CHAPTER. 13. Prisons and Jails. Prisons. A prison is a state or federal confinement facility that has custodial authority over adults sentenced to confinement. The use of prisons as a place to serve punishment is a relatively new way to handle offenders.
confinement facility that has
custodial authority over adults
sentenced to confinement.
serve punishment is a relatively
new way to handle offenders.
Europe in the Middle Ages.
reformation over punishment.
humane treatment of offenders.
confinement and Bible study).
workshops and silence enforced by whipping
and hard labor.
competitor to the Pennsylvania System.
especially for youthful offenders.
behavioral and other goals gave way to the
system of “parole.”
was still a problem.
in the South.
piece-price system, lease system, public account
system, state-use system, and public works system.
Ashurst-Sumners Act limited inmate labor.
debt to society.
occur in isolation from the real world.
the extension of inmate privileges.
programs and recidivism led to longer sentences
with fewer releases.
criminal and irresponsible behavior.
per 100,000 population
In federal prisons:
American males is nine times that of
black male in America has a 32.3%
lifetime chance of going to prison;
white males have a 5.9% chance.
type security prisons
The typical state prison system has:
correctional population an institution can
effectively hold. There are three types of
is not by itself cruel and unusual
Overcrowding is a serious issue.
reduce prison population.
incapacitation, though some criticize the
notion of false positives.
MinimumSecurity Levels in State Prison Systems
massive old buildings with a large inmate
population, including all death row inmates.
They provide a high level of security with:
High fences/walls of concrete
Several barriers between living area
Gun towersMaximum Security
to maximum security facilities; however, they:
Usually have more windows.
Tend to have barbed wire fences instead of large stone walls.
Sometimes use dormitory style housing.Medium Security
freedom, such as:
Associating with other prisoners
Going to the prison yard or exercise room
Visiting the library
Showering and using bathroom facilities with less
An important security tool is the count.
The process of counting inmates during the course
of a day.
Times are random, and all business stops until the count
is verified.Medium Security
Housing tends to be dormitory style.
Prisoners usually have freedom of movement
within the facility.
Work is done under general supervision only.
Guards are unarmed, and gun towers do not exist.
Fences, if they exist, are low and sometimes
“Counts” are usually not taken.
Prisoners are sometimes allowed to wear their own
Classification systems determine which custody level
to assign an inmate to. Assignments are based on:
Perceived risk of escape
Inmates may move among the security levels
depending on their behavior.
Internal classification systems determine placement
and program assignment within an institution.Prison Classification System
6 regional offices
The Central office (headquarters)
2 staff training centers
28 community corrections offices
At the start of 2004, there were approximately
162,000 prisoners (up from just over 24,000 in
1980).Today’s Federal Prison System
classifies its institutions according to five
Administrative maximum (ADMAX)
High security (U.S. penitentiaries)
Medium security (federal correctional institutions)
Low security (federal correctional institutions)
Minimum security (federal prison camps)
Additionally, there are administrative facilities,
like metropolitan detention centers (MDCs) and
medical centers for federal prisoners (MDFPs).Federal Prison System
In 1995, the federal government opened its one and only ADMAX prison:
population is confined there
murderers, escape artists, etc.
There are 8 high security facilities, holding 10% of the federal prison population.
They are designed to prevent escapes and contain disturbances by using:
Terminal Island, CA
There are 17 low security facilities, holding 28% of the federal prison population.
They are surrounded by double chain link fences and do vehicle patrols of perimeter.
Essentially, they are unfenced honor-type camps using barrack style housing.
The federal prison system’s administrative facilities are institutions with special missions.
to federal courthouses
Original purpose—Short-term confinement of suspects following arrest and awaiting trial.
Current use—Jails hold those
convicted of misdemeanors and some felonies, as well as holding suspects following arrest and
Annually, 20 million people go to jail. In 2004, jails held 691,301inmates.
Jail authorities supervised another 71,371 inmates under certain community-based programs.
There are 3,365 jails in the U.S.
LA and NYC.
There are 207,600 correctional officers.
The average cost to jail a person for a year is $14,500.
Inadequate classification systems
Lack of separate housing
Low educational levels
Inadequate substantive medical programsWomen and Jail
Women make up 22% of correctional officer
force in jails.
Female officers are committed to their careers
and tend to be positively valued by male
A disproportionate number of female personnel
held lower ranking jobs.
60% of support staff is female
10% of chief administrators is female
Issues can arise when member of the opposite
sex are assigned to watch over inmates.Women and Jail
By the end of 1980s, many jails were so
overcrowded that court-ordered
caps forced some early releases.
At midyear 2004, occupancy was at:
94% rated capacity for jails serving more than
64% rated capacity in those with fewer than 50
inmates.Growth of Jails
management strategy is called direct
Use a system of pods or modular self-contained
Have a more open environment, using Plexiglas
instead of thick walls to separate areas
Use softer furniture
May use “rooms” instead of cellsDirect Supervision Jails
Reduce inmate dissatisfaction
Deter rape and violence
Decrease suicide and escape attempts
Eliminate barriers to staff-inmate interaction
Give staff greater control
Improve staff morale
Reduce lawsuitsBenefits of Direct Supervision Jails
improve quality of jail life by:
Adding critical programs for inmates
Increasing jail industries
Jail “boot camps”
Creating regional jails
Implementing jail standardsFuture of Jails
private prisons began in the 1980s.
In 2004, private prisons held 5.7% of all state
and 12.6% of all federal prisoners.
Most states that use private prisons do so to
supplement their own system.
Private prisons can:
Lower operating expenses
Laws prohibiting private sector involvement in
Possibility of public employees striking
Liability and other legal issuesHurdles to Large-Scale Privatization