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Corrections

Corrections

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Corrections

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  1. Corrections Current Issues in Corrections

  2. Issues in Corrections • Multiple purposes—individual deterrence, general, incapacitation, rehabilitation • Sometimes conflicting • Does prison punish/deter? Rehabilitate? • Incapacitate until they age out? • Serve as a “school for crime,” resulting in none of the above, prisonization

  3. Issues • All of these phenomena might occur for particular individuals, canceling each other out • This might explain why nothing seems to have any effect

  4. History • Hunter-gatherers • Agriculture—hoarding, more specialization of labor, social classes • Civilization—development of criminal codes • Hammurabi, Draco, Justinian • Early punishments brutal

  5. History • Usually torture or death • Prisons in the Roman empire, workhouses in the 1500s, accelerating by the 1700s • John Howard, State of Prisons, 1777 • Advocated sanitation, inspections, abolition of fee system • John Howard died of “jail fever” (typhus)

  6. History • Transportation, hulks, gaols, workhouses and prisons • PA and Auburn systems • Reformatory movement (1800s) • Series of stages, graduated freedom • American Prison Congress, 1870 • Forerunner of ACA (1877) • Elmira Reformatory

  7. History • Industrial and plantation prisons • Hawes-Cooper and Ashurst-Summers Acts • Prohibition of sale of products on the open market (late 1920s) • Profound financial implications • 1930s—era of shame • Expansion of FBP

  8. History • Due process revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, use of section 1983 • 1970s: disenchantment of rehabilitation • 1980s: punitive orientation and the War on Drugs • Results: • Longer sentences • Very large increase in correction supervision

  9. History • Prison construction • Very high prison costs • Growth of alternative “intermediate punishments” and community corrections • Search for other alternatives

  10. Characteristics of male offenders • About 94% of prison populations are male • About 22% for drug offenses (a dramatic change) • 15% for robbery • 12% for murder • 10% for assault

  11. Characteristics (males) • Young (under 30) • Heavily concentrated geographically: CA, TX, NY, OH, MI, FL, and IL • IQ: average 87 as compared to 100 in the general population • Over ½ score below 90 (80% score above 90 in the general population

  12. Characteristics • Poor verbal skills as compared to performance skills, LD & ADHD • Low level of educational attainment: 63% have not graduated from high school, as compared to 36% in the general population • Over one-half score below 8th grade level on academic achievement tests

  13. Characteristics • More than ½ are minorities. The proportion of African Americans under correctional supervision has doubled. 1 out of 3 young males currently under correctional supervision • Marital status: about ½ are married on admission, drops to ¼

  14. Characteristics • High percentage of truants, dropouts • Underemployed or unemployed • In one survey, ¾ had been working. Of those not employed at all, ½ reported they were looking, ½ not • 1/6 were above the poverty level before incarceration

  15. Characteristics • Limited job skills • More health and medical problems, including poor nutrition, problems associated with drug use, more diabetes, epilepsy, hepatitis, kidney dialysis, HIV/AIDS, other STDs such as syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes • 100% need dental care

  16. Psychological problems • MMPI: variety of psychological problems • 20% Antisocial Personality Disorder • 10% seriously mentally ill • 10% mentally retarded • Drug and alcohol problems • Drink 3 times as much as other young males

  17. Characteristics • 75-85% use illegal drugs • 2% of the general public has used heroin, 33% of prisoners • Came from seriously deprived backgrounds • High crime neighborhoods with limited opportunities • One parent homes with low annual income

  18. Characteristics • Skill deficits • Social, anger management, assertion, life skills • Do not know how to use available social services in their communities

  19. Issues in corrections • Classification: security and treatment • Dealing with prisonization • Homosexuality and violence, riots • Correctional officers (discretion, turnover, isolation, boring yet stressful, training) • Correctional law, section 1983 • Prison Litigation Reform Act

  20. Ways to avoid lawsuits • 1. Documentation, keep records • 2. Establish policies and procedures • 3. Consult the states attorney general’s office for a legal opinion • 4. Keep up with current laws and trends • 5. Insurance. Indemnification if in “good faith.”

  21. Lawsuits • 6. Adequate training of employees, keep records • 7. Ethics training • 8. Common sense

  22. Issues • Developing viable correctional programs • Security • Counseling (personality, social skills) • Vocational • Medical/dental • Educational • Recreation

  23. Correctional programs • Independent living skills • Religion • Aftercare • Current lack of individualization

  24. Alternatives • Surprisingly little research about short-term or community corrections • Probation, ISP, home confinement, EM, boot camp, shock incarceration, day reporting centers, halfway houses (halfway in and halfway out) • No good evidence that recidivism rates are lower

  25. Alternatives • On the other hand, their costs are considerably less • Programs tend to be aimed toward low risk offenders • Net widening