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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.

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  • Prisons and Jails


  • 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.

Early punishments
Early Punishments

  • Were often cruel and torturous:

  • Generally fit the doctrine of lex


    • Law of retaliation

    • “An eye for an eye”

Early punishments1
Early Punishments

  • Types of early punishments:

    • Flogging

    • Mutilation

    • Branding

    • Public humiliation

    • Workhouses

    • Exile

The emergence of prisons
The Emergence of Prisons

  • It is unknown when the first prison

    was established.

  • Punitive imprisonment noted in

    Europe in the Middle Ages.

  • American prisons began in the late


  • Early confinement facilities stressed

    reformation over punishment.

The penitentiary era
The Penitentiary Era


  • Philadelphia Penitentiary begun by Quakers for

    humane treatment of offenders.

  • Rehabilitation through penance (solitary

    confinement and Bible study).

  • Known as the “Pennsylvania System.”

The mass prison era
The Mass Prison Era


  • Auburn Prison (New York) featured group

    workshops and silence enforced by whipping

    and hard labor.

  • This Auburn System was the primary

    competitor to the Pennsylvania System.

The reformatory era
The Reformatory Era


  • Based on the use of the indeterminate sentence.

  • Believed in the possibility of rehabilitation,

    especially for youthful offenders.

  • Elmira Reformatory attempted reform rather

    than punishment.

  • A system of graded stages in educational,

    behavioral and other goals gave way to the

    system of “parole.”

  • Ultimately considered a failure, since recidivism

    was still a problem.

The industrial era
The Industrial Era


  • Prisoners used for cheap labor.

  • Industrial production in the North; agriculture

    in the South.

  • Six systems of inmate labor: contract system,

    piece-price system, lease system, public account

    system, state-use system, and public works system.

  • Labor unions complained that they could not


  • The passage of the Hawes-Cooper Act and

    Ashurst-Sumners Act limited inmate labor.

  • Some prison industries exist today.

The punitive era
The Punitive Era


  • Characterized by belief that prisoners owed a

    debt to society.

  • Custody and institutional security the central


  • Few innovations.

The treatment era
The Treatment Era


  • Medical model suggested inmates were sick and

    needed treatment.

  • Most treatments include individual or group


  • Other forms of therapy include:

    • Behavior therapy

    • Chemotherapy

    • Neurosurgery

    • Sensory deprivation

    • Aversion therapy

The community based era
The Community-Based Era


  • Based on premise that rehabilitation cannot

    occur in isolation from the real world.

  • Prisons considered dehumanizing.

  • Led to innovations in the use of volunteers and

    the extension of inmate privileges.

  • Programs include:

    • Half-way houses

    • Work-release

    • Study-release

The warehousing era
The Warehousing Era


  • Public and judicial disapproval of release

    programs and recidivism led to longer sentences

    with fewer releases.

  • Nothing works doctrine.

  • Prison overcrowding became widespread.

  • Greater emphasis on incarcerating non-violent

    drug offenders.

The just deserts era
The “Just Deserts” Era


  • Based on the justice model.

  • Emphasis on individual responsibility and


  • Imprisonment is a proper consequence of

    criminal and irresponsible behavior.

  • Chain gangs, “three-strikes,” and reduced


Prisons today numbers and types of prisons
Prisons Today: Numbers and Types of Prisons

  • Approximately

  • 1,325 state prisons

  • 84 federal prisons

  • 482 state and federal prisoners

    per 100,000 population

  • On January 1, 2004, state and federal prisons held 1,461,191 inmates. Slightly more than 6.9% of those imprisoned were women.

Prisons today sentences
Prisons Today: Sentences

  • In state prisons:

    • 49% are violent criminals

    • 19% are property criminals

    • 20% drug law violators

      In federal prisons:

    • 61% are drug law violators

Prisons today race
Prisons Today: Race

  • The rate of imprisonment for African

    American males is nine times that of

    white males.

  • Bureau of Justice Statistics states that a

    black male in America has a 32.3%

    lifetime chance of going to prison;

    white males have a 5.9% chance.

Prisons today
Prisons Today

  • The size of prisons vary.

  • The typical state prison is small.

  • It costs about $62 a day per inmate.

Prisons today typical system
Prisons Today: Typical System

  • 1 high security

  • 1 or more medium security

  • 1 for adult women

  • 1 or 2 for young adults

  • 1 or two specialized mental hospital-

    type security prisons

  • 1 or more open-type institutions

The typical state prison system has:

Overcrowded prisons
Overcrowded Prisons

  • Prison capacity—The size of the

    correctional population an institution can

    effectively hold. There are three types of

    prison capacity:

    • Rated

    • Operational

    • Design

  • Rhodes v. Chapman (1981)—Overcrowding

    is not by itself cruel and unusual


  • Overcrowding is a serious issue.

    Selective incapacitation
    Selective Incapacitation

    • Selective incapacitation is a strategy may

      reduce prison population.

    • Career offender statutes support selective

      incapacitation, though some criticize the

      notion of false positives.

    Security levels in state prison systems

    There are three security levels:




    Security Levels in State Prison Systems

    Maximum security

    Most maximum security institutions tend to be

    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

    Secure cells

    Armed guards

    Gun towers

    Maximum Security

    Medium security

    Medium security prisons are similar in design

    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

    Medium security1

    Medium security prisons allow prisoners more

    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

    Minimum security

    In minimum security prisons:

    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


    Minimum Security

    Prison classification system

    Classification systems determine which custody level

    to assign an inmate to. Assignments are based on:

    Offense history

    Assessed dangerousness

    Perceived risk of escape

    Other factors

    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

    The federal prison system

    The Federal

    Prison System

    Federal prison system
    Federal Prison System

    • 1895—Leavenworth, Kansas—First non- military federal prison opens.

    • 1906—Second federal prison opens in Atlanta.

    • 1927—Alderson, West Virginia—First federal prison for women.

    • 1933—Springfield, Missouri—Medical Center for federal prisoners.

    • 1934—Alcatraz begins operations.


    Today s federal prison system

    Today’s federal prison system consists of:

    104 institutions

    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


    Today’s Federal Prison System

    Federal prison system1

    The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

    classifies its institutions according to five

    security levels.

    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

    Administrative maximum admax
    Administrative Maximum (ADMAX)

    In 1995, the federal government opened its one and only ADMAX prison:

    • Ultra-high security

    • 575 bed capacity

    • Inmates confined to cells 23 hours per day

    • Inmates cannot associate with one another

    • Only toughest 1% of federal prison

      population is confined there

    • Holds mob bosses, spies, terrorists

      murderers, escape artists, etc.

    High security u s penitentiaries
    High Security—U.S. Penitentiaries

    There are 8 high security facilities, holding 10% of the federal prison population.

    • Examples:

    • Atlanta, GA

      • Lewisburg, PA

      • Terre Haute, IN

      • Leavenworth, KS

        They are designed to prevent escapes and contain disturbances by using:

  • Intense electronic surveillance

  • Armed perimeter patrols.

  • Medium security federal correctional institutions
    Medium Security—Federal Correctional Institutions

    • There are 26 medium security prisons holding 23% of the federal prison population.


      Terminal Island, CA

      • Lompoc, CA

      • Seagoville, TX

  • They are guarded by double chain link fence and electronic monitoring of grounds.

  • Low security federal correctional institutions
    Low Security—Federal Correctional Institutions

    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.

    Minimum security federal prison camps
    Minimum Security— Federal Prison Camps

    • There are 55 minimum security prisons, holding 35% of the federal prison population.

    • Examples:

    • Elgin Air Force Base, FL

      • Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

        Essentially, they are unfenced honor-type camps using barrack style housing.

    Federal prison system administrative facilities
    Federal Prison System: Administrative Facilities

    The federal prison system’s administrative facilities are institutions with special missions.

    • Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs)

      • Generally located in large cities, close

        to federal courthouses

      • Hold inmates awaiting trial (like jails)

    • Medical Centers for Federal Prisoners



    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

    awaiting trial.



    Annually, 20 million people go to jail. In 2004, jails held 691,301inmates.

    • 12% women

    • 6,869 juveniles

    • 25% awaiting arraignment or trial

    • More than 50% convicted offenders

    • Jails also hold inmates who cannot fit in the

      overcrowded prisons.

      Jail authorities supervised another 71,371 inmates under certain community-based programs.


    There are 3,365 jails in the U.S.

    • Most jails are small, designed to hold 50 or

      fewer inmates.

    • Some jails are very big, like “mega-jails” in

      LA and NYC.

    • 6% of all jails hold over 50% of all prisoners.

      There are 207,600 correctional officers.

    • 3/1 inmate/staff ratio

      The average cost to jail a person for a year is $14,500.

    Women and jail

    Women face a number of special

    problems, including:

    Inadequate classification systems

    Lack of separate housing

    Low educational levels

    Substance abuse



    Inadequate substantive medical programs

    Women and Jail

    Women and jail1

    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

    counterparts. However,

    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

    Growth of jails

    Many jails are old and overcrowded.

    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

    1000 inmates.

    64% rated capacity in those with fewer than 50


    Growth of Jails

    Direct supervision jails

    A new jail architecture and

    management strategy is called direct

    supervision.These jails:

    Use a system of pods or modular self-contained

    housing areas

    Have a more open environment, using Plexiglas

    instead of thick walls to separate areas

    Use softer furniture

    May use “rooms” instead of cells

    Direct Supervision Jails

    Benefits of direct supervision jails

    Direct 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 lawsuits

    Benefits of Direct Supervision Jails

    Future of jails

    National efforts are underway to

    improve quality of jail life by:

    Adding critical programs for inmates

    Increasing jail industries

    Jail “boot camps”

    Creating regional jails

    Implementing jail standards

    Future of Jails


    The movement toward greater use of

    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:

    Reduce overcrowding

    Lower operating expenses

    Avoid lawsuits


    Hurdles to large scale privatization

    Large scale privatization is hindered


    Laws prohibiting private sector involvement in

    correctional management

    Possibility of public employees striking

    Liability and other legal issues

    Hurdles to Large-Scale Privatization