Supervision in the Criminal Justice Field Research Paper

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Supervision in the Criminal Justice Field

Mentoring inmates

Problems and challenges facing a criminal justice organization

Supervision in the criminal justice system is an integral aspect of the inmate rehabilitation process. In this paper, we conduct an intensive investigation and examination of the supervisory problems as well as challenges that are unique to the criminal justice organizations. In our analysis, we provide the details of general supervision, management, leadership, personnel evaluation, motivation, mentoring and training.

Keller (2002) pointed out that inmate violence, vandalism, escape, unsanitary conditions, inmate suicide, and high level of stress as well as low staff morale are the main issues that inspire supervision in the correctional facilities. It is therefore necessary that effective inmate supervision as well as behavioral management be made integral elements in all correctional facilities. Keller (2002) went on to indicate that in a historical perspective most correctional facilities have been designed and run with a focus on the physical confinement of the convicts so as to ensure that there is safety as well as security of both the staff and the inmates. The safety of the staff has often been treated as an issue that is achieved by the construction of physical barriers between the staff and the inmates. Consequently, the inmates have been left with little or no supervision. This lack of supervision has basically resulted in several problems in the jails. Supervisory problems and challenges in the criminal justice system.

A lot of focus has been placed on the criminal justice system at present, both at the state and community level. The main reason is the fear of crime and what there is to do about it. The other reason is the growth of the criminal justice system which take a greater portion of the states' budgets. These factors have prompted state officials and criminal justice judges to fully comprehend how the criminal justice system functions.

A lot of people are currently on probation supervision in the United States of America. A small number of them have committed an abomination or minor violations, and the greater percentage are on acquittal for felonies they committed. Many countries now use or are presently preferring private companies to administer minor offenders. About 10 states employ private companies to aid in probation supervision (Reynolds, 2000; Sparrow, 2001).

Despite the opposition to this approach by state probation framework, state financial plans have been unable to maintain the expansive number of people on probation and individuals sentenced to community supervision.

The rise in number of offenders on probation has brought about a situation in which each supervising officer takes charge of several offenders. This means supervisors divide their time as per the number of allocated offenders, hence reducing the effectiveness of supervision.

Private companies try to minimize the general number of offenders by focusing on the care of criminal offenders. Going by findings of a certain source, private companies in charge of criminal offenders have a mean caseload magnitude of active offenders of between

200 and 250 clients (Leznoff, 1998).Literature shows that private probation is one phenomenon that has not been fully explored. As opposed to private prisons, only a few documentaries on probation changeover attempts from public to private have been found (Courtright, 1995; Sparrow, 2001). Even though the government has funded the changeover process private companies are still being used for to provide probation supervisory services and have their basis in the law. This study was carried out on Missouri laws that deal with private probation procedures and a comparison made with states that legalize private probation.

A brief history

Probation supervision was initially a service by the federal government for criminals sentenced to state supervision as a result of the felonies committed, and in several states, individuals on parole were also monitored. Despite the state being responsible for the monitoring of pretrial detainees and convicted felons private companies took the initiative in the late 19th century to assist in reducing the burden for the government.

The approach of employing private agencies was later developed through a national research awarded courtesy of the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice as a section of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (Kassebaum et al., 1978). This study analyzed the alterations in private correctional facilities that were at that time stationed in five states and discovered that they depended on public funds, but their staff had no civil service immunity (Kassebaum et al., 1978).Later, a few states started wondering if their allocated funds could cater for the sum of probation and parole personnel required to supervise the rising number of criminals in the community.Private probation services initially began in Florida in 1975 with the Salvation Army Misdemeanor Probation, and on the next year the state government implemented a law allowing the Salvation Army or any other approved organization to manage misdemeanor probationers,(Lindquist, 1980). Later, other states such as Missouri and Tennessee started to consider this concept. The Missouri government amended and passed Chapter 559.600 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) authorizing the 234 Criminal Justice Review supervision of misdemeanor probationers by private agencies. This was followed by state of Tennessee which saw the passing of Tennessee Criminal Sentencing Reform Act which authorized private organizations to provide supervised probation (Berry & Anderson, 2001).

Following the passage of the law, states commenced employing private companies to improve the Board of Probation and Parole for criminal monitoring. Consequently, private agencies took responsibility of misdemeanor offenders, and state probation officers still supervised felony offenders (Sparrow, 2001).

Inmate behavioral management

Prior to the initiation of inmate supervision, it is important for the prison authorities to classify the prisoners in terms of their risk levels and needs (Thigpen, Beauclair and Hutchinson,2009).An effective inmate classification system must be reliable, valid and equitable. The concept of correctional supervision is based on the assessment as well as classification of the offenders in an objective fashion. A number of risk assessment instruments are employed and must be administer by staff members who are appropriately trained in correctional systems. These must be leaders and officers who are professionals in the use of these instruments (Onifade, Davidson, Livsey, Turke, Horton, Malinowski, Atkinson, & Wimberly, 2008).

Literature review

A review of literature indicates a myriad of problems as well as challenges affecting the criminal justice system. The Associated Press (October,2010) illustrated the situation in Texas City jails where hundreds of inmates were allegedly left dangerously in unsupervised state. This it was pointed in the article happened despite the evidence contained in reports indicating that unsupervised inmates tend to commit suicide and live in unsafe conditions (LGIT,2009;WHO,2000;Atlas,1989) .Drapkin (2009) discussed the management as well supervision of inmates having mental disorders . His work enables us to recognize as well as understand the common mental disorders that jail inmates suffer from. Drapkin (2009) also discussed the implementation procedures of effective policies to be bused in the management of inmates suffering from mental disorders. His work also shows the techniques of effectively training jail staff so as to effectively follow the laid down procedures. These enable the prison staff to formulate a workable system that enables the inmates to receive the best professional.

Mentoring inmates

Brimhall (2011) defined a mentor as a wise, trusted teacher or counselor. A mentor can also mean an influential supporter. A mentor might also be called an adviser. The mentoring of inmates has been indicated to have along history (Brown and Ross,2010).Mentoring has been indicated as the only criminal justice technique of "intervention" that is least developed in regard of the empirical studies as well as the theoretical frameworks (Brown and Ross,2010). Several scholars have been dedicated to mentoring in the context of criminal justice (Sherman et al., 1998).Offender mentoring has been described by Brown and Ross (2010) as the pairing of an adult offender with a community member with the intention of initiating a positive transformation to their lifestyle. It is a form of intervention that is in the form of a social program. The merit that it has is that it acts as leverage to the fiscally strained non-government organizations through leveraging the services of various community volunteers in the provision of after-care services. Johnson & Larson (2003) pointed out that there are various form of mentorship programs. Some are faith based that emphasize the importance of education, employment/work, restructuring of values as well as life skills using a program that is based on biblical teachings. The effectiveness of the offender mentoring programs has been cast in doubt.The work of Sherman et al., (1998) and DuBois et al. (2002) indicated that mentorship programs are not effective in reforming inmates.

Problems and challenges facing a criminal justice organization

The major challenge facing criminal justice organizations is the issue of public policy and difficult questions of justice in the rise of terrorism that has brought unrest among many people. The challenge involves improvement of the less efficient criminal justice policy that can combat terrorism. The manner in which judicial systems handle the cases of terrorism has raised…[continue]

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