Various stakeholders contributes to the manner that prison facilities in the U.S are run. Internal and external stakeholders determine how such facilities operate. Some of those internal participants happen to be prison wardens and managers. They are responsible for taking care of the convicts housed in prisons as they serve their sentences. Guards make sure that the convicts are confined within the prison until they complete serving their sentence. They also issue provisions such as foodstuff, medication and making sure that resources are shared equally by all inmates and see to it that safety is maintained in prisons and the convicts are safe until they complete serving their sentences.
External stakeholders within the prison system are police agencies. Part of their duty includes enforcing and maintaining law and order. They conduct investigations and make arrests where an offense has been committed. Legislators also play a great role in contributing to the manner in which the prisons operate. Legislators enact laws used by the judiciary to prosecute the criminals. Those laws help in keeping law and order and they also help in determining the type of punishment that will be handed to a criminal for any offense committed (In Brem, & In Viardot, 2015). Judges and magistrates have a duty of listening to both the prosecution and defense and determining the guilt of the accused person depending on the evidence adduced before him/her and giving judgment for the same or acquitting the suspect in the event of insufficient evidence. Inmate advocacy groups help to ensure that inmates are handled in a humane and fair manner while serving their term in prison. Probation and parole officers are charged with the duty of supervising the released wrongdoers to ensure they are not violating the terms of their probation or parole. Prosecutors liaise with the police agencies to gather enough evidence that is produced before a court of law to convict a suspect of a crime.
Internal and external stakeholders contribute to either solving or aggravating issues regarding violence within the prison set-up. The guards and wardens interact directly with the convicts daily thereby influencing greatly how the inmates interact with one another. If the warders receive proper training then they can pass the same knowledge on the convicts then they will be in a good position to contain any violence that can place within the prison. Good training helps them to contain and separate the most violent convicts from the rest until such a time that they can interact with their colleagues well without causing them harm. Police are responsible for carrying out investigations and coming up with evidence that will be used to convict the prisoners.
If investigations are not conducted thoroughly then it means that innocent people are going to be convicted and those convictions contribute to the congestion found in prisons thus putting a strain on the facilities contributing in partly towards the violence witnessed in prisons (ZEHR, 2015). Legislators while enacting laws determine the type of sentence to be handed over to the suspects. If legislators come up with harsh and longer jail term on minor offenses there will be more congestion in prisons. But if they come up with other forms of punishments for smaller crimes that do not require prison sentence then it will go a long way in helping to decongest the prison leading to a reduction in rate of violence in prisons. Legislators also allocate funds for building more prisons that can go a long way in decongesting the already overcrowded prison thereby reducing the pressure on those resources.
Judges and magistrates listen to evidence presented before them before passing judgment on the accused person. The type of judgment issued by them determines the number of inmates to be placed behind bars. If most of their judgments lead to a prison term then the prison facilities are going to be stretched beyond limit leading to the conflicts witnessed within the prison premises. According to In Mallicoat, & In Gardiner, 2013, judges and magistrates can employ other forms of punishments that do not necessarily lead to being imprisoned then they will help in reducing prison violence caused as a result of congestion. Probation officers supervise those under probation and if they report that the offender has violated their terms of probation or parole then the offender will be taken back to prison thereby contributing to the problem of congestion and by extension increasing the rate of violence. The manner in which investigation is conducted and evidence presented before the judges by the prosecutors will determine the type of sentence handed down to the suspect which has a bearing on the violence that takes place in prison.
Internal and external stakeholders can help to reduce or eliminate violence in prison. The prosecutor and investigating officers can contribute to the solution by making sure that thorough investigations is conducted and enough pieces of evidence collected to ensure that only guilty people are brought before the courts to be tried. Legislators can contribute to the solution by enacting laws that will guarantee justice for all and allocating more resources to build more facilities in order to ease the congestion in the existing ones. More funds can also be allocated so that more youths receive training and get the capital to engage in income generating ventures and a result of the good environment in order for them to make a living instead of getting involved in unlawful ventures that may lead to their conviction and eventual incarceration.
Judges and magistrates need to balance between the crimes committed against the sentences to make sure that only those suspects that are found to be culpable are jailed. (Pfaff, 2017). Petty offenders can be given alternative form of penalties that do not require them to be in prison. Prison warders and managers need to undergo adequate training that will enable them to handle and control any violence that may break out so that there is a drastic reduction or elimination of a prison violence altogether. Inmate advocacy groups need to work together with those on probation to ensure that they abide by the terms of their probation or parole so that they do not end up going back to prison.
However, more needs to be done to make individuals to buy into the solution of stopping violence in prisons. Part of those solutions that they need to buy into are prison decongestion, offering more training to prison officials and those incarcerated, supervising those out on probation among others. prison management needs to come up with reward programs for well-behaved inmates who will be given positions of leadership within the prison or recommendation for parole for those serving shorter sentences or who are about to complete their sentence. Such programs will motivate other prisoners to stop violent behaviors so as to qualify for the same rewards.
Decongesting the prisons by building more prisons will motivate the warders and guards handling the convicts as they will be having a number of inmates that they can manage well (In Brem, & In Viardot, 2019). Prosecutors and police agencies can be motivated by being given a promotions for those officers that do exemplary work thereby encouraging other officers to follow suit. Legislators on their part have a duty to enact laws that are going to serve all citizens, therefore, those ones that contribute to laws that help to improve the justice system can be rewarded by being re-elected by the electorate. Magistrates and judges can be motivated if police and prosecutors do a thorough job of investigation and coming up with enough evidence to secure conviction and the legislators enact laws that are progressive.