When criminals hear the door of their cells close, they know that their last hope is the day of finally getting out of incarceration. More often than not, convicted felons get out of jail upon the full serving of their sentence. But upon release, the offender still is faced with the challenge of reintegration into the mainstream of society. This may be due to the fact of the stigma usually attached to former convicts. How do they get themselves back in the mainstream of society? What are the avenues vailable to them as the embark on the road back into society?
Types of incarceration
It is quite an accepted norm on society to send to jail offenders that have been found guilty of some criminal or civil offense. Often times, we look at these facilities as places where criminals can seek some form of restitution for their mistakes against society, or where the society can gain retribution against these criminals. But are there ways to seek that retribution against criminals? Are there forms of incarceration with other goals other than solely seeking retribution against crminals? There are at present three different types or modes of imprisonment.
The “custodial” mode of confinement seeks the immurement of prisoners for the express purpose of incapacitating the offender, for the deterrence of the criminal from committing further offenses, and simply to seek retribution from the offender (George Cole & Christopher Smith, 2004). This model put an emphasis on the exacting from the offenders a strict adherence to discipline, subjection to authority and instill order in the inmates as they are put under the warden’s authority (Cole & Smith, 2004). This type is the one mostly to be found in maximum security facilities in the United States (Todd Clear & George Cole, 1997).
Another mode for the imprisonment of criminal offenders is for them to be under the “rehabilitative model” (Cole & Smith, 2004). Here, the focus is more on the treatment side or the conduct of programs to cure offenders, especially if the case is more of a drug-related crime (Cole & Smith, 2004). Rather than the imposition of strict guidelines for the subjection of the inmates to a militarsitic lifestyle designed to generate obedience, offenders are more or less subjected to the same treatment (Cole & Smith, 2004).
But as the term implies, they are more inclined to reform the offender, and the conduct of security and other chores are seen as pre-requisites for rehabilitation initiatives (Cole & Smith, 2004). But as this mode of incarceration has been quite in use for a long time, dating back to the 1950’s, the model as a penal facility has been phased out (Clear & Cole, 1997). The “reintegration model” is a mode by which the offender and his relationships with his/her family are maintained, since it is the belief of this system that the offender, upon release or after serving his time in priosn, will go back to society (Cole and Smith, 2004).
Facilities that utilize these systems will slowly acquiesce inmates to their soon to be release by giving them more freedom and greater responsibilities, something that they will encounter when they are finally released from jail (Cole & Smith, 2004). Facilities practicing this type often grant more visitation rights over the stay and duration of the sentence of the offender, leading to more freedoms for the convict that will ultimately lead to a work release program leading to the convicts’ parole (LouisReeves).
Although there are many prisons that do practice each of the models, prisons are still mainly custodial in nature (Cole & Smith, 2004). But even these prisons must one way or another practice rehabilitation or reintegration programs since these inmates will eventually join the ranks of society (Cole & Smith, 2004). The primary mode and use of prisons is to confine or keep criminals away from society, to gain the retribution that society needs from the offender (Cole & Smith, 2004).
But the confinement or the conditions under which the offender is imprisoned must be humane, just and fair (Cole & Smith, 2004). The people most in contact with the inmates are the correctional officers. These prison personnel are tasked with the custody and discipline of the inmates as well as making sure that the security and physical and other needs of the convicts are adequately met (California Employment Development Department, 1998). Preeminent of these duties is the supervison of the inmates’ conduct inside the penal facilities (Calfornia Employment, 1998).
Inclusive areas under the supervsion of correctional officers are when the inmates eat, take a bath, recreational activities and the transfer of prisoners from and to their present prison facilities, such as when the prisoners have to appear in court (California Employment, 1998). Inspections of inmates’ living quarters and the inmates themselves also fall under the duties of correctional officials (California Employment, 1998). In the event of escapes, they also assist in the re-apprehension of the escaped convicts (California Employment, 1998).
They are tasked with the supervision of prisoner visits and take head counts of all inmates at random times (California Employment, 1998). But a more pressing duty of correctional officials assisting convicts that are for release is to help them to be prepared once they are freed (California Employment, 1998). As part of these efforts, they help in putting up newspapers run by the inmates and help groups while they are being prepared for eventual return to society (California Employment, 1998).
But this is a set-up that is framed against a background of a virtual town of aggressive, violent prisoners who are very uncooperative, and the only way to bring them to toe the line is the use of force (Cole & Smith, 2004). Though varying levels of coercion can be utilized by prison officials to enforce order and discipline in the facility, ranging from isolation to outright physical violence, these measures will not go unnoticed for long, as the eye of the public will be on the officials (Cole & Smith, 2004).
So the question is, how do prison and correctional officers get the inmates to go along with the rules and regulations being imposed on them? Like in a school, they enforce a system of rewards and penalties for the inmates (Cole & Smith, 2004). These rewards, handed down to obedient prisoners, may include chore assignments of the inmate’s choice, positive feedbacks come parole hearing time and more freedom in their movements in the facility (Cole & Smith, 2004).
Often times, when minor violations of the rules come up, correction officers can gain cooperation from the inmates by just overlooking these infractions in exchange for the compliance of some of the major rules being imposed under a custodial form of incarceration (Cole & Smith, 2004). The relationship of the corrections officer seems to benefit both the enforcer and the inmate (Cole & Smith, 2004). The inmate will gain several bonuses from the officer, while making the officer look good to his bosses (Cole & Smith, 2004). Felons can however, be released from serving their time by way of release mechanisms (Yates).
Under this mechanism, the convict can be released in any of these ways. A discretionary release or parole is given at the discretion of the parole board, who is the final body that will decide whether parole will be granted to an offender (Wisconsin Parole Commission, 2007). First off, the Commssion will conduct interviews with inmates deemed eligible for parole (Wisconsin, 2007) . The Chairman of the Commission, appointed by the governor to serve put a two-year term (Wisconsin, 2007), will then have interviews with the individdual felons seperately form that of the Commission (Wisconsin, 2007).
Parole boards grant discretionary parole to inmates after a careful consideration of several factors that affect the need to seek retribution, community reintegration and restoration concerns for the community and the victim (American Parole and Probation Association, 2002). Discretionary parole hearings provide the greatest level of public security by keeping the most dangerous criminals in jail while making efforts to allow the successful paroless with assistance for them to become useful members of society once released (APPA, 2002).
With the current space problems of penal facilities (Lesson 13), parole boards usually target for early release those that they deem to be of a less serious risk to society (APPA, 2002). Mandatory releases, on the other hand, are for a select category of criminals only (Texas Department of Criminal Justice). For this system, the offender accumulates time for good behavior that will be deducted from the sentence handed down from the courts (National Archives and Records Administtration, 2000).
Under the mandatory release mode, the convict is released, akin to the conditions as if the felon were on parole, supervised until the the full sentence handed him/her has ben served deducting 180 days (NAARA, 2000). When a criminal is found guilty of a serious crime, the court sets a “presumptive mandatory release date” (Wisconsin Department of Corrections). This is differentiated from a mandatory release as the latter gives the parole board authority to confine the felon until the full sentence of the law is served (WDC).
Conditional release is when the offender is released from confinement, where certains have been attached to his release (Pre-paid Legal Services, Inc. ). These conditions may affect certain activities or relationships that the offender may engage in (Business Dictionary). This may be granted to a person who no longer falls under the strict definition of a dangerous sexual offender, or to move the person to a more free environment for the good of the person (Washington State Legislature).
Also, the court, who would ulitimately be the one to grant the move of the offender, must be convinced that in the show cause hearing of the offender, that he/she poses no direct or clear threat to the community (Washington). If the offender, however, though eligible for parole, but displays some problems connected to attitude or discipline, may just serve out the full length of the sentence, and be released upon the expiration of that sentence (Minnesota Department of Corrections).
Also, if the offender has been granted early release but has violated some of the conditions for his release, the offender will be sent back to prison, and his parole or probation revoked (Minnesota). Prison officials must also see to it that the reintegration process that the released prisoner’s might have to undergo be as smooth as possible. Many believe that the courts exercise the option of sending someone to jail as a last resort, and only for the good of the public (Robert James Bidinotto, 1989).
The goal of these individuals to take prisoners, denied many of the aspects of life in the outside world, to be placed in an environment close to the one outside prison walls while still paying their debt to society (Bidinotto, 1989). This initiative seeks to reverse the damage of the “prisonization” hypothesis, that the offenders have been thrust into another social structure altogether, and eventually will have to reintegrate back to the society that they left (Bidinotto, 1989). Work release programs allow the offender to be released to serve at least half of their sentences (Minnesota).
This policy usually lasts up to eight months (Minnesota). Offenders granted this option are settled in halfway houses or local jail facilities, requiring them to get jobs or to be full-time students (Minnesota). After the work release has been completed, the offender is then put under supervised release (Minnesota). Work furloughs is returning the offender to the community on a temporary basis (Bidinotto, 1989). These are rare cases that inmates are allowed to leave the inside of the prison,under armed guard, and only under extreme cases, such as occasions to attend the funerals or to seek medical assistance (Minnesota).
Half way houses are facilities where offenders can reform their lives while still paying their shortcomings to society (Avalon Correctional Services, Inc. , 2007). Uisually these facilities are for the treatment of substance abuse offenders or those requiring counselling and other services (Avalon, 2007). This mode seems to be the best mode for reintegration, since it will provide more or less the environment that inmates need to cope with reentering society as they are released. References (PDF file supplied by client) Lesson 13. Prison and its aftermath: in and out of the big house. Crminology 100.
Introduction to criminal justice. American Probation and Parole Association. (2002). Discretionary parole. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://www. appa-net. org/about/ps/discretionaryparole. htm Avalon Correctional Services, Inc. (2007). Avalon correctional services, inc. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://www. answers. com/topic/avalon-correctional-services-inc Business Dictionary (n. d. ). Conditional release. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/conditional-release. html California Employment Development Department. (1998). Correctional officers.
Retrieved July 23, 2008, from http://www. calmis. cahwnet. gov/file/occguide/CORROFF. HTM Clear, T. R. , Cole, G. F. (1997). American corrections. Kentucky: Thomson Wadsworth Publishing. http://72. 14. 235. 104/search? q=cache:2Acaj98F8-YJ:www. csus. edu/indiv/c/canton/ Chap%252010. ppt+%22models+of+incarceration %22&hl=tl&ct=clnk&cd=15&gl=ph&client=firefox-a Cole, G. F. , Smith. C. E. (2004). Criminal justice in america. Kentucy:Thomson Wadsworth Publishing.
http://books. google. com. ph/books? id=8t8CEnOhQeEC&pg=PA294&lpg=PA294&dq=%22models+of+incarceration %22&source=web&ots=WQqLmS6cdY&sig yWSXfUWW9_2f8mPUx9rRurJdDUs&hl=tl&sa=X&o i=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA294,M1 Foundation For Economic Education. (n. d. ). Crime and consequences. Volume 39 number 9. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://www. fee. org/Publications/the-Freeman/article. asp? aid=2963 Louis Reeves. (n. d. ). Incarceration. Retrieved July 23, 2008, from http://72. 14. 235. 104/search? q=cache:FlUgOCKRGgMJ:www. louisreeves. com/isu/crim430/430_10. ppt+ %22models+of+incarceration%22&hl=tl&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=ph&client=firefox- http://www. louisreeves. com/isu/crim430/430_10. ppt Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Types of release. Reroeved July 24, 2008, from http://cache. search. yahoo-ht2. akadns. net/search/cache? ei=UTF-8&p=expiration+release+prison&fr=moz2&rs=0&u= www. corr. state. mn. us/org/communityserv/documents/06-08 TypesofRelease_000. pdf&w=expiration+release+released+prison&d =ZaY5JS72RFfj&icp=1&. intl=us National Archives and Records Administration. (2000). Electronic code of federal regulations. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://ecfr. gpoaccess. gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx? c=ecfr&%3C? SID %3E&rgn=div5&view=text&node=28:1. 0. 1. 1. 3&idno=28#28:1. 0. 1. 1. 3. 1. 1. 35
Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (n. d. ). Legal definition-conditional release. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://www. rvats. com/Lawdetails-Conditional-release. asp Texas Department of Criminal Justice. (n. d. ). Definitions & acronyms. Retrived July 24, 2008, from http://www. tdcj. state. tx. us/definitions/definitions-home. htm Washington State Legislature. (n. d. ). Petition for conditional release to less restrictive alternative or unconditional discharge — procedures. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://apps. leg. wa. gov/RCW/default. aspx? cite=71. 09. 090 Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
SOR terms and definitions. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://offender. doc. state. wi. us/public/fyi/glossary. jsp#130 Wisconsin Department of Corrections Parole Commission. (2007). The parole commission in Wisconsin. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://www. wi-doc. com/Parole_Commission. htm Yates, J. (n. d. ). Parole and reentry into the community. Retrieved July 23, 2008, from http://av. rds. yahoo. com/_ylt=A0Je5XSBCIdIYXcAChlrCqMX; _ylu=X3oDMTBvdmM3bGlxBHBndANhdl93ZWJfcmVzdWx0BHNlYwNzcg –/SIG=11sjbdbh1/EXP=1216895489/**http%3a//jyates. myweb. uga. edu/new_ch14. ppt