Corrections Trend Evaluation
Tony Lee Merriwether
May 22, 2014
Corrections Trend Evaluation
This paper is the writer’s evaluation based on research of past, present, and future correction trends in regard to the development and implementation of institutional and community based corrections. There is an urgent need to revamp the antiquated practice of the crime control methodology. The get tough on crime approach requires harsh sentencing laws that subject non-violent offenders to harsh sentencing laws. This has dramatically contributed to escalated prison populations. Rehilibation and retribution is ineffective and has resulted in high recidivism rates. Inadequate rehabilitation programs that lack proper funding and substance and long determinate sentences make prison a revolving door for those inmates who lack family support in regard to financial and moral support. Convicted felons are not likely to find suitable employment because they lack the skill or viable training to prepare them for reintegration into society. The get tough on crime, or crime control method of justice is a proven failure and the corrections system is faced with the task of revamping the system that reduces costs and addresses rehabilitation in serious manner. The switch to alternative sentencing is the new trend in regard to punishing criminals. Alternative sentencing already affects almost twice the number of persons convicted of crimes. The prison population is aging and the medical cost of these inmates is at levels that could not have been anticipated. The prisons are old and out dated and do dot conform to the needs of the aging prisoners. Specialized medical needs, inadequate space, and structural designs that are needed to make access to the prison facilities easier for older prisoners are not in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. (ACT). This further exacerbates the problem of diminished budgets by forcing the state and federal governments to settle lawsuits filed by inmates. Past
The past methods of corrections evolved into several approaches in regard to punishment. In colonial days, prisoners were subjected to severe forms of corporal punishment that included whipping and hanging. Theses physical types of punishments were condoned by the public and were accepted as just and served as a deterrent for committing crimes. There was the medical approach that emphasized treatment for the offender and provided rehabilitation in the form of learning a trade while receiving physiological help as well. This was an honest attempt to help the offender become a productive part of society while they were incapacitated in prison or jail. There were even attempts to lessen the severity of sentencing for capital offences. This was the first form of alternative sentencing. With the advent of prisons, there was a problem with disorderly conduct. This was mainly because there were no activities that adequately occupied the time of inmates. The earlier models of prisons were self-contained industrial compounds. Prisoners were actively engaged and prison sold the products the inmates produced. This made the prisons self-sufficient and gave the prison population trades that could be used when they were released. The depression was the reason for the collapse of the industrial model. Citizens were upset that prisoners were making products that could be manufactured by the citizens. Legislation was enacted that prevented prisons from making products that competed with civilian factories. The reasoning implied that the prisoners were there to be punished. This was the end of the industrial prison. New prisons had to be constructed to house the inmates because the industrial prisons were no longer adequate in regard to housing inmates. Prison administrator developed recreational activities such as movies and sports to mitigate the idle time of inmates. This was not as structured as the...
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