Essay on Administration of Correctional Facilities
Number of words: 2534
Correctional facilities play a big role in the society. The system is a branch of the State that assists in handling inmates and in providing correctional facilities. Correctional facilities have own administrative units, which manage affairs of the prison. This paper looks at the functions of the administrative heads of correctional facilities; analyze prison projects, budgets and programs.
The purpose of incarceration of individuals in correctional facilities is to punish, rehabilitate dangerous criminals. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is responsible for the enforcement of law and in administration of federal prison systems. Prisoners’ detention centers are state owned facilities in the United States of America except in some situation where prisoners go to privately owned facilities. Correctional facilities management follows State, local authority laws. Over eighty percent of those incarcerated stay in bureau owned prisons while the remaining number stay at community owned facilities, detention centers or juvenile facilities (Carlson & Garrett, 2006). Prisons administration departments have a layout of authority and the commissioner of prisons has the highest authority.
The bureau has the jurisdiction to carry out federal orders and execution except in relation military personnel. Correctional facilities have a variety of departments and personnel to ensure smooth operation of prisons’ activities. Officers at prisons plan organize and direct operations in their area of jurisdiction. Other functions of these officers it to perform operational, supervisory and any other related duties. The function of a commissioner of prisons as the head of the correctional facility is to direct, institute prisons programs, supervise custody of prisoners and to ensure discipline within the prisons in relation to prisoner’s treatment and their living conditions. Some of the basic programs in correctional facilities are education, management of business, management of inmate appeal programs and in offering of training (Carlson & Garrett, 2006).
The Director of operations on the other hand, assists the commissioner in organizing, evaluation and development of programs, classifying inmates, facilitates inmates appeals, provide specialized training to prison employees and in the provision of policy services. Each person is supposed to perform tasks according to the procedure and laws (Carlson & Garrett, 2006). Other activities performed by the director of operations in prisons facilities include guidance of employees; provide time for vocational and educational needs of employees and ensuring that prisoners access library facilities.
The Commissioner, as well as the Director of operations directs the preparation of fiscal records, formulate budget control systems, formulate budgets and direct the creation of payroll systems as well as maintain employee records. Other than these activities, prison authority directs the preparation of foods within prison, manage procurement and warehouses as well as maintenance of facilities and supervise construction of physical structures. Other activities include a recommendation of employees work, solving administrative problems, classifying individual prisoners as well as institute disciplinary actions. Attainment of these responsibilities by the Director of operations in prisons needs to follow policies, rules and procedures (Carlson & Garrett, 2006). The Director also prepares rules, procedures, and an act in the capacity of the administrator in case of the Commissioner is absent.
Part one: Prisoners’ Education Project
Prison education is the responsibility of the prison Director. The commissioner of prison may direct the Director to develop and effective training program for prisoners. The purpose of these programs is to provide inmates with skills to cope in the community once their sentences are over. These educational activities also relates to educating prison staff members. Educating prison staff members assist in the management of prison activities. These programs include educational and vocational programs. The goal for education prisoners is to provide prisoners with the rehabilitative aspects of prisons as well as prepare them for life outside the prisons. Educational facilities provided outside the prison is management be by the community with the supervision of the Director. The commissioner of prison directs the Director and assist in the management of funds from the correctional facility, family members as well as Non- governmental organizations.
The prisoner may get an education through correspondence programs facilities, and they cover a period of six months. The program’s budget planning is the responsibility of the prison commissioner. All respective members approve each budget statement at every stage. Educational programs are divided into two parts; academic educational and vocational training. Academic education assist prisoners write and read as well as perform basic mathematical operations. The prison Director Need to supervise all operations relating to academic education since most of the prisoners are under- educated or do not have basic education qualifications. Most of the prisoners have a fifth grade proficiency while some come from a culture of poverty. Some of the prisoners as observed by the commissioner have no career or trade.
Therefore, the goal of the Academic education program is to provide prisoners with skills to take GED tests. These standards are equivalent to High school diploma thus; they are able to further their education when they get out of the prison. Once the prisoner passes GED tests, the correctional facility provides them an opportunity to further their education through programs in the prison. This program coined as Adult Continual Training, and it is free to all prisoners who have successfully passed GED tests. The courses under the supervision of inmate instructors assist prisoners gain skills in personal finance, legal issues, Math, publishing and writing. For those prisoners who want to attain college qualification, partnership programs with local Colleges and Universities provide the solution. Some of these colleges send teachers to train prisoners, but this is rare and it is advisable for prisoners to take correspondence courses. College correspondence cost some hundred of dollars and family members of prisoners can cater for this.
Vocational training for prisoners offers more opportunities than educational programs. Much of these programs depend on local arrangements within the prison. These programs include, plumbing. Carpentry, masonry, electricity and computer Aided drawings. The prison has ensured that all of these programs are free for every prisoner. The program ensures that, outside the setting of the prison prisoners are able to access this facility by way of correspondence. These programs include training on legal issues, religion. However, these programs are not free since every prisoner has to cater for tuition and other charges that run to hundreds of dollars. Education programs have the ability to reduce recidivism rates (Vacca, 2004). Once out prisoners are able to gain legal employment opportunities, have a sense of hope while others are able to escape stigma and the cycle of poverty.
Control and prevention of Disease Outbreaks Project
Another essential task is to control disease outbreaks at the prison facility. In recent months, nine prisoners have died due to Valley fever and coccidioidomycosis. These deaths have necessitated the Centers for Disease, Control, and prevention to investigate the matter. Individuals contract the disease by inhaling spores of the causal fungus. The disease caused by coccidioides fungus in prevalent in the region, due to high temperatures and dryness of the soil. The task is to contain the spread of infection and therefore, all prisoners and staff need to report any feeling. The problem is because of overcrowding of the prisons and drastic measures have to take place to move prisoners to a new facility. Symptoms of the disease are chest pains, rash and fever (Wilper et al 2009). A court order held a ruling that the prisoner’s populations had to be minimal to reduce overcrowding.
Rehabilitation project/ Emotional literacy program
This project is a national program to assist to incarcerated Women and Men in the United States of America. The programs also known as a house healing provide education and rehabilitation to struggling addicts and alcoholics in prison facilities. The programs have value for the prison population since it provides necessary support and prisoners are able to provide life experiences that propelled them into crime. This programs assist prisoners take responsibility for their crimes, addiction and help build lifelong interactions to boost productive lives. Volunteers, chaplains and professionals teach the programs. The programs include stress, alcohol, drug and development of life skills (Taxman, Perdoni, & Harrison, 2007) The program is a success since it transforms prisoners and promotes their growth. Inmates gain self-awareness and their spiritual level rose. The program assist inmates reach their level by meditation which assist is breaking the addiction cycle. Other programs in use include residential programs, local support groups for released prisoners and sober houses. The prison also provides counseling services as well as medical care. There is a need to concentrate on marijuana and cocaine treatment within the prison facilities. Therefore, screening assessment programs are the next step in identifying prisoners with addiction problems. After the screening program treatment, plans start with medication while concurring with counseling services. The treatment plans are categorized into, personal plans as well as group plans, and the commissioner has made it necessary for all staff members get training on drug management.
Part two: Correctional Facilities and Budgets
Over the past years declining budgets and declining staff has dealt a blow to correctional facilities in the United States of America. Members of correctional facilities have to work for long to cater for the declining workforce. Budgets seem to be the main cause of these shortcomings, and this affects morale of staff members. Declining finances have an effect on vocational training since fewer instructors are available. The problems have also an effect on substance abuse services since the federal government has reduced counselors. The budget for the correctional facilities has gone down by thirteen million dollars, and the new budget of 2014 to 2015 further reduced the value by two million dollars. Over the next ten years if the situation persists, there is a possibility of erosion these correctional facilities.
Effects of budget constraints point to long working hours of staff since there has been huge layoff of employees. Members of staff need to work extra house to meet the minimum safe hours. This puts the morale and effectiveness of members of staff in jeopardy. The department has struggled to hire new employees, but it is struggling to meet its needs. More workers are retiring than the department is hiring. The problem is that almost eighty percent of the budget allocation is for personnel expenses. This therefore, means that educational and training facilities will feel the effect as there have been many resignations from non-uniformed staff.
To solve the issue of budgets, the correctional facility needs to acquire and grow some of its foodstuffs. Other expenses that are not a first priority for the institution need to be avoidance. As a director, there is need to develop some occupations that might generate funds for operation, as well as funds for inmates. Some of these operations might include farming, carpentry or other forms of occupation to produce products for the market. The first priority in a correctional facility, is the safety and well fare of prisoners as well as members of staff. In any case even if the budget is not enough these groups of individuals are the first priority lest the facility shuts down. When the state of the economy is at a downturn, levels of crime rise. This means that correctional facilities face the greatest challenge. Technology is another issue that will save the facility funds. Screening machine will save time and work force needs lowered.
Part three: Correctional Programs
Faith- based programs
There is an expectation that a number of prisoners will be set free in the coming years. Therefore, one needs to facilitate innovative ways of making them not return. Religious programs that cut across all faith are the essential tool. Religious has become essential and it is effective as provided for by other programs. Since this will be a new prison facility, members of the clergy for all religions will facilitate the program. A faith based organization affiliated to the former prison will provide volunteer to help guide prisoners spiritually.
Dogs in prisons/ Jails
Dogs in prison and jails to instill discipline in prison are an issue to consider. In Japan, prisoners participate in training guide dogs. With the help of instructors, prisoners train guide dogs for the blind. Inmates train dogs from the period when they are puppies with classes on obedience and dog walking. The program has positive results since it reduces violence among inmates as well as encourages responsibility.
Prison Education Programs
Educational programs offer basic education to prisoners. These programs include Vocational and Academic programs. These prisoners get basic training to help them pass GED literary exams. Some skeptics believe that educating prisoners leads to having “educated criminals”. However, this is not the case since studies show that education reduces recedes. These programs essentially cover six months and it assists inmates gain employment after serving sentences. A new prison facility needs to have educational programs with fully equipped libraries. Prison officials need to qualified teachers for inmates and ensure that these programs are objective (Freeman, 2003). Vocational training facilities need to be given considerations too since it has more opportunities for prisoners than Academic training.
Conjugal visits imply to visits where inmates have extended visits during which an inmate gets permission to spend days or hours with a legal spouse. Parties may engage in sexual intercourse, which increases the chances of the offender’s eventual to return to live outside prison. This is a modern method, which maintains family bonds. Although the practice is legal, an inmate needs to meet some requirements. Some of these conditions are that the inmate should not violate rules for the last 6 months before contact and that they should maintain good behavior. These privileges however, do not apply to inmates on death row. In Canada and France, inmates get the privilege to stay in decorated apartments during the extended periods. While in Brazil, male prisoners observe visits from homosexual and heterosexual partners (Hensley, Rutland, & Gray-Ray, 2002).
Taxman, F. S., Perdoni, M. L., & Harrison, L. D. (2007). Drug treatment services for adult offenders: The state of the state. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 32(3), 239-254.
Wilper, A. P., D., Bor, D. H., Woolhandler, Lasser, K. E., S., Boyd, J. W., McCormick, & Himmelstein, D. U. (2009). The health and health care of US prisoners: results of a nationwide survey. American journal of public health, 99(4), 666-672.
Carlson, P. M., & Garrett, J. S. (2006). Prison and jail administration: Practice and theory. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Vacca, J. S. (2004). Educated prisoners are less likely to return to prison than those under-educated. Journal of Correctional Education, 297-305.
Bushway, S. (2003). Reentry and prison work programs.
Freeman, R. B. (2003). Can we close the revolving door?: Recidivism vs. employment of ex-offenders in the US.