Womens corrections

Topic 8: Women’s Corrections

1.      What is meant by ‘chivalry’ towards women in the criminal justice system? Are women treated chivalrously?

Women are treated moderately as compared to men in criminal justice. Only those women that fall under the ideal feminine stereotype are treated chivalrously.

2.      What is the ‘Madonna/whore duality?

Women are seen only as either symbols of purity and wholeness or of corruption and evil.

 They would only categorically fall either of the two.

3.      Provide three examples of special punishments which historically have been applied to women.

Being forced to wear branks, burned to death, and the alternative punishment of ducking stool were three examples of special punishments applied to women.

4.      Briefly describe the ‘masculinity thesis’ as an explanation of the increasing participation of women in the criminal justice system.

Present women are capable of what criminal men could do. Therefore, the increasing crime rate could now also be attributable to them.

5.      Briefly describe the ‘opportunity thesis’ as it relates to the increasing participation of women in the criminal justice system.

The opportunity of women being involved in crime also increases as their participation in workforce and being independent also increases.

6.      Briefly describe the ‘economic marginalisation’ thesis as it relates to the increasing participation of women in the criminal justice system.

As compared to men, women are usually employed in low-paying jobs. So for them, committing crime is one of the means that could sustain their income.

7.      Briefly describe the ‘chivalry thesis’ as it relates to the increasing participation of women in the criminal justice system.

Criminal women nowadays think that they could outrun the law because for them justice has treated their kind less strictly as compared before.

8.      Why do women prisoners generally have fewer program opportunities than male prisoners?

Women prisoners having fewer program opportunities could be related to the fact that they are stereotyped in limited jobs that utilizes their capabilities as a woman rather than as a person. Also, their population is few as compared to men.

9.      List five key socio-demographic characteristics of the ‘typical’ female prisoner.

The key socio-demographic characteristics of the “typical” female prisoner; (1) Very low education level, (2) being unemployed, (3) substance abuse, (4) being a parent, and (5) physically or emotionally abused.

10.  For what offences are women most likely to be imprisoned?

Top three common offences of women as based from the prisoners in Australia in 2009 were illicit drug offences, acts intended to cause injury, and theft and related offences.

11.  What proportion of women prisoners are mothers, and what sorts of program are available for these women?

About 67 % of women prisoners are mothers. Some programs for these women include proper parenting education, assistance to financial support, and health programs.

12.  What are some of the ‘sex-stereotyped fields’ which education and vocational programs in women’s prisons are often cover?

Some “sex-stereotyped fields” being covered in women’s prisons were sewing, cooking, and laundering.

Topic 9: Juvenile Corrections (3)

1.      What is the ‘welfare model’?

In this model, the state is focused on “child saving”. A juvenile is disciplined by imposing punishments harshly and disregarding “due process” thinking that this is the best for the juvenile.

2.      What is meant by a ‘revisionist’ history of juvenile justice?

Revisionists are the so called critiques of the juvenile justice. They intend to criticize the humanitarian social practices observed by the juvenile justice.

3.      What criticisms does the justice model make of the welfare model?

Justice model criticizes the welfare model because they think that; (1) children are given harsher punishments than adults, (2) punishment should be proportional to the crime made, and (3) full range of legal rights should be observed.

4.      What is the ‘republican model’?

This model embraces family conferencing; the juvenile, made to suffer due to his offense, is being supported by his family throughout the process.

5.      What is meant by ‘destructuring’ in juvenile justice?

Destructing meant treating the young offenders differently by imposing conditional punishments or sending them into welfare institutions as to avoid being sent to prisons.

6.      What are ‘children’s panels’?

Children’s panels are courts that aim to saving the child rather than punishing him as a criminal. They treat the juveniles less like a criminal.

7.      Wundersitz argues that juveniles might not be responsible for quite the high levels of crime which is often assumed. What is the basis of her argument?

Wundersitz argues that just because most of the criminals being caught are juveniles doesn’t mean that they are responsible for the increasing level of crimes. It could also be because they are a lot easier to catch as compared to adult criminals.

8.      What are the main components of the young offender personal profile identified by Wundersitz?

Juveniles are mostly involved in property related crimes rather than to crimes of violence.

9.      What patterns of recidivism have been found among juvenile offenders?

Juvenile offenders are mostly runaway children, indigenous and even having behaviors that are out of control.

10.  What is ‘restorative justice’?

Restorative Justice sees crime against the individual and not the state. The offender is given the opportunity to make up for the offense he had made thereby restoring the relationship in the community.

11.  What are the key features of the ‘Wagga Wagga model’?

In Wagga Wagga model, a meditation conference is done between the offender and his or her family, the victim, and law enforcement officials or social workers to reach an agreement.

12.  What are the key features of South Australian family conferences?

In South Australian family conferences, the offender is allowed to exercise conferencing as sentencing option. This is done with the offender, a specialist Police Youth Officer (PYO) and the Youth Justice Coordinator who acts as facilitator.

Topic 10: Correctional Staff

1.      List the main employment categories within the correctional system.

There are six main employment categories in the correctional system; (1) Custodial Officers, (2) Community Corrections Officers, (3) Administrative or Clerical, (4) Programs Officers, (5) Psychologists, (6) Social Workers or Welfare Officers, and (7) Medical Staff.

2.      What is meant by the ‘prison officer personality’?

This personality arises because of the environment a prison imposes wherein one feels that there is a need to control others.

3.      What is the Stanford prison experiment?

It was an experiment made by simulating a prison in the basement of Stanford University. Male college student volunteers acted the parts of prisoners and guards. The outcome was that both groups had adapted the actual behavior of the people associated to the roles they portrayed.

4.      Define the following terms with respect to prison officer alienation:

·   Powerlessness – Prison officer feels that he lacks control on his job.

·   Normlessness – Prison officer doesn’t know the extent of rules he has to enforce.

·   Meaninglessness – Prison officer feels that his job is senseless.

·   Social isolation – Working in prison lessens a prison officer’s interaction with the outside world thus the feeling of isolation increases when being with other people.

·   Self-estrangement – Some duties of the prison officer conflicts with his own personal matters in life.

5.      Define and give examples of the following role characteristics of the custodial officer’s job:

·   Role conflict – This occurs when the officer is expected to perform two contradicting roles at the same time. For example, the officer is expected to discipline and counsel the prisoners.

·   Role ambiguity – This occurs when the officer fails to do his role due to lack of information or uncertainty. For example, he is instructed to take charge of the prisoners but he doesn’t know what level of treatment he should impose onto them.

·   Role overload – Too many demands on the role the officer is expected to do. For example, the officer is expected to do paper works, supervise the staff and observe the prisoners.

·   Role underload – This occurs when there are few demands on the officer’s role. For example, the officer is only expected to guard during his duty. This sometimes results to boredom.

·   Role constriction – This occurs when role is too narrowly defined. For example, the officer feels that his job is barely needed.

6.      What strategies have been suggested to help ‘professionalise’ the custodial officer’s job?

The following are the strategies to help professionalize the custodial officer’s job; (1) More rigorous selection, (2) Improved training, (3) Expansion of role, (4) Linking education & training to promotion, (5) Crossing the custodial or community divide, and (6) The ‘catch-22’ of professionalization.

7.      Outline how each of the following issues might be problematic for non-custodial staff in corrections:

·   Voluntariness – For non-custodial staff, successful practice of their professions requires that the patient undergoes the treatment voluntarily because they wanted to and not because they are required.

·   Confidentiality – Confidential information regarding their client that needs to be relied sometimes raises issues to the non-custodial staff as to whom they would address it – either to the department or to the client directly.

·   Personal values – This arises when the personal values of the non-custodial staff conflicts to the value he is supposed to have in line with his work.

8.      Why are custodial officers sometimes referred to as ‘uniformed prisoners’?

Custodial officers also experience the same negative environment a prisoner has; being in a place having maximum security and isolated with the outside world, only they are in uniform as compared to the prisoners.

9.      How does the high degree of prison officer discretion contribute to occupational stress?

Deciding on a certain aspect concerning prison matters and considering other factors could be stressful rather than just follow what should be done as based from other officers’ judgments.

10.  What is the ‘goon squad’?

Goon squad is a group of trained men that restrains the prisoners in case an uprising occurs.

11.  Who are the ‘smug hacks’?

Smug hacks are people who take delight in exercising their power by abusing and controlling others.

12.  What does Sykes refer to as ‘corrupt favoritism’?

Officers “favor” a certain inmate by giving him special treatment or attending to the inmate’s needs over others.

Topic 11: Privatisation

1.      What is the distinction between ‘contract management’ and ‘privatisation’?

In privatisation, the control of the prison system is handed over to a private sector either partially or fully. On the other hand, contract management makes the prison system still a responsibility of the public sector and the private sector only controls certain aspects of it.

2.      What is the distinction between the ‘allocation’ of punishment and the ‘administration’ of punishment?

Allocation of punishment is a state function that cannot be delegated whereas administration or imposing of punishment can be delegated as long as the state remains.

3.      What was Australia’s first private prison? Why was it established?

Borallon was Australia’s first private prison. It was established; (1) to have an opportunity to experiment privatisation, (2) to improve recruitment of personnel, (3) to increase career opportunities and change the status of a correctional staff, and (4) to establish performance indicators that would later result to competition of various systems.

4.      What were the key features of the privatisation arrangements established in Queensland?

The key features of privatization arrangements were; (1) Operational autonomy, (2) Corporate level relationship, (3) Contract evaluation, (4) Regular interface, (5) Sentence management, (6) Support, and (7) Monitoring.

5.      What is ‘corporatisation’ in corrections?

Corporatisation is splitting the corrections department into service providers and service hirers section. Competition between private companies and service provider section then take place to decide who would continue to provide service to the prison. Awarding the contract would be decided by the service hirers section.

6.      Summarise the principal arguments against privatisation.

The principal arguments against privatisation; (1) Only governments have a right to punish citizens, (2) pressure to extend occupancy rates, (3) economic pressure to reduce services, and (4) dual standards of care and treatment.

7.      Summarise the principal arguments in favour of privatisation.

The principal arguments in favour of privatisation; (1) Renewal of facilities and reduced overcrowding (2) reduced costs and (3) improved programs.

8.      Which countries currently have introduced privatisation in corrections?

Countries that have currently introduced privatization in corrections include Britain, New Zealand and United Kingdom (UK). There has also a considerable growth observed in South Africa.

9.      How extensive is privatisation in the US?

Proof of extensive privatization are the number of privatized centers; 43 in Texas, 24 in California, 10 in Florida and 9 in Colorado. Also, total of 158 are found in 31 states of USA. And approximately 7% of the 94,000 inmates are in private centers.

10.  Which Australian states currently have adopted privatisation?

The Australian states that have currently adopted privatization are New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (Qld), Victoria (Vic), Western Australia (WA), and South Australia (SA).

11.  What does Harding mean when he says that Australia’s first private prison ‘picked the tastiest cherries’?

Borallon is an overly-secured institution with high allocated budget. By preferring prisoners that are easier to managed, the institution can extort the allocated budget for security purposes.

12.  What is a ‘DCFM’ contract? What sorts of contracts have been issued in the Australian context?

In DCFM, (Design-Construct-Finance-Manage) the company under contract is the over all in-charge starting from designing the facility up until its actual operation and management. Other contracts issued include DCF (Design-Construct-Finance-Public Sector Manage), M (Manage) and BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer).

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