Prisons in the US Justice System
Mission of Prisons and Purpose Creation of Federal and State Prison System. The federal and state prisons are created for the purposes of upholding and maintaining public safety. These act as deterrents to crime while punishing committed crimes by executing sentences imposed by the courts. The federal and state prisons serve as a form of restitution to the aggrieved parties and the public. The mission of prisons is to protect the community and society by confining criminals or offenders in prisons or incarceration facilities and service to the community. These facilities are characterized by controlled environments where offenders are closely monitored, trained and mentored to be responsible law abiding citizens (Worrall, 2008). The correctional facilities are secure, cost efficient, humane ones and provide the inmates with the opportunity to develop economically viable skills for improving themselves and occupational training for work programs.
It is the purpose and mission of prisons, state or federal ones to ensure that public safety is guaranteed by implementing measures aimed at preventing the prisoners from escaping or causing disturbance to the public (Seiter, 2011). These are achieved by ensuring that the prisoners are safe in the prison environment where they feel secure by eliminating predatory activities, gangs, drugs and violence. It is the prison mission to ensure that all prisoners are rehabilitated; thus, reducing their chances of committing further crimes on release significantly. This is realized by the provision of work and educational programs, mental, spiritual and physical healthcare.
It is the purpose of the federal or state prisons to provide professional, talented and diverse workforce to ensure fair and equitable treatment of the prisoners while promoting a zero tolerance to discrimination in the work environment. Respect to the work environment is critical; therefore, the maintenance and upholding of respect in work relationship is essential in the efficient operations of the prison systems. Ethics, ethical operating procedures and standards in prisons are essential in the prevention of abuse of authority while creating an environment where job satisfaction, recognition and opportunities being availed to staff members is characteristic to the purpose of the federal or state prisons.
Creation of Federal and State Prison System and Organization. In 1930, the bureau of prisons was created within the department of justice for the purpose of regulating and managing all the penal and federal correctional facilities. However, at the time there were only eleven federal prisons. With time progressing the number of state and federal prisons have gradually been increased. The provisions of the law required significant amendments of the law to mitigate the high prisoners’ turnover rates (Seiter, 2011). The significance of prison facilities was evidenced by the increasing number of inmates as time progressed.
The creation of prison systems and organization is critical in the administration of justice and execution of correctional procedures. The bureau of prisons facilitated the creation of prison facilities being capable of handling diverse prisoners. The classification of prisons to federal and state prisons was critical in the correctional administrations of criminal and social justice (Worrall, 2008). The state facilities handle prisoners whose crimes fall under their jurisdiction; whereas, the federal prisons are for prisoners responsible for federal crimes and crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal prison. The organization and administration of the correctional facilities are aimed at administering justice in equitable criteria, where the crime is matched by the imposed sentence. Therefore, I sense that prisoners being sent to correctional facilities are the best suitable ones for their crimes.
Individuals charged with minor offenses are sent to minimum security prisons while individuals charged with crimes against humanity, federal crimes or crimes across stateliness like kidnapping are incarcerated in maximum security prisons. The justice system has created an interactive system, where criminals are punished and rehabilitated for reintegration into the society. The federal and state prison systems not only serve to protect the public from the criminals, but also attempt to create better law abiding citizens out of prisoners (Wilson, 2010). The prison systems ensure that programs are in places which enable prisoners to transition efficiently into the society by providing adequate skills and job placement programs. These are done while observing and monitoring the reintegration to ensure that prisoners do not revert to crime. Therefore, the federal and state prisons systems are critical in maintaining the rule of law.
Prison Inmates And Classification. The management of prisons includes the classification of inmates to ensure optimal assignment of available resources while minimizing potential risks to safety and security of the prisoners and the public (Hanoch, 2011). Therefore, classification programs are critical in the realization of these objectives. The classification may be conducted on the basis of institutional, prison transfers, assignments to and from management units, population or the degree of crime sentences. Classification enables the prison administration to identify and assess the problematic or potentially dangerous inmates. These enable the administration to make informed strategic decisions on the treatment, medicare, housing and supervision of the inmates (Worrall, 2008).
The provision of consistent, equitable and fair management of prisoners regardless of the prison is critical in the classification of inmates. The policies and procedures in place adequately provide for the objectivity in the classification criteria. Therefore, the determination of the various security strata and levels in the system should stipulate who of the prisoners are suitable or eligible for given privileges and programs (Foreman, 2012). These serves as tools for motivating prisoners while encouraging them to maintain exemplary behavior. Classification ensures that prisoners are categorized according to their risk status. These provide for appropriate assignment of tasks whether in groups or as an individual while ascertaining individual security and efficient operation of the prison system.
Public safety is essential; therefore, classification of prison inmates must bear in mind the public safety aspect. Classification is critical to the community based programs implemented for correctional purposes. Therefore, the prison administrators must analyze the prisoners to determine which prisoners are taking up significant resources and space in lieu of the crimes they are sentenced (Hanoch, 2011). These aspects of classification aim at determining the appropriate form of punishment given the nature of crime being committed. This classifies prisoners into categories in which they are best suited for community based programs, reduced sentencing bases on early release recommendations or imprisonment without the option of parole. The classification is necessary for resource allocation purposes.
Status of Prisons in the United States. The population influx in the US prisons is at an alarming rate. The prisons in the US have been characterized by high turnover rates of prisoners over the years. These indicate deterioration in the management of the prisons. Despite decrease in crime rates a number of prisoners increase leading to overcrowding and congestion in the available prison facilities. These have led to the facilitation and creation of numerous private prisons (Foreman, 2012). I feel that the correction responsibility in the justice department has been neglected by the state. The private industry has commercialized the correctional facilities making them business enterprises for profit maximization purposes.
Despite the efforts of the US government to mitigate crime levels, it is clear that the effectiveness of the correctional facilities has been compromised immensely (Lyons, 2011). For instance, the ability of the correctional facilities to deter future crimes has been significantly impaired by shortcomings of the rehabilitative programs in prisons. I sense that the inmates are not given a choice on the right educative program to subscribe to but they are rather allocated the programs irrespective of their affinity or not in the subject. Therefore, the three strike law is constantly broken by repeat offenders leading to the increased number of inmates in the limited facilities.
The population of the United States accounts for five percent of the world’s population; however, the population of the inmates in the US constitutes twenty five percent of the world’s prison population. This indicates the critical nature of the prison influx status in the US. An effective correctional system adds value to the inmate’s appreciation for the rule of law. However, the significant number of repeat offenders being incarcerated under the third strike is an indicator of inefficiencies and deficiencies in the correctional systems (Christopher, 2011). I feel that the educational and rehabilitative programs should be reevaluated to tailor the skills and preferences of the inmates. This will aid in the reduction of repeat offenders on the basis of failure in the application of acquired skills while being in prison.
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