Chapter 13 Q2: What are the main differences between parole and probation?
Parole and probation both have a similar history and their clients are supervised in much the same way. The main difference remains the method by which the offender is placed under either option. Probation remains a direct sentence by the court, whereas parole is a function of the executive branch, with discretionary parole being granted by the parole board and mandatory parole by corrections agencies under the governor (Allen, Latessa & Ponder).
Probation is a sentence that does not included confinement and imposes conditions governing the release of the offender in to the community based on good behavior (Allen, Latessa & Ponder).
Parole is the release of an offender from a penal or correctional institution after a portion of the sentence has been served. Parole can be denied and the remainder of the sentence served, but probation is the sentence.
Chapter 10 Q3: How would you decide that a prison was “cruel and unusual” punishment?
I think the four basic rights should be provided in prison, food, shelter, clothing and medical care. If a person is not provided with food and left to starve that is cruel and unusual. Shelter does not have to be a brick structure with windows and a view. Shelter can be a tent or an abandoned building remodeled to house prisoners. Clothing is clothing, even if it is pink clothing. I think medical care should be given as basic care, not long term.
If there is running water in the prison but no hot water that is not cruel and unusual. If there is food but it is not steak and potatoes that is not cruel and unusual. If you are in black and white jail stripes that is not cruel and unusual punishment.
A chain gang is a group of convicted criminals on a labor detail, usually outside of their place of incarceration. To prevent individual prisoners from escaping, the entire group was chained together by manacles around their ankles, wrist or necks. Chain gangs were mostly eliminated by the 1950s (Chain Gangs).
The article I chose is about a sheriff wanting to bring back chain gangs. Sheriff Wright, a vocal critic of the justice system is currently working with state lawmakers to get a bill drafted to reinstate chain gangs. He envision the inmates working 6 days a week, not just sitting around getting fat at the taxpayer’s expense. Sheriff Wright wants to be able to tell the public how much we could save, as a way of getting the attention needed to pass this bill.
Alabama was the first state to reinstate chain gangs in 1995 but it did not work because of the scrutiny. Tying inmates to hitch post obviously violated the Eight Amendment and the courts ruled the program was cruel and unusual punishment.
I am all for bringing back chain gangs to clean up the highways and mow the grass. I can see this as a way of saving money for the state.
Chapter 10 Key Term: Super Max prison – A free-standing prison or designated area within a prison that functions to control and contain dangerous, violent, disruptive, and other serious behavior in a prison facility (Allen, Latessa & Ponder). The supermax prisons house the assaultive and escape-prone inmates to include gang activist and those who impose immense challenges to prison security and custody.
Alcatraz, also known as “the Rock” was the first super maximum prison. It was a island prison for inmates in the San Francisco Bay area and part of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons until its closing. At Alcatraz, a prisoner had four rights: food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Everything else was a privilege that had to be earned (Alcatraz Inmates).
Chapter 11 Key Term: Administrative-security level – Facilities with special missions that might contain inmates from all custody levels (Allen, Latessa & Ponder). Special missions could include detention of pre-trial offenders, the treatment of inmates with serious or chronic medical problems or the containment of extremely dangerous, violent, or escape-prone inmates.
Administrative security level facilities are like large county jails. They generally serve three purposes: 1) as a facility close to courthouses so they can hold prisoners whom the U.S. Marshal Service needs to transport to court frequently 2) as transit facilities where prisoners are held en route to other prisons 3) as hospital-like facilities where medical staff members and equipment are available to treat the complicated health concerns of the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) prisoners population (Custody & Classification).
Chapter 12 Key Term: Electronic monitoring-- Any system or telemetry program that allows correctional staff to know the location of offenders (Allen, Latessa & Ponder). This has potential as an effective and inexpensive intermediate form of punishment, for example, it can supplement if not replace work-release facilities and can be used to confine drunk drivers to their homes and places of work.
Three main rationales behind the use of electronic monitoring are detention, restriction and surveillance. Detention can be used to ensure that individuals remain in designated places. Restriction ensures the individual does not enter restricted areas or approach particular people, such as complainants and potential victims. Surveillance will be used to authorities can continuously track a person without restricting their movements (Electronic Monitoring).
Chapter 13 Key Term:Good Time – Taking time off an inmate’s sentence for good behavior while incarcerated (Allen, Latessa & Ponder). I immediately thought good time was like “recess” in elementary school. The term good time does not refer to having fun within prison walls (Allen, Latessa & Ponder). In 1817 New York was the first state to pass a good time statute. California began awarding good time in 1990 at a “1 for 2” ratio: one day of reduction for every two days of good time.
Are private correctional facilities better than government operated facilities? Why or why not? In addition, is the concept and practice of community corrections an acceptable alternative to prison? Why or why not?
I want to say that private correctional facilities are better because changes can be made almost immediately. Private facilities are more apt to keep things in “inspection order” because they are in it for the money and they are competing with other private correctional facilities to get the business. Private facilities are able to staff according to need, thus saving funds.
I feel that community corrections are acceptable alternatives to prison. Not all of the crimes that are committed should come with a price tag of incarceration. So crimes should come with punishment such as working to pay restitution. If the person is sent to jail we are getting nothing out of him, but if he is on probation or house arrest at least he can get a job. Using community corrections could also help with the overcrowding in prisons today.
Allen, H. E., Latessa, E. J., & Ponder, B. S. (2013). Corrections in America: An introduction. Boston: Pearson.
Famous Alcatraz Inmates http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/famous.htm