Severe overcrowding is now the major problem in most prisons. Cells originally built for one prisoner, now often house two or three men.
Although the agreement to settle allows the state of New York to admit no wrongdoing, the legal issues are lasting and confront corrections professionals every day.
The use of force, for example, continues to be an area of concern. Is your department being proactive enough to ward off litigation? The corrections profession has a long legal history and according to Lynn J.
And although corrections practice has evolved through battles in the courts, legal issues that affect corrections will continue to shape the profession. According to Bill Collins, an attorney in Olympia, Washington who tracks legal trends in corrections, issues that remain at the forefront such as use of force, sexual conduct, the Americans with Disabilities Act ADAmental health and crowding and confinement continue to demand attention.
Sexual Contact Between Officers and Inmates According to Collins, sexual contact between officers and inmates is an area of major concern. Although, many cases involve officers taking advantage of inmates, Collins warns that there is a flip side in which inmates can set up officers.
If the allegations are true, then the agency, potentially, has a very serious management issue if not legal issues. The agency needs to send a message that that type of conduct is not accepted and that message can be sent by taking allegations seriously. Sexual misconduct cases can involve inmate to inmate relationships or inmate to officer relationships.
Paul Marino, general counsel for The American Jail Association, agrees with Collins that sexual contact is a real concern in the field. To clearly communicate that policy so that staff truly understands its meaning, comprehensive training and education should be done regularly.
The issue can start as incidents of harassment, but become incidents of actual touching, which is misconduct. I don't care if it's between opposite sex, same sex, whatever. In addition to sexual misconduct and sexual harassment, Collins believes that cross gender supervision is an unresolved issue and cause for potential concern.
Female officers working in male facilities are permitted to perform the same duties as male officers. However, in a Washington State women's facility male officers were conducting the routine pat down searches of the female inmates. Gardner, the court said that this practice was in violation of the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment because many of the inmates, prior to entry into the facility, suffered from sexual abuse.
The searches conducted by the male officers were seen as a continuation of abuse for many of the female inmates who would suffer mental repercussions from the practice. He sees cross gender supervision as a larger issue for small jails where staffing issues are a concern.
It is not always easy to have female officers on hand to conduct pat searches on incoming female offenders, he said. Sexual misconduct is an area that garners much attention, however it is not the only issue affecting corrections today. Mental Health Issues and Inmates Both prisons and jails face ongoing problems associated with the management of inmates with mental health problems.
Collins believes that jails have a larger problem because the offenders come right off the street into a jail setting that is not always equipped with the resources to deal with the offenders' problems.
How do we get them treatment? However, if all facilities conduct a mental health screening, it will be doing something proactive because then the facility will be able to begin treating the inmate. One area that has yet to be resolved is disability litigation. Inmates with Disabilities According to Collins, until recently there has been relatively little litigation regarding the ADA.
However, he believes that there is much litigation potential with inmate disabilities.Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice Attached to this memorandum is the Office of the Inspector General's list of top management and performance challenges facing the Department of Justice (Department), which we have identified based on our oversight work, research, and judgment.
According to the Bureau for Justice Statistics, the number of adult federal and state prison inmates increased from per , residents in to per . Challenges Facing Prison Reform by Tom Burroughs. Leave a reply. But several recent news reports highlight challenges in political and legal quarters to achieving these aims.
Related Posts. Progress in Childhood Obesity, yet . The overcrowding and mismanagement facing the corrections systems in the U.S. today have lead to inhumane treatment of prisoners and lawsuits against correctional facilities that has created a high volume of civil-rights violation cases within our judicial system.
Within the last 30 years, the prison population more than quadrupled — from roughly , in to nearly million today. Almost half of all those incarcerated in the United States are Black.
WOMEN IN PRISON Issues and Challenges Confronting U.S. Correctional Systems Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the California Department of Corrections, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, for some issues or challenges in addressing the unique needs of female inmates.