Criminology Question 1
ThePrison Rape Elimination Act is a profound law that prohibits any formof sexual misconduct in correctional institutions such as jails,juvenile facilities, jails, prison, and detention facilities. Underthis law, the sexual misconduct involves offender on offender andstaff on offender sexual harassment. This act was formulated in 2003in an attempt to curb the numerous cases of rape reports incorrectional facilities. The act has zero tolerance for sexualassault in prisons. It aims at overhauling national standards ofpreventing sexual abuse in prisons. Prisoners who are assaultedsexually are given a chance to report these cases for furtherinvestigation (Schmallege & Smykla, 2015).
Theact is a great step of stopping sexual abuses in prisons. Givingprisoners an opportunity to report cases of rape ensures theirsafety. On the other hand, this act scares sexual offenders away. Thefact that investigation of sexual offense in prisons is given toppriority is another thing that makes this law effective. This meansthat the law can help greatly in curbing the incidences of sexualoffense in prisons. In addition, staffs who take advantage ofprisoners can no longer practice this because of the fear that theymight face the wrath of the law. It is notable that prisoners arevulnerable to rape cases because they do not have the freedom tofight for their rights. Likewise, the voices of the prisoners areweak and only few people take notice. Therefore, this law can helpgreatly in eliminating the several cases of rape that occur on dailybasis in correctional facilities. It reaches far enough because it istough and has zero tolerance for rape cases.
Supermaxprison refers to the units within prisons designated for the mostviolent and disruptive inmates. Typically, it involves confinementfor 23 hours in a day for an indistinct period of time. The prisonersin this unit have minimal interactions with the staff and otherinmates. The rationale behind supermax prisons is to control the mostviolent and assaultive prisoners in order to prevent them fromassaulting the staff and other prisoners. It also deters theseinmates from committing more criminal acts inside the prison. Thereis a controversy that supermax prisons violate the eighth amendmentsthat prohibits unusual and cruel punishment. It is claimed that thusunit has unsuitable conditions that fail to meet the eighthamendment.
Theseprisons face several issues in their operation. The confinement is apainful experience for inmates as they are deprived of manypsychological well being. They lack personal security, lack ofheterosexual relationships, loss of liberty and deprivation of goodsand services. Prisoners in these units are likely to face negativeemotional or psychological wellbeing. In addition, there is a majorconcern that inmate are likely to suffer from mental health problemsin these prisons. the correctional officers in this unit have therights to use coercion to subdue inmates in case of dangerouseruptions.
Contrabandsand riots are some of the issues that affect correctional facilitiesand the staff. Riots may lead to several deaths of prisoners as wellas the staff as they try to control the situation. Contrabands, onthe hand, are the goods prohibited in prison such as weapons certaindrugs and foods. These contrabands can lead to serious offences suchas murder and violence the reason why they are not allowed inprisons. People who possess illegal goods may face the risk of beingconfined in supermax prisons. The same case applies to supermaxprisons.
Despitetheir controversial nature, supermax prisons serves as the best wasof deterring inmates from being violent and disruptive. Some inmatesare very violent and failure to confine them can lead to more casesof violence and safety problems in prisons.
Prisonovercrowding is a major issue facing correctional facilities. Some ofthe main reasons for overcrowding include war on drugs, harsherpenalties for some offenses, new criminal offenses, and high rate ofre-offenders in prisons. The war in drugs is currently one of themajor reasons for overcrowding. There are many cases of new inmatesdue to possession of drugs in the correctional facilities today.
Severalmethods have been put in place to solve the problem of overcrowdingin prisons. One of these methods is prison expansion model, whichaims at creating more space for prisoners. One example of this isadding more prison beds whenever the population of inmates exceedsthe capacity. The other method that can be used includes communitybased sentencing and sanctions. The community bases sentencing can beused for small crimes that can be corrected at community levels. Thecommunity sentencing focuses on well funded system jails and prisonsthat focus on crime prevention. The other thing that the governmentcan do is monitor the inmates who go out of prison so that they donot commit offenses once again. In addition, drug offenders should begiven a short sentence to reduce the number of inmates. Harsherpunishments should also be lessened for some cases that do notrequire harsh punishments.
Theissue of overcrowding can be solved if the mentioned methods are putinto place. This means that preventing crimes and having communitybased sentences can help in minimizing overcrowding in prisons.
Schmalleger,F., & Smykla, J. O. (2015). Corrections in the 21st century (7thed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.