Prisons as an Area of Corrections Throughout Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Prisons as an Area of Corrections

Throughout the years, prisons have become a major component of the criminal justice system since they act as institutions that help in punishment of convicted criminals and deterrent for crime prevention. This article examines these facilities as part of the justice system and how they function in accomplishing their purpose. The analysis includes an exploration of the various types of prisons such as jails, federal, state, maximum security, medium security, minimum security, supermax, and closed security prisons. The role and function of prisons in promoting social change in the modern society has also been discussed.

Prisons as an Area of Corrections:

Prisons are one of the major areas of correctional facilities that serve as places for confinement of convicted criminals. An individual is placed in a prison after being convicted of an offense as punishment for his/her actions. The punishment of criminal offenses in prisons emanate from the fact that these facilities restrict the offender's access to almost everything, freedom, and movements. The privacy, dignity, and control of the criminals are given up to prison administrators and guards where boredom and loneliness can drive the offender insane. Historically, prisons have been used for various purposes including locking away prisoners of war, political dissidents and the mentally ill.

In America, prisons are operated by state and federal governments since incarceration is a concurrent power within the country's constitution. One of the main forms of punishment for the commission of criminal acts in America is imprisonment (Grabianowski, n.d.). In most cases, misdemeanor crimes and less serious offenses are subject to short-term sentences in local jails as community correction, restitution, and probation are alternative forms of punishment.

While the cultural functions of prisons are more complex, a prison sentence can be regarded as a punishment. Therefore, such a sentence serves as a form of justice in which criminals should be subject to some form of retribution and as a deterrent that prevent people who fear the facilities from committing crimes. Notably, these facilities act as protection that keeps dangerous individuals away from the society to prevent them from committing more violent offenses. In certain cases, these facilities are used to rehabilitate offenders and provide them with an opportunity for a new life with enhanced jobs, education, and social skills.

Types of Prisons:

Prisoners are usually housed in divergent facilities that differ in terms of the security level, inmates' administration, housing type, security measures, and tactics used by the corrections officers. The difference in the housing of prisoners emanates from the fact that there are different types of prisons. The most common types of prisons include & #8230;


These are correctional facilities are developed to house criminals awaiting a trial for their offenses. Jails are also designed to hold prisoners who are serving a prison sentence of a maximum of twelve months for their offenses. As important parts of the prison system, many cities have a minimum of one jail ("Prisons," n.d.).

Federal Prisons:

Federal prisons are established to hold individuals convicted of committing federal criminal acts. The facilities are also used to hold people awaiting trial for breaching Federal legislations.

State Prisons:

The facilities are designed to house individuals convicted of state crimes or offenses committed in the specific state. Unlike the federal prisons, state prisons house many criminals convicted of breaching the state of local laws. Since many of these offenders are sent to state prisons, the federal prisons house a relatively few number of state inmates.

Maximum Security Prisons:

These are the most commonly known facilities of the prison system that are reserved for violent offenders though they only account for a quarter of all inmates in the United States. The maximum security prisons are also designed to hold inmates who could cause problems in the lower security prisons or those who have attempted to or escaped from prison. Criminals in these facilities are usually surrounded by high walls with razor wire at the top and armed prison guards monitoring the towers to shoot any individual trying to escape over the wall. Generally, maximum security prisons are designed to house inmates serving longer prison sentences for crimes like murder and kidnapping.

In these facilities, all prisoners have personal cells with sliding doors that are managed from a secure remote control station. While the prisoners are confined to these cells for up to 23 hours daily in some facilities, they are allowed to stay out of the cells for most of the day in other institutions. In this scenario, the inmates remain in an exterior cage or cellblock when out of their individual cells. As part of the security measures within the maximum security prisons, movement out of the cellblock is tightly limited through escorts and restraints by the prison officers (De Maille, 2007). One of the major events that sometimes take place in maximum security prisons is lockdown, which is the confinement of all inmates in their cells without any freedom when an incident occurs.

Medium Security Prisons:

These incarceration facilities are usually more open than maximum security prisons and less open than the minimum ones. Inmates in these prisons can sometimes sleep in dormitories on bunk beds with lockers for storage of their possessions. These dormitories are normally locked at night with at least one correctional officer supervising them. In most cases, there is less supervision of the movements of these inmates as the facilities' perimeter is double fenced and patrolled regularly. Inmates in the medium security prisons may sometimes have communal sinks, toilets, and showers. These incarceration facilities tend to have electronic detection systems, various work and treatment programs, greater internal controls, and higher staff-to-inmate ratio. The electronic detection systems are primarily used for strengthening the double fenced perimeter walls.

Minimum Security Prisons:

These prisons are regarded as the most open and least restricted institutions since they house inmates who pose little physical risk to the society and non-violent offenders. In addition to being known as Federal Prison Camps, minimum security institutions contain dormitory housing, limited or no perimeter fencing, and a slightly low staff-to-inmate ratio ("Prison Types & General Information," n.d.). Inmates in these institutions live in less-secure dormitories that are normally patrolled by correctional officers. Similar to medium security institutions, inmates in these facilities may have communal sinks, toilets, and showers.

Most of the minimum security prisons are situated in small camps within or close to military bases, larger prisons, and other governmental institutions. The reason for such location is to provide a suitable supply of convict labor to the facility. Inmates in the institutions sometimes work in community projects like roadside litter cleanup since the facilities are work-oriented and program-oriented.

SuperMax Prisons:

These institutions provide the highest level of security in prisons as they are designed to house inmates considered the most dangerous criminals. Some of the inmates housed in supermax prisons include serial killers, high-profile offenders, and those who have committed serious violations in less secure institutions. Many maximum security prisons have SuperMax unit within the facility for permanent lockdown status.

Closed Security Prisons:

In these institutions, inmates have one or two individual cells that are managed from a remote control station. These prisoners are permitted to leave their cells for correctional programs, work assignments, common area in the cellblock, or exercise yard.

Role of Prisons in Society:

Throughout the years, prisons have continued to serve as an important part of the criminal justice system. While these institutions may seem like an isolated discovery in the modern form and functioning, their foundation can be traced to an increasingly profound social change. The major role of prisons in the contemporary society is to promote social change of a convicted individual rather than intimidate inmates.

Prison facilities provide an atmosphere of opportunity for convicted individuals to engage with their criminal…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Prisons As An Area Of Corrections Throughout" (2012, May 20) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from

"Prisons As An Area Of Corrections Throughout" 20 May 2012. Web.9 December. 2016. <>

"Prisons As An Area Of Corrections Throughout", 20 May 2012, Accessed.9 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Prison Life and Strategies to Decrease Recidivism Upon an Inmates...

    Prisons An analysis of the purposes for prisons in the U.S. justice system. The corrections system in America has historically fluctuated between being dedicated to incapacitation, rehabilitation, and to being punitive in nature. They can serve all three of these functions at the same time. Current trends in criminal justice remain focused on punitive justice that fosters prison environments lacking rehabilitative services, but recent scholarship and public policy have indicated a slight

  • Corrections Gangs Prison Gangs Are Groups

    "Amongst the gangs were the Black Disciples, Spanish Cobras, Imperial Gangsters, Simon City Royals, Latin Eagles, Satan Disciples, and the Latin Disciples" (Folks Nation, n.d.). The term Folks was thought to be chosen as a name because of the word being an acronym. It stands for Follow the Orders and Laws the King Sets. The King at this time was Larry Hoover. He was the one who had the

  • Correction Trends American Corrections History the Prisons

    Correction Trends American corrections history The prisons or the correction units have been for long a part and parcel of the American history. These institutions have existed as far back as the slave trade era. Later on, under the watch of the colonialists, jails became the first public institutions that were built to act as holding places fro the wayward emigrants and later or bondage system. Each state was required to have

  • Prisons for All Intents and Purposes the

    Prisons For all intents and purposes the modern history of penology -- which is to say, the science and the theory of imprisonment and the state apparatus of the penitentiary -- begins with the late 18th century British philosopher Jeremy Bentham. In Bentham's day (corresponding roughly to the time of the American and French Revolutions) there was no idea of a penitentiary per se: there was instead His Majesty's Penal Colony

  • Corrections Our Philosophy Regarding Crime

    I thought it was very interesting to read the section on the misconceptions in regards to the Florida State Prisons. There is always talk about how prisoners have cable TV and don't do a lot of work. It was nice to see that these things are not really true. I also like the idea that they are helping to grow part of the food that it takes to sustain

  • Corrections Gius Mark 1999 The Economics of

    Corrections Gius, Mark. (1999). The Economics of the Criminal Behavior of Young Adults: Estimation of an Economic Model of Crime with a Correction for Aggregate Market and Public Policy Variables. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 01. Retrieved November 07, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site. Mark Gius uses a combination of individual-level and county-level data to estimate an economic model of crime for young adults. This data is similar

  • Prison Libraries

    Prison Libraries When most people think about prison libraries today they most likely recall the 1995 movie, "The Shawshank Redemption" which revolved around the library of Maine's state prison from 1947 through the late1960's (Shawshank pg). The movie portrayed the evolution of the library during some twenty years, as it went from a small cramped room housing a meager selection of books to larger quarters with vast selections of books, music

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved