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ASSIGNMENT 3: CORRECTIONS CASE STUDY

Due Week 10 and worth 200 pointsThe history of correctional institutions is well-documented. Correctional institutions (jails and prisons) house individuals who are awaiting trial, serving both short and long term sentences. Correctional officers are responsible for the monitoring, treatment and supervision of individuals who have been found guilty by a court of law. For this assignment, we will take you inside a look at the “2016 Most Violent Prison”. Please review this video now if you haven’t already done so, before beginning Assignment 3.After reviewing the video, download the Assignment 3 template. Answer the following questions within the template, then upload the completed template to the assignment submission link in Week 10:
Describe the main methods Sergeant Baldwin and his staff use to maintain order and safety in the prison. Take a position on the effectiveness, risks, pros and cons, and ethics of these methods.
Choose one (1) of the inmates profiled in this video – Terry Dibble, Simkayta Winfield, Jerico Jones, or Gregory Crowder – and discuss their situation. Explain how they ended up at Statefield, the main issues they described facing, and the methods they use to cope with their time in prison.
Discuss the effect you feel the presence of the active armed guards has on the violence level and overall safety within this prison.
Describe the issue of isolation in Statesville presented in this video and the effects connections and contact with outside visitors can have on the prisoners’ mental status.
Identify at least two (2) issues that gay inmates here uniquely face. Identify at least one (1) method of protecting gay inmates against each of these identified issues.
Take a position on how you believe conditions at Statefield could be improved. Include at least two (2) specific actions that could be taken to improve conditions (i.e. security and safety, abuse and use of force, isolation, poor food quality, etc.). Provide a rationale for your position.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Outline the major characteristics and purposes of prisons, including prisoners’ rights and prison society.
Summarize the current ethical issues faced by criminal justice professionals and the future of the criminal justice system.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in criminal justice.
Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the question responses on the template, and language and writing skills, using this rubric.
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Sergeant Baldwin mainly maintains order and safety in Statesville Prison is by keeping the inmates on lockdown. During the period that the prison is on lockdown, the prisoners are confined in their cells with very limited to no movement outside. The lockdown is used as an extreme measure when the situation is extremely untenable. According to Sergeant Baldwin, this method is effective since it helps the inmates to cool down. From the perspective of an imminent threat, this strategy is quite effective in addressing such threats. In terms of the correctional goals of prison, however, this approach is rather ineffective. As one of the inmates, Simkayta Winfield indicates, during lockdown, the inmates miss a lot and do nothing. Sergeant Baldwin also indicates that cutting inmates completely off from society leaves them hopeless making them more dangerous. Consequently, such lockdowns carry the risk of elevating aggression levels and reducing the gains associated with outside contact. Another problem 1wwith the lockdowns is that they increase the aggression levels of inmates. The narrator notes that even some of the sergeants are aware that lockdown causes prisoners to become more edgy. This method is also unethical since it ends up punishing inmates who may not have been involved in the incidents that led to the lockdown.

Another method that is used to maintain order is firing shots in the air. This method is usually used to halt an imminent threat, such as when an inmate attacks a prison guard. This method is highly effective in addressing the immediate danger, which is an officer being attacked. This strategy is also effective in light of Sergeant Baldwin’s words that the warning shots make the prisoners aware that the guards are on alert. This method carries the risk of perpetuating a culture of violence in prisoners. It is ethical too since no one gets hurt in the process. A final approach is the use of excessive force. This approach is used on inmates who attempt to attack guards. This approach is also effective since it warns other inmates of the consequences of any violent misdemeanor. It has the pros of subduing current crimes and deterring possible future incidences of violence. It however has the cons that prisoners may suffer serious injury. These inmates may also end up suing the prison. It is, however, unethical since it involves the use of violence. It carries the risk of hardening the criminals, and also increasing feelings of animosity against the guards. Those who are beaten are likely to become more aggressive towards the guards.

Terry Dibble is one of the inmates at Stateville. He was transferred there from another prison for fighting with another inmate. He is serving a sentence for murder, with 45 years remaining, having already served ten. He killed two men, one who had been living with his girlfriend, and another one who had attempted to date her. Dibble faces several issues, one of which is the lockdown. Apart from the lockdown, however, another more significant issue is the distance between him and his girlfriend. At his previous facility, he was only an hour’s drive away from his girlfriend and his mother but at Statesville, the distance is much larger. He indicates that when he was at the previous facility, he used to see his girlfriend five times a month, but currently, she cannot even travel to the facility. Dibble’s girlfriend is an important coping mechanism for him. He indicates that having someone on the outside who cares for him and who is ready to sacrifice for him keeps him going. Accordingly, Dibble intimates that he is ready to give his current girlfriend the best he has got to offer, since she is willing to stand by him and support him while he is in prison. Dibble spends his time drawing portraits of his girlfriend.

The presence of active armed guards is important in maintaining safety within the prison. I believe that the presence of active armed guards acts as a deterrent to violence in the prison. Inmates are aware that they are being watched. This keeps them from engaging in acts of violence. Whenever a violent incident occurs, officers respond by firing a warning shot. Without firearms, it is likely that the prisoners would be more violent since they would not be as afraid. By reducing the levels of violence, the presence of guards thus increases the levels of safety in the prison.

Statesville has high levels of isolation, which are aimed at keeping incidences of violence down to a minimum. Isolation occurs at several levels. For starters, gay inmates are isolated from predators. Secondly, isolation also occurs at the Roundhouse exercise yard. Here, inmate levels are restricted to reduce the likelihood of violence. Ultimately, isolation also occurs during lockdown. This is the most problematic form of isolation, since it inhibits contact with the outside world. Contacts and connection with the outside world are important in maintaining a positive mental status of prisoners. Inmates who are connected to the outside feel that they have a lifeline. They are able to contact people they care about. An inmate like Simkayta Winfield is able to check up on his daughter.

 

Describe the issue of isolation in Statesville presented in this video and the effects connections and contact with outside visitors can have on the prisoners’ mental status.
Identify at least two (2) issues that gay inmates here uniquely face. Identify at least one (1) method of protecting gay inmates against each of these identified issues.
Take a position on how you believe conditions at Statefield could be improved. Include at least two (2) specific actions that could be taken to improve conditions (i.e. security and safety, abuse and use of force, isolation, poor food quality, etc.). Provide a rationale for your position.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Outline the major characteristics and purposes of prisons, including prisoners’ rights and prison society.
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