The modern criminal justice system faces numerous challenges associated with the dynamic nature of the global environment. As a result, it has to utilize the appropriate processes for optimizing the performance of jails, prisons, juvenile, and community corrections. It is necessary to consider both the structure of the key goals and the availability of resources. The dynamics of the current and potential trends should be considered while designing the appropriate reforms. Both operations and fiscal demands should be integrated into the correctional system. Management and control functions should become an important part of the criminal justice initiatives. In general, the criminal justice system should utilize the latest technological, educational, and treatment programs for reaching the highest possible results in the long run.
Processes of Jails, Prisons, Probation, Parole, Juvenile, and Community Corrections
Jails refer to short-term prisons in the United States. They are used for detaining individuals awaiting trial. The local law enforcement agencies are responsible for operating jails. The term of incarceration in jails typically does not exceed one year. However, the vast majority of jails lack the necessary resources for implementing the effective treatment programs for addressing the underlying motivations of convicted individuals. Prisons refer to the facilities that establish the forcible confinement of inmates and are utilized in relation to the individuals convicted of serious crimes such as felonies. The term of incarceration is always higher than one year, and the specific conditions may differ among states and different prisons.
Probation refers to the option in criminal justice system that implies the supervision over the offender rather than forcing the individual to serve time in prison. However, the approval of the parole panel is crucial for possessing and utilizing the opportunity of probation for a specific individual. Parole refers to the release of an individual if he/she agrees with the specified conditions in order to avoid serving in prison for the complete period. However, if the person violates such conditions, he/she may be returned to prison, and further sanctions may be applied. Juvenile corrections refer to the elements of criminal justice system oriented to the needs of juveniles. Community corrections include the supervision and management of offenders in a specific community.
Trends of Institutional and Community-Based Corrections
The past trends related to the institutional and community-based corrections mostly utilized deterrence for preventing individuals from committing crimes in the future. Therefore, the severe punishments were practices as it was supposed to maximize the deterrence effect. The recent example of such a strategy is the War on Drugs with the severe punishment applied to all individuals involved in the consumption and distribution of illegal drugs. However, the ultimate results had indicated the low effectiveness of such an approach. Therefore, the current trends include the various elements for addressing the existing problems and affecting the future behavior of community members. In particular, the modern criminal justice system relies not only on deterrence and incapacitation but also retribution and rehabilitation. On the one hand, it is necessary to provide the adequate compensation to the victim. On the other hand, it is crucial to recognize the underlying reasons of the individuals decision to commit crimes. Correspondingly, it is possible to design the appropriate interventions for affecting his/her motivations and creating the appropriate conditions for the subsequent social reintegration. The institutional environment establishes the general framework for criminal justice initiatives while community-based corrections utilize the challenges relevant for a specific community and addresses them in a complex way.
The future trends may include the introduction of individually-oriented interventions that will consider the experience, preferences, and values of a specific inmate. The modern technologies enable creating the extensive databases with the detailed information regarding all inmates. Thus, it may be possible both to update these data regularly and consider all relevant factors. Thus, it may be expected that both institutional and community-based corrections will become more productive in the future.
Correctional Organization and Administration
The organization and administration of correctional facilities aim at establishing the highest standards of social justice. As some individuals are unwilling to adopt the socially acceptable forms of behavior, the corresponding punishment measures should be implemented. The operations of correctional facilities are organized in a way that such persons are isolated from other social members to prevent the future social harm. At the same time, the complex rehabilitation initiatives are introduced to facilitate the process of social reintegration of all inmates. In addition, correctional facilities have to adjust their functions to operations and fiscal demands.
It means that their operations should be organized in a way that allows utilizing the available scarce resources in the most rational way. Moreover, if the correctional facility tries to expand its operations or introduce additional functions, it should apply for adjusting of its budget. However, it is not always possible in the public facilities. For this reason, there is a growing demand for utilizing the services of private prisons and other facilities to achieve the economization and optimization of costs. In general, in relation to the fiscal concerns, it is always important to evaluate all aspects of the existing framework and evaluate all alternatives from various perspectives including cost-and-benefit considerations.
Security, Technology, and Management within Correctional Environments
Security issues are central for all correctional environments without any exception. It involves both protecting the community from prisoners attempts to escape the facility and prisoners from contraband or other illegal activities of other inmates. In general, security should allow establishing the situation when each inmate receives exactly the same punishment determined by the court. Technologies are crucial for optimizing the process of performing their functions by the correctional personnel. It includes collecting the relevant information and addressing the potential threats or risks at earlier stages. For example, body scanners are widespread nowadays, and numerous other technologies may emerge in the near future. The management of correctional environments should achieve the proper balance between short- and long-term goals of a specific correctional facility. In addition, managers should evaluate the existing external trends to maintain the maximum possible flexibility and effectiveness of the facilitys operations. The proper control systems are the objective necessity nowadays. It includes the control over inmates and all visitors. At the same time, the human rights of all people involved should be preserved.
Educational and Treatment Programs
There are various educational and treatment programs used in correctional facilities for facilitating the process of inmates rehabilitation. Educational programs are significant as the vast majority of inmates lack the proper education. For this reason, they tend to be more open to adopting the socially undesirable modes of behavior. In contrast, when inmates receive the access to higher education, they tend to comprehend the existing social opportunities, and the likelihood of reconsidering their actions in the future tends to rise dramatically. Currently, there is a need for increasing the flexibility of educational programs to adjust them to the specific needs and preferences of all people without any exception.
In addition, there is a variety of treatment programs addressing different physical, emotional, and psychological problems experienced by inmates. They should possess the opportunity to apply for the corresponding assistance and express their concerns. The corresponding specialists should provide the timely and individually-oriented assistance to such people. Moreover, it is always crucial to consider their feedback and provide the proportional adjustments of the initial policies. Counseling and psychological assistance is also necessary for the sustainable development and progress of each inmate. In this way, they should be able to arrive at the spiritual harmony that will create the foundation for the further sustainable changes. Thus, the effective combination of educational and treatment programs is crucial for creating the proper conditions for inmates rehabilitation with the positive implications for the entire society.
To summarize, the correctional system faces numerous challenges and has to adopt to a large number of interrelated factors. In particular, it is necessary to harmonize the interests of inmates with those of the entire society. The individuals should be punished to the degree determined by the court. Juveniles needs should constitute the special concern for the criminal justice professionals to facilitate their rehabilitation. The current trends indicate the shift towards the utilization of the growing number of correctional initiatives with the key focus on comprehending the needs of each individual. The large-scale implementation of new technologies may become the key feature of the future trends.
The organization and administration functions of correctional facilities should achieve the highest possible results relying on the available resources. Due to the higher effectiveness of the private institutions, there is a tendency towards delegating some functions to private prisons and facilities. The security system should address the needs of inmates and other social members. Correctional managers should select short-term objectives in accordance with the general long-term goals. It is also important to design the appropriate educational and treatment programs for creating the proper conditions for inmates development. It maximizes the likelihood of the positive changes in their behavior and further social reintegration.