Discuss privatization of correctional institutions from the perspective of the following parties: 1. Inmates; 2. Correctional officers; 3. State department of correction Describe any pros and cons that exist for each. Correctional facilities in the United States of America have come under scathing attacks from the human rights activists for failing to meet the goals and objectives they were established to achieve.
Correctional institutions are expected to initiate and implement programs in collaboration with the Department of Criminal Justice, which aims at reforming inmates and therefore making sure that inmates come out of those correctional institutions better than they entered. Correctional institutions have been seen as failing to meet the goals and objectives of reforming inmates and therefore the only solution is the privatization of the correctional institutions.
For inmates, their goals and needs while in the correctional institutions is to be treated as human beings to the measure practical and necessary to be accorded dignified living standards and even to exercise their fundamental human rights. Inmates end up in the correctional institutions for committing different types of crimes and once they have been through the court process and eventually are sentenced to whatever kind of imprisonment, they desire to live in an enabling environment. Inmates, some of them desire to change and revert from their previous ways.
Therefore, the laxity, corruption, inefficiency and lack of commitment to the betterment of inmates’ lives inside the correctional institutions leaves these inmates perplexed and often confused about their future. Most inmates would view their predicament as being caused by the inefficiency and unprofessionalism demonstrated by most public correctional institutions. Evidently, privatization of correctional institutions would bring about more efficiency in the way the affairs of the inmates are handled.
With privatization of the correctional institutions, there is bound to be a more professional manner of conducting business in the correctional institutions, all to the benefit of the inmates. Correctional officers are responsible for the implementation of policies and programs of correctional institutions. There has been a general public outcry about laxity, ineffectiveness and inefficiency exhibited by correctional officers serving in these correctional institutions. Privatization of the correctional institutions is likely to face resistance from correctional officers who may view it as a threat to the status quo.
Indeed, correctional officers stand to lose their jobs if the correctional institutions are privatized. What this therefore means is that correctional officers are uncomfortable with any move that is going to deprive them of their source of income. Even if the correctional officers were to be maintained under the new privatization of correctional institutions they would still not be comfortable with such privatization considering the fact that private organizations conduct businesses in a rather different way from public organization.
This means that the correctional officers will have to change in their attitudes towards inmates and their job, the way they are used to doing things as well as performance. The state department of correction is in charge of correctional institutions. Like any other state department, the larger the responsibilities a state department is tasked with, the more funding it is likely to gain from federal government. What therefore privatization of correctional institutions means for the state department of correction is that the department would lose a significant amount of funding from the federal government.
Evidently, the state department is very unlikely to welcome privatization of correctional institutions. While it is true that detaching correctional institutions from state department is advantageous in that it will improve the efficiency of the correctional institutions, it would lead to better management as well as leading to achievement of the goals and objectives of correctional institutions, there are also disadvantages associated with detaching correctional institutions from state departments of correction and putting the correctional institutions under private organizations.
Possible disadvantages of detaching correctional institutions from the state departments would include the fact that correctional institutions are a sensitive part of judicial system and therefore it would be better if left to state control. Secondly, private organizations may lack the resources required to handle the usually high numbers of inmates in the correctional institutions. Lastly, in the event of mismanagement, there is bound to be a crisis in the criminal justice department, which is already riddled with accusations of inefficiency.
Q2. Discuss in depth the various methods used in correctional facilities to maintain security (things like controlling the location and behaviour of inmates and their possession of contraband). Be specific. What are some ways in which technology is being used to accomplish these goals? Correctional facilities are high security zones which must be under 24/7 security detail otherwise, inmates would break away and make it back to the community.
So as to ensure that security is maintained at maximum in the correctional facilities, the authorities in the correctional institutions put in place several measures. Correctional facilities go to any measure to ensure that no inmates break away from the correctional institutions. Constantly, security officers are briefed on how best to manage security in and around the correctional facilities.
Measures aimed at ensuring security include physical erection of barriers to deter inmates from escaping, psychological programs aimed at changing the behaviour of inmates to make sure that they appreciate and understand the importance of being in the correctional programs, curtailing the movement and socialization of inmates while in the prison, controlling and regulating the number of visitors inmates can have as well as vetting all visitors visiting inmates in the correctional facilities.
All the above are preventative measures which correctional facilities put in place to reduce the possibility of inmates escaping and not only that , but also to regulate the behaviour of inmates and minimize incidences of fights or other unbecoming behaviours happening inside the correctional facilities. It is worth noting that the environment inside correctional facilities is unbearable for most inmates and as a result they turn wild and unruly and often incidences of violence break out.
This could be basis for security breaches and therefore the need for correctional officers to put in place security measures to control the situation inside the correctional facilities. Behaviour of inmates is influenced by many factors such as peer influence, depression, high stress levels as well as a natural urge to commit crime. But a very common cause of behaviour disruptions in the correctional facilities is the use of contrabands such as cocaine and marijuana.
therefore, as a security measure the correctional facilities ensure that there is limited or no flow of contrabands into correctional facilities as a way of controlling the behaviour of inmates. Even if all of the above security methods were to be in place, implementing the measures is quite mechanistic without adoption of information technology. It is for this reason that correctional facilities have invested heavily in technology in areas such as surveillance, whereby surveillance vehicles are used to monitor movement and behaviour of inmates.
Technology is also used to detect visitors who carry into the correctional facilities weapons and other illegal goods which must not get into the hands of the inmates. In addition, technology has been applied in the correctional facilities in the way of having in place alarm systems and sirens which can detect and raise alarm within seconds of a problem being detected inside the correctional facilities. Such alarm systems are useful because they enable correctional officers to act promptly and prevent damage.