A minimum of 1,300 words required for the total assignment and there must be three scholarly sources. The references does not count towards word count!Prison Issues and Concerns (On-the-job Decision Making – What inmates need to know to work their way out of supermax prison.)1. Case Summary In a narrative format, discuss the key facts and critical issues presented.2. Case AnalysisWhat types of inmates are housed in supermax prisons? For what type of inmates is supermax housing not designed?3. Case AnalysisWhat impact does long-term solitary confinement have on inmates? What impact does working in a supermax facility have on staff?4. Executive DecisionsAssume your state is planning a supermax prison. What will you propose as opportunities for inmates to demonstrate positive behavior to work their way out?The Death Penalty (On-the-job Decision Making – Should the cost of a capital trial be a factor in a prosecutor’s decision to seek the death penalty?)5. Case SummaryIn a narrative format, discuss the key facts and critical issues presented.6. Case AnalysisWhat makes capital murder trials more expensive than other murder trials?7. Case AnalysisIs there a point at which the economic consequence of an execution outweighs its value to the public? Explain8. Executive DecisionsYou are the prosecuting attorney in a rural county of 7,500 people in a southern state. A capital case is coming up for trial. Estimates of costs for the case begin at $500,000. How will you justify paying for the prosecution of the case?
Unformatted Attachment Preview
After completing this chapter you should be
I able to do the following:
L1 List the four main reasons prisons are
S2 Identify six methods of controlling prison
3 Explain how prisons control the influence of
security threat groups (STGs).
Identify five causes of prison riots.
Describe what can be done to prevent prison
Outline the emergence of supermax housing
and its impact on prisoners and staff.
Describe “no-frills” jails and prisons and
their impact on corrections.
8 List the reasons that correctional agencies
1 and facilities should be accredited.
99 List the arguments for and against
10. Discuss the impact of technology on
When the door is locked against the prisoner, we do not think about what is
behind it. [But] were we to enter the hidden world of punishment, we should be
startled by what we see. One day in prison is longer than almost any day you and
I have had to endure.
—Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, address to the American Bar Association,
The vast majority of public jails
and prisons in the United
States have contracts with the private sector to provide services such as
medical and mental health care, educational and/or vocational programming,
food preparation, and facility maintenance. Most of the time, there is no
controversy about those arrangements. However, as you will learn later in
this chapter, the idea of having governments transfer complete management
of jails and prisons to private correctional agencies is highly controversial.
In the fall of 2012, David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
shocked the private prison industry by announcing that owners of private
prisons who fail to stop prisoners from reoffending will be fined.1 He
went on to say that the private prison industry will M
receive full fees only
if reconviction rates fall by 5 percent within one year
I of release. So far,
“payment by results” has not been a criterion in theLUnited States. It may
be on the horizon, however, because governments E
are strapped for cash
and pressured to show the public that the $63 billionSspent on corrections
each year is lowering the rates of rearrest and reconviction.
So far, private
prison lobbyists in the United States have been able to stave off the
payments by results movement, claiming it is unethical
S to require more of
In the fall of 2012, David Cameron, Prime
Minister of the United Kingdom, shocked the
private prison industry by announcing that
private prison owners who fail to stop prisoners from reoffending will be fined. “Payment
by results” has not been a criterion used in
the United States. Do you think it should be?
the private sector than the public sector. If government agencies aren’t held
be held to a higher standard? The economic realties impacting corrections
and discussed in every chapter of this book will shape the privatization
debate and perhaps require both the public sector and the private sector
to produce better results. Weigh what will happen to rates of rearrest and
to the same standard, the argument goes, why should the private sector
reconviction if payment by results is not on the horizon as you explore six
other important aspects of the prison environment: overcrowding, riots and
violence, supermax housing, “no-frills” prisons and jails, accreditation, and
In the past, a prison was often referred to as “the big house.” Today,
however, a more appropriate description is “the full house.” Over the
past 25 years, prison population has increased sixfold—from 240,000
to almost 1.6 million. Some say that prisons are “capacity driven”; that
is, if you cut the ribbon, they are full. Saying exactly how full, though,
is difficult because each state has its own method for measuring prison
capacity. Four states and the federal BOP use rated capacity only (the
number of beds in a facility), 9 states use operational capacity only
Issues in Corrections
(the number of inmates that can be accommodated based on a facility’s
staff and existing programs and services), and 4 use design capacity only
(the number of inmates that planners intended the facility to house).2 The
problem is compounded because 32 jurisdictions use more than one definition, and some have their own definitions. In spite of the differences, by
any measure today’s prisons are overcrowded. At yearend 2012, 18 states
and the BOP were operating prison systems above 100 percent of their
maximum reported facility capacity.3
Why Are Prisons Overcrowded?
Prisons are overcrowded for four main reasons. The first is a continuous increase in the number of people sent to prison. In 2000, 1,391,261
persons were in state and federal prisons. At yearend 2012, that number had increased to almost 1.6 million, an average annual increase of
The second reasonI is that offenders now serve a larger portion of
their sentences. The amount of time served has increased from an average of 22 months for L
prisoners released in 1990 to 57 months for those
laws changed, reducing the difference
released in 2004.4 Sentencing
between the sentence imposed and the actual time served and restricting
the possibility of earlySrelease from prison. Jurisdictions began to depart
from the prevailing , approach, known as indeterminate sentencing
(broad authorized sentencing ranges, parole release, and case-by-case
decision making), in the mid-1970s (see Chapter 3). Today the trend in
many jurisdictions isStoward determinate sentencing—a fixed term of
incarceration and no possibility of parole. In addition, most jurisdicH
tions have adopted one or more of the following sentencing approaches:
sentences, three-strikes laws, or truth-in-sentencing laws requiring offenders
to serve mandated percentages of imposed
sentences (see Chapter 3).
N are overcrowded is that many incoming prisThe third reason prisons
oners are drug users,O
not the drug dealers the tougher drug laws were
designed to capture. The goal of tougher drug laws was to arrest and
convict drug dealers, thereby
reducing drug use and the drug-related crime
rate. This goal has not been achieved. As we pointed out in Chapter 12,
the majority of persons sentenced to prison for drug offenses are low1 primarily street-level dealers and couriers, not
level, nonviolent offenders,
the kingpins or major9traffickers the laws were written for. One in four
drug offenders sentenced to prison in New York has been convicted of
simple possession.5 0
However, as a sign9of how far and how fast attitudes about the recreational use of drugs such as marijuana are changing, citizens in ColoT
rado and Washington voted in November 2012 to legalize the sale and
S for recreational use by adults. When Seattle
possession of marijuana
interim police chief Jim Pugel addressed the annual Cannabis Freedom
March on Saturday, May 11, 2013, he told the crowd, “We are not here
to condemn it. We are not here to endorse it. We are here to make sure
it is all done legally.”6 Later he told a Seattle Times reporter that he
could never have imagined addressing such a gathering in his career. In
fact, earlier in Pugel’s career, he worked as an undercover police officer
arresting people for buying marijuana that then carried a one- to threeyear sentence. Time will tell what impact such new laws will have on
The fourth reason prisons are overcrowded is a trend some people call
the “prison industrial complex.” Private corporations have a real estate
investment in the prisons they build and operate. Correctional officers’
unions are expanding in many states and securing the use of incarceration into the future. Rural communities such as Del Norte, California—a
remote, impoverished county in the northwest corner of the state with
an unemployment rate of more than 20 percent and all of its industries
severely depressed since the 1980s—negotiated successfully with the
California Department of Corrections to build Pelican Bay State Prison,
one of the nation’s largest state prisons. States have had an incentive to
incarcerate because the 1994 crime bill provided matching funds to states
to keep violent offenders in prison longer by denying them parole and
requiring that they serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. However
as we reported in Chapter 7, the prison industrial complex has also been
affected by today’s economic realities, and today states are spending less
on corrections and more on justice reinvestment. Since 2011, at least 33
I prison capacity or
states have either reported prison closures and reduced
are contemplating doing so.
Prison Issues and Concerns
The Staff Speaks
to see this feature.
What Are the Consequences of Prison
, the consequences
Researchers and prison administrators routinely observe
of prison overcrowding. In September 2012, the U.S. Government
Accountability Office (GAO) published a report focusing on the impact of
overcrowding on inmates, staff, infrastructure, and safety and security in
the nation’s 117 federal prisons.7 In brief, the reportHfound:
1. The BOP uses double and triple bunking in excess,
together inmates for longer periods of time, increasing
the risk of
violence and of potential victims.
N and common
2. In addition to overcrowding in the prisons’ housing
areas (e.g., television rooms), inmates experience
bathroom facilities, reductions in shower times, and shortened meal
N and more limited
times in addition to longer waits for food service
3. 11 to 12 percent of federal inmates are on waiting
1 lists to enter literacy programs.
9 to enter a sub4. Some 7,000 federal inmates are on a waiting list
stance abuse program (depending on a person’s0security level, the
wait may be anywhere from 80 to 205 days).
5. Overcrowding in federal prisons means fewer opportunities to
engage in meaningful work, resulting in inmateTidleness, additional
tension, and fighting; that discord then affects the
S security and safety
of other inmates and staff; the decline in the number of UNICOR
jobs noted first in Chapter 7 has also resulted in waiting lists.
6. Overcrowded visiting rooms make it difficult for inmates to visit
with their families, and a facility’s infrastructure and staff resources
may not support the increase in visitors as a result of the expanded
prison population. Limited visiting capacity and larger numbers of
inmates lead to frustrations for inmates and visitors.
7. Overcrowding limits inmate access to telephone calls and computer
or scan this code with the QR app on your
SmartPhone or digital device and watch
the PBS documentary discuss the United
Supreme Court’s decision that ordered
California to reduce its overcrowded
prisons. How does this information relate to
ideas discussed in this chapter?
Issues in Corrections
8. Because of overcrowding, correctional officers
don’t have time to use core correctional skills
with inmates who choose not to discuss personal
problems in front of other inmates.
9. An increase in inmates results in heightened
water usage for heating, laundry, showers, toilets, sanitation, and food service; the BOP is
the largest energy and water consumer in the
entire Department of Justice. Its energy bill alone
jumped from $79 million in 2005 to more than
$107 million in 2011.
10. Overcrowding affects inmate conduct and the
imposition of discipline, thereby affecting security and safety; the most frequently imposed
Msanctions are loss of privileges, disallowance of
I good time credit, and segregation.
11. Overcrowding may also result in a critiL cal incident (e.g., assaults on staff by several
Einmates or a food or work strike), which could
lead to a facility lockdown—a temporary
Ssituation in which all inmates are confined
, to their cells. Almost 4,000 lockdowns were
reported from 2006 through 2011; the number
increased from 2006 through 2009, peaking
Sat 1,042 that year and then declining to 824
Under Court Order Every five to
the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau
of Justice Statistics conducts a census of state and federalNadult correctional facilities. The census provides
O information on the types of inmates housed,
facility age and type, building plans, security level,
court orders, programs, facility operations and security
Although new prison facilities are being built,
crowding continues to be an issue in many
places. The auditorium of the Deuel Vocational
Institution in Tracy, California, is converted into
a dormitory to house prisoners. The prison has
a design capacity of 1,681 but an operating
capacity of 3,748. How is realignment affecting California’s prison overcrowding?
conditions, confinement space, and staff characteristics.
1 The last census, published in 2008, found that
there were fewer public and private prisons under federal9court order than there had been in 2000. The number of prisons under federal
court order or consent decree to limit the size
of their inmate population declined from 145 in 2000 to 44 in 2005, from
9 prisons in 2000 to 21 public and 23 private
119 public and 26 private
in 2005. Prisons under
T federal court order or consent decree for specific
conditions also declined from 320 to 218, from 303 public and 17 private
S public and 28 private prisons in 2005.8 Among
prisons in 2000 to 190
the reasons prisons are under federal court order are to reduce crowding; improve inmate visiting, mail, and telephone privileges; accommodate
prisoners who are physically challenged; permit religious expression; and
offer mental health treatment.
One court order in particular has all state departments of corrections on
alert. As discussed in Chapter 6, after almost two decades of litigation in
lower state and federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that
serious overcrowding in California’s prisons violated the Constitution’s
ban on cruel and unusual punishment. It ordered California to reduce its
prison population by more than 30,000 inmates. Is this a wake-up call
for other states with serious prison overcrowding? Some say that Justice
Anthony Kennedy’s 52-page Supreme Court opinion was fact specific and
may be narrower than prisoner advocates hoped. However, others, including David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National
Prison Project, believe that the Court’s opinion is a helpful precedent and
signals that the federal courts will step in when necessary to enforce essential rights of prisoners.9 California has responded to the Court’s order
with realignment legislation discussed in Chapter 6. Under realignment,
newly convicted low-level offenders without current or prior serious violent offenses stay in county jail to serve their sentence.
Prison Sexual Violence Another serious consequence of prison
overcrowding is sexual violence, which includes nonconsensual sexual
acts (considered the most serious form of sexual assault), abusive sexual
assault, staff sexual misconduct, and staff sexual harassment.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003M
discussed in Chapter
10 requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics to perform a comprehensive
I of sexual victimstatistical review and analysis of the incidents and effects
ization for each calendar year.
In June 2012, the BJS released its annual report based on 18,526
E active community
completed interviews with former inmates under
Among the findings are these:
• An estimated 9.6 percent of former state prisoners reported one
or more incidents of sexual victimization during their most recent
period of incarceration in a jail, prison, and post-release
• Among all former state prisoners, 1.8 percent reported experiencing
one or more incidents while in a local jail, 7.5 A
percent while in
a state prison, and 0.1 percent while in a postrelease
• About 5.4 percent of former state prisoners reported an incident
O an incident
involving another inmate, and 5.3 percent reported
involving facility staff.
• An estimated 1.2 percent of former prisoners reported that they
unwillingly had sex or sexual contact with facility staff, and
4.6 percent reported that they “willingly” had 1
sex or sexual contact
• More than three-quarters of all reported staff sexual misconduct
0 former state
involved a male inmate with female staff. Among
prisoners, the rate of inmate-on-inmate sexual 9
at least three times higher for females (13.7 percent) than males
• Among heterosexual males, an estimated 3.5 percent
sexually victimized by another inmate. In comparison, among males
who were bisexual, 34 percent reported being sexually victimized
by another inmate. Among males who were homosexual or gay,
39 percent reported being victimized by another inmate.
• Rates of sexual victimization did not vary based on commonly
cited characteristics of facilities, including size or age of facility,
crowding, inmate-to-staff ratios, or gender composition of staff.
• Among male former inmates, inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate
victimization rates were higher in facilities under a court order or
consent decree, in facilities reporting a major disturbance in the
12 months prior to the most recent facility census, in facilities with
Prison Issues and Concerns
Issues in Corrections
medium or greater security levels, and in facilities with a primary
function of housing general population than rates in facilities
without these characteristics.
• Among female former inmates, rates of inmate-on-inmate
victimization were lower in community corrections centers, in
facilities that permitted 50 percent or more of their inmates to
leave unaccompanied during the day, in minimum or low security
facilities, and in privately operated facilities than in facilities
without these characteristics.
• Following their release from prison, 72 percent of victims of
inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization indicated they felt shame or
humiliation, and 56 percent said they felt guilt. Seventy-nine percent
of unwilling victims of staff sexual misconduct said they felt shame
or humiliation, and 72 percent said they felt guilt.
In September 2008,M
after nine days of public hearings, a federal review
panel released a list ofI 32 best practices for preventing sexual assaults in
correctional facilities.11 Among the recommendations are:
1. Make prevention of sexual assault a high and unequivocal priority
E tolerance policy conveyed from the top down.
and institute a zero
2. Consider the riskSof sexual predation or victimization of inmates
when making inmate housing assignments.
3. Install video cameras in places where assaults are likely to occur.
4. Have independent investigators conduct or at least oversee any
investigation of sexual
5. Limit those who participate in or observe strip searches of inmates
to correctional officers of the same sex as the inmate.
A in how childhood abuse, sexual abuse, and
6. Train staff members
other trauma affect
N and ultimately surface among male and female
7. Train staff in the requirements of the PREA and the prison system’s
sexual assault policies.
8. Offer higher payN
to prison staff in order to better attract and retain
recruits and to retain experienced staff.
9. Establish a teleph …
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