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Chapter 11: Prisons & Jails

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Keryn Lemp

on 14 November 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 11: Prisons & Jails

Chapter 11: Prisons & Jails
History Review of Prisons
Modern System
PRISON TRENDS
*Major growth in prison population in the last three decades*
JAILS
Colonial system adopted from England; original purpose was to hold debtors or those awaiting trial. Offenders were either physically and publicly punished, then released, or executed.
1682: "The Great Law" by William Penn
1776: Pennsylvania passes law stating that an offender has to be reformed through treatment (versus being physically disciplined)
1790: Pennsylvania opens the first penitentiary in a wing of the Walnut Street Jail
1800's: New York vs. Pennsylvania Systems
NY

PA
Auburn Prison
Congregate System:
silence, but worked with each other
1870s: claimed that this system did nothing to improve prisoners
Eastern & Western Penitentiaries
separate confinement, back to back cells facing outward
protects inmates from corrupting each other
only human contact with clergy or prison officials
The Elmira Model
1876: NY's Elmira Reformatory is where the Quaker's put their new beliefs into practice
good behavior - early release!
misbehavior - extended time!
enter with a grade of 2; 6 months of good behavior means you were upgraded by one grade (grade of 3 necessary for release)
if downgraded, then you had to have good behavior for 3 months to get back to a grade of 2.
Theories from this model caught on in the early 20th Century; the Progressive Movement at this time resulted in parole, intermediate sanctions, probation, and indeterminate sentencing
Three Models of Prisons
AUBURN
SING SING
ELMIRA, 1900
THIRD GRADE CLASS
ELMIRA, 1954
1. Custodial Model

2. Rehabilitative Model

3. Reintegration Model
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
-around 100 facilities
-Director is appointed by the President, oversees six Regional Directors and 35,000 employeees
State Prisons
-over 1700 state prisons
-Governor is responsible for each

Administration
Warden
Superintendent; oversees Deputy Wardens who manage various parts of the institution.
Prison Management is partly focused on avoiding riots:
#1: Order = absence of misconduct, state has the right to PROTECT inmates from disorder
#2: Amenities = livable environment, otherwise disorder is likely to occur
#3: Services = programs for reintegration
Classification
process where prison officials try to determine which facility is best suited for each offender.
Three Factors

1. seriousness of crime
2. risk of future violent conduct
3. need for treatment
Federal system has 6 levels to separate offenders...but the simple version is this:
MINIMUM//MEDIUM//MAXIMUM//SUPERMAX
MINIMUM
first time offenders, usually nonviolent and well-behaved
white collar criminals
can be transferred here as a reward
no armed guards
TV/Computer in rooms
allowed off grounds for education/employment
MEDIUM
45% of prison population
more education/treatment programs than harsher institutions
more contact between inmates
MAXIMUM
large, usually over 1,000 inmates
surrounded by concrete walls, 20-30 ft. high
sunk in ground to deter tunnel escapes
fences with reinforced razor-ribbon barbed wire that is electronically charged
watch towers
cells are 8' x 14', cinderblock walls (toilet, bunks, sink, maybe a closet)
courtyard or radial design with exercise yard
podular design becoming popular
SUPERMAX
risk of violence behind bars
perpetual lockdown = no interaction with other inmates
windowless, 8' x 10', fluorescent lights on
WHY??
since 1980s offenders are more likely to be incarcerated
-5 x more likely for drug offenses
-3 x more for weapons offenses
-2 x more for sexual assault, burglary, etc.
-Federal crimes: 1988 = 54% likely to go to prison
2011 = 86% likely to go to prison
serving more time
-minimum sentencing laws
-1984 Sentencing Reform Act resulted in prison time increasing by 50%
federal prisons rapidly growing (2000-2011 population grew by 58%)
COSTS
$40 billion/year among all the states
[1987: $12 billion/year]
DECARCERATION
decrease the probability that nonviolent offenders are sent to prison

increase the rate of release for nonviolent offenders

decrease the rate of imprisonment for probation and parole
Private Prisons
More private prisons recently because states could not afford to build prisons to keep up with the incarceration rate.
About two dozen companies control over 200 prisons throughout the country.
PROS
more cost efficient; cheap labor, prison staff is not part of a union
non-government means less paperwork!
costs tax payers less (6-10%)
states can save about $15 million
CONS?
Safety: studies show significant more violence between inmates and officials
ethics behind making incarceration into a business?
Prisons = felonies, held for lengthy periods of time
Jails = hold pretrial detainees that cannot post bail; misdemeanors (~30-90 days)
Shorter sentences means less likelihood of rehabilitation...only real purpose is to punish
Overcrowded
Jails hold probation/parole violators, mentally ill, juveniles waiting for transfer, overflow from state prisons
Administration: county level by elected sheriff; difficult to manage because of population type
Full transcript