Week Three Read Me First
Correctional Policy and Procedures
For centuries, societies had no trouble stating that the purpose of sentencing was punishment and that punishment was retribution. With the Age of Enlightenment and utilitarian thinking, society recognized three additional goals: deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. The relative importance of these goals became tied to conservative, liberal, or radical ideology.
In assuming management of a prison, wardens are responsible for perimeter security and maintaining an orderly, secure internal environment. Wardens often regard themselves as administrators, rather than leaders. As wardens become more ...view middle of the document...
They may also conduct community supervision of offenders not detained while waiting for their dates. Probation officers investigate the background of offenders and write a presentence investigation that is valuable for the sentencing decision and provides information throughout the correctional system to classify and assign offenders to prisons or programs.
This week, students also focus on people, rather than just the organization. The world in which prison staff work, the issues they face, the ways they handle them, and the culture that develops as a result of stressful and challenging working conditions are addressed. Descriptions and functions of some of the primary prison staff positions are described this week; however, the week focuses on the environment and culture that results from working in a prison setting.
Discussion of a Key Point, Thread, or Objective
Criminal sentencing is one of the most complicated and the most critical components of the criminal justice process. Once a criminal offender has either pled guilty or been found guilty of a crime, a judge must determine the sentence. Sentencing is the imposition of a criminal sanction by a judicial authority. Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by less than a year of incarceration and have a significantly shorter process for handling offenders.
Sentencing models and forms have changed significantly over the past several decades. During the 19th century, judges had significant discretion in sentencing offenders. During most of the 20th century, parole boards made decisions regarding offenders’ readiness and time of release. During the past two decades, legislatures have taken discretion away from most correctional and court personnel and replaced discretion with a mandatory minimum, three strikes laws, truth in sentencing, and sentencing guidelines. While some argue this provides for uniformity and fairness, others suggest that this form of sentencing, in which all offenders committing similar...