CORRECTIONAL ADMINISTRATION 13
After incarceration, it is the dream of every inmate to go back tohome and to the society, preferably as reformed and better person.This is with the exception of the few who have to serve life terms.The transition from institutional life to community-based supervisionbecomes successful depending on the pre-entry program that inmatescomplete prior to the parole. It is imperative to develop a detailedoutline of the instructional curriculum for inmates who are eligiblefor the transition and reentry program. The instructional curriculumwill help plan or coordinate the training staff members inside andoutside the division of parole. Planning and co-ordination ofcurriculum programs is very crucial to inmates who have waited for along time to go back to the community and continue with life freely.With increasing crime and growing need for incarceration then lateron parole, correctional centers are facing great challenges. Dealingwith eligible inmates appropriately cannot be overlooked as itdetermines the quality of correction that inmates have receivedthrough their jail term. If effective, the correction facility iscredited and in ineffective, the correction facility is blamed forhaving failed to achieve its goal.
A suitable instructional curriculum for inmates would be a programaddressing self-employment and microenterprise development.Entrepreneurship, business and pro-social life skill curriculumcarried out in the correctional facility is vital for instilling lifeskills for business and reentry into the community. Staff memberswill choose suitable hours for training inmates depending on thecorrectional facility program. For example, they may opt for theafternoon hours when the inmates have finished their duties and lessbusy from 2-4pm from Monday to Thursday. The program should takeplace for a period of six months prior to the community-basedsupervision. Six months are enough for inmates to go through thephases on introduction to curriculum, examination of the acquiredskills and finally getting practical through going out and practicingwhat they have been taught. This period is crucial for building solidtraining and equipping inmates with the knowledge that will help themthroughout their community-based program. The larger part of thetraining and curriculum components will focus on
skills of successful business
innovation and growth and business
Goal setting in business and management of time
Business plan and idea developments and
Starting a new business (Mercy, 2014)
Apart from the staff, community experts, successful entrepreneurs,volunteers and experienced businessmen will be invited withinalternate days to come advise inmates on business success. Theexperience from successful business executives who have made it givesa new light on business for inmates. They will be able to see it as apossibility rather than a challenge. They will have time to askquestions or clarifications on any topic they want to be addressed.This approach is useful to the inmates as it creates contact andnetworks of communication after parole. Most successful businessmenwould be willing to employ inmates after release and successfulcompletion of the curriculum to give them another chance in life.Upon the completion of the curriculum, the staff should preparecertificates of recognition as proof that inmates have taken thecourse successfully and are now ready to work in the given field ofbusiness. The certificate speaks more than the word of mouth comingfrom the inmates after release. To carry out the programs the staffhas to show inmates how crucial this program will be for them oncetheir jail term is over. They should prepare them mentally and informthem about the benefits that they expect to gain through undertakingthe program. Through teaching them those life skills, the inmateswill be better equipped as they transit to the community-basedprogram. The instructional curriculum is the basis of creatingproductive lives for inmates once released. Through these programs,inmates will be able to establish themselves as economically stableand self-sufficient individuals who can care for their families andnot go back to crime life.
According to Mercy (2014), successful re-entry for inmates after ajail term benefits the community and the individual largely. For thecommunity, fewer crimes will be reported after inmates go through thecurriculum then are released to the community-based supervision.Charges on court costs, law enforcement charges, re-incarcerationfees that is high and victimization will be reduced significantly.The society and community benefit from the independence, self-sufficiency of released inmates and minimizes the reliance costs onthe states and social services. Through the curriculum, inmates go tothe society fully skilled and ready to be productive given employmentopportunities. Through employment, crime is eliminated from theirlives as they focus on fulfilling their duties as parents orrelatives. Eventually, the instructional curriculum should achieveresults such as
Reintegration into community-based programs successfully
Self-sufficiency of inmates once released
Independence in thoughts and actions
job opportunities for the trained inmates
Business opportunities and Self employment
Reduced social welfare reliance
Less criminal activity and more business innovation ideas
Better, happy families and safer communities
The emerging and driving force for correctional facilities over thenext decade as a program director is to improve the correctionalfacilities in order to continue being effective. Goal setting for thenext decade should be the first priority for the program director.Goal based planning focuses on the correctional system’sorganization mission, vision and action planning. Once the goal hasbeen set, issue based strategic planning which entails examining thecorrectional facility and strategies or action plan are made. SMARTmnemonic is a creative and useful way of attaining goals. SMART areinitials for
S-specific- program manager targets a specific goal (expansion of the correctional facility to accommodate inmates comfortably
M- measurable- develop a method of evaluating the progress of the goal set (this can happen through evaluating how the expansion of inmate rooms has made life in prison comfortable)
A-achievable- is action-oriented and targets at measuring whether resources for achieving the goal are available. Removal of obstacles that hinder success is crucial for this step
R- relevant/ realistic- setting the achievable goals first through prioritizing the most important ones and letting the others follow. Honestly evaluating what will benefit the correctional facility for the next ten years and how realistically this can be achieved.
T-time bound- make the goal timely by establishing a starting date for the goal and listing down action steps that will be involved in achieving the goal in a timely manner.
Priorities to be set include expansion of the correctional facilityto accommodate inmates comfortably and increasing capacity fortraining and rehabilitating law offenders. States have noteffectively addressed prison system challenges like congestion ofinmates for a long time. This has been an issue of concern becausegrowing crime rates leads to more inmates and fewer correctionalfacilities. As the space decreases, the congestion of inmates becomesa health risk and challenges the effective control of inmates makingthe population unsustainable. According to (California corrections,2012), the population of inmates between 1986-2006 moved from 60,000to 173,479 inmates having almost tripled the population. The growingpopulation led to full correctional facilities and inmates had to behoused in non-traditional housing facilities, gymnasiums anddayrooms. The overcrowded prisons led to a ruling last year by the UScourt to order correction facilities in California to reduce thepopulations by ten thousand as of 2013 June. The prison problems atthe time were swelling following an increasingly imbalanced budget.To deal with that challenge, realignment and creation of a communitybased correctional facility program took place. Apart from creatingmore rooms for accommodating inmates, using the design bed capacitywas another strategy to reduce crowding prison to 137.5%.
As a program director, one should be able to come up with decisionsthat suit the correctional facility. The plan below would helpaddress challenges in the correctional facility.
Improving the inmate classification system- The modification of classification system in correctional facility was an idea by a panel of correctional facilities who feel that this strategy will increase space for inmates. Through that system the shifting of inmates will be facilitated to less costly houses which have benefits like access to rehabilitative programs. The modifications are estimated to start taking place after six months. Through this plan, no extra budget will be required and the need to build new correctional facilities or high security systems of corrections will be eliminated.
Return out exercise- sending inmates out of the state especially those ones who do not belong to the state will be another plan of eliminating congestion. It will significantly reduce congestion and create more space for crime offenders at home. Those inmates from the country who may be sent to other countries will be brought back home after the population of inmate’s drops. The drop is expected as the classification process continues and will happen within a span of three -ten years. Every three years inmates will be brought back home. According to California reports, there are more than 9500 inmates outside that country.
Improved access to rehabilitation- is a plan that will enable improved access of rehabilitative services to inmates. Rehabilitation reduces recidivism and prepares inmates better people once released from jail. As a result, the long-term sentences are reduced and the population of inmates minimized. Establishment of reentry programs are also vital at such times and helping build programs that will be build for communities one year after the release of inmates.
Changes to be made at the staffing level include – new and uniformstandards that enable operation in the newly formed institutionsefficiently.
Technology- installation of up to date technology to help monitor andkeep track of all activities including security matters in thecorrectional facilities.
Training- enhance better training for inmates includingrehabilitative and community reentry programs
Management-better management of prisons because of less crowding
Supervision- improved supervision with fewer inmates and morecooperation from them
With those changes in place, it will be easier to project the futurepriorities over the next ten years. This will ensure that thecorrectional facility continues to be effective and useful to inmatesand the community at large.
Program directors have a major role to play in helping convictedinmates become better people who transform from being law offendersto useful people in the society. To keep them engaged and busy, sometraditional correctional programs can be replicated in the newinstitution. Inco-oporating new programs are also another way ofensuring that convicted criminals are on the right track oftransformation. Through traditional correctional and new programs,crime offenders will be on the right path of correction. Theconvicted felons have a projected length of approximately 37 monthsmeaning that they have more than three years to be locked in jail.Three years is time long enough for inmates to have transformed andbecome better people.
Boot camp is amongst the traditional methods of incarcerationprograms modeled from the military system of training. The programhas been alive since the 80’s and remains an innovative way ofengaging prisoners to meaningful activity. It is a program thatsubjects inmates to strict discipline having been borrowed from themilitary. It exposes inmates to military drills, physical trainingand correctional systems aimed at work details. Boot camp highlydemands discipline and is one of the strict methods of correctionalprograms for inmates. Boot camp aims at change of behavior throughdissuading involvement of criminal behavior. This is one of bootcamp’s major goals. Through highly regimented environments, crimeoffenders are subjected to high discipline provided by the program tohelp in behavior change. Shock incarcerations are also useful toinmates and helpful towards helping them slowly integrate to thecommunity. The complexity of boot camp gives enough time forexercises and drilling thereby allowing inmates to develop a sense ofdiscipline for a certain period. Felon crime convicts are likely tobenefit from this traditional method of incarceration as itencourages hard work, self-discipline and commitment to behaviorchange. Since it focuses on behavior change through deterringinvolvement of criminal behavior, law offenders who go through bootcamp come out transformed. It has the ability to shape behaviorinternally and externally making you want to be a better person andthrough encouraging meaningful acts.
Eligibility criteria for boot camp
Inmate should be in state confinement
Serving a minimum of two years and less than five years
Below 35 years of age
Consents to participation
Is not subject to a deadly weapon leading to sentence
Not serving a sentence for more than one of the serious crimes
The federal program involves intensive confinement designed to suitmale felon convicts. Through this program, highly structured physicaltraining and labor-intensive jobs should be given to convicts.Vocational training, education on substance and drug abuse as well aslife ling skills to promote successful reentry into the society aregiven in the last year of detention. Through this program, positivechange of inmates is experienced behavior while a focus on theinmate’s ability to decide, develop positive self-image andself-direction are done. Through this program, inmates are able tosecure employment after incarceration as the ICC cycle goes for 180days. This encourages inmates to serve a portion of their sentenceengaging in meaningful community-based programs.
The eligibility criteria for ICC are
Inmates who have just been sentenced.
Recently sentenced candidates needed to be serving more than two years or 12-30 months.
They should also be in their first sentence period and should not have had any past incarceration,
Should volunteer for the program and not participate through coercion,
be less than 35 years of age,
have no medical challenges or restrictions and
be a minimum security threat
Upon arrival at the intensive confinement program, two weeks oforientation takes place to familiarize the inmates with thesurroundings. At this point, the mission, vision, purpose and goalsof the facility are stated as well as the benefits of the programs.The discussion of rules, schedule, from 5-10 is also made public. Theorientation phase allows inmates who feel like leaving the program towalk away and go to regular institutions. The administrator expelsthe inmates who do not abide by the rules of the ICC. The expelledinmates serve the remaining sentences without benefit of thecorrections program phases and will go back to the community lesstransformed.
Besides boot camp and ICC traditional methods of incarceration,modern methods of incarceration have been developed with time to makeinmates more willing to transform and amend their ways. The newinstitution should use new programs like prison contemplativeprograms and honor program. Prison contemplative programs includepractices and classes like yoga, meditation, contemplative prayeroffered in correctional facilities for inmates and prison staffasserts Rushfan (2008). Allowing inmates the opportunity toexperience and share what the prison staff do strengthens therelationship between inmates and the staff making them feel that theybelong. The eligibility criteria of such programs are
belonging to a religious group,
open to inmates of any age
The benefits of this program include finding inner peace andconnection to yourself. This helps inmates reflect on their mistakesand come up with the conclusion that they committed mistakes withoutbeing intimidated by anyone. It is a form of stress relief therapy.Moreover, it promotes good relationships between the staff andinmates.
The honor program has been operating since 2000 based on theprincipals of sensitizing positive behavior and holding inmatesaccountable for their behavior. The program aims at creating anatmosphere that promotes respect, safety and togetherness to ensurethat prisoners have a peaceful stay in the prison as they work tocorrect their behavior. The main goals of the program areself-improvement and rehabilitative goals that correct inmates andbenefit the society. The eligibility criteria for inmates wishing toenroll in the program are
Commitment to abstain from drug/ substance abuse
Commitment to abstain from violence and gangs
Willingness to live and work with fellow prisoners regardless of their race (Rushfan, 2008)
This program would be suitable for felon crime convicts as it willdetach them from their previous behavior and create a commitment tochange for the better. According to (California corrections, 2012),the first year of its operation saw a tremendous decrease in crimeincidents involving weapons, gangs, violence and improvedrelationships between inmates as they respected each other more. Thehonor programs according to California reports saved the correctionsand rehabilitation centre over $200,000 during its first year ofimplementation. Reduced costs related to violent crimes anddisruptive gang behavior were noted following the honor program.
California corrections (2012). A blue print to save billions ofdollars, end federal court oversight and improve the prison system,retrieved from http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/2012plan/docs/plan/complete.pdf
Mercy, C. (2014). Life prison re-entry program for womenprisoners, retrieved from http://www.mercycorpsnw.org/what-we-do/life-prison-curriculum/
Rushfan, A. (2008). “Top ten modern programs”, Crime,farthest corners, from http://listverse.com/2008/08/14/top-10-modern-prison-programs/