CJUS263-1301A-03: American Corrections
February 10, 2013
Proper classification is crucial to the efficient and safe operation of any prison facility. Although there are a variety of classification systems throughout corrections, they each are used in order to asses, manage, treat and ultimately return offenders to general society. The classification system not only provides proper placement of inmates, but ensures that order and discipline are maintained, programs and reasonable treatment is available, assurance that the staff, prisoners, as well as the public are protected by proper procedures. Allotting resources and planning of facility management also falls under the classification system. The presentence report has multiple topics and is important for the judge to review and consider when sentencing an offender. The guidelines are issued by the United States Sentencing Commission. The presentence report is organized by offense (facts of the case – to include victim impact), criminal history, offender characteristics, sentencing options, factors that may warrant departure and an addendum. Classifications varies from county to state to federal, however the most common facilities are: “Supermax” which is meant to house the most dangerous of offenders and generally are kept on lockdown for 23 hours of the day, along with constant supervision via closed-circuit televisions. “Maximum” security prisons are by design reflective of the inmates, which the system deems a serious threat to the public by means of high escape risks, to themselves, and other inmates including staff. Security measures for both the facility and the inmates are abundant. “High” security prions have very secure structures, they can have both multiple and single-occupant cells, and has the highest staff-to-inmate ratio. “Medium” facilities are classified by the need to house an inmate that can pose a lower risk of escape, supervision is still constant; however, depending upon the inmates’ willingness to comply can increase their job or program opportunities. “Close security” prisons are not typical but can exist within a low or medium facility, objective is to house inmates that are still too dangerous for Low security but the crime does not fit within a Medium prison. When these facilities exist, they are usually located on the same grounds as a Low or Medium prison, just in separate quarters. Low, Minimum and Pre-release facilities are by design constructed to maintain inmates that are not considered a serious risk to the public, staff or other inmates and may be housed within “work farms”, or even “half-way” houses. Typically, the offenders are petty or white-collar criminals and/or have access to the community with intermittent supervision. II. Effects of incarceration:
Each individual handles incarceration differently, some become disabled and psychologically harmed by the experience, while others manage more easily. There are few people however that are not changed by their experience, whether this change can be for the better or worse often will depend upon the person. “Prisonization” refers to an inmate’s evolved personality from being on the outside to living within the prison. Their regular way thinking, feeling, and acting is now second nature to survive prison verse surviving in society. Many argue that the positive effects of incarceration is that the crime rate declines, inmates that serve longer sentences are more likely to not commit additional crimes once released and therefore incarceration is seen as a deterrent; either by general or specific deterrent. The positive elements of incarceration will continue to be a life-long debate. On the opposite side, incarceration can have significant negative effects for inmates. The prison culture in and of itself can create mental instabilities for inmates that...