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Correctional Trends

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on 11 December 2012

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Transcript of Correctional Trends

Correctional Trends Development and Operations of Institutions Development and Operations of Community Based Corrections Future and Current Issues facing Prison Administrators Roles and Issues of Alternate Corrections Conclusion References Trends within the criminal justice system continue to influence the development and operations of institutions and community-based corrections. As mandatory sentencing laws cause an increase in prison population, prison administrators face a daunting task of addressing the issues that overpopulation causes. ”Apart from the highest priority of addressing prison population growth, prison managers are often confronted with an array of issues relating to imprisonment practices and their consequences” (Greenfeld, Beck, & Gilliard, 1996, p. 9). The presentation will introduce past, present, and future developments and operations of institutional and community based-corrections. Identify and analyze current and future issues facing prisons and prison administrators, and determine the roles and issues of alternative corrections as a developing trend. The development and operations of institutions appears to operate around two opposing philosophies of punishment versus rehabilitation. The evolution of the development of corrections past, present, and future has seen many changes throughout the inception of prisons. In the past the trends for prisons were solitary confinement with little concern for rehabilitation for the inmates. The well-being of the inmate was not a major concern. Society wanted criminals to be punished for his or her crimes. Societal views on crime and criminal behaviors shape the structuring of stricter sentencing over rehabilitation.

The views on punishment versus rehabilitation often have a direct correlation on the length of sentencing for defendants. "When punishment dominates, laws are passed making incarceration easier to apply with provisions for longer sentences. The use of prison as a disposition increases, putting pressure on correctional systems" (Muraskin & Robert, 2009, p. 264). Imprisonment to deter criminal activity was believed to be the best alternative to protect society. However, the lack of rehabilitation facilitated an increase in recidivism, which increased problems for society. Melisa Fountain
December 10, 2012 The increase in prison population gave way to a new incentive, community corrections. Johnson, Dunaway, Burton, Marquart, and Cuvelier (1994) state, “This unprecedented growth of offender populations over the past decade has produced changes in the nature of punishment and has placed ever increasing demands on the correctional mandate to develop community-based sanctions” (p. 80). Community-based programs have the potential to lessen the load on institutions.

Increased imprisonment has been a huge trend for institutions for many years, yet recidivism continues to plague the criminal justice system. To reduce overcrowding an equal partnership between institutions and community-based corrections is necessary. The inclusion of both principles will provide a possibility of both punishment and rehabilitation. Punishment for violent criminals and rehabilitation for non-violent criminals. "The need to balance needs with available funds is not unique to courts and court administration. Creating public budgets, administering them, and providing public services for the public good have been the grist of public administration for centuries" (Aikman, 2008, p. 383). Budget cuts force court administrators to perform as juggling acts to cover the necessary daily functions of the courts.

Budget cuts are a major concern for the courts and court administrators. When states face serious budget cuts the courts and the staff within the courts can have a direct negative effect. The state of California is facing such hurdles because of necessary budget cuts across the state. Donatello (2012) asserts, "The budget cuts are tied to the state’s budget crisis, resulting in a reduction to the California judicial system’s budget as a whole of $652 million. Across-the-board cuts eliminated approximately 431 jobs" (p. 1). The court administrator must fill in the gap because of the loss of employees. Court employees have the daunting task of taking on more responsibilities. Caseloads will increase, which also puts a strain on the courts and the court administrator. "It is expected that other civil cases will drag on for months or even years before they will be heard" (Donatello, 2012, p. 1). The role of alternate corrections is becoming a viable trend in the criminal justice system. The tremendous cost of running a prions and the increase in prison population is forcing the criminal justice system to reconsider the use of alternate corrections. United Nations (2006) states, “The wider use of alternatives reflects a fundamental change in the approach to crime, offenders and their place in society, changing the focus of penitentiary measures from punishment and isolation, to restorative justice and reintegration” (p. 1). The reintegration of inmates back into society is an important issue for members of society. Alternate corrections permit non-violent criminals the opportunity to remain in the community, work, and continue family ties. At the same the criminal can repay his or her debt to society. Overcrowding of prisons and costs to maintain prisoners is reduced. Trends within the criminal justice system continue to influence the operations and developments of institutional and community-based corrections. Stricter sentencing laws cause an increase in prison populations, which places a heavy burden on prison administrators to perform his or her job. Budget cuts also play an integral role in the decision-making process of the prison administrator. The inclusion of alternate corrections for non-violent offenders could help reduce increases in prison populations and lesson the burden on states’ budgets. A combination of services working in tandem of one another could be the answer for success in the criminal justice system. Aikman, A.B. (2008). The hierarchy of court administration. International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior

(Pracademics Press), 11(3), 381-410.

Donatello, R. (2012). Deep budget cuts in Los Angeles, California court system. Retrieved from


Greenfeld, L.A., Beck, A., & Gilliard, D. (1996). Prisons: Population trends and key issues for management. Criminal

Justice Review (Georgia State University), 21(1), 4-20.

Johnson, W., Dunaway, R., Burton Jr., V. S., Marquart, J. W., & Cuvelier, S. J. (1994). The goals of community-based

corrections: An analysis of state legal codes. American Journal

of Criminal Justice, 18(1), 79-93.

Muraskin, R. & Roberts. A.R. (2009). Visions for change: Crime and justice in the Twenty-First Century, (5th ed.).

Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2006). Custodial and non-custodial measures: Alternatives to incarceration.

Retrieved from www.unod.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/cjat_eng/3_Alteratives_Incarceration.pdf
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