How correctional facilities can minimize violence and bolster rehabilitative efforts

The goal is to separate offenders in an effort to minimize violence and bolster rehabilitative efforts


My three previous articles touched upon good-time reformation as well as proposing the conceptualization and development of a new classification structure. The purpose of this series is to scratch the surface and allow for corrections to be introspective. 

I feel we need to open our eyes and minds in order to accept changes, adapt plans, and develop new infrastructures. The overall mission of corrections is to “correct” individuals in an effort to change society for the better. We have seem to forgotten that mission as time has passed. 

This is the final article in this series and will serve to consolidate the previous articles into one summary.

Two Classifications
Class I facilities will focus on the rehabilitative model which, according to McFatter (1978), utilizes treatment (and other corrective measures such as education) in order to alter an offender’s behavior/attitude. The goal here is to have offenders realize their mistakes and make appropriate changes that will modify their respective life courses and allow them to become productive citizens upon release. 

Class II facilities on the other hand, will concentrate on a combination of both retribution and deterrence models of punishment. McFatter (1978) defines the retribution model as punishment that is administered in proportion to the crime that the accused committed. The deterrence model is articulated by McFatter (1978) as being the imposition of punishment on an individual that is severe enough to elicit compliance from the general public. Class II facilities need to serve as an example that habitual and/or violent crime will not be tolerated. Individuals engaged in criminality need to both fear and respect the punitive nature of Class II facilities. 

Anderson (1999) articulates that the code of the street is incredibly common with the black youth and that it shows an insurmountable amount of respect toward violence. Furthermore, Wilkinson (2001) promulgates that both social identity and respect are the most important features of the street code; one will acquire power if regarded as crazy, wild, or a killer. 

This code bypasses racial lines inside our nations’ prisons and contributes to the convict code. Bayer, Pintoff, and Pozen (2003) postulate that individuals who are exposed to peers that have superior criminal experiences can dismantle the stigma associated with being a criminal and, instead, increase the propensity for participating in criminality. By distinguishing between different types of offenders and placing them in different facilities (Class I and Class II), we can hopefully cripple the spread of the convict code and minimize violence. 

In summary, the goal is to separate offenders in an effort to minimize violence and bolster rehabilitative efforts. Becker (2009) postulates that tangible capital is not the only investment we as a society can make. Schooling, vocational courses, technology classes, and life skills (such as being punctual) are all forms of social capital (Becker, 2009). It is important to note that we, as a society, will only get in return what we invest initially. Becker (2009) deduces that across many societies, individuals with high school and college education tend to have higher incomes than those who do not. 

Investing in human capital can create a far more profitable, functional society and we should be able to progress more effectively and expediently without a dramatic incarceration rate. My goal is simple; to salvage and mend what offenders we can in order to produce more taxpaying, law abiding citizens while incapacitating those offenders who will never conform nor ever prove to be nothing more than a threat to society. Ideas are everything; we can always mend, improve, and excel. As Nelson Mandela so eloquently stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 

Works Cited
Anderson, E. (1999). Code of the Street (pp. 107-141). New York: Norton.
Bayer, P., Pintoff, R., & Pozen, D. E. (2003). Building criminal capital behind bars: Social learning in juvenile corrections (No. 864). Center Discussion Paper.
Becker, G. S. (2009). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education. University of Chicago Press.
McFatter, R. M. (1978). Sentencing strategies and justice: Effects of punishment philosophy on sentencing decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(12), 1490.
Wilkinson, D. L. (2001). Violent events and social identity: Specifying the relationship between respect and masculinity in inner-city youth violence. Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, 8, 235-272.

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