Jails and Prisons

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Punishment Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: July 26, 2013
Jails and Prisons

Earlier forms of prisons were inhumane and focused on punishing prisoners for a crime no matter how small the crime was. Schmalleger (2011) stated “In an important historical development, around the year 1800, imprisonment as punishment replaced the notion of imprisonment for punishment.” (pg 485). This notion best describes the vast evolution of the various programs such as probation and parole that are now available to help criminals to adjust to society during and after imprisonment. Instead of them being punished then released to fend for themselves and readjust without any assistance.

The four (4) types of prisons that play a role in the criminal justice system are minimum, medium, maximum and super maximum security prisons. Minimum security prisons are the least guarded. Prisoners who have committed petty crimes in a minimum security prison are freely mixed up and in some prisons have private rooms. Medium security prisons instead of concrete or stone block walls tend to have barbed wire fences. Schmalleger (2011) stated “An important security tool in medium-security prisons is the count, which is a head count of inmates taken at regular intervals. Counts may be taken four times a day and usually require inmates to report to designated areas to be counted.” (pg 470). Maximum and super maximum security prisons have large inmate populations in a massive building. Security in these prisons are highly secure and tend to have secure cells, gun towers, high fences, thick walls and armed prison guards. According to Schmalleger (2011) “Maximum-custody prisons tend to locate cells and other inmate living facilities at the center of the institution and place a variety of barriers between the living area and the institution’s outer perimeter.” (pg 470). These highly secure prisons hold offenders who have committed severe crimes such as murder and those who are on death row.

The concept of prison as...
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