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Crime and "Punishment" in Modern Corrections


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Northwest hounded police animated avatar 100x100 90714 prznboss 44 posts

So, since you received slow service in Johnson County Kansas you figured you’d gripe on a worldwide corrections forum, hijacking four threads in the process. Sounds reasonable to me!

Male user Larry 4 posts

Why is House Arrest so SLOW? For years now it gets harder and harder to Bond some one out. The Judge sets a bond with house arrest,Ok now you get to the jail ask for your person, and your on the phone to House Arrest at the same time and give both the info needed to post a bond. Your at the jail at 5:00pm calling House Arrest and keeping up on the Records Clerk at Jail. were sitting it out…. 7:45 you call up at the jail to see whats up? They are just waiting for House Arrest to get the fax. Time passes Slowy 8:01pm we call House Arrest, Now they say they cant do it . its after 8:00pm we can come back at 6:00am.
This has happend over and Over again. It has NOT always been this way. The House Arrest Department is located within the Adult Residential Center, and operates on a 24-hour basis. “they do not have any one trained to set up the House Arrest equipment”; This has been the story Ive got for YEARS. Than TRAIN SOME ONE! I do not get paid by the hour. Only by what I get out. so my time is useless to HOUSE ARREST. and if a Judge sets a bond can House Arrest say other wise to his release? when the jail is ready and the Judge says ok then House should have some one there. is their a Lawer in the House? or can we vote whoever OUT to get this fixed! Johnson County Kansas

Northwest hounded police animated avatar 100x100 90714 prznboss 44 posts

I agree with what you wrote Pickle. Good post. As jaded and cynical as I’ve become over the years I still have hope that some will leave better than they arrived. If I didn’t have that hope I don’t think I could get myself to keep showing up to work every day.

Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Mick wrote: “For every 1% of inmates that you help the other 99% are trying to get one over on you.”

After 22 years in this business I assure you that I am will versed in the games and manipulations that inmates engage in. As to a small victory bringing “personal satisfaction” I will once again reiterate, I don’t employ these techniques primarily for the inmates benefit nor do I employ them for my own personal satisfaction, I use them because they further my main professional objective and that is to protect the public.

I have fought inmates on the tiers and been part of countless cell extractions. I have bleed more than once and have been taken to the hospital on three occasions. I have fired my weapon from the towers and helped roll out more than one dead inmate. I have every reason to be the worst kind of hard ass you could imagine and I am not because I truly believe that it is counterproductive to my achieving my primary duty.

Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

Pickle I agree that from a professional and personal point of view that a safe and well run environment is a worthy goal. And yes a small victory brings personal satisfaction. But not to seem to be pessimistic “A single Swallow does not a Summer make”. For every 1% of inmates that you help the other 99% are trying to get one over on you.

Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Mick Wrote
“Yes we can aspire to achieve this goal but most of the time reality intrudes.”

But it is in the attempt that we find success, even if it is only a small percentage of the time.

And as you say “change will only come to those that WANT to change”, a sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with, but the notion that something that is good for society is not worth pursuing because the rate of success amounts to only a fraction of those that we deal with everyday, I fully reject.

Even if the only thing I achieve through using these techniques is to ensure an orderly and well run institution and safe environment for myself and my fellow Officers it is more than worth the effort.

I have been doing this for 22 years and have employed these techniques everyday and believe me, I have no illusions that this will solve “everything”, yet neither do I harbor the idea that ALL inmates are beyond redemption as far as their criminal endeavors are concerned. It is for those rare few, that can indeed benefit that I persevere.

The questions that I would ask of the posters, one of which claims my ideas are to idealistic and the other who claims “I have problems” (whatever) would be…

1. How do you go about your fulfilling your primary duty to “protect the public”?

2. If these techniques, along with sensible security practices, maintain an orderly and safe facility (and they do indeed achieve these two goals) what exactly causes you to view them in such a negative light? Is it the impression that you actually give a shit whether someone goes back out into the community and succeeds that stops you? Are you afraid of being labeled a “chocolate heart”.

Remember not once did I say that I employed these techniques to “benefit” the inmate, although some do indeed benefit. I do this to further my primary goal and that is protecting the public.

Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

The Pickle. In Theory what you say is great and to be applauded. But I will give you one saying that has great meaning for Corrections and in particular the inmates. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” As you know most of the inmates that we deal with are “Career Criminals” that view Prison as just an occupational hazard. So the idea building responsible citizens from the dregs of society is great but unfortunately idealistic. Yes we can aspire to achieve this goal but most of the time reality intrudes.

Male user leinado99 1 post

Oh dear…. you have problems…

Male user ThePickle 8 posts

Just something I posted in response to certain “misconceptions” about what Corrections in todays society is and is not about.

Crime and “Punishment” in Modern Corrections.

Our Correctional system is NOT designed nor is it supposed to be used to “punish criminals”. Our current system is a product of hundreds of years of philosophy with regards to crime and “punishment” and as a result tends to focus on two main objectives.

The first, last and most important duty we are taught as Correctional Professionals is our duty to “protect the public”. This means keeping the bad guys safely tucked away from society at large, as by their actions they have shown themselves to be a danger to that society. I have often explained to folks in the general public that inmates are incarcerated AS punishment, they are not incarcerated to BE “punished”.

To protect the public Correctional Professionals employ a myriad of techniques and these include the idea of modeling proper behavior through professional conduct and through our interactions with inmates. I can hardly expect an inmate to conduct himself in a socially acceptable manner if my behavior is not also socially acceptable. That means I do not curse at inmates, I do not physically abuse inmates, I do not deny inmates access to what the courts and society have deemed he has a right to. A puppy, not properly trained, will piss on your bed time and again unless you “teach” him that is not acceptable.

We “teach” the inmates what is and is not acceptable through the use of both positive and negative reinforcement of behavior. That is to say we reward good behavior with privileges and discourage bad behavior with a more restrictive form of incarceration. While I can’t speak for every other State inmates here are not “given” privileges that are then “taken” when they behave in an objectionable manner. Are those of us in “normal society” rewarded for just showing up? No, we must earn those things that we most desire and thus it is so with inmates incarcerated in my State.

Over time as an inmate shows that he can follow the rules, work or go to programs as assigned by his incarceration plan, he is afforded the “opportunity” for better housing assignments and “access” to privileges such as televisions. Notice that I did not say the inmate is given a T.V. Do we in normal society get special rewards just for acting in an acceptable manner? No we do not. But being able to get along with others in our society has it perks, like getting a good job and being able to afford a T.V. Thus it is so with my inmates. Good behavior and holding down a job gets you an “Atta Boy” but if you want a T.V. you still have to pay for it.

As you can see through our actions we are attempting to prepare inmates for their eventual reintegration into society at large and thus we come to the second goal in modern Corrections. It is a simple fact that most inmates,upwards of 90%-95% WILL be let out of prison at some point and will be expected to function in normal society. That is the second goal of modern Corrections, to release an inmate back into the public that is better equipped to “deal”.

I have heard the cry of the public for years that inmates ought to be treated poorly in order to enforce the idea that “prison is a place they don’t want to come back to” and I ask them if they believe in the GIGO principle. GIGO is a computer term for “Garbage In, Garbage Out” and it is a simple truism when it comes to Corrections.

We receive the worst of society. They are unable to cope within the bounds of normal society, in some part, because they have simply never been shown how to do so. It is through the practices I have outlined above that we attempt to release an inmate that is “better” than the one we received.

It has been said that “Corrections doesn’t make anything” and to that I say …If we are doing our job right we are “making” better citizens.

That being said I understand the frustration that normal citizens go through. They view prisons through the prisms of their own misconceptions and blanch at the notion that we are “coddling” criminals.

They call for use to “lock them down and don’t give them nothing”.

To which I reply fine. If you want this inmate released back into your neighborhood, just as bad as, or perhaps even worse than he was when we got him I suppose that’s up to you.

Just don’t come crying to me asking why didn’t I “stop” him before he committed his next crime cause all I will have to say is that…. I tried, but you were more interested in “punishing the criminal” than you were in “protecting society”.

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