Chapter 11 prisons and jails
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Chapter 11 Prisons and Jails. Learning Objectives. Discuss the major characteristics and purpose of today’s prisons Describe the prison population in America today Describe the just deserts model

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Chapter 11 prisons and jails

Chapter 11Prisons and Jails

Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the major characteristics and purpose of today’s prisons

  • Describe the prison population in America today

  • Describe the just deserts model

  • Discuss how the changes in the rate of criminal offending relate to the changes in the rate of imprisonment

  • Explain the role that jail plays in American corrections

  • Describe the trend toward privatization in the corrections field


  • Prisons are:

  • There are 1,325 state prisons and 92 federal prisons in the United States.

    • Inmate population totals 1,470,045.

  • Hear author discuss the chapter.

A state or federal confinement facility that has custodial authority over adults sentenced to confinement.


  • The typical prison system in relatively populous states consists of:

    • One high-security prison for long-term, high-risk offenders.

    • One or more medium-security institutions.

    • One institution for adult women.


  • The typical prison system in relatively populous states consists of:

    • One or two institutions for young adults.

    • One or two specialized mental hospital-type security prisons for mentally ill prisoners.

    • One or more open-type institutions for low-risk, nonviolent inmates.

The philosophy of imprisonment
The Philosophy of Imprisonment

  • Prisons were originally built for the purpose of rehabilitation and as an alternative to corporal punishment of earlier times.

  • Today, a contemporary model of imprisonment based on the principle of just deserts is referred to as the justice model.


  • The dimensions of overcrowding

    • Space available per inmate

    • How long inmates are confined in cells or housing units

    • Living arrangements

    • Type of housing


  • Prison capacity refers to:

  • Three types of prison capacity:

    • Rated capacity: The number of inmates a prison can handle according to the judgment of experts.

    • Operational capacity: The number of inmates a prison can effectively accommodate based on management considerations.

    • Design capacity: The number of inmates a prison was intended to hold when it was built or modified.

The size of the correctional population an institution can effectively hold.

Overcrowding 1980

  • Courts should assess the overall quality of prison life while viewing overcrowded conditions in combination with:

    • The prison’s meeting of basic human needs.

    • The adequacy of the facility’s staff.

    • The program opportunities available to inmates.

    • The quality and strength of the prison management.

Selective incapacitation
Selective Incapacitation 1980

  • Selective incapacitation seeks to identify the most dangerous criminals, with the goal of removing them from society.

    • This strategy is concerned with recidivism, or repetition of criminal behavior.

    • Career offender statutes focus on dangerous repeat offenders.

Security levels
Security Levels 1980

  • Maximum-security prisons

    • Provide a high level of security characterized by high fences, thick walls, secure cells, gun towers, and armed prison guards.

  • Medium-security prisons

    • Resemble maximum security prisons.

    • Inmates have more freedom to associate with one another.

Security levels1
Security Levels 1980

  • Minimum-security prisons

    • Inmates are generally housed in dormitory-like settings and are free to walk the yard and visit most prison facilities.

    • Guards are unarmed.

  • Web Extra 11-1

Federal prison system
Federal Prison System 1980

  • Five security levels

    • Administrative maximum (ADMAX)

    • High security

    • Medium security

    • Low security

    • Minimum security

  • Web Extra 11-2

  • Library Extras 11-2 and 11-3

Jails 1980

  • Jail is:

  • Library Extra 11-4

A confinement facility administered by an agency of local government, typically a law enforcement agency, intended for adults but sometimes also containing juveniles, which holds people detained pending adjudication or committed after adjudication, usually those sentenced to a year or less.

Purposes of jails
Purposes of Jails 1980

  • Hold inmates sentenced to short terms.

  • Receive individuals pending arraignment and to await trial, conviction, or sentencing.

  • Readmit probation, parole, and bail-bond violators and absconders.

  • Temporarily detain juveniles, the mentally ill, and others pending transfer to appropriate facilities.

Purposes of jails1
Purposes of Jails 1980

  • Hold individuals for the military, for protective custody, for contempt, and for the courts as witnesses.

  • House inmates for other facilities due to transfer or overcrowding.

  • Operate community-based programs with day reporting, home detention, electronic monitoring, or other types of supervision.

  • Library Extra 11-4

Women and jail
Women and Jail 1980

  • 12% of the country’s jail population

  • Largest growth group nationwide

  • Special problems:

    • Low educational levels

    • Drug abuse

    • Pregnancy and motherhood

    • Medical needs, such as obstetrical and gynecological

The growth of jails
The Growth of Jails 1980

  • Major reasons for jail overcrowding:

    • Some states have begun to use jails instead of prisons to house convicted felons.

    • Many indigent defendants cannot post bond.

    • There are unnecessary delays between arrest and final case disposition.

    • There are inappropriate attorney delays.

  • Library Extra 11-5

Direct supervision jails
Direct Supervision Jails 1980

  • Direct-supervision jail refers to:

  • Physical barriers are far less common than in traditional jails, allowing staff members the opportunity for greater interaction with, and control over, residents.

A temporary confinement facility that eliminates many of the traditional barriers between inmates and correctional staff.

Jails and the future
Jails and the Future 1980

  • National efforts are underway to improve the quality of jail life.

  • Only 32 states have set standards for municipal and county jails.

    • Jail standards identify basic minimum conditions necessary for inmate health and safety.

  • Web Extra 11-3

Private prisons
Private Prisons 1980

  • The movement toward the wider use of private prison has been termed privatization.

  • Many advocates argue that privatization can provide state-of-the-art facilities and programs that the government cannot pay for.

  • Opponents argue that private prisons are driven by financial incentives.

  • Library Extra 11-6

  • Web Extra 11-4