“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
By C J Oakes United States’ Correctional system. One saying goes that ‘a house divided cannot stand’ and another states that ‘an ounce of cure is worth a pound of prevention.’ In applying these old bits of wisdom to the modern corrections, it becomes clear that the current prison system is seriously flawed. NOTE: It deserves […]
By C. J. Oakes The Issue: Tougher laws combined with shrinking budgets have resulted in overcrowding in many correctional facilities within the criminal justice system. The Essay: Our Brother’s Keepers: Choosing the Best Course in American Corrections Abstract Years ago, an episode of I Love Lucy provides a very good description of the problem faced by […]
By C J OAKES There are two things to which a person may aspire: To discover or to inspire. The growth of the state and federal prison system in America is a good example of this in action. From the earliest concepts of Gaols to the modern prison complex, a single underlying notion has both driven and responded […]
Prison operations today is a complex endeavor. The Warden of a correctional facility must be a strong yet fair leader, organized and able to remain cool under pressure. Custody and control are the key goals, but related to this is maintaing the safety and health of inmates housed within the facility.
Correctional facilities, formerly called prisons and penitentiaries vary from nation to nation and even within nations. The U.S. has five types of Federal prisons while the states operate both prisons and jails. Yet all share the same goal: To protect the public.
Each new law presents the need for more facilities in which to incarcerate offenders. Furthermore, as new industries are developed, new agencies must be created to manage those found guilty of transgressions. Agencies in the U.S. include BOP, state corrections, county and city jails.
Imprisonment is nearly as ancient as humanity, with early civilizations using locked rooms in towers and dungeons to house those deemed unfit to walk among the rest of society. The history of prisons around the world can teach us much about justice.
Prisons largely remain out of the public eye and seldom must a Warden or other officials hold news conferences. Yet, there are times when it becomes necessary to provide the public with important information. Further, modern corrections needs the support of the public to fulfill its mission.
Future of Corrections
As corrections has fully developed into an industry, technological advances continue to alter how people are incarcerated. Some of the changes include electronic locks, automatic alarm systems and even drones for patrolling fence perimeters, farms and other areas.
Good communication is important to any industry and corrections is no different. Corrections officials, inmates and their families all depend on good communications to ensure that the goals of the organization and the individuals within are met.
Alternatives to Prison
Coming Soon. Alternatives to prison are ways for society to both lower the enormous monetary costs of incarceration and reduce the social costs to families. By finding better ways to house and/or enable those convicted to serve their sentences, many communities are finding lower recidivism rates.
Students of criminal justice and the laws related to the goals of justice and in particular corrections need quick access to a variety of resources.
Such resources include half-way houses, parole and probation officers, community corrections, and a range of community programs designed to help at-risk populations stay out of prison.
Other resources include research documents, data sets and websites dedicated to improving modern corrections and those impacted by it.
Part of the mission of Criminal Justice Law International is to provide a growing body of resources.
Students and professionals need quick access to the corrections agencies and other organizations which supply and support them. These growing directories are intended to provide a quick reference tool for reaching whomever is needed when they are needed.
Research into the impact various corrections programs have on recidivism is continual. Many who study criminology delve into the effects of rehabilitation efforts. Furthermore, understanding gang dynamics, the impact of healthcare and other issues helps keep prisons more secure.
Many who begin careers in corrections have no experience in the field nor have college degrees. However, that is changing. Today, second-generation officials including some with Master's and PhD's is not uncommon. Many other correctional officials continue their education to achieve higher ranks within their organizations.
For better or worse, private industry is a large element in modern corrections. Most think of private prisons but the fact is, many other industries keep facilities supplied with everything from toilet paper to medications, snacks to nutritious food, fixtures to furnishings and more.
Every modern prison system has a hierarchy of oversight. This is necessary because in ultimately, prisons are an extension of the law society deems important. In the U.S., the range of oversight is Federal, State and local. However, for consistency and because most nations generally follow the same model, we have listed these as Central, Mid-level and local.
Central oversight for modern corrections is that provided on a federal level, at the highest levels of the governing bodies entrusted with prison oversight. In the United States, this will be the Department of Justice and BOP. The DOJ has oversight of the BOP, but also in part over state facilities, while the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) has no oversight of state correctional facilities.
Mid-level oversight is generally state-level agencies in charge of correctional facilities within their jurisdictions.
Additional mid-level oversight is provided through county-level agencies in charge of correctional facilities within their jurisdictions.
Local oversight includes both city jails and county correctional facilities.
Modern corrections in the U.S. are required by order of the Supreme Court to provide medical attention to inmates.
As part of the medical attention required of modern correctional facilities, pyschiatric treatments are necessary.
A Word from Our Founder
Prisons From the Inside
To better serve students understand prison life, Criminal Justice Law International is seeking volunteers willing to help. We want stories from the inside, from those who are either currently incarcerated or have been released.
Perhaps no part of prison life is as striking as entry. From the moment someone is convicted of a crime they become property of the state or federal government. Intake, as it is officially called is a demeaning though necessary part of the process.
Daily life in many prisons is a daily fight to remain alive. In others, daily life is rife with boredom and despair. And some are not that dissimilar from living on the outside. We hope to get many inmates invovlved in this section so that students can better understand life inside.
For most, leaving prison is a joyous occasion. For others, it is less so with some even dreading the process. Here we hope to hear from those who would like to tell their story of getting released or of getting their hopes up for release only to be denied parole.
The manual work within most modern correctional facilities in the United States and many other western lands is performed by inmates. Doing this work keeps inmates busy and in some cases, prepares them for gainful employment once released.
Many people who are incarcerated failed to achieve a high school education. Most prisons in the United States therefore offer GED programs. Some are even able to obtain university degrees while incarcerated. The goal is to reduce recidivisms
Capital punishment is a topic which spurs heated debates. Should a modern, civilized nation engage in executions? If so, what is the best or most proper way to carry them out? If not, then what should be done with persons guilty of capital crimes?
In this section, we will examine:
Executions in the U.S.
Executions of the Wrongly Convicted
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About CJLaw Intl
The purpose of Criminal Justice Law International is to explore issues of importance to Criminal Justice and Law students worldwide while providing tools and resources to enhance education.
Justice is NOT just an American concept.
Justice, social justice, and criminal justice impact everyone on the planet. As the world becomes more globalized, more interconnected via technology and transportation, a need arises to alter the old ways of approaching criminals and crime control.
We hope to be a positive influence on these changes. Learn more About CJLaw Intl.