Read Chapter 13: “Prisons and Jails”
Incarceration has become the preferred method of punishment for serious offenders. Felony convicts are sentenced to prisons. Misdemeanor defendants found guilty are confined to jails. All confinement facilities must deal with the issues of inmate classification and security levels, with detailed systems in place at larger facilities.
Read Chapter 14: “Prison Life”
This chapter describes the realities of prison life today, including prisoner lifestyles, prison subcultures, sexuality in prison, prison violence, and prisoners’ rights and grievance procedures. It will discuss both the inmate world and the staff world. A separate section on women in prison details the social structure of women’s prisons, daily life in these facilities, and the various types of female inmates. The chapter begins with a brief overview of early research on prison life.
View the Chapter 13 PowerPoint Summary
View the Chapter 14 PowerPoint Summary
response to samatha:
Rated Capacity means the number of offenders/bodies that a facility can hold at one time due to the number of beds. The officers do a daily count to see what the housing number is at to not only account for all inmates, but to know when they are getting close to maximum capacity.
Operational Capacity is the actual number that the jail can safely hold/house without going over capacity and without compromising inmate or deputy safety.
Design Capacity is the design or format of the jail and how it is arranged. It also gives tells the number of offenders it can hold with still being in code.
In order to ease the overcrowding of jails, low crime offenders should be either given probation depending on their background or can be placed on an electronic monitoring system type sentence. That way they can still attend and maintain a job, counseling, and have family support. I also strongly agree with the work release program that allows offenders that have committed non violent CM’s to be released for work and report back for night time. Placing someone in jail to serve time for minor traffic violations or CM’s just adds more bodies and takes up the room that is needed for violent offenders.
response to resha:
Prison capacity is described in three different functions. The first being Rated Capacity. Rated Capacity is the number of inmates that a prison would be able to handle according to the judgment of experts. (Schmalleger, 2017). The second is Operational Capacity. Operational Capacity is the number of inmates that a prison would be able to effectively accommodate based on management considerations. (Schmalleger, 2017). Tthe last one is Design Capacity. Design Capacity is the number of inmates a prison was supposed to be able to hold when it was built. (Schmalleger, 2017).
Prison overcrowding is one of the biggest issues in prisons today. There are 219,000 inmates in federal prisons compared to the 25,000 in 1980. About half are drug offenses. (Knafo,2013). I personally do not feel that drug offenders should be given so much time. I am also not suggesting that they should not be held responsible for the decision that they have made but I’ve seen a murderer get 12 years and personally know drug offenders that have gotten 20 plus years. It is crazy to me. I think drug offenders should serve less time for their sentences and that would free up plenty space and reduce some of the overcrowding. If they were to send 20 percent fewer drug offenders to prison, the federal government would save $1.29 billion and prisons would save 125,000 bed years. (A bed year is a year worth of prison time from one person. (knafo,2013).
Schmalleger, F. (2017). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st
Century. Retrieved from https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780134145648?context_token=ed8bb190-4111-0136-8fe4-0a580a5428f7
Knafo, S. (2013, November 08). 10 Ways To Reduce Prison Overcrowding And Save Taxpayers Millions. Retrieved from
Unit 10 Discussion Topic 2Discussion TopicDiscussion Topic 2: Reflection
As you complete your work in this course, reflect on the outcomes and your personal goals for the course. This is the time for you to determine what areas of criminal law interest you and why. This is not intended to be a mere recap of the course. The emphasis here is what you have personally learned and how it will affect your professional goals. Discussing what you have learned during the term will not only help you better process the information, but will help you enhance each other’s learning experience. Please reflect on the previous units and post a brief essay that addresses the following questions.
The only prior knowledge that I had before taken this course was based on my personal interaction with police officers and the criminal justice system. I have developed a new positive outlook on law enforcement and our justice system. I think the most important new idea that I encountered would have to be everything regarding my civil rights. Before this class, I did not know much about the rights I have and I think everyone should be educated on them. I believe that I met most of the outcome in my work on this course.
The interaction between my classmates during the discussions has given me a better understanding of the criminal justice system, especially the elements of search and seizure. In the psychology profession, I can use information I learned from this class to help individuals that are involved with the criminal justice system. I really would like to continue to explore punishments provided by the courts, specifically the death penalty.
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