Background of Penology and the Prison System
Review of Related Literature
Background of Penology and the Prison System
The central aim of imprisonment and inspection is not only about incarceration, but also about trying to change behavior as a practical crime prevention or crime-delaying measure ( 2002).
(2002) outlined the importance of an effective prison management by prison governors. It starts by carefully assessing at the start of their sentences to determine their problems, their histories of offending and the reasons behind it, as well as if there is any support from their families, and whether they will have accommodations after release, etc. Induction should not be regarded as an event but rather, as an ongoing process. The author asserted that staffs must keep returning to "measure" and obtain more detail from offenders regarding what will help bring about significant change. The study concluded that prison management should create a sentence plan for the individual who, over the period of detention, tries to address these issues, ending up with a workable release plan.
Even outside of its many metaphorical usages, the term prison has long been construed in diverse ways.(968) At various points it has contemplated everything from facilities for detaining juveniles and undocumented immigrants, to "halfway" houses, to city and county jails housing misdemeanants and those awaiting trial, to the quintessential "big houses," huge self-contained edifices brimming over with hardened felons, that continue to dominate the prison landscape. famously defines prisons as intrinsically "private" in the sense that they secret from view punishment practices that were heretofore "public" in a parallel sense.
The evolution of the contemporary criminal justice system can be described in terms of two distinct shifts in the relationship between state and society and in the role of law in mediating that relationship (2001). (2001) articulated that the more obvious of these shifts is the direct expansion of the modern state's sovereignty over the affairs of citizens, as is perhaps best evident in the demise of libertarian interpretations of the Fourth Amendment and attendant increases in state prerogative. The second according to (2001), less obvious shift involves a dramatic erosion of the state's monopoly of criminal justice functions--that is, the "privatization" of criminal justice.
This sovereignty-restraining notion of the rule of law surfaces in the earliest attempt to define the concept. In the Western world, the idea of the supremacy of law over politics emerged in classical society and was entrenched substantially (albeit with limited scope) by the Middle Ages. (1988) According to , the role of law, at least in concept, survived the oscillations of royal powers in the Medieval and early modern eras to emerge in modern times as a viable set of claims against the unmeasured administration of power by sovereigns.(1986) But in the final analysis it is only with modern interpretations of the rule of law--at least the serious ones--that a consistent emphasis is placed on the rule of law's sovereignty-limiting character. ( 1988) Montesquieu, especially, offers the notion that the role of law demands the comprehensive restraint of sovereignty.(1987)
A number of authorities have emphasized the relevance of rule of law principles in rationalizing the criminal justice system in general. The rule of law is understood as a basis for the critique of discretion, inequality, and unbounded expressions of state power in the institutions of criminal law and criminal procedure. In fact, some commentators contend that the rule of law directly forecloses private criminal justice functions. ( 1988) It is indeed possible to say that the rule. of law, because it implies the sovereignty of law, vitiates private justice simply because private persons neither can construct nor implement between themselves general, formally equal, predictable, and non-retroactive legal norms. (1997) It also is possible to argue as well that private law-giving is inconsistent with the insular, self-contained pretensions of the rule of law. There are indeed many ways to draw out antitheses between the rule of law and the privatization of law, especially in the criminal context.
(1995) focused on prison model, or the Penopticon as called it - which literally means, that which sees all. The Penopticon prison, which was popular in the early nineteenth century, was designed to allow guards to see their prisons, but not allow prisoners to see guards. The building was circular, with prisoner's cells lining the outer diameter, and in the center of the circle was a large, central observational tower. At any given time, guards could be looking down into each prisoner's cells - and thereby monitor potentially unmoral behavior - but carefully-placed blinds prevented prisoners from seeing the guards, thereby leaving them to wonder if they were being monitored at any given moment.
One of the principal ideas which (1995) discusses in Discipline & Punish is that public executions have constituted as much a method of crime prevention as a public spectacle. As the ideas of the enlightenment spread throughout the 19th century executions and torture became less frequent and conducted ever further from the public spotlight while more 'humane' methods of killing were also adopted. No longer were prisoners dragged behind horses, crushed on cart wheels or had their limbs severed one by one.
Factors in Administering British Prison Systems
(1995) outlined the factors that should be considered in assessing the performance of British prison systems and in effect the prison governors. They outlined six factors: (1) security; (2) maintenance of order, control and discipline; (3) provide decent conditions for prisoners and meet their needs; (4) provide positive regimes which help prisoners address their offending behaviour and allow them as full and responsible a life as possible; (5) help prisoners prepare for their return to the community; and (6) to deliver prison services using the resources provided by Parliament with maximum efficiency.
It is in the nature of things that prisons are about security. A prison that consistently failed to hold its prisoners in custody would be a contradiction in terms: whatever else prisons may also be about, they are certainly about keeping people in custody ( 1984). Since it is their raison d'être, it should not be surprising that the first goal of the Prison Service Agency specified in the Framework Document ( 1993) should be set out so simply: to keep prisoners in custody; nor for the key performance indicator to be the number of escapes from prison establishments and from escorts (Key Performance Indicator 1). While the key performance indicator focuses upon the number of escapes, it has always been the quality of escapes rather than their quantity which has driven the security scares which have periodically beset the Prison Service ( 1984).
The second goal of the Prison Service is to maintain order, control, discipline, and a safe environment (1993a). The key performance indicator, against which success in achieving that goal will be measured, is the number of assaults on staff, prisoners, and others (Key Performance Indicator 2). While the the third goal of the Prison Service is to provide decent conditions for prisoners and meet their needs, including health care ( 1993a). Two key performance indicators have been selected as the measures for success in achieving the goal. First, the proportion of prisoners held in units of accommodation intended for fewer numbers; and secondly the number of prisoners with twenty-fourhour access to sanitation (Key Performance Indicators 3 and 4).
The rather clumsy circumlocution of Key Performance Indicator 3 defines a measure of overcrowding (1995). In view of the fact that the Prison Service had already adopted space standards for its new prisons which meet or exceed international guidelines (usually taken to be sixty square feet or 5.5 square metres for single occupancy cells), it is disappointing that the performance indicator for overcrowding has been taken to be the proportion of prisoners sharing accommodation intended for fewer prisoners ( 1995).
The fourth goal of the Prison Service is to provide positive regimes which help prisoners address their offending behavior and allow them as full and responsible a life as possible (1993a). Two key performance indicators against which success is to be measured are, first, the number of hours a week which, on average, prisoners spend in purposeful activity (Key Performance Indicator 5); and secondly, the proportion of prisoners held in establishments where prisoners are unlocked on weekdays for a total of at least 12 hours (Key Performance Indicator 6). These improvements are to be secured through greater efficiency ( 1993b).
The fifth goal of the Prison Service is to help prisoners prepare for their return to the community ( 1993a). A single key performance indicator is put forward as the basis for measuring success: the proportion of prisoners held in establishments where prisoners have the opportunity to exceed the minimum visiting entitlement (Key Performance Indicator 7). At the time the key performance indicator was set the minimum visiting requirements were as follows: convicted prisoners were entitled to one visit upon reception and then two visits every twenty-eight days, lasting at least thirty minutes; unconvicted prisoners were entitle either to a visit of at least fifteen minutes every day from Mondays to Saturdays, or to three visits a week which together amounted to at least 1.5 hours. The newly published Operating Standards (Prison Service 1994a), to which the service aspires, include provision for convicted prisoners such that one of the visits each month should be at a weekend and that visits should last not less than one hour (standard Q3); and for unconvicted prisoners the minimum visiting time is raised to thirty minutes up to a total of three hours a week, with at least one weekend visit.
Symmetry has dictated that we devote a chapter to the sixth and final goal of the Prison Service, namely, to deliver prison services using the resources provided by Parliament with maximum efficiency ( 1993a). Necessity, however, dictates that we widen that discussion into one of effectiveness. In their evidence to the May Committee (1979) pointed out that it was not unambiguously the case that the Prison Service had been starved of resources, and argued that the proportion of post-war accommodation in prisons.
The Role of the Prison Governor
“Being a prison governor is probably the most complicated people management task you will ever come across. The daily challenges of the Prison Service are immense. Maintaining a balance between our duty to protect the public by keeping offenders securely in custody and our duty to help people in prison address their problems is never easy. Add to this a commitment to our staff and to the effective use of resources and you’ll begin to appreciate just what the job involves. That’s why the people we recruit onto the APS have got to be exceptional… Stamina, enthusiasm, leadership, organizational flair, numerical and analytical ability should accompany strong interpersonal skills, but without plenty of self-confidence you’ll never make it.” (1983).
The formalities of the convict system were to provide the outlines of existence for persons who came or became free ( 1997). Institutions set up for the management of a convict population provided the basics of free existence. But these institutions were perceived of differently because economics was for the admiration bound up with morality. However, (1997) posited that when looking closely at the culture of prison administration, it is governed by emotion.
Over 44,000 prison officers, instructors and governors, manage 140 prisons and over 30 linked establishments in Great Britain, with many of them working in the medical, welfare and administration fields (2002). The prison population in England and Wales is more than 70,000. Traditional problems of escapes and riots, suicides and drug abuse are falling, with counseling and support measures introduced in recent years (2002).
Prison officers' duties include security and patrolling, counseling, reception, assessment of offenders before sentencing, escorting and some instruction. Some also specialize in staff training and staff supervision, or are responsible for a section of the prison (2002). They need to be fit enough to restrain violent prisoners and work outside in all weathers. They also need to be able to work with people, and they need sensitivity and humanity to help prisoners to develop the personal skills and self-confidence necessary to re-enter society and not re-offend (2002).
Governors and managers run and manage prisons, and units within prisons, although newly appointed governors will look after a particular function like security or staff training (2002). Other duties involve working on admission, release and parole boards, supervising prison officers, disciplinary procedures, and liaison with probation officers. Communication skills are very important and they need to be both mature and resilient under pressure (2002).
Prison governors and managers are selected from principal prison officers (10 to 15 years) and by open competition from outside applicants, who must have an honours degree or equivalent, through the Fast Track Scheme (England and Wales only). This involves a mix of on-the-job training and assessment, intensive courses and accelerated promotion (2002).
Rapid staff turnover in the Prison Service has led to nearly a third of jails having four or more bosses in the last five years, figures have suggested (2003). The rate of turnover is a "recipe for disaster", campaign group the Prison Reform Trust said. The trust also said the service was suffering record staff sickness levels. Prison officers took an average of 17.2 sick days last year. That was nearly double the target of nine; up from 14 the previous year, and significantly higher than in the police and probation services, where the figure is between 11 and 12 days. Between January 1998 and January 2003, 11 prisons had five or more governors. In the same period, 33 had four governors (2003).
The main conclusions which the Government reached are: the Prior Committee's recommendations that the disciplinary role and powers of prison governors should remain substantially unchanged should be accepted; the Committee's recommendations on the code of disciplinary offences should be substantially accepted; the Committee's recommendation that Boards of Visitors should lose their disciplinary functions should be accepted; in line with the Committee's essential approach the more serious prison disciplinary offences should in future be dealt with by local panels of adjudicators forming a single new Prison Disciplinary Tribunal, however the Government does not consider that this Tribunal should be constituted in quite the same way as the Prior Committee recommended; penalties for disciplinary offences should be revised in line with the Committee's recommendations; there should be right of appeal to the local panels of the new Prison Disciplinary Tribunal from governors' decisions where more than 14 days' forfeiture of remission has been awarded; and prisoners should continue to be able to petition the Secretary of State about any adjudication, judicial review should continue to be available as a last resort; as recommended by the Committee, there should be no automatic right to legal representation in hearings before the Tribunal (1986).
(1997) observed that prisons in England and Wales are controlled not by the governor but by the strongest (generally rather illiberal) inmates. Typically, large sums of money are spent building state-of-the-art accommodation. Within months, the new quarters are slums because no one controls prisoners with dirt, graffiti and vandalism around the place.
Governors are responsible for budgets these days. They should also be held to account for results. That would leave the Prison Service headquarters to concentrate on two things (1997). First, governors need clear standards within which to operate. Then, freed from the need to expend energy protecting ministers, HQ can start to carve out a renewed mandate. The public needs to be told not just that prison works, but how it works - and for whom.
Inmates in Stocken prison who are heroin addicts have formed a self-help therapy group which has been meeting on a regular but totally unofficial basis during evening association periods throughout the summer months. The odds are stacked against them ( 1996). Management does not seem to want to know. (1996) outlined that governors concern themselves only with the ruthless and punitive implementation of an ill-conceived and ludicrously expensive mandatory drugs testing (MDT) programme. The probation service and other counseling agencies have virtually ceased to exist as entities within the penal archipelago.
There is a real danger, in legislation and in practice, that there is this virtual prison system; the one that ministers and the director general of the prison service want to deliver (2002). What we find is that the actual prison system isn't that at all; it's a coping and reactive agenda that isn't tackling those key issues. Underpinning the nerviness of ministers is the fact that no one know why overcrowding has become endemic.
Prison governors are calling for drastic action to tackle overcrowding in jails in England and Wales. Prison population is expected to hit a new record of 70,000. The system's maximum is said to be 71,000. The director general of the Prison Service, Martin Narey, said the situation is now "critical" (2002). Simon Hughes said: "Many short sentences do no good, either to the prisoner or to society. Many very long sentences run out of much of their effectiveness after more than ten years. "Overcrowding has a direct and adverse effect on the chances of rehabilitation and on preparation for life after jail (2002). And added that there are still many people in prison who ought not to be there. An effective community sentence can be much more useful than many of the periods spent inside.
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