Prison System This Discussion Is Carried Out Essay
- Length: 6 pages
- Sources: 4
- Subject: Criminal Justice
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #70131358
Excerpt from Essay :
prison system. This discussion is carried out in line with the observed cases of ethical, legal, and standards of practice considerations.The other issues addressed are the social and cultural composition of the population served and culturally sensitive practices, a theoretical framework that reflects the professional ethical codes of your field. Issues of informed consent and acknowledgement of client and patient rights, strategies to ensure confidentiality and potential problems that result from dual relationship issues are also discussed.
Some of the traits that are characterized with correctional environment include vices like confrontation, violence, disease outbreaks manipulation sexual assaults and gang indoctrinations into new world of crimes. According to a study of New York Correctional employees done by Aziz, Levine, Sieber, Schulte and Steenlands (1997), most of the officers who were exposed to tuberculosis, about one third of the new infections whereas result of occupational exposure. One of the rules that has been broken and resulted in distrust is the prison subculture. This is a subjugated mentality identifying a particular gang or an affiliation that a prisoner might have decided to belong to while behind bars.
The life in prison is usually looked at for the perspective of the prisoner or the violent experiences that are long forgotten parts but which mot American inmates are subjected to coupled with the dangerous subcultures. These subcultures put even those on low custody or first time offenders at the risk of being part and parcel of the practices as an escape route from the related violence meted on those resisting to join or practice the subcultures. According to Agnew and Cullen (2003), the chances of an individual engaging in crime and deviant behavior increases while the chances of the same individual engaging in or conforming to the normal expected behavior decreases as the individual continually associate with others who commit these crimes and have deviant behaviors
The number of high security prisons in the United States of America is on the rise. According to Briggs Castellano, & Sundt (2006) this rise in advancement is as result of the need to control the so called worst of the worst which consequently result to making prisons a better place to live and work in.
According to prisons Bureau website (2007), these high security prisons are 21 in number with each having about three hundred correctional workers giving a grand total of about six thousand three hundred employees of the correctional facilities in New York State. This number however varies with retention, retirement and promotions. Kawucha et al. (2006) argue that most gangs that are a security threat within the prisons are aligned along racial and ethnic lines. This behavior that has received endorsement from most prisons and gangs in the streets, legitimizes race as one of the major vices that influences behavior of most inmates
The popular is belief is that those working in a high security prison are stressed hence their performance at the work place is affected. According to Lindquist and Whitehead (1986)most correctional officers are no better than the inmates they look after whom are always considered to be the very real pain of the system as well s less desirable persons. In addition, they continue to ask questions like how working in such a violent and sub-cultured environment daily affects both the correctional workers and the officers or what effect this working conditions has on the correctional officers' careers, life at home, marriages and other social interactions with both family and friends who are outside the confines of the prison walls.
Some of the authors and researchers who have written or researched on the subject of correctional officers and related stress at the work place include but not limited to; ((Cheek, 1984, Cheek & Miller 1982, Lindquist & Whitehead 1986, Lambert 2001). Moreover, Cheek (1984) argues that most of these researchers live to about 75 years old compared to the correctional worker whose life expectancy is about 59 years. This therefore explains the discrepancies that exist in these research works.
For the correctional officer, life within the confines of the prison walls is characterized with confrontation, violence and mendaciousness. Mental and physical challenges coupled with integrity tests are the norm for any correctional officer. With time, these deviant behaviors take their toll on the correctional officer whom one cannot control if they don't have god professional handle and an internal strong locus that helps one to have the ability to control the stress and the events that accompany the work. However, there are those on the other end of the spectrum who allows the external locus of control like the daily events and the working environment coupled with the subculture to control their ability to handle stress (Robins, 2005).
Ethical issues within the prison environment
The work of del Carmen (2004) indicated that there are several cases of ethical misconduct within the prison systems. Some of the most frequent cases of unethical misconduct include; abuse of prisoners, inappropriate relationship between the inmates, smuggling of contraband, off-duty misconduct, on-duty misconduct, fiscal improprieties as well as investigative violations. The prison system is also noted to be rife with corruption. The work of McCorkle (1970) indicated that there are three main forms of corruption within the prison system. These include corruption via friendship, corruption via reciprocity as well as corruption by default.
Corruption by friendship
This form of corruption takes place when the traditional mechanisms fail to separate the prison staff from the inmates. The prison staff members therefore find themselves in situations in which they cannot physical withdraw themselves. The employees therefore become trapped in a conflict of loyalties and the low level of pay coupled with poor working condition makes the prison staff to be susceptible to this form of corruption.
Corruption via reciprocity on the other hand takes place when the prison staff ignores some forms of minor infraction in exchange for what appears like good behavior. This is especially when the prison staff is up for a performance appraisal. The inmates are aware that the employee are appraised on how well they control the inmate population. The inmates therefore put up a "show" to make the staff member look good. This is however subject to the employee overlooking some of the infractions.
Corruption by default takes place due to the indifferences as well as laziness on the part of the employee. The inmates are noted to gradually work their way up to the status of "trustee" in the eyes of the employee. In other words, the prisoners perform some of the duties for their employee.
Fraternization is described by Escandell (2004) as an inappropriate/illegal familiarity in an inmate/staff relationship. It is noted to be a possible issue surrounding cases of unethical behaviors within correctional facilities. It is worth noting that there are some advantages to fraternization. The academic literature however tend to prefer the use of the word 'favoritism' as noted by Souryal (2003). These issues have resulted in the design of studies that are geared towards the designing of techniques for recognizing as well as avoiding the cases of manipulations as well as con games by the prison inmates. Several prison facilities have made the concept of fraternization to be an integral element of their anti-corruption policies.
The overall legality as well as constitutionality of the various prisons in the nations is noted by Riveland (1999) to be somehow unclear. The Eighth Amendment clearly prohibits the use of punishments that are cruel as well as unusual. It however requires that the inmates be afforded at least a minimum standard of living as indicated by the Law Information Institute (2001). Several people argue that the standard of living as well as treatment that is accorded to most prisoners within our correctional facilities never meet the standards that are prescribed by the Eighth Amendment as noted by Fellner & Mariner (1997).It is however clear from the various court cases that the federal court judges feel that the segregation as well as unusual punishment are only suitable for the mentally ill as noted by Rogers (1993).The United States District courts on the other hand are noted by Henningsen et al. (1999) to insist that even though the condition of living within the prison institutions are usually horrible, they are so for security reasons and are therefore not a direct violation of the prisoners' constitutional rights.
Issues of informed consent and acknowledgement of client and patient rights
In case a research or any other personal information is required from the inmates for their security and health reasons, informed consent must be sort. Moser et al. (2004) indicated that prisoner-based research are somehow limited as a result of concerns that they represent a very vulnerable population that is secondary to instances of coercion as well as limited capacity for enjoying a voluntary form of informed consent.
Strategies to ensure confidentiality
In order to ensure confidentiality, strategies, it is necessary for the prison authorities and the stakeholders to come up with…