Classification systems aid in the minimization of the upheaval of prison violence, institutional delinquency, and break out situations. During the past several years, professionals in prisons and those that are employed in correctional systems have worked unremittingly in order for them to improvise their recent approaches in the classification of offenders i.e. In accordance with work, supervision, and programming needs. The process of classification takes place in order to assure the safety of the prisoners and to ensure over classification, there are set criteria's which are followed for this process. There are systematic assessments conducted to make certain the validity of the classifications. It has been ever since the year of 1980's that the objective prison classification systems have been widely implemented in countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Europe. Early classification systems were largely based on clinical assessments. These classifications formed illogical and inconsistent results. Therefore, new classification systems have been implemented from there on which are more reliable and valid. The most essential foundation of an objective classification system is the dire need of the use of dependable and valid criteria to be able to evaluate a prisoner's custody level. During the 1970's, the United States used the first classification system which employed the technique of numerical scoring for the purpose of improving the uniformity and objectivity of the assessment procedure. Currently, there are now a variety of risk assessments and prisoner treatment systems for the purpose of ensuring safety of the society and prisoners as well. The main purpose of conducting these risk assessments is to help determine the classification of the prisoner either in terms of medical condition, crimes they have committed, anger management, or any sort of psychological problems etc. Moreover, these assessments also aid in measuring the prisoner's probability of reoffending as compared to more on how the prisoner ought to use his/her time while imprisoned (Douglas, Burgess, Burgess, & Ressle, 2011).
Presentence Investigation Report
The presentence investigation report, also known as PSR, is the most important document in the procedure of condemnation and correctional processes that involve illicit defendants. The primary and most important purpose of the presentence investigation report (PSR) is to support the court in making the decision for an appropriate sentence for the defendant after a conviction has taken place. Furthermore, the PSR is most useful when there is a guilty plea due to the fact that there is no trial; therefore, the PSR serves as the vital resource of information in reference to the defendant. Moreover, the United States Bureau of Prison (BOP) also utilizes the PSR after sentencing has taken place in order to make the classification for security and program purposes, to allocate the inmate to a proper facility, and to make release planning judgments. The PSR entails the defendant's history and distinguishing factors such as the "verification of information (relating to the financial, social, psychological, and medical impacts on victims of the defendant's offense), the defendant's crime level and criminal history category, the consequential sentencing range and kinds of sentences available. This information can be obtained by conducting interviews with the defendant and other family members etc.
Incarceration has a huge impact on the prisoners, especially if it is long-term. There are psychological, emotional and physical impacts on the prisoners due to long-term incarceration. The main reason for psychological, physical, and emotional impacts on the prisoners is because of the harsh environment they are placed in and the surrounding culture. Today there has been a reduction of a harsh prison environment. The condemnation of exile is no longer codified in the eyes of criminal law; however, it is still practiced in many prisons where the prisoners are sent far away from their home provinces. This causes increase in stress especially for female prisoners who are mothers of adolescent children. Moreover, corporal punishment and solitary confinement has been a cause of sudden death of several prisoners. This displays a major violation of basic human rights. Moreover, inmates also die as a result of hopelessness and despair from feeling that they have no future ahead of them (Chamberlain & Ried, 1998).
There are both negative and positive impacts of prison culture prevailing in modern society. Following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of prison culture (Carr, 2006):
Prison overcrowding leads to massive psychological harm and acts as a catalyst in the degradation of the prisons environment. It is a primary example which defines poor prison conditions and it builds in an aggressive culture. An increase in prisoner population will lead to an increase in violence and hostile behavior between prisoners and the respective guards. This stimulates a culture of aggression and punishment.
The physical environment in which the prisoners are kept also leaves psychological impacts on the prisoners.
A sound culture of a prison would help in conditioning the prisoner in developing ethical, moral, and right judgmental qualities. Through assessments the prisoners can be classified properly and then be kept understudy for the sign of improvements.
Prison's culture should be of standards that help the prisoner get back on the right track of life and avoid future convictions.
Rehabilitative programs, Restorative Justice Sentencing, and Prisoner Reentry Programs
A prime goal that many organizations seek to accomplish is to aid the offenders to gain an insight on how to run their lives while abiding to the law. Hence they work to design their mind set to one which abides law. A way to gain this is for the offender to indulge in an eclectic pool of programs that are designed to function to improve the offender's behaviors. There are many success stories that have come forward as a result of these programs (Mackenzie, 2001).
There are various rehabilitation centers available for various offences. Sex offenders for example have to undergo special therapy to undermine their urges. Educational counseling is designed to help the convicted get a job as soon as possible. Life skills use education to elaborate to the candidate how they can perform small tasks that help foster the overall well-being of the society.
Restorative justice is another approach to deal to offenders. This is based on the idea that the offender should be helped to heal. According to this approach, results can only be seen by politeness and not achieved by punishments. This follows a sympathetic approach towards the offender. The approach is primarily humanistic. This demands the offender to act responsibly and own up to the mistake that he or she has exercised in the past. It involves the offenders making sure that they will not be found gripped by similar circumstances in the future. This gives the opportunity to the offender to talk to the victim and see what harm he or she has been a cause of.
The prisoner reentry programs aim to help the offenders be infused back into the society. It assists the offenders to blend again in the society and to become active participants there .Reentry planning usually initiates when the prisoner is still in rehabs. This guidance is usually supervised by a senior professional.
Popular Correction Alternatives
Punishment, protection and rehabilitation are the three most popular corrective systems. Punishment is obviously aimed to discourage offenders. By keeping offenders in prison and guarding streets the police provides the society with protection. Rehabilitation helps to restore the offenders back to the society.
Role of Parole
A parole is generally described as a period of time where an offender is placed under stringent supervision to understand if the offender is ready to be released. According to law the offender may be granted release from the parole under one condition; it is made sure that the offender will not repeat his or her practices that have previously been a cause of distress for the society. Parole is an incentive. It is not a right. Many offenders are not applicable to the parole. This may be due to the law in their state. It may also be due to the serious nature of the crime they have committed. Sex offenders are involved in a seriously dangerous activity. Hence many sex offenders are not considered eligible to opt for parole. The parole board is not inclined to release an offender on sympathetic grounds. They will properly make sure that the offender will not repeat the mistake once released (Cohen & Gobert, 1983).
Many crimes carry a specific term signaling the number of years required by the offender to do in jail. Some offenders can only opt for a parole after the completion of this jail time. "Parolable life," or to "non-parolable life are the two options given to offenders who have been convicted and been sentenced to life imprisonment. Such a person is usually required to complete a given time period before opting for parole. If however the life sentence is "non-parolable life," then the offender is not granted with the right to opt for a parole.