Friday, January 17, 2020

Corrections Trend Evaluation Essay

This paper explains the many trends in the public and institutional criminal justice system. These trends, starting from the past, push the research into the present and future with the implementation of continuing trends and perspective ideations to aid in the progress and advancement of criminal procedures. This paper starts with the history of community and commercial criminal justice and attaches the proceedings to the present-day standing. This paper also shows an idealistic and theoretical analogy of how the criminal justice system may look in the future based on current trends. Past Trends Stories mentioning jails are throughout history even back to biblical times, however, America did not have an official penitentiary until 1790 at which time Philadelphia constructed the Walnut Street Jail. It was during this time that the root word of penitentiary took on its new form. Prisoners in early times were sent with the aim of the punishment in the form of penance, thus with any luck resulting in purity of personal reform. Inmates are kept in single cell units at all-times, even for meals. Recreation was not an option. In the rare event, that an inmate did leave the cell, a mask, or hood is required (Johnson & Dobrzanska, 2005). The goal is to lead a monk style life, thus providing a Bible to all inmates is mandatory, and it is a hope that the offenders would spend their sentences preparing to live law-abiding lives as governed by God’s word, following their release. This type of containment for inmate is known as the separate system. On the flipside of the separate system is the congregate system, and the first notation of its use, is by the Auburn Prison (Johnson & Dobrzanska, 2005). Prisoners still lived a life of confinement while in their cell, but with this system, they coexist with other inmates for work and meals. Although this is a change, inmates never speak a word and many recall the only sound coming from workshops within the prison and the marching of inmates (Johnson & Dobrzanska, 2005). Present Trends Much has changed following the days when inmates donned masks or hoods just to walk down a corridor within prisons walls. Prior to the 1960s, both the public and the courts developed a â€Å"hands off policy† toward the conditions and practices within criminal facilities (Martin, & Katsampes, 2007). The reasoning behind this was a notion that correctional administrators knew how to best control both inmates and correctional facilities. However, during the 1960s and the 1970s, while people outside were rallying for civil rights of different groups of people, inmates were inside prisons rallying for prisoners rights. At this point, the criminal justice system and treatment of inmates take a poignant turn in history. The decision of the courts allowed the trend to move from inmates living a monk style lifestyle to inmates who currently have access to courts, counsel, mail, more choices for reading material and libraries, medical care, food services, recreation, exercise, and due process. Because of this society now, see’s correctional facilities were inmates coexist around other inmates, as well as seeing inmates legally counseling other inmates in their cases as well as appealing and representing themselves in court. We have TV crews going into facilities and providing the public with firsthand accounts of life within the jails. However with the changes come downfalls in the goals for incarceration. No longer is the goal one of penance, it has since changed to a goal of punishment. The focus is holding an offender accountable for illegal acts as well as a means to discourage offenders from committing future criminal acts, and with any luck discourage others in communities from following in the same tracks as current inmates. Because of this trend, the judicial systems as well as correctional facilities have increased to a level of concern. Another unfortunate outcome of the changing of times comes the changing of the importance behind rehabilitation. According to Martin, and Katsampes (2007), rehabilitation, and reintegration rank as secondary goals. Noted, especially for this theory are the jails, as they do not attempt to provide inmates with opportunities for self-help or change to deter future criminal behavior. Luckily, community-based corrections are stepping up to assist in the rehabilitation of offenders. Programs such as community-based centers are offering their assistance in reintegrating inmates back into society. These types of centers operate within a private sector and offer assistance in areas, such as returning to school for finding employment as well as enrolling the participants into classes such as cognitive self-changing classes, parenting classes as well as drug and alcohol programs. Another example of community-based corrections focuses on alleviating the overcrowding issues seen within the correctional facilities. These programs encompass opportunities such as bail supervision programs, community service orders, work-release centers, electronic monitoring, probation, or other alternative measure programs (John Howard Society of Alberta, 1998). Each of these community-based correctional programs poses significant benefits to alleviating the correctional facilities problem with them experiencing just too many inmates. The bail supervision programs release the offender to a member of the community, while that person is awaiting trial. This program not only holds the offender accountable for not screwing up while awaiting trial, it also holds someone else accountable for those people’s actions as well. Many times this takes place in the form of bail or following the release of an offender on recognizance also known as RoR. Community service is another fine example of the serving of punishment. This program allows offenders to give back to the community by means of working within the community. Many times community service takes place at a local store such as the Youth Ranch, other times it will be strictly with the city or county, doing things such as working at the local landfill, or cleaning court offices and other associated buildings. Offenders in this program, report at a scheduled time to the jail and receive their daily work assignment, form that point until the remainder of their day, they work under the supervision of the jail staff. Work release centers offer the opportunity for inmates to leave the facility to fulfill work schedules obtained prior to sentencing. Most inmates must pay a higher fee for this opportunity but can have someone approved by the facility to transport the inmate to and from work, however, the inmates are also subject to random checks by authorities to ensure they are accounted for at all times. Future Trends and Issues As time continues to evolve, the judicial system is bound to encounter the continuation of trends as society is beginning to see in both past and present times. It impossible for one to say what will or will not happen to the future correctional facilities, but through monitoring of the past, one can begin to see a devastating trend form. By removing the rehabilitation aspect and imposing the punishment aspect, the system continues to enable the cycle, thus bringing it to the point it is today. Research suggests that the trends both courts and facilities will face include that of continued prison growth as well as the potential for early release patterns (The Sentencing Project, n.d.). By the courts handing down sentences strictly for a punishment reason, they are enabling the continuation of a growth that already exceeds maximum capacity within the facilities. A suggestion to combat this scenario and alleviate the congestion within the facilities is to take advantage of the community-based programs available for offenders who do not pose a significant threat to themselves, or to society. The punishment aspect of the crime is satisfied by the courts and the chances of rehabilitation are greater in this case than they would be, compared to taking advantage of the smaller programs available while in jail. This scenario plays on with the second possible trend that if offenders are still sent to the correctional facilities, not only will the continuation of over crowdedness still be in place but also eventually something will have to take place to correct it. The something will have to include releasing certain inmates earlier than intended by the courts, thus risking the safety of not only others in society but also the released inmates, and increasing the possibility of recidivism. Conclusion This paper covers many trends in the public and institutional criminal justice system. These trends, starting from the past, push the research into the present and future with the implementation of continuing trends and perspective ideations to aid in the progress and advancement of criminal procedures. The first section of this paper covers the history of the commercial criminal justice and follows it up through the present-day. Finally, the paper details through logic how the criminal justice system may look in the future based on the current trends already set in motion. References John Howard Society of Alberta. (1998). Community Corrections. Retrieved from Johnson, R., Dobrzanska, A., and Palla, S. (2005). The American prison in historical perspective. Retrieved from Martin, M., & Katsampes, P. (2007). Sheriff’s guide to effective jail operations. Retrieved from The Sentencing Project. (n.d.). U.S. prison population: Trends and implications. Retrieved from

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