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Module 1- Corrections & Its Place in the Criminal Justice System

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Chad Richard Trulson

on 17 August 2015

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Transcript of Module 1- Corrections & Its Place in the Criminal Justice System

Corrections and Its Place in the Criminal Justice System
Identify the role of corrections in the criminal justice system and its relationship to police and courts.
1. The correctional System
2.Important aspects of correctional systems, on a broad level
4. The Correctional Population
Roughly 7.2 million individuals in "corrections"
The Nature of Correctional Systems
The broad focus of this module is that you understand the general role of the correctional system in the criminal justice process.
This role includes the management of sanctions both before and after imprisonment. Although many believe that correctional systems in the United States include only the punishment of imprisonment, in reality, the correctional system is a vast system of programs meant to accomplish different things for different types of offenders.
The more specific goal of this module is for you to understand the different types of correctional sanctions available in the U.S., compare community-based sanctions to institutional sanctions, and gain knowledge about the individuals in correctional systems across the U.S.
This module, along with the chapter assigned from the required textbook, will give you great foundational knowledge about correctional systems in the U.S. from which to build on the rest of this course.
Identify the sociological and societal implications of the correctional system in American society and culture.
Identify the different sentences and sanctions that comprise the correctional system.
Identify the offender-based characteristics that are used to determine placement in the correctional system.
Compare community corrections and institutional corrections and provide examples of each.
Examine the statistical profile of the correctional system and correctional populations. Discuss the impact of these statistics.
Discuss collateral issues raised by corrections.
Discuss the federal criminal justice system and its role in American corrections.
There is not simply a "U.S. correctional system"
In fact, there are various correctional systems across the U.S.
Despite the varied nature of "corrections", some commonalities are worth considering.
Corrections is considered third prong of the traditional justice system division
Considered by many as the
part of CJ System
The "catch basin" of other components
To a large degree, the correctional system has little control over who enters or is placed in the system
Therefore, correctional systems are reactive in this sense- they must make do with what they receive from the judicial system.
Corrections, especially institutional-based corrections, is found at all levels of government: local, county, state, and federal level
Institutional facilities reserved for those who have been convicted of a federal crime and sentenced to prison
Local holding tanks at local police department
Affectionately known as the "drunk tank"
County Jails
Most typically under the province of the county sheriff's department
State Prisons
What persons usually think of when they hear "corrections"
Institutional based corrections
And institutions operated by state authorities
Federal Prisons
Institutional correctional facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (http://www.bop.gov/)
Although many associate corrections with institutional placements, the reality, is that correctional systems encompass both community and institutional levels
Let us proceed with an examination of before prison versus after prison correctional sanctions
In sum, "corrections" refers to broad range of sanctions
Such sanctions are designed to be used progressively
The sanctions become more and more serious/consequential as you go "up" the correctional ladder (or staircase for visualization purposes)
Various ways to categorize the progression of correctional sanctions
Before prison versus after prison
Community versus after institutional
Before prison
(remember the "progressive" nature of correctional sanctions- visualize a staircase going up)
1. Fines and restitution
2. Forfeiture
3. Day reporting
4. Community Service
5. Deferred (prosecution/sentencing)
6. House arrest
7. Electronic monitoring
8. Probation
9. Boot camps (
10. County Jail (
11. Halfway houses (
(the top of the staircase)
State or federal level
Usually over one year sentences
After Prison:
(the staircase going down the other side)
Lecture Question
What is the difference between "prison" and jails"?
There are many things to consider- focus on the issue of "time" however.
3.Some general notes regarding correctional sanctions
Many sanctions overlap-this is especially true concerning community based sanctions
Multiple sanctions at the same time
Probation, for example, in concert with community service, electronic monitoring, etc.
Multiple correctional agencies may be involved with one offender
Multiple states may have correctional sanctions dealing with one offender
Multiple jurisdictions (federal and state)
An offender may actually experience sanctions from multiple jurisdictions in some cases.
a person may be facing federal and state correctional sanctions
A person may be facing sanctions from ore than one county
A person ay be sanctioned in two different states
Bottom line is that sanctions can sometimes overlap across various boundaries
The further someone is processed into the system, the harder it is to get out
The "life chance" ladder" visualize a ladder
The more rungs missing or removed from the ladder, the more difficult it is to climb up the "life chance ladder"
Consider those who have "reached" corrections as those who may have some rungs missing or removed from the life chance ladder
As a generalization, those involved in corrections, especially institutional corrections at the state and/or federal level:
Are those considered members of
"marginalized classes"
Those with poorest "life chance ladders"
1. Poor
2. Generally lacking of resources
3. Those who have faced difficult home circumstances
4. Those who may have faced early life deficits both socially and biologically
5. Those, generally, who have a
"high propensity of criminality"
Read pages 9-10 in Delisi textbook.
The bottom line: those in prison just don't end up there
Usually triggered by a "long list of life failures" in various life venues
Usually failures start early
Home and in school
Tend to accumulate through the life course
Note: This is somewhat of a generalization, and cannot apply to all offenders involved in the correctional system.
However, more often than not, people who end up in the correctional system- especially those who are sentenced to imprisonment- demonstrate a long history of life failures across various contexts.
4.2 million on
824,000 on
Roughly 70% of all persons involved in corrections are on community corrections
1.6 million in state or federal prison
Overall, 1 in 32 adults on probation, prison, or parole
760,000 in jail
Add another 140,000 roughly in juvenile institutions, territorial prisons, immigration and customs facilities, military facilities. reservations
Bottom Line: The U.S. has the highest rate of correctional populations in the world.
5. The correctional population is concentrated
Federal Bureau of Prisons, California, Texas, New york, and Florida hold nearly 1/2 of all inmates
State and federal institutional corrections
Visit a few states and examine their correctional populations
Texas www.tdcj.state.tx.us
California http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/
6. Demographics (Gender and Race)
Males are much more represented in prison than females
Roughly 93% of all inmates in institutional corrections are men
Conduct an internet search on the population of women in the U.S. over 18 compared to men over 18.
Is there a disproportionate number of men in prison compared to their proportion of the U.S. population?
Minorities much more represented in prisons compared to their proportion of the U.S. population
Minorities account for roughly 60% of the entire prison population
Based on current incarceration rates, if unchanged (they will change), below is the number who will experience prison in their
U.S. Residents born in 2001
1 in 3 African American males
1 in 6 Hispanic males
1 in 17 White males
Doesn't necessarily mean "racist" system
Disproportionality does not automatically equal illegal discrimination or racism in application of a penalty
But, such high rates are obviously cause concern and require close examination
7. Four Important Problems Created by Corrections and the number of Correctional Clients
1. Inability to reduce crime
With isolated exceptions, correctional systems- do little to "REHABILITATE"
Recidivism levels are very high
In 1994 a study was conducted which was a three year follow up of prisoners released from various U.S. prisons. We will revisit this study in later modules, but for now:
Roughly 68% were re-arrested after three years
Almost all were felony or serious misdemeanor arrests
This is not a good record for corrections. At least institutional based corrections.
Thinking question
In what other industry or business could you have 70% failure rate and survive?
Hard to think of one....Think of any business you frequent.
If they failed 70% of the time, would you go back?
Should correctional administrators be held to that same type of standard??
They are, after all, not making cars or hamburgers, but rather, trying to change the behavior of some of the most violent and least stable individuals in American society.
Individuals who come to corrections with a long list of life failures and many with sever disadvantages.
Something to think about...
Two basic perspectives on "WHY" corrections doesn't have a great "success" record at changing persons:
1. At the institution level
Too many prisoners today to allow "meaningful" change to occur
Simply a resource issue
Later in this course we will discuss "The New Penology" and how this issue relates. Feel free to look up this concept on your own.
2.At the societal level
Difficult to ensure jobs,housing, heath care, etc. to inmates released from prison.
Not structured to help out inmates to the extent that they need or require to be successful on the "outside"
We examine this issue in more detail later when we examine parole and reentry.
2. Disruption of family structure
Involvement in corrections, particularly prison and jail, creates serious burdens for families
Often disproportionate impact on minority families and households
Imagine a family losing one parent to incarceration
This would be difficult even under the best circumstances
Imagine the family being not in the best of circumstances
The real potential for cumulative familial consequences
3.Cost of Corrections
The cost of corrections is staggering
Corrections/ Law enforcement
Go to Texas comptroller's office and examine expenditures on corrections
Cost estimates vary wildly, depending on the source!!
$22,650 a year per prisoner
$62.05 per day
Depends on the type of inmate:
Most will get released
But, a growing portion are:
1. Lifers
2.Unlikely to be paroled
These bills will continue to accumulate- they are a significant tax burden
Costs goes up depending on many variables:
More security ( an inmate requiring a single cell), essentially doubles cost
$22 to $45,000, minimum
Inmates who age and get old ad associated medical costs
Cost is simply a big problem--especially today
All the money we spend on corrections--takes away from other things
Education, for example:
1. Larger classrooms
2. Charging for busing (another burden for families)
3. Fewer teachers
4. Fewer special programs
5. The list goes on and on and has a real impact across a number of areas
4. Public Health Risks
As a generalization, public health problems are magnified tremendously in prisons:
1.Hepatitis C for example (20x higher than general population)
2.Mental illness
Health care is problematic in prisons:
1. Highly contagious environment
2. Lack and proper and immediate health care
3. Lack of continued health care on release
And these issues will impact the larger society--more than 90% of all inmates will get out of prison and these issues will filter directly into our neighborhood and communities
8. These are all "accumulating" issues that make corrections something that requires serious attention.
9. Just a thought:
How could we have a better system?
Go watch an episode of "Locked up Abroad"
Compared to that, we generally have one of the best correctional systems in the world.
But, it does not mean we do not have problems
Make sure to read all of Chapter 1 in Delisi!
Module 1
Almost always among the top 5 expenditures in the state
Corrections and law enforcement :
Health Care
Full transcript