(240)-343-2585

 

Critical Perspectives on Effective Intervention

There are four general principles of effective intervention that have become organizing concepts of community corrections. They have stimulated what has become known as the “what works” movement. Prepare a digital slide presentation outlining the four general principles of the “what works” movement. For this assignment, you will prepare five digital slides that consider perspectives on the potential merits and limitations associated with each of the four general principles. It is important to develop the ability to frame an approach to content in a digital slide format. A digital slide format provides an opportunity to succinctly summarize points and to organize your thoughts in a compelling and coherent manner. Prior to beginning work on this assignment, please complete the assigned readings in the Wright (2012) text, Contemporary Prison Overcrowding: Short-Term Fixes to a Perpetual Problem(Pitts et al., 2014) and Assessing the Effectiveness of Correctional Sanctions (Cochran et al., 2014). In addition, please review the website Bureau of Justice Statistics (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Also, please consider the recommended website resources.

In your slide presentation, using at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed, or credible sources in addition to the course text

  • Analyze critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general principles.
  • Interpret constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that relate to at least one of the four general principles.
  • Apply knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice in corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles.
  • Explain a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles.

Consider using Q for your research and to access writing supports, and tutoring services available to you. See the Guide to Installing and Using Q (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for more information.

*Note: To access the Ashford University Library directly, click on the Writing Center and Library links in your left navigation. Watch the Database Search Tips (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. video for more and see Searching the Ashford University Library documentfor assignment-specific search tips.

Presenting engaging multimedia content also improves learner retention of information. Include visual enhancements in your presentation. Include appropriate images, a consistent font, appropriate animations, and transitions from content piece-to-content piece and slide-to-slide. (Images should be cited in APA format as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center guide to Tables, Images, & Appendices (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..) You may wish to use the Where to Get Free (and Legal) Images guide (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for assistance with accessing freely available public domain and/or Creative Commons licensed images. It is recommended that you access Garr Reynolds Top Ten Slide Tips (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and Simple Rules for Better PowerPoint Presentations (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., which provide useful assistance with creating successful PowerPoint presentations.

The Critical Perspectives on Effective Intervention presentation:

*Note: You are encouraged to integrate any feedback from your instructor and upload the assignment to your ePortfolio.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

 

Title:

Authors:

Source:

Document Type:

Subject Terms:

Geographic Terms:

Author-Supplied Keywords:

NAICS/Industry Codes:

Abstract:

Record: 1

Assessing the Effectiveness of Correctional Sanctions.

Cochran, Joshua [email protected]

Mears, Daniel [email protected]

Bales, William [email protected]

Journal of Quantitative Criminology. Jun2014, Vol. 30 Issue 2,

p317-347. 31p. 3 Charts.

Article

*CORRECTIONS (Criminal justice administration)

*RECIDIVISM

*SANCTIONS (Law)

*PROBATION

*INTENSIVE probation

*CRIMINAL behavior

UNITED States

Effectiveness

Recidivism

Sanctions

912120 Provincial correctional services

911220 Federal correctional services

922150 Parole Offices and Probation Offices

Objectives: Despite the dramatic expansion of the US

correctional system in recent decades, little is known about

the relative effectiveness of commonly used sanctions on

recidivism. The goal of this paper is to address this research

gap, and systematically examine the relative impacts on

recidivism of four main types of sanctions: probation,

intensive probation, jail, and prison. Methods: Data on

convicted felons in Florida were analyzed and propensity

score matching analyses were used to estimate relative

effects of each sanction type on 3-year reconviction rates.

Results: Estimated effects suggest that less severe sanctions

are more likely to reduce recidivism. Conclusions: The

findings raise questions about the effectiveness of tougher

sanctioning policies for reducing future criminal behavior.

Implications for future research, theory, and policy are also

discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

1

2

2

Author Affiliations:

ISSN:

DOI:

Accession Number:

Database:

Copyright of Journal of Quantitative Criminology is the

property of Springer Nature and its content may not be copied

or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the

copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users

may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This

abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the

accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original

published version of the material for the full abstract.

(Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Department of Criminology, University of South Florida, 4202

East Fowler Avenue, SOC 324 Tampa 33620-7200 USA

College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State

University, 634 West Call Street Tallahassee 32306-1127

USA

0748-4518

10.1007/s10940-013-9205-2

95905262

Academic Search Complete

1

2

Description:

Total Possible Score: 10.00

Distinguished – Comprehensively analyzes critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general
principles.

Proficient – Analyzes critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general principles. The analysis is
slightly underdeveloped.

Basic – Minimally analyzes critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general principles. The analysis
is underdeveloped.

Below Expectations – Attempts to analyze critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general
principles; however, the analysis is significantly underdeveloped.

Non-Performance – The analysis of critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general principles is
either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the assignment instructions.

Distinguished – Comprehensively, clearly, and accurately interprets constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that
relate to at least one of the four general principles.

Proficient – Interprets constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that relate to at least one of the four general
principles. Minor details are missing, slightly unclear, and/or inaccurate.

Basic – Minimally interprets constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that relate to at least one of the four general
principles. Relevant details are missing, unclear, and/or inaccurate.

Below Expectations – Attempts to interpret constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that relate to at least one of the
four general principles; however, significant details are missing, unclear, and inaccurate.

Non-Performance – The interpretation of constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that relate to at least one of the
four general principles is either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the assignment instructions.

Distinguished – Thoroughly applies knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice in
corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles.

Proficient – Applies knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice in corrections
relevant to at least one of the four general principles. Minor details are missing.

Basic – Minimally applies knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice in corrections
relevant to at least one of the four general principles. Relevant details are missing.

Below Expectations – Attempts to apply knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice
in corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles; however, significant details are missing.

Non-Performance – The application of knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice
in corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles is either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the
assignment instructions.

Distinguished – Comprehensively explains a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the
four general principles.

CRJ201.W4A1.07.2018

Analyzes Critical Perspectives on the Merits and Drawbacks of Each of the
Four General Principles

Total: 2.00

Interprets Constitutional Principles for Social and Criminal Justice that Relate
to at Least One of the Four General Principles

Total: 2.00

Applies Knowledge of Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity Awareness to a
Program, Policy, or Practice in Corrections Relevant to at Least One of the
Four General Principles

Total: 2.00

Explains a Criminal Justice Issue within the System of Corrections Relevant to
at Least One of the Four General Principles

Total: 1.50

Proficient – Explains a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles.
The explanation is slightly underdeveloped.

Basic – Minimally explains a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the four general
principles. The explanation is underdeveloped.

Below Expectations – Attempts to explain a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the
four general principles; however, the explanation is significantly underdeveloped.

Non-Performance – The explanation of a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the four
general principles is either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the assignment instructions.

Distinguished – Displays meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar.
Written work contains no errors and is very easy to understand.

Proficient – Displays comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar. Written work
contains only a few minor errors and is mostly easy to understand.

Basic – Displays basic comprehension of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar. Written work contains a few
errors which may slightly distract the reader.

Below Expectations – Fails to display basic comprehension of syntax or mechanics, such as spelling and grammar. Written work
contains major errors which distract the reader.

Non-Performance – The assignment is either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the instructions.

Distinguished – Accurately uses APA formatting consistently throughout the paper, title page, and reference page.

Proficient – Exhibits APA formatting throughout the paper. However, layout contains a few minor errors.

Basic – Exhibits limited knowledge of APA formatting throughout the paper. However, layout does not meet all APA
requirements.

Below Expectations – Fails to exhibit basic knowledge of APA formatting. There are frequent errors, making the layout difficult to
distinguish as APA.

Non-Performance – The assignment is either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the instructions.

Distinguished – The length of the paper is equivalent to the required number of correctly formatted pages.

Proficient – The length of the paper is nearly equivalent to the required number of correctly formatted pages.

Basic – The length of the paper is equivalent to at least three quarters of the required number of correctly formatted pages.

Below Expectations – The length of the paper is equivalent to at least one half of the required number of correctly formatted
pages.

Non-Performance – The assignment is either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the instructions.

Distinguished – Uses more than the required number of scholarly sources, providing compelling evidence to support ideas. All
sources on the reference page are used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.

Proficient – Uses the required number of scholarly sources to support ideas. All sources on the reference page are used and
cited correctly within the body of the assignment.

Basic – Uses less than the required number of sources to support ideas. Some sources may not be scholarly. Most sources on
the reference page are used within the body of the assignment. Citations may not be formatted correctly.

Below Expectations – Uses an inadequate number of sources that provide little or no support for ideas. Sources used may not be
scholarly. Most sources on the reference page are not used within the body of the assignment. Citations are not formatted
correctly.

Non-Performance – The assignment is either nonexistent or lacks the components described in the instructions.

Written Communication: Control of Syntax and Mechanics Total: 0.50

Written Communication: APA Formatting Total: 0.50

Written Communication: Page Requirement Total: 0.50

Written Communication: Resource Requirement Total: 1.00

Powered by

Authors:

Source:

Document Type:

Subject Terms:

Geographic Terms:

Author-Supplied

Keywords:

NAICS/Industry

Codes:

Abstract:

Contemporary prison overcrowding:
short-term fixes to a perpetual problem.

Pitts, James M.A. (AUTHOR)

Griffin III, O. Hayden (AUTHOR) [email protected]

Johnson, W. Wesley (AUTHOR)

Contemporary Justice Review. Mar2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p124-139. 16p.

Article

*PRISONS

*PRISON overcrowding

*RECESSIONS

UNITED States federal budget

UNITED States

corrections policy

inmate population

prison overcrowding

sentencing

921130 Public Finance Activities

912120 Provincial correctional services

922140 Correctional Institutions

911220 Federal correctional services

236220 Commercial and Institutional Building Construction

Since the United States began using incarceration as its cornerstone of

punishment for those who transgress the law, this method of discipline has

been fraught with problems. One of the most ubiquitous problems found within

correctional institutions are the conditions inmates are forced to live in

particularly, when penal facilities are overcrowded. These conditions have led

to extensive litigation, compelling the judicial system to change. Although

overall conditions have improved, a perpetually increasing inmate population

continues to plague correctional systems as costs continue to rise. As state

budgets have become strained during the economic downturns, many states’

officials view less punitive measures as possible solutions to the excessive

1

2

1

Author Affiliations:

ISSN:

DOI:

Accession Number:

Publisher Logo:

costs of administering punishment and overcrowded inmate populations. Due

to facility overcrowding, several states have actually been placed under

federal court order to reduce their inmate population in order to protect

inmates’ constitutional rights. Although this has resulted in a change of

policies to help alleviate prison overcrowding, there is little evidence these are

anything more than short-term fixes to a problem with no end in sight.

[ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Copyright of Contemporary Justice Review is the property of Routledge and

its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a

listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However,

users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract

may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users

should refer to the original published version of the material for the full

abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

1028-2580

10.1080/10282580.2014.883844

95048143

Contemporary prison overcrowding: short-
term fixes to a perpetual problem.

Since the United States began using incarceration as its cornerstone of punishment for those

who transgress the law, this method of discipline has been fraught with problems. One of the

most ubiquitous problems found within correctional institutions are the conditions inmates are

forced to live in particularly, when penal facilities are overcrowded. These conditions have led

1

2

Plum Print

Listen American Accent 

to extensive litigation, compelling the judicial system to change. Although overall conditions

have improved, a perpetually increasing inmate population continues to plague correctional

systems as costs continue to rise. As state budgets have become strained during the

economic downturns, many states’ officials view less punitive measures as possible solutions

to the excessive costs of administering punishment and overcrowded inmate populations.

Due to facility overcrowding, several states have actually been placed under federal court

order to reduce their inmate population in order to protect inmates’ constitutional rights.

Although this has resulted in a change of policies to help alleviate prison overcrowding, there

is little evidence these are anything more than short-term fixes to a problem with no end in

sight.

Keywords: prison overcrowding; inmate population; sentencing; corrections policy

Introduction

In the United States, like many other affluent nations, law has become the blueprint by which

society is governed. The concept of punishment is typically connected to or associated with

the law, and usually follows as a consequence of non-compliance with those directives. As

such, the means by which a society administers punishment is often thoroughly scrutinized to

insure fairness and efficiency in obtaining justice. Incarceration has been the dominant form

of punishment in American society for serious crimes (Ross, [49]; Verro, [61]). In fact, some

would argue that incarceration has been overused to such a degree that it constitutes an

inefficient use of resources.

In recent years, many states have become fiscally strained as the practice of mass

incarceration has come under increased criticism (Ekland-Olson, Barrick, & Cohen, [16];

Harris, [27]; Lucken, [37]; Nagel [40]). As such, many of these states are beginning to re-

evaluate their use of incarceration in an attempt to better utilize the limited resources at their

disposal (Ekland-Olson et al., [16]; Feinstein, [18]; Harriman & Straussman, [26]; Harris, [27];

Judge, [31]; Kendrick, [33]; Marvell, [38]; Ornduff, [42]; Papy & Nimer, [43]; Smith & Akers,

[54]; Spector, [56]). Despite efforts to reform the manner in which America manages its

correctional system, such reforms seem to be primarily driven by the short-term need to

balance state budgets, as opposed to the long-term goal of reducing prison populations. In

keeping with the idea of how crises often dictate policy choices in criminal justice (Johnson,

[30]), the task of seeking alternatives to incarceration does not represent a new trend in

incarceration, but rather a quick fix to a pressing issue.

After years of turning a blind eye to problems within the correctional system of the United

States, federal and state courts have unfailingly ruled that prison populations must be

reduced. Although these orders might appear to come as a welcome sign, due to the

immediacy of complying with these court-ordered mandates, changes in policy have often

resulted in short-term fixes to a perpetual problem. The policies of several different states will

be reviewed and the implications of potential remedies to overcrowding will be discussed as

to suggest whether the remedial efforts utilized in different states can be regarded as a shift

from mass incarceration.

Context

Prison overcrowding has been a matter of concern for decades (Bogan, [ 5]; Ekland-Olson et

al., [16]; Giertz & Nardulli, [22]; Levitt, [36]; Nagel, [40]; Ornduff, [42]; Smith & Akers, [54]). In

fact, over the past few decades, America has experienced ‘a dramatic increase in the number

of people incarcerated’ (Richards, Austin, & Jones, [47], p. 93). According to Angelos and

Jacobs ([ 1]), ‘American prisons … have always been crowded, [and] prison populations

typically exceeded design capacity’ (p. 101). Several authors have noted the deplorable

conditions in America’s prisons, many of which are a direct result of overcrowding (Chung,

[11]; Gaes, [21]; Ornduff, [42]; Steiner & Wooldredge, [57]; Thornberry & Call, [59]). A review

of the literature concerning overcrowding within prisons reveals that it is a problem that

originated in the 1970s and has continued to the present (Caplow & Simon, [10]; Chung [11];

Ekland-Olson et al., [16]; Gaes, [21]; Kendrick, [33]; Marvell, [38]). As such, correctional

institutions operating above design capacity is not a new phenomenon.

As Haney ([25]) purports, ‘the problems we now face [regarding prison overcrowding] were

repeatedly predicted and certainly could have been avoided if the many early warnings had

been heeded’ (p. 267). Attempts to relieve prison overcrowding have been equally as

prevalent, encompassing a host of different approaches. These include new prison

construction, early release and parole reforms, diversion programs, and inmate transfers to

other facilities (Bogan, [ 5]; Clear, Cole, & Reisig, [12]; Clements, [13]; Feinstein, [18]; Giertz

and Nardulli, [22]; Haney, [25]; Harris, [27]; Judge, [31]; Kendrick, [33]; Marvell, [38]; Papy &

Nimer, [43]; Smith & Akers, [54]; Wright and Rosky, [63]). Moreover, as prisoners are

released, many states are closing prison facilities behind them to save even more resources

that had been previously been allocated to corrections (Porter, [44]).

Prison overcrowding appears omnipresent throughout the United States. Chung ([11]) notes

that as many as 33 states have operated at 100% capacity or higher. In at least 12 states,

‘the entire prison system [was] under court control’ (Levitt, [36], p. 326). Sturm ([58]) states

that by 1993, 40 states were required by court order to reduce prison overcrowding or other

conditions that constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Such judicial and legislative

measures illustrate the urgency of the prison overcrowding situation. For instance, California

was recently the target of such a ruling in which a three-judge federal court panel ordered the

immediate reduction of its inmate population, and mandated a population cap on inmate

admissions to insure continued compliance in the future (Ross, [49]; Spector, [56]).

Prison overcrowding: causes and consequences

The issue of prison overcrowding and its associated problems are not new. The corrections

literature has extensively documented the characteristics of America’s overcrowded prisons

for decades (Levitt, [36]). Most authors note the tremendous expansion of inmate admissions

to prison beginning in the late 1970s and the high number of jurisdictions with facilities filled

above design capacity (Chung, [11]; Gaes, [21]; Giertz & Nardulli, [22]; Haney, [25]; Wright &

Rosky, [63]). For instance, Angelos and Jacobs ([ 1]) point out that ‘prisons in at least one-

half the states are under court order to reduce crowding’ (p. 101). Nonetheless, some

researchers assert that there have been relatively few periods in American history in which

prisons were not thought to be overcrowded (Kelly & Ekland-Olson, [32]).

Both state and federal courts, as well as various state agencies and prisons have been

inconsistent in their definitions of prison overcrowding (Bonta & Gendreau, [ 6]; Kelly &

Ekland-Olson, [32]; Schoenfeld, [50]; Thornberry & Call, [59]). This creates methodological

concerns for accurately measuring overcrowding in conjunction with its causes and effects

(Gaes, [21]; Steiner & Wooldredge, [57]). In studies of overcrowding, ‘crowding has been

operationalized most frequently as spatial density or a ratio of a facility’s total population to

the maximum design or rated capacity’ (Steiner & Wooldredge, [57], p. 215). This measure

differs substantially from other studies that examined inmates’ perceptions of overcrowding or

how each individual prisoner is affected differently by their circumstances. For instance,

Gaes’ ([21]) assessed the effect of prison overcrowding on inmates using variables like

personal space (unshared space), privacy, and perceived crowding. From his perspective, the

concept of prison overcrowding slightly departs from structural constraints and expands to

more adequately assess the total effect of overcrowded prison conditions. Still, others have

assessed various physiological effects like added stress, increases in blood pressure, and

higher levels of anxiety (Bonta & Gendreau, [ 6]; Clements, [13]; Ekland-Olson et al., [16];

Kendrick, [33], Ornduff, [42]; Thornberry & Call, [59]).

The effects of prison overcrowding are not limited to inmates. Prison overcrowding adversely

affects prison staff, not only psychologically and physiologically, but also in terms of policy

decisions (Haney, [25]). Clements ([13]) argued that when prisons are overcrowded,

correctional facilities are typically unable to implement and maintain programs designed to

prevent recidivism. He argued that this vacuum can prevent proper offender classification.

Correctional staff has denied a very important measure in determining which inmates are

more serious about rehabilitation. In response to prison riots, which resulted in the death of

corrections officials during the 1970s, prison administrators increased reliance on supermax

confinement despite the practice being prohibited by the Supreme Court for long-term use

during the late 1800s (Eisenman, [15]; King, Steiner, & Breach, [34]; Ross, [48]). The re-

emergence of such long-term punitive measures was initiated in an attempt to maintain

greater safety and security among inmates and staff. A similar example is also demonstrable

in the unfair and adverse classification of many mentally ill inmates (Slate & Johnson, [52]),

frequently resulting in supermax confinement (O’Keefe, [41]). Research has demonstrated

that the added threat of violence posed by the mentally ill in overcrowded facilities routinely

forces prison officials to unfairly confine these individuals to solitary units (Haney, [24];

Rhodes, [46]). Thus, the effects of prison overcrowding have real consequences, which affect

all those involved in corrections through policy decisions.

The causes of prison overcrowding can largely be attributed to institutions outside

correctional agencies. Perhaps the most direct influence on prison admissions comes from

the courts ‘determinate sentencing procedures that remove judicial discretion in sentencing

length for inmates (Bogan, [ 5]; Griswold, [23]; Harris, [27]; Kendrick, [33]; Marvell, [38];

Reiman & Leighton, [45]). Beginning primarily in the early 1980s, this trend toward longer

sentences carried considerable political popularity as it reaffirmed the value and utility of

punishment (Giertz & Nardulli, [22]). Coinciding with this line of reasoning, determinate

sentencing and restrictions on early release prevent state and local administrators from being

able to control prison admissions or discharges to any degree (Giertz & Nardulli, [22]). If the

individual states had the correctional facility infrastructure to deal with more inmates serving

longer sentences, these changes in sentencing policy may not have overburdened the

system. However, not only did the states lack the infrastructure which led to overcrowding,

but also underfunding and a dearth of new prison construction did not allow the states to keep

pace with a constantly increasing flow of inmates (Haney, [25]; Harris, [27]).

Generally, there is a consensus that overcrowded prisons foster negative effects, many of

which exacerbate the seriousness of constitutional violations occurring within these facilities

(Gaes, [21]; Specter, [56]; Steiner & Wooldredge, [57]). Not only does overcrowding affect the

inmate on an individual level, it also contributes to organizational strain. Steiner and

Wooldredge ([57]) offered an in-depth assessment of several studies conducted on the

effects of prison overcrowding. They noted, ‘crowding effects on facility operations are

realized when a facility’s population exceeds eighty percent of its design capacity’ (p. 215).

Perhaps the most widely known example of overcrowding causing organization strain is

inmates’ lack of adequate resources. Such resources include adequate medical attention,

meaningful work assignments, and even programs designed to reduce idleness and increase

prisoners’ marketability once released (Clements, [13]; Kurlychek, [35]).

California’s massive overcrowding problem absorbed such an exorbitant amount of resources

that the state was unable to address inmates’ illiteracy. Research showed that more than

20% of the California prison population was reading at or below a third-grade level (Haney,

[25]). California’s overcrowding problem has also strained its ability to provide adequate

medical care to such a degree that a federal court recently mandated population caps and the

early release of thousands of prisoners in an attempt to insure that constitutional rights are

not violated (Ross, [49]; Spector, [56]).

Even worse, Haney ([25]) stated that ‘overcrowding … leads correctional administrators to

adopt problematic policies and practices that may worsen rather than alleviate other aspects

of the prison experience’ (p. 277). This is particularly evident when considering the plight of

mentally ill offenders. As many mentally ill offenders have difficulty adjusting and adhering to

prison rules, overcrowding can exacerbate these problems. Due to the fear that mentally

inmates may become violent in overcrowded conditions, it has become a common practice to

house them in solitary confinement to remove mentally ill inmates from the general population

(Arrigo & Bullock, [ 3]; Haney, [24]; Rhodes, [46]). Given the Supreme Court’s condemnation

of long-term solitary confinement (Eisenman, [15]; Ross, [48]), this practice stands as a

deplorable example of the way in which overcrowding negatively contributes to other aspects

of the prison experience. Such practices exemplify that in criminal justice, crises often dictate

policy choices (Johnson, [30]; Slate & Johnson, [52]). Too often society does not do what is

just or in the best interests of the people whom it punishes. Ostensibly, society is simply more

inclined to engage in what is cost-effective.

Overcrowding litigation

The courts have utilized several different approaches to identify prison overcrowding. Cases

regarding overcrowding in prison are generally heard under the Eighth Amendment’s

protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Prior to the 1960s, the courts typically

applied a hands-off approach to problems of overcrowding (Angelos & Jacobs, [ 1]; Chung,

[11]; Griswold, [23]; Smolla, [55]; Thornberry & Call, [59]). Prisoners were typically left under

the authority of state legislatures, and convicted criminals received little relief from the courts.

Beginning in 1965, the federal courts decided it was time to intervene in what had historically

been considered state disputes and began to hear cases concerning prison overcrowding in

Arkansas and Alabama. In each state, conditions of confinement were determined to be

unconstitutional, decisions that were later upheld by the United States Supreme Court

(Angelos & Jacobs, [ 1]). During this time, the lower federal courts generally used the ‘totality

of conditions’ approach to determine whether a violation of the Eighth Amendment had

occurred. Cases were simply evaluated on an individual basis and the courts were

responsible in determining whether the totality of the conditions constituted cruel and unusual

punishment (Angelos & Jacobs, [ 1]; Chung, [11]). Such an approach does not typically instill

long-term change because the individualized approach of analyzing the totality of conditions

does not generally create precedence or general rules to guide future overcrowding cases.

A second approach utilized by federal district courts is the core conditions approach. When

using this test, Chung ([11]) argues that a court must ‘identify particular conditions that fail to

meet constitutional requirements’ (p. 2366). Such conditions must also deprive an inmate of

essential necessities like adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc. This is a distinct

approach, given that there cannot be a joinder of issues to suggest that the overall effect of

overcrowding is unconstitutional. Finally, Chung suggests that lower federal courts use the

per se approach. Although this method has not been clearly defined, its meaning ranges from

conditions that ‘shock the general conscience to those that offend contemporary standards of

human decency’ (p. 2368).

The Supreme Court uses a different approach when analyzing alleged violations of the Eighth

Amendment regarding prison conditions. Following Rhodes v. Chapman (452 U.S. 337), the

Court began to apply the deliberate indifference standard to assess cruel and unusual

punishment claims. Under this standard, one must show that an official acted with deliberate

indifference to inmates’ medical needs (Chung, [11]). By using numerous approaches to

assess constitutional violations, the courts have not improved either the understanding or

definition of what constitutes prison overcrowding. It is possible that the courts contribute

indirectly to the level of uncertainty surrounding conditions of confinement that could possibly

be regarded as unconstitutional.

Solutions to prison overcrowding

Attempts to remedy overcrowding have been as numerous as the various causes. This is not

unexpected, since a multifaceted problem typically requires a multifaceted solution. The

effectiveness of various strategies employed to manage prison overcrowding varies, each

with its own shortcomings. Consequently, it is important to understand the need to utilize

each of these strategies, in combination with others, to adequately address prison

overcrowding. While researchers have offered a plethora of approaches to manage prison

overcrowding, Wright and Rosky ([63]) provided a model of how these approaches should be

categorized. They asserted that there are three prevailing views of managing prison

overcrowding. The first, and most straightforward, is to increase prison capacity. The second

is considered to be a front-end approach using various diversion programs which divert

offenders from prison time. Third, backdoor strategies allow for early release of inmates to

reduce prison populations.

Perhaps the most common attempt to remedy overcrowding involves the construction

strategy. This entails building new prisons to accommodate the influx of prison admissions

caused by tougher sentencing practices (Clear et al., [12]; Harriman & Straussman, [55];

Judge, [31]). In theory, as new space becomes available, the strain on overcrowded facilities

will be relieved, allowing for more humane conditions of incarceration. While this approach is

plausible, it is hindered by a few issues. First, the costs of implementation are tremendous

(Vitiello, [62]). Studies indicate that the cost per cell for a new prison facility is approximately

$75,000. Viewed in this manner, a facility designed to house 500 inmates would have a total

cost of approximately $31 million (Clear et al., [12], p. 472). Additionally, the cost of building

new prisons does not account for the added expense of operating them. California’s recent

prison expansion project is expected to cost between 7 and $15 billion (Clear et al., [12]).

Despite the high cost of new construction, ‘twenty-five states and the federal government had

stable or increasing prison populations in 2010′ (Porter, [44], p. 5).

The second criticism of prison construction, as a strategy to alleviate overcrowding, is that

prison building is a long-term process. Estimates suggest that construction of new facilities

requires approximately 7–8 years (Clear et al., [12]). As such, there is no immediate impact

on prison overcrowding if a decision is made to invest in new construction. A construction

strategy should be viewed as a long-term approach that is an immediate remedy for

overcrowding.

Opponents suggest that building new prisons is not a solution to overcrowding and question

its benefits. The massive influx of prison admissions produces a situation where inmates are

often waiting in county jails until prison space becomes available. Once these new facilities

open, they are immediately filled, eliminating the possibility for crowding relief in state prisons

(Clear et al., [12]; Kendrick, [33]). Proponents of the prison construction approach have touted

the construction of new prisons as a catalyst for economic development in rural areas.

Studies indicate that while prison building does create jobs, these jobs are often filled by

contractors from outside the community where the facilities are built. These contractors

typically import skilled labor to construct new facilities rather than training new workers from

the local applicant pool (Eisenman, [15]). For instance, a study conducted in Corcoran,

California, revealed that ‘only forty percent of new prison jobs were filled by residents of the

host community’ (Hooks, Mosher, Genter, Rotolo, & Lobao, [29], p. 241). This suggests that

the benefits of new construction on area development in rural areas are somewhat illusory.

Indeed, according to Hooks et al. ([29]), ‘there is mounting evidence that prisons do not solve

the economic problems of rural areas but do create new ones’ (p. 240).

Other strategies to reduce overcrowding include intermediate sanctions, such as community

corrections, restitution, fines, probation, and other similar alternatives to incarceration (Clear

et al., [12]; Feinstein, [18]; Harris, [27]; Judge, [31]; Kendrick, [33]; Papy & Nimer, [43]; Smith

& Akers, [54]). These strategies have the effect of diverting offenders from the prison system,

not only saving prison space but also preserving fiscal resources in relation to incarceration.

In the midst of the United States’ current economic downturn, such alternatives to

incarceration have the added benefit of saving tax dollars while relieving strain on the criminal

justice system (Porter, [44]). Nonetheless, critics contend that intermediate sanctions take a

considerable amount of time to work, especially since these policies are infrequently applied

retroactively (Clear et al., [12]). These approaches shift system strain from prison facilities to

probation officers and the community, since someone must be responsible for their

supervision. Opponents of intermediate sanctions have suggested that this approach is only

available for non-violent, low-risk offenders (Turner, [60]). Ultimately, since intermediate

sanctions are less punitive than incarceration, a belief that this might lead to net widening has

been debated. If true, this could overburden the system in a number of ways (Byrne, Lurigio &

Petersilia, [ 7]; Ezell, [17]; McMahon, [39]). The relief that this solution provides is often

minimal. Despite these criticisms, if used in conjunction with other approaches, intermediate

sanctions can have an effect on prison overcrowding by providing more time to build new

facilities and using the fiscal resources that become available through decreased reliance on

incarceration.

Generally referred to as backdoor strategies, prison population reduction usually entails

providing early release incentives to inmates who qualify for such programs. Parole, parole

reforms, home confinement/house arrest, work release, and good time credits all could be

classified as means of directly reducing prison populations (Clear et al., [12]; Feinstein, [18];

Harris, [27]; Judge, [31]; Kendrick, [33]; Papy & Nimer, [43]; Smith & Akers, [54]; Turner, [60]).

Population reduction also entails ‘changes to reduce revocations for probationers and

parolees’ (Turner, [60], p. 917). Another type of backdoor strategy includes inmate transfers

to other less-crowded facilities, often out of state or to private institutions (Shichor & Sechrest,

[51]; Spector, [56]; Young, [64]). The primary advantage of using this strategy is that it can

have an immediate impact on the availability of prison space. As such, correctional officials

can utilize their own discretion in determining the degree to which such strategies are

necessary to accommodate fluctuations in prison admissions.

While there are numerous advantages associated with the backdoor approach (such as cost

savings and additional prison space), they are not without shortcomings. Austin ([ 3]) noted

the difficulties presented by a lack of interagency collaboration in his study of prisoner re-

entry programs in 10 different states. He suggested that attempts to relieve prison

overcrowding can be thwarted by parole officers’ attempts to be stricter on prisoners who are

released early. Another problem associated with prison population reduction is that it is

frequently circumvented by state legislators who are hoping to bolster their image as tough on

crime (Feld & Schaefer, [19]). In many instances, the use of such an approach is unavailable,

due to parole restrictions mandated by sentencing guidelines and/or truth-in-sentencing laws

(Bogan, [ 5]; Clear et al., [12]; Marvel, [38]). Similarly, prison employees’ unions have been

effective at organizing opposition to people who have advocated more lenient sentencing

policies. This has helped prevent a decline in prison admissions and the closure of facilities

(Porter, [44]). Despite these hurdles, the unavailability of adequate fiscal resources has led to

a resurgence in the use and popularity of such proposals. Thus, there is increased optimism

for the use of population reduction, even if it is only utilized as a last resort.

The final approach to managing overcrowded prison facilities can hardly …

Week 4 – Assignment

Critical Perspectives on Effective Intervention

[WLOs: 2, 3, 4, 5] [CLOs: 2, 3, 5, 6]

There are four general principles of effective intervention that have become organizing concepts of

community corrections. They have stimulated what has become known as the “what works” movement.

Prepare a digital slide presentation outlining the four general principles of the “what works” movement.

For this assignment, you will prepare five digital slides that consider perspectives on the potential

merits and limitations associated with each of the four general principles. It is important to develop the

ability to frame an approach to content in a digital slide format. A digital slide format provides an

opportunity to succinctly summarize points and to organize your thoughts in a compelling and coherent

manner. Prior to beginning work on this assignment, please complete the assigned readings in the

Wright (2012) text, Contemporary Prison Overcrowding: Short-Term Fixes to a Perpetual Problem

(Pitts et al., 2014) and Assessing the Effectiveness of Correctional Sanctions (Cochran et al.,

2014). In addition, please review the website Bureau of Justice Statistics (https://bjs.gov/) . Also,

please consider the recommended website resources.

In your slide presentation, using at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed, or credible sources in addition to

the course text

• Analyze critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general principles.

• Interpret constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that relate to at least one of the four

general principles.

• Apply knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice in

corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles.

• Explain a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the four

general principles.

Consider using Q for your research and to access writing supports, and tutoring services available to

you. See the Guide to Installing and Using Q

(https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/dd00f749-7449-469c-9bd3-

1e6e269bd895/1/Guide%20to%20Installing%20and%20Using%20Q%20for%20Success.pdf) for more

information.

*Note: To access the Ashford University Library directly, click on the Writing Center and Library links in

your left navigation. Watch the Database Search Tips

(https://ashford.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Database+Search+Tips/0_vj8u97hi) video for more and

see Searching the Ashford University Library document for assignment-specific search tips.

Presenting engaging multimedia content also improves learner retention of information. Include visual

enhancements in your presentation. Include appropriate images, a consistent font, appropriate

animations, and transitions from content piece-to-content piece and slide-to-slide. (Images should be

cited in APA format as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center guide to Tables, Images, & Appendices

(http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/tables-images-appendices) .) You may wish to use the Where to Get

Free (and Legal) Images guide (https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/5618416c-

a94d-4ad6-948d-89fe46c74674/1/MSCJ%20Where%20to%20Get%20Free%20Images.pdf) for assistance

with accessing freely available public domain and/or Creative Commons licensed images. It is

recommended that you access Garr Reynolds Top Ten Slide Tips

(http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/design/) and Simple Rules for Better PowerPoint

Presentations (http://www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint-tips/simple-rules-for-better-powerpoint-

presentations) , which provide useful assistance with creating successful PowerPoint presentations.

The Critical Perspectives on Effective Intervention presentation:

• Must be five slides in length (not including title and references slides) and formatted according to

APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

(http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/how-make-powerpoint-presentation)

• Must include a separate title slide with the following:

◦ Title of presentation

◦ Student’s name

◦ Course name and number

◦ Instructor’s name

◦ Date submitted

• Must use at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed, or credible sources in addition to the course text.

◦ The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources

(https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/e5359309-7d3c-4a21-a410-

44d59303ccef/1/Scholarly%20Peer-Reviewed%20and%20Other%20Credible%20Sources.pdf) table

offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a

specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor

has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular slide

presentation.

• Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing

Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/citing-within-your-paper)

• Must include a separate references slide that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the

Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List

(http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/format-your-reference-list) resource in the Ashford Writing Center for

specifications.

*Note: You are encouraged to integrate any feedback from your instructor and upload the assignment

to your ePortfolio .

Carefully review the Grading Rubric

(http://ashford.waypointoutcomes.com/assessment/22398/preview) for the criteria that will be used to

evaluate your assignment.

This tool needs to be loaded in a new browser window

Waypoint Assignment
Submission

The assignments in this course will be submitted to Waypoint. Please refer to the instructions below to

submit your assignment.

1. Click on the Assignment Submission button below. The Waypoint “Student Dashboard” will open

in a new browser window.

2. Browse for your assignment.

3. Click Upload.

4. Confirm that your assignment was successfully submitted by viewing the appropriate week’s

assignment tab in Waypoint.

For more detailed instructions, refer to the Waypoint Tutorial

(https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/dc358708-3d2b-41a6-a000-

ff53b3cc3794/1/Waypoint%20Tutorial.pdf)

(https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/dc358708-3d2b-41a6-a000-

ff53b3cc3794/1/Waypoint%20Tutorial.pdf) .

Load Week 4 – Assignment in a new window

Week 4 Instructor Guidance

Sean Grier

All Sections

CRJ 201: Introduction to Criminal Justice

Week 4 Assignments:

ReadChapters 8 & 9 in Introduction to Criminal Justice

This week your reading will focus on corrections in particular, which is perhaps the largest component of

the

criminal justice system. As you will notice, corrections begin where the courts end. There are many

different aspects of corrections, and not all corrections involve actual incarceration. Rather, there is

awide range of corrections, including probation and parole. You will be expected to use this information

and your own perspective in this week’s Written Assignment and Discussions.

This week you will need to participate one discussion forum. Create an initial post by Day 3 that

demonstrates a thorough understanding of the material. Respond to at leasttwo peers by Day 7 of the

week. Be sure to fully address the prompt in order to earn full points!

You have been assigned to a section for this discussion. Prior to beginning work on this discussion,

explore the philosophies behind four approaches to criminal sanctions—retribution, deterrence,

incapacitation, and rehabilitation—as considered in the Wright (2012) text. In addition, please review the

assigned website, Bureau of Justice Statistics (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(https://bjs.gov/) , and read Contemporary Prison Overcrowding: Short-Term Fixes to a

Perpetual Problem (Pitts et al., 2014). You will also consider an application for life course theory in

criminology relevant to criminal sanctions. Please review resources referenced in Week 1, the Messer,

Patten, and Candela (2016) article pages seven through nine, and/or content in the Salvatore (2017)

article pages one through two, which respectively summarize life source theory in criminology.

Respond to the prompts within your assigned section. In an initial post of at least 250 words in length,

address the following:

Section 1 – Students whose last name begins with the letters A-G

• Define retribution. What is the philosophical basis for retribution?

• Interpret how at least one constitutional principle relevant to social and criminal justice relates to

retribution.

• Describe how life source theory in criminology could either challenge or support retribution.

Section 2 – Students whose last names begin with the letters H-K

• Define general and specific deterrence. What is the philosophical basis for deterrence?

• Interpret how at least one constitutional principles relevant to social and criminal justice relates to

deterrence.

• Describe how life source theory in criminology could either challenge or support retribution

deterrence.

Section 3 – Students whose last names begin with the letters L-R

• Define incapacitation. What is the philosophical basis for incapacitation?

• Interpret how at least one constitutional principle relevant to social and criminal justice relates to

rehabilitation.

• Describe how life source theory in criminology could either challenge or support incapacitation.

Section 4 – Students whose last names begin with the letters S –Z

• Define rehabilitation. What is the philosophical basis for rehabilitation?

• Interpret how at least one constitutional principle relevant to social and criminal justice relates to

rehabilitation.

• Describe how life source theory in criminology could either challenge or support rehabilitation.

All students

• Of the four approaches, which do you think is the most effective framework for criminal sanction?

Why? Make sure to substantiate your reasons with citations to scholarly or credible sources.

Guided Response: Review several of your peers’ posts within each section other than your own and

respond to at least one of your peers’ posts from each of those sections (totaling three classmates) by

Day 7. Responses to your peers should be substantive, at least 100 words in length, and provide

recommendations to extend their thinking. Support your claims with examples from the required material

(s) and/or scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and

Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/e5359309-7d3c-4a21-a410-

44d59303ccef/1/Scholarly%20Peer-Reviewed%20and%20Other%20Credible%20Sources.pdf) table offers

additional guidance on appropriate source types. Also, include at least one follow-up question in each of

your response posts about your peers’ initial posting.

Next, respond to your peers’ responses to you! This is unlike the other discussions for this course in that

you must respond to those who have responded to you. Simply respond to their follow-up question in a

complete and substantial way. It is then the responsibility of each student to answer the question asked

of you in the secondary response. If, for some reason, you are not asked a question in a secondary

response by Day 6, you may answer a question that someone asked to another one of your classmates.

Remember that this is a discussion. If a classmate or your instructor asks you a question, it is your

responsibility to respond. You are encouraged to post your required replies earlier in the week to

promote more meaningful and interactive discourse in this discussion forum. Continue to monitor the

discussion forum until 11:59 p.m. on Day 7 of the week, and respond with robust dialogue to anyone

who replies to your initial post.

Critical Perspectives on Effective Intervention

There are four general principles of effective intervention that have become organizing concepts of

community corrections. They have stimulated what has become known as the “what works” movement.

Prepare a digital slide presentation outlining the four general principles of the “what works” movement.

For this assignment, you will prepare five digital slides that consider perspectives on the potential merits

and limitations associated with each of the four general principles. It is important to develop the ability to

frame an approach to content in a digital slide format. A digital slide format provides an opportunity to

succinctly summarize points and to organize your thoughts in a compelling and coherent manner. Prior

to beginning work on this assignment, please complete the assigned readings in the Wright (2012)

text, Contemporary Prison Overcrowding: Short-Term Fixes to a Perpetual Problem (Pitts et al.,

2014) and Assessing the Effectiveness of Correctional Sanctions (Cochran et al., 2014). In addition,

please review the website Bureau of Justice Statistics (Links to an external site.)Links to an

external site. (https://bjs.gov/) . Also, please consider the recommended website resources.

In your slide presentation, using at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed, or credible sources in addition to

the course text

• Analyze critical perspectives on the merits and drawbacks of each of the four general principles.

• Interpret constitutional principles for social and criminal justice that relate to at least one of the four

general principles.

• Apply knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to a program, policy, or practice in

corrections relevant to at least one of the four general principles.

• Explain a criminal justice issue within the system of corrections relevant to at least one of the four

general principles.

Consider using Q for your research and to access writing supports, and tutoring services available to

you. See the Guide to Installing and Using Q (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/dd00f749-7449-469c-9bd3-

1e6e269bd895/1/Guide%20to%20Installing%20and%20Using%20Q%20for%20Success.pdf) for more

information.

*Note: To access the Ashford University Library directly, click on the Writing Center and Library links in

your left navigation. Watch the Database Search Tips (Links to an external site.)Links to an external

site. (https://ashford.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Database+Search+Tips/0_vj8u97hi) video for more

and see Searching the Ashford University Librarydocument for assignment-specific search tips.

Presenting engaging multimedia content also improves learner retention of information. Include visual

enhancements in your presentation. Include appropriate images, a consistent font, appropriate

animations, and transitions from content piece-to-content piece and slide-to-slide. (Images should be

cited in APA format as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center guide to Tables, Images, &

Appendices (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/tables-images-appendices) .) You may wish to use the Where to Get

Free (and Legal) Images guide (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/5618416c-a94d-4ad6-948d-

89fe46c74674/1/MSCJ%20Where%20to%20Get%20Free%20Images.pdf) for assistance with accessing

freely available public domain and/or Creative Commons licensed images. It is recommended that you

access Garr Reynolds Top Ten Slide Tips (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/design/) and Simple Rules for Better PowerPoint

Presentations (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(http://www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint-tips/simple-rules-for-better-powerpoint-presentations) , which

provide useful assistance with creating successful PowerPoint presentations.

The Critical Perspectives on Effective Intervention presentation:

• Must be five slides in length (not including title and references slides) and formatted according to

APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’sHow to Make a PowerPoint

Presentation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/how-make-powerpoint-presentation)

• Must include a separate title slide with the following:

◦ Title of presentation

◦ Student’s name

◦ Course name and number

◦ Instructor’s name

◦ Date submitted

• Must use at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed, or credible sources in addition to the course text.

◦ TheScholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links

to an external site. (https://content.bridgepointeducation.com/curriculum/file/e5359309-7d3c-

4a21-a410-44d59303ccef/1/Scholarly%20Peer-

Reviewed%20and%20Other%20Credible%20Sources.pdf) table offers additional guidance on

appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate

for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the

appropriateness of a specific source for a particular slide presentation.

• Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing

Center’sCiting Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

(http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/citing-within-your-paper)

• Must include a separate references slide that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the

Ashford Writing Center. See theFormatting Your References List (Links to an external site.)

Links to an external site. (http://writingcenter.ashford.edu/format-your-reference-list) resource in

the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.

Hello class! Welcome to Week Four of Introduction to Criminal Justice.

Corrections

As I have already noted, corrections is perhaps the largest and most researched component of the

criminal justice system. Wright (2012) noted that in past times, correctional philosophies have changed

with the opinions of politicians in power. This is still true in some instances, and you can notice a

distinct difference between conservative philosophies and liberal philosophies. However, there has

been a dramatic push in contemporary criminal justice to move away from this erratic practice. Rather,

academia has made a persuasive argument to move the field of criminal justice to a more evidence-

based system. This is why you will repeatedly hear the term ‘evidence-based;’ because it is an

extremely important concept to modern criminal justice. This is a good thing, since it prevents policy

makers from making decisions based on a “hunch” that their idea will work.

One of the reasons that the field of corrections has been so thoroughly researched is because it costs

the American taxpayers billions of dollars per year. Therefore, it is important to find methods that can

rehabilitate offenders and put them back into society as productive citizens. Sadly, one of the biggest

problems with corrections is the stigma that is associated with incarceration. For instance, ex-offenders

have extreme difficulty finding good wage earning jobs after being released from prison. Since they

cannot find a good job, they cannot support themselves. Since they cannot support themselves, they

end up returning to a criminal lifestyle. This, in turn, causes them to get re-arrested and sent back into

prison. Therefore, this is one area that should be researched, to find ways to overcome this stigma and

allow ex-convicts to find decent jobs. I will start working on my dissertation study within the next month,

and this is the topic I have chosen to study. I will be studying the impact of faith-based correctional

programs on increasing the likelihood of ex-offender employment. I hope to discover a method that will

increase their ability to gain employment and hopefully lower rates of recidivism.

A question you should ask yourself as you go through this week’s assigned reading is how you

personally feel about corrections. Take a hard look at the different philosophies and see where you

stand. But, be sure to pay attention to the empirical evidence surrounding a philosophy. If the evidence

is against what you “feel” then be prepared to allow your position to be changed. For instance, I was

personally been supportive of capital punishment (death penalty) prior to studying criminal justice;

however, after reading an extensive amount of evidence on the subject, I have come to the conclusion it

is not necessary.

Let me explain. Most people do not know this, but it costs more to put a person to death than it does to

sentence them to life in prison. The reason for this is because a capital punishment verdict is grounds

for an immediate appeal. This means not only did the initial trial most likely take years, but now there

will be a several year appeal process on top of it. During this time lawyers must be paid for thousands

of man-hours, judges must hear hours of arguments, and on top of that, juries must be paid to listen.

The total comes out to a far greater price than just initially sentencing a person to life in prison and

paying for their food and lodging for the rest of their life. Still, many have argued that the death penalty

holds a particular ‘deterrent’ effect to would be murderers. According to Chalfin, Haviland, & Raphael

(2012), this conclusion is debatable. The empirical evidence, for the most part, is inconclusive in either

direction. Still, it is a topic that is continually studied and one that should be thoroughly debated.

Opinions within society are mixed on the topic of capital punishment. Here is a short clip on capital

punishment that discusses this disparity:

Death Sentence: The Story of Capital Punishment

© Infobase. All Rights Reserved. Length: 59:17

References

Chalfin, A., Haviland, A. M., & Raphael, S. (2012). What do panel studies tell us about a deterrent effect

of capital punishment? A critique of the literature. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 29(1), 5-43.

Wright, J. (2012). Introduction to Criminal Justice. Cincinnati, OH: Bridgepoint Education.

Search entries or author

This announcement is closed for comments

Unread  