other prisoners • Going to the prison yard or exercise room • Visiting the library • Showering and using bathroom facilities with less supervision • An important security tool is the count.
Minimum Security • In minimum security prisons: • Housing tends to be dormitory style. • Prisoners usually have freedom of movement within the facility. • Work is done under general supervision only. • Guards are unarmed, and gun towers do not exist. • Fences, if they exist, are low and sometimes unlocked. • “Counts” are usually not taken. • Prisoners are sometimes allowed to wear their own clothes.
Prison Classification System • Classification systems determine which custody level to assign an inmate to. Assignments are based on: • Offense history • Assessed dangerousness • Perceived risk of escape • Other factors • Inmates may move among the security levels depending on their behavior. • Internal classification systems determine placement and program assignment within an institution.
Federal Prison System • History • 1895—Leavenworth, Kansas—First non military federal prison opens. • 1906—Second federal prison opens in Atlanta. • 1927—Alderson, West Virginia—First federal prison for women. • 1933—Springfield, Missouri—Medical Center for federal prisoners. • 1934—Alcatraz begins operations.
Today’s Federal Prison System • Today’s federal prison system consists of: • 103 institutions • 6 regional offices • The Central office (headquarters) • 2 staff training centers • 28 community corrections offices
FIGURE 13–3 Federal Bureau of Prison facilities by region, 2009. Federal BOP Facilities, 2009
Federal Prison System • The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) classifies its institutions according to five security levels. • Administrative maximum (ADMAX) • High security (U.S. penitentiaries) • Medium security (federal correctional institutions) • Low security (federal correctional institutions) • Minimum security (federal prison camps) • Additionally, there are administrative facilities, like metropolitan detention centers (MDCs) and medical centers for federal prisoners (MDFPs).
Federal Correctional Complexes • Federal correctional facilities exist either as single institutions or as federal correctional complexes (FCCs)—sites consisting of more than one type of correctional institution. • Example: FCC at Allenwood, PA. (consists of one U.S. penitentiary and two federal correctional institutions (one low and one medium security).
Federal Prison System: Administrative Facilities • The federal prison system’s administrative facilities are institutions with special missions. • Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs) • Generally located in large cities, close to federal courthouses • Hold inmates awaiting trial (like jails) • Medical Centers for Federal Prisoners (MCFP)
Administrative Maximum (ADMAX) • In 1995, the federal government opened its only ADMAX prison: • Located in Florence, Colorado • $60 million ultra-high security • 575 bed capacity • Inmates confined to cells 23 hours per day • Only toughest 1% of federal prison population is confined there • Holds mob bosses, spies, terrorists, escape artists, murderers, etc.
Improvements • Improvements to our nations prisons can be found in: • Accreditation by the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) • Training though the National Academy of Corrections
Jails • Jails—Locally operated, short-term confinement facilities. • Original purpose—confinement of suspects following arrest and awaiting trial. • Current use—confinement of those convicted of misdemeanors and some felonies, as well as holding suspects following arrest and awaiting trial.
Jails • There are 3,365 jails in the U.S. • Most jails are small, designed to hold 50 or fewer inmates. • Some jails are very big, like “mega-jails” in LA and NYC. • There are 207,600 correctional officers. • 3:1 inmate/staff ratio • The average cost to jail a person for a year is $14,500.
Jails • Most people process through jails are members of minority groups: • 56% minority • 38.6% African American • 15.6% Hispanic • 44% Caucasian • Typical charges: • 12.1% drug trafficking • 11.7% assault • 10.8% drug possession • 7% larceny
Women and Jail • Women comprise 12.9% of the jail population. • They’re the largest growth group nationwide. • Women face a number of special problems, including: • Inadequate classification systems • Lack of separate housing • Low educational levels • Substance abuse • Pregnancy/Motherhood • Inadequate substantive medical programs
Women and Jail • Women make up 22% of correctional officer force in jails. • Female officers are committed to their careers and tend to be positively valued by male counterparts. However, • A disproportionate number of female personnel held lower ranking jobs. • 60% of support staff is female • 10% of chief administrators is female • Issues can arise when member of the opposite sex are assigned to watch over inmates.
Growth of Jails • Many jails are old and overcrowded. • By the end of 1980s, many jails were so overcrowded that court-ordered caps forced some early releases. • By 2006, national jail occupancy was at 94% rated capacity. Larger jails are more crowded than smaller ones. Some individual facilities are desperately overcrowded.
TABLE 13–1 Jail Facts
Direct Supervision Jails • A new jail architecture and management strategy is called direct supervision. These jails: • Use a system of pods or modular self-contained housing areas • Have a more open environment, using Plexiglas instead of thick walls to separate areas • Use softer furniture • May use “rooms” instead of cells
Benefits of Direct Supervision Jails • Direct supervision jails • Reduce inmate dissatisfaction • Deter rape and violence • Decrease suicide and escape attempts • Eliminate barriers to staff-inmate interaction • Give staff greater control • Improve staff morale • Reduce lawsuits
Jails and the Future • National efforts are underway to improve quality of jail life by: • Adding critical programs for inmates • Increasing jail industries • Jail “boot camps” • Creating regional jails • Implementing jail standards
Privatization • A private prison is a correctional institution operated by a private firm on behalf of the government. • The movement toward greater use of private prisons began in the 1980s. • Private prisons operate in 34 stated and the District of Columbia. • 35% annual growth rate
Benefits of Privatization • Private prisons can: • Reduce overcrowding • Lower operating expenses • Avoid lawsuits
Hurdles to Large-Scale Privatization • Large scale privatization is hindered by: • Laws prohibiting private sector involvement in correctional management • Possibility of public employees striking • Liability and other legal issues
NIJ Recommendations • The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recommends that those states that privatize corrections: • Regularly survey former inmates about conditions • Annually visit and inspect facilities • Station state monitors inside large facilities • Review all services before renewing contracts