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Classification and imprisonment in the United States correctional system

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Kat K.
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Many people wonder who decides what offenders go into what prisons and why some of those prisons are labeled ?maximum security? while others are simply ?minimum security?. Is it based on a state, local or federal level or is it based on the percentage of felony to misdemeanor offenders the institution houses? In this essay we will dive into the questions of why and how institutions are labeled with different levels of severity as well as what determines that an offender resides within those walls.

This form of labeling is called classification which is driven by the need to determine the surveillance severity of offenders in each institution as needing minimum, medium or maximum security surveillance to be able to successfully do their time while incarcerated. Bartollas Clemens describes this idea of classification as, ?probation departments to develop classification systems for placing offenders under intensive, medium, or minimum supervision?. (Clemens, 2002).

In this sense Clemens states that probationary departments and correctional systems assign this system as a way of placing offenders under specific amounts of surveillance designed with their offenses and behaviors in mind. This includes determining which correctional institutions an offender can and should be place in to fit their rehabilitation and punishment needs. The key tools for classification in sentencing, determined by judges, is the presentence investigation report which includes the offense that occurred, the effect on the victim, the custody of the offender before, during, and after trial, the offenders criminal history as well as current pending charges and the opinion of their probation officer if applicable as to where they should be sentenced and placed.

[...] Halfway houses are the most publicly recognized form of reentry program for offenders and are typically used for those who need help or have no family or support system within the community upon release. These community programs offer a home for newly released offenders for stipulated amount of time as well as counseling and group therapy while living in the home. Community based assistance is described by Clemens as, ?offered a variety of services to ex- offenders in the United States. [...]


[...] Classification and imprisonment in the United States correctional system Classification and Imprisonment in the United States Correctional System Many people wonder who decides what offenders go into what prisons and why some of those prisons are labeled ?maximum security? while others are simply ?minimum security?. Is it based on a state, local or federal level or is it based on the percentage of felony to misdemeanor offenders the institution houses? In this essay we will dive into the questions of why and how institutions are labeled with different levels of severity as well as what determines that an offender resides within those walls. [...]


[...] (2006, March). The Presentence Investigation Report. Retrieved February from Administrative Office of the United States Courts: http://www.fd.org/docs/select- topics---sentencing/the-presentence-investigation-report.pdf?sfvrsn=4 Parole Board of the Norther Territory. (n.d.). Role of Parole Officers. Retrieved February from Parole Board of the Norther Territory: http://www.paroleboard.nt.gov.au/UnderstandingParole/Pages/Role-of-the- Parole-Officer.aspx Santos, M. (2009, May 11). What About Parole? Retrieved February from Prison News Blog: http://prisonnewsblog.com/2009/05/what-about- parole/ Santos, M. G. (2008, August 11). [...]


[...] It seems that while classification does great things for itemizing those destined for the correctional system and imprisonment, alternative sentencing seems to be the better model for sentencing in the United States courts system. This can be said after reading the negative elements and side effects of imprisonment for both men and women and comparing these results to the lack of recidivism and heightened society members given back in alternative sentencing as well as the healing done by the community at large through it. [...]


[...] The addition of a treatment component to the community-based option, such as a drug treatment program, produced a further 10% reduction in recidivism?. (Library Index). Therefore as many authors have found before her, Ginger discovered that the most successful forms of alternative punishment included community service, work release, electronic monitoring and especially drug treatment programs for those who need it. Parole is also another key form of the correctional system. In the state correctional departments parole is provided only by a state limit as a form of early release with serious conditions including surveillance and monitoring to great extents. [...]

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