Criminal Justice Capstone
Dr. Tamara Mangum
July 23, 2017
Ok Paula, good topic of exploration and identification of the challenges with violence in prisons. Overall you have done good identifying your internal and external stakeholders and I look forward to seeing this research evolve.
Violence in Prisons
The correctional system houses troubled individuals, who may have a record of committing violent crimes against others or been a victim of a violent crime into confined spaces against their wills. These people are housed in close contact with staff whom they outnumber but who must maintain a peaceful and orderly routine daily. One would be amazed why there is no more violence in prisons.
Statistics on the real state of violence in prison has often been difficult to access. Nonetheless, there is some research that points to the state of violence in prisons. Kupers (2006) indicated that close to 20% of all the inmates in prisons in the United States have at one time or the other been assaulted physically by the other inmates. There is another more than 20% that have been attacked by staffs outside of the prison. There are also reports according to (Lee, 2004) that there have been close to 9000 rape incidents since 2011 in American prisons. Also between 3 percent and 9 percent of male inmates have also been assaulted sexually in prisons and this is a significant number considering that it is close to 200000 prisoners (Wright, 2003). Private state prisons have a higher prevalence rate of sexual violence by other inmates compared to the public state prisons, but the general state prisons were twice as likely to be assaulted by the staffs compared to the private state prisons. Violence in private prisons is, however, higher compared to public prisons.
One of the largest causes of violence in prisons includes crowding and the size of prison. Overcrowding and prison size alone, however, are not a causal factor of violence but this does not negate the fact that they contribute to violence when combined with other variables such as some of the methods or policies that have been implemented to limit and control the violence. The size of the prison coupled with the experience of the staffs also determines the occurrence of violence within a prison.
It is imperative to provide a solution to the problem to safeguard the security and safety of the inmates. Besides, cognizant of the fact that a prison is a correction facility, the occurrence of violence within the prisons impedes this objective by virtual of the fact that it escalates the negative behaviors of some inmates while at the same time instilling fear in others (Wright, 2003). Prisoners should improve their behaviors while at the prison and not escalate their actions and everyone wants to feel safe and secure within the confines of the cells to facilitate the correction of their behaviors.
The prisoners are impacted internally since they are the ones who are directly involved and affected by the violence. The staffs within the prisons may also be affected directly by the violence as they may be ones instigating the violence or the violence may also be directed at them. The families, communities that are linked or close to the prisons together with the government are the ones who are externally affected by the violence since any violent act may negatively affect them wither psychologically, socially or financially.
The problem still exists since there are regular occurrences of violence in the prisons and this, therefore, points to the fact that the authorities have not adequately addressed the matter. Also, the fact that the perpetrators of some violent acts have not yet been brought to book implies that the situation is yet to be fully resolved (Kupers, 2006). That is because the matter will only be brought to a complete halt when the perpetrators of violence are brought to book to discourage acts of violence.
Kupers, T. A. (2006). Trauma and its Sequelae in Male Prisoners: Effects of Confinement, Overcrowding, and Diminished Services. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 66.2: 189-196.
Lee, A. S. (2004). Monitoring Hostility: Avoiding Prison Disturbances through Environmental Scanning. Corrections Today 56.5: 104-109.
Wright, K. N. (2003). Prison Environment and Behavioral Outcomes. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 20.1-2: 93-113.
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