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Introduction to Criminal Justice

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  1. Introduction to Criminal Justice Institutional Corrections, Prison Life, Inmate Rights, Release, and Recidivism Chapter Ten and Eleven Bohm and Haley

  2. Questions The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. What does this mean? Does the United States have a more serious crime problem than most other nations? Explain.

  3. Cost Estimates • Total spending on state and federal prisons in fiscal year 2003 was budgeted at $36 billion. • The average daily cost of incarceration per inmate in 2003 was $64.00 ($23,360.00 per inmate per year). • For local jails, the average amount budgeted in fiscal year 2000 was approximately $36 million per jail. • The overall average 2000 cost per jail inmate was $58.64 per day (or $21,403,60 per year).

  4. Prison Inmate Characteristics 88% of prisoners in the United States are in state prisons; 12% are in federal prisons. The largest proportion of state prisoners are: • Male: approximately 93% of prison population • Black: approximately 41% of prison population • Have not completed high school • Under age 35 • Have never married • Were employed full-time prior to their arrest • Had relatively low monthly incomes

  5. Prison Inmate Characteristics In 2002, the prison population was characterized as follows: • 50.5% were serving sentences for violent offenses • 20.4% for property offenses • 21.4% for drug offenses • The remainder for public order offenses

  6. Incarceration Facilities The organizational and administrative structure of institutional corrections is diffuse and decentralized. • Primary administrative responsibility lies with the executive branch. • Legislatures appropriate resources and pass statutes that affect sentencing. • The judicial branch sentences offenders and oversees the legality of institutional practices.

  7. Organization and Administration by Government Federal institutions are administered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), which was established within the U.S. Justice Department in 1930. Each state has a department of corrections or a similar administrative body to coordinate the various adult prisons in the state. Most adult prisons employ a quasi-military model of administration and management.

  8. Classification and Other Special Facilities Most prisoners are initially sent to a classification facility. Classification Facility A facility to which newly sentenced offenders are taken so that their security risks and needs can be assessed and they can be assigned to a permanent institution.

  9. Classification and Other Special Facilities The decision of where to place an offender rests on a variety of factors: • The offender’s security risk • Program services the offender needs, such as counseling • Any problems such as alcohol dependency • The nature of the offense • The offender’s prior record, propensity toward violence and escape, and vulnerability to victimization by other inmates • Programs offered at the state’s institutions, and the related crowding levels

  10. Men’s Prisons The general type of men’s prisons are often distinguished by security level. Security Level A designation applied to a facility to describe the measures taken, both inside and outside, to preserve security and custody.

  11. Men’s Prisons As of January 2004, there were 1,041 correctional facilities in operation across the United States. The simplest security level categorization is: • maximum • medium • minimum

  12. Men’s Prisons A recent development is the “ultramaximum” or “supermaximum-security” prison to house notorious offenders and problem inmates from other institutions. These institutions utilize: • Total isolation of inmates • Constant lockdowns

  13. Custody Level The classification assigned to an inmate to indicate the degree of precaution that needs to be taken when working with that inmate.

  14. Women’s Prisons Women make up about 7% of the prison population, but the incarceration rate for women has grown faster than the incarceration rate for men. • A greater proportion of women than men are serving sentences for property offenses and drug offenses. • Women are more likely to have dependent children and to be serving their first prison term. • Prisons exclusively for women tend to be smaller and house fewer inmates than institutions exclusively for men. • Dorm and cottage plans are much more common than cell-block plans for women’s prisons.

  15. Co-correctional facilities Co-correctional facilities have been in operation (in contemporary form) since the 1970s. Co-correctional facilities usually benefit men more than women. Co-correctional Facilities Usually small, minimum-security institutions that house both men and women with the goal of normalizing the prison environment by integrating the daytime activities of the sexes.

  16. Jail and Its Functions A facility, usually operated at the local level, that holds convicted offenders and unconvicted persons for relatively short periods. In practice, a jail serves as a catchall function in criminal justice and corrections. Jails also: • Readmit probation, parole, and bail bond violators and absconders. • Temporarily detain juveniles pending transfer to juvenile authorities. • Hold mentally ill persons. • Hold individuals for the military.

  17. Jail Functions • Hold individuals for protective custody. • Hold individuals for contempt. • Hold witnesses for the courts. • Release convicted inmates to the community upon completion of sentence. • Transfer inmates to other authorities. • House inmates for federal, state or other authorities. • Sometimes operate community-based programs. • Hold inmates sentenced to short terms.

  18. Inmate Society Central to the inmate society of traditional men’s prisons is the convict code. Convict Code Values, norms, and roles that regulate the way inmates interact with one another and with prison staff.

  19. Prisonization The process by which an inmate becomes socialized into the customs and principles of the inmate society.

  20. Violence and Victimization It is generally agreed that there is more physical violence by inmates in today’s men’s prisons than there was in earlier periods. Commonly cited reasons for high rates of prison violence include: • Improper management and classification practices by staff • High levels of crowding and competition over resources • The young age of most inmates in many prisons • Increases in racial tensions and prison gang activity

  21. Violence and Victimization Common motives for physical violence in prison are: • To demonstrate power and dominance over others • To retaliate against a perceived wrong, such as the failure of another inmate to pay a gambling debt • To prevent the perpetrator from being victimized (for example, raped) in the future A good deal of prison violence—but not all—has sexual overtones. In addition, • not all instances of sex in prison are violent. • not all instances of sex in prison are homosexual. • sexual encounters can involve both inmates and staff.

  22. Violence and Victimization Like all societies, the inmate society has an economy with a black-market component, known as the sub-rosa economy. Sub-rosa Economy The secret exchange of goods and services that, though often illicit, are in high demand among inmates; the black market of the prison.

  23. Inmate Coping and Adjustment Life in prison is different from living in the free community. Prison life includes: • Pronounced deprivation of personal freedom and material goods • Loss of privacy • Competition for scarce resources • Greater insecurity, stress, unpredictability

  24. Life in Women’s Prisons Life in women’s prisons is similar to life in men’s prisons in some respects, but there are also important differences. • Women’s prisons are usually not characterized by the levels of violence, interpersonal conflict, and interracial tension found in men’s institutions. • Women’s prisons are often less oppressive.

  25. Life in Women’s Prisons Female inmates are more likely to have children and to have been living with those children immediately before incarceration. • In some cases, very young children may live with their mothers in prison for a temporary period. • Some women lose custody of their children. • Often children live with other relatives and have little or no visitation. A distinguishing feature of the inmate society in many women’s prisons is the presence of make-believe families, known as pseudofamilies. • Women adopt male and female family roles. • Kinship ties cut across racial lines.

  26. Access to the Courts and Legal Services The U.S. Supreme Court has granted inmates: • Unrestricted access to the federal courts • The ability to challenge in federal court not only the fact of their confinement but also the conditions under which they are confined • The conditions of confinement (Cooper v. Pate) The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, and religion. The U.S. Supreme Court has made numerous decisions in this area.

  27. Procedural Due Process in Prison Inmates can face disciplinary action for breaking prison rules. The United States Supreme Court has held that they are entitled to due process, including: • A disciplinary hearing by an impartial body • 24 hours written notice of the charges

  28. Release and Recidivism Inmates may be released from prison in a number of ways, including: • Expiration of the maximum sentence • Commutation • Release at the discretion of a parole authority • Mandatory release

  29. Release and Recidivism When inmates are released from correctional institutions, the hope is that they will not experience recidivism. Recidivism The return to illegal activity after release.

  30. Release and Recidivism A recent study found: • 46.9% were reconvicted for a new crime • 25.4% were resentenced to prison for a new crime • 51.8% were returned to prison (25.4% for a new crime and 26.4% for a technical violation of release conditions

  31. Release and Recidivism In the end, imprisonment is a reactive response to the social problem of crime, and crime is interwoven with other social problems such as poverty, inequality, and racism.