Corrections Trend Evaluation
Corrections have existed throughout our society for many years. Corrections are more than jails and prisons but also community-based programs such as parole, probation, halfway houses, and treatment facilities. Past, present, and future trends in regard to the development and operation of institutional and community-based corrections varies by state. Corrections have grown immensely since the early 1800s, and have expanded over time. Crime will never slow down so there will always be a need for corrections throughout our society. The subject of this paper pertains to the past, present, and future trends of the development and operation of institutional and community-based corrections. Another subject of the paper includes the current and future issues facing prisons and prison administrators today. The last subject to discuss is the roles of alternate corrections as a developing trend. Past Corrections
The first American penitentiary was the Walnut Street Jail established in Philadelphia in 1790. Punishments such as pillory and hangings were held in public. In the Old Stone Jail in Philadelphia, old and young, black and white, men and women were crowded together. In Chester County, the English custom of charging for various services was also in force, fees for locking and unlocking cells, food, heat, clothing, and for attaching, and removing iron incident to court appearance (Police Society, 2012). The act of 1790 brought reform to prisons and authorized a penitentiary house with 16 cells built in the yard of the jail to carry out solitary imprisonment with labor for “hardened atrocious offenders” (Prison Society, 2012). Following 1790, the Walnut Street Jail became a showplace with separation of different sorts of prisoners and workshops providing useful trade instruction (Prison Society, 2012). The prison became overcrowded, and the prison society urged to create larger penitentiaries for more efficient handling of the prisoners. In 1836, the Eastern State Penitentiary was built. Each prisoner was provided with a cell, which they would rarely leave and was large enough for them to have a workplace. Present Corrections
Today, the prisons are organized on three levels, which are maximum, medium, and minimum security. The maximum-security prison is surrounded by stonewalls with guard towers. The walls are over 25 feet high, and sometimes inner and outer walls divide the prison into courtyards (Senna & Siegal, 1996). Barbed wire fences surround the walls. The cells are organized in sections called blocks. The dress codes for the inmates are khaki clothes. During the day, the inmates engage in activities such as meals, workshops, and education, which are closely monitored by correctional officers. Visitors are separated by Plexiglas to eliminate the passing of contraband. The medium security prisons house less dangerous offenders. The set up of the prison may be similar to a maximum-security prison. The prison is still surrounded by walls, but there are fewer guard towers. The security and the atmosphere of a medium security prison are neither tense nor vigilant (Senna & Siegal, 1996). Visitor’s privileges are more extensive and personal contact may be allowed, depending on the inmate. The Nebraska State Penitentiary is located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Penitentiary opened in 1869 and is the oldest state correctional facility in Nebraska. The Nebraska State Penitentiary has five housing units. One of the housing units is for segregation inmates, whereas the other four are for general population inmates. There is a control unit that houses 36 of the most dangerous inmates that reside in the prison. In the south of the yard, there is the Residential Treatment Community (RTC), which consists of 200 beds for inmates who have drug, and alcohol problems. The Nebraska State Penitentiary also has two more housing units, which are behind the RTC building, which house the less dangerous...
References: Meyer, Jon 'a F., Grant, Diana R. (2003) The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System. Chapter 13. Retrieved on September 10, 2012 from University of Phoenix
My Free Dictionary (2012) Deterrence. Retrieved on September 10, 2012, from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/deterrence
Prison Society (2012) Prison Reform in Pennsylvania. Retrieved on September 10, 2012, from http://www.prisonsociety.org/about/history.shtml
Senna, J., & Siegal, L. (1996). Introduction to Criminal Justice (7th ed.). St. Paul, MN:
West Publishing Company.
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