The State Correctional System Criminology Essay

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The outline is concerning working in the office of a state senator as a staffer. The senator has lately been focusing on the state correctional system which is a continuous target of censure for civil libertarian groups. Additionally, some new charges of abuse at a local jail have as well caught the interest of the senator. The senator is speaking before the state bar association the following week and intends to tackle the ways in which the correctional system might be improved. A detailed outline is needed on correctional theory generally as well as a series of suggestions on methods to implement a number of the nontraditional theories of the corrections.

Regarding mass incarceration, it is a usually understood and acknowledged correctional approach. Nevertheless, there is often criticism of the straightforward warehousing of human beings found guilty of crimes. In the situation of violent criminals, it is necessary to safeguard society from the probable future criminal actions of a person convicted of the most monstrous offenses. Nevertheless, even among those persons, there are schools of thought inside the correctional system as to customs in which even violent felons might be rehabilitated or treated. There is even more opportunity when it comes to tackling the punitive options for those condemned of nonviolent or victimless; crimes. For instance, there are arguably different legal corrections or societal goals linking incarcerating a violent sexual marauder or serial killer as opposed to a person imprisoned on a felony drug allege because he sold narcotics to prop up a drug addiction.

This outline will illustrate whether there is specific data to support an approach while addressing each ones' approach. My personal opinion will be given on whether I believe the approach is effective or not, and if the approach is money-making than convectional incarceration. There will as well be data on the rates of recidivism and a conclusion of academic and vocational programs in the prison system. (AIU Online, 2009)


The essential use of sanctions, which may be either positive that is rewarding or negative in other words punishment, is the base of all criminal theory, together with the main objectives of social control, in addition to deterrence of deviant behavior.

A lot of Facilities operating in the United States abide by particular correctional theories. Although regularly heavily modified these theories establish the nature of the facilities design as well as security operations. The two main theories used in the present day, is the more modern Direct Supervision models and the more traditional Remote Supervision. Remote Supervision Model (RSM) is comprised of an officer or officers who observe the inmate population from a secluded position for example a secure desk area or a tower. The Direct Supervision Model (DSM) consequently integrates the Corrections Officer in the inmate population whereby they are a more prominent presence.

Competing theories of corrections established in today's system are; split sentencing where judges might impose a combination of a short period of probation and imprisonment, serving time inside a local jail. Next is shock probation whereby the offender serves a short period in custody, frequently in a prison and is freed on probation by a court order. Regulars must apply for probation nevertheless, and is not guaranteed conditional on the judges resentencing verdict. There is also shock incarceration which is a martial style boot camp providing greatly regimented environments relating strict discipline, hard labor and physical training. This is designed for youthful offenders and is of short period. Offenders who effectively complete these programs are normally returned to the community with some sort of supervision (Schmalleger, 2005).

Mixed sentencing and community service is also a correctional theory whereby the offenders serve weekends inside jail and received probation supervision all through the week. A number of offenders are required to take part in treatment or community service curriculums while on probation. There is as well Intensive probation supervision (IPS) which is designed to attain control in a community setting over criminals who would otherwise have been imprisoned. This entails a minimum of five personal contacts between the supervisor and the probationer per week, compulsory curfew, required employment, a daily check of arrests records, custom and unannounced alcohol as well as drug testing, 132 hours of community service, and habitual notification of probation officers through the State Crime Information Network as soon as an IPS client is arrested. Lastly home confinement and electronic monitoring as well referred to house arrest whereby the offenders are legally ordered to stay confined in their own residences and might be able to leave under health emergencies, go to their places of work, or buy home essentials (2005 Schmalleger).

The goals for these punishment or rehabilitative strategies differ because if you take rehabilitative programs for examples they have a vital impact on reducing recidivism rates. A large number of them result in fewer broken families; however prison overcrowding is reduced which means less new prison facilities would be required to be constructed.

Educational programs give education that results in obtaining vocational training all goals on punishment and rehabilitation are different because they require different steps to be taken so as to effectively help the offender according to their criminal activities, previous behavior programs and community ties. The only common thing in all these goals is that they are in the end safe for all communities. (Stevens, 2008)

Excellent supportive data from one approach to another would be to review different types of punishment for instance house arrest and intensive supervision probation. Intensive supervision probation is used so as to attain control in a community setting. This is very effective in reducing recidivism. Alternatively house arrest is used for offenders who are handicapped, mentally retarded, and the terminally ill so that they can be better supervised. It is evident that the desire of rehabilitating offenders is the rationale behind rehabilitation is viewed as a judicially administered punishment (Stevens, 2008)

Two non traditional approaches addressing goals are; for home arrest also referred to as electronic monitoring. This a home confinement course among the federal court system. Home detention, incarceration and curfew are the main levels of restrictions of the federal court system. A curfew requires offenders to stay at home every day during specific hours of the day whereas in home detention offenders are required to stay at home at all times only exception is the preapproved and scheduled absences. The advantages are that it reduces the population of prison inmates and it is as well cost efficient. It as well brings the offender closer to the family, and as well present s them the opportunity to get work. When reviewing costs according to Stevens 2008, incarceration cost is approximately $ 18,100 per inmate whereas house arrests around$ 1,130 each year.

I believe this approach is so effective as house arrest lessens prison overcrowding as well as construction. On the other hand for incarceration, individuals are not incarcerated they can not be punished properly by means of alternative programs. Having a curfew is as well effective since it puts rules on offenders whereby they have to choose whether they want to be responsible of not.

These approaches are more cost effective than conventional incarceration since they require fewer funds to correct offenders and to prevent criminal activity in future. Incarceration is so expensive yet there are number offenders who are just bound for prison life and are non-violent and furthermore they want to help in various ways and they do not want to experience prison sentence. House arrest costs around $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 whereas incarcerating an offender is approximately $20,000.

Recidivism is calculated by criminal acts which resulted in the reconviction, re-arrest, or return to prison with or with no sentence during a three-year time following the prisoner's release. In 2007, around 1,180,469 persons who were on parole were susceptible of re-incarceration.  This comprises persons in parole supervision in January 1. Among these parolees, around 16% went back to incarceration in 2007. Among practically 300,000 prisoners on the loose in 15 states in the year 1994, 67.5% were rearrested in a period of 3 years. A report of prisoners released within 1983 anticipated 62.5%. 272,111 individuals released in 1994 in 15 states 67.5% were rearrested for a crime or serious misdemeanor in 3 years, about 46.9% were reconvicted, and approximately 25.4% resentenced to penitentiary for a new crime.

Among the released prisoners, the highest re-arrest were robbers (70.2%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), those imprisoned for possessing or selling stolen assets (77.4%) and those imprisoned for using, possessing, or selling banned weapons (70.2%). In a period of 3 years, 2.5% of the total released rapists were under arrest for another rape, and approximately 1.2% of those who had been arrested for murder were arrested for homicide.

Recidivism is so easy to reduce by use of rehabilitation programs for instance abuse treatment centers, academic and vocational education, by post-secondary education, intermediate sanctions and all other alternatives to incarceration (Shrum,2004)

Section 2

Incarceration in the United States is a simultaneous power in the Constitution of the United States, this means that prisons are functioning under strict authority of both the state and federal governments. Incarceration is one of the major forms of punishment for the commission of crime offenses within the United States.

Studies show that incarcerating young offenders is no longer the most effective way of cutting delinquency and reducing crime. The connection between detention of youthful offenders and the rate of general youth criminality is not clear. A report in accordance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's arrest statistics for the 1990s discloses that the rise in detention was not related to crime rates. That is, imprisonment as a tactic of controlling young offenders has nothing to do with the percentage of crime or the danger that youth present to the public.

According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, over two million men and women are now imprisoned in the United States. The country has incarcerated a higher percentage of its populace than any other country. The number of people in prison in increasing every day and the reason our prisons are over populated is because incarceration is not an effective crime deterrent anymore.

My first step in reconstructing the U.S prison and jail system is to prepare more programs for the inmates. Programs such as the Prison Dog Project where inmates are all given a shelter dog to train and care for is required, this is for the mentally ill inmates. When the dog is well trained it is given to a disabled individual. Prisons that contributed in programs for instance this have reported 100% of no return rate for the freed inmates that participated. Advancing an inmate's education has publicized to reduce the recidivism rate additionally. This system as it is at present is a failure; it has become a college for criminality more than rehabilitation (Eric, Tom, & Terry, 2007).

The practice of private confinement, prolonged self-control use and incarcerating the psychologically ill has to be put in an end. The U. S. needs to stop the pain it puts upon in its inmates. For even though many do not want to come to reality with the facts, the reality is most of these inmates will be free once more. Inmates should be given special skill so that they come are able to actually make a positive involvement to society once they are out. It is not wise if they are released when they are mentally ill, full of rage, having no social abilities, desensitized to pain and suffering as a result of the broken system (Manitonquat, 1996).