CHAPTER 12
Discretion and Dilemmas in
Corrections
Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
Correctional Professionals
• Correctional officers and supervisors
• Treatment professionals (e.g.,
educators, counselors,...
Bo
Robinson
Halfway
House
Trenton,
NY
(2012)
• As large as a prison, it is intended to help
inmates reintegrate into socie...
Discretion
• Correctional officers have a full range of control, including
denial of liberty and application of physical f...
Correctional Ethics
In the 1970s, prison guards adopted correctional officer
as a more descriptive professional title.
The...
Relationships With Inmates
• Both guards and inmates prefer to live in peace.
• Both feel they must take sides when confli...
Relationships With Inmates
• Officers have the power to make life difficult for inmates
they do not like.
• If officers be...
Thinking
Point
In June of 2010, correctional officer
David Francis of Charleston WV, was
implicated for allegedly sexually...
Types of Officers
Violence-prone: use the role of correctional officer to act
out an authoritarian role
Time-servers: serv...
Use of Force
• Physical force is often necessary in prison situations.
• Prior to the 1980s, overt physical force was used...
• An HIV positive inmate killed his ex-wife and
her companion, and subsequently went to
prison, where he bit a corrections...
Detention Officers in Jails
• In many respects, local jail officers have more difficult
responsibilities than state prison...
Treatment Staff
• The professional goal of all treatment specialists is
to help the client.
• This goal may be fundamental...
Treatment in Prison
• The fact that prisoners are captive audiences
makes them attractive subjects for
experimentation.
• ...
Medical
Experiments
on Prisoners
• 40-80 years ago, experiments were conducted
on prison inmates
• Hepatitis was given to ...
Ethical Issues for
Prison Psychologists
• Confidentiality
• Protection of psychological records
• Informed consent
• Corro...
Probation Discretion
• Make sentencing/revocation
recommendations.
• Write violation reports.
• Responsibility to the offe...
Probation Officer “Types”
• The Punitive Law Enforcer: Officers have a
tendency to use illegal threats and violate due
pro...
Mark John
Walker
Oregon
(2011)
• Former U.S. probation officer.
• Willfully violated several individual’s civil rights
by ...
Parole
Supervision of parole officers is stronger than probation officers.
The parole officer usually manages a caseload o...
• Low wages
• Incompetent promotion
• High caseloads
• Correctional ineffectiveness
• Politics
• Emotional Investment
Caus...
of 21

Pollock ethics 8e_ch12

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Pollock ethics 8e_ch12

  • 1. CHAPTER 12 Discretion and Dilemmas in Corrections Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
  • 2. Correctional Professionals • Correctional officers and supervisors • Treatment professionals (e.g., educators, counselors, psychologists, and others)
  • 3. Bo Robinson Halfway House Trenton, NY (2012) • As large as a prison, it is intended to help inmates reintegrate into society, but The NY Times found that drugs, gangs and sexual abuse were rife behind its walls. • During a 10-month investigation of NJ’s system of state-regulated halfway houses, the NY Times put together a portrait of life in Bo Robinson from dozens of interviews with inmates and workers and a review of hundreds of pages of internal reports, court filings and state records. • Inmates are housed in barracks-style rooms, not cells. At night, one or two low-wage workers typically oversee each unit of 170 inmates. Outnumbered and fearful, these workers sometimes refuse to patrol the corridors. • Inmates regularly ask to be returned to prison, where they feel safer.
  • 4. Discretion • Correctional officers have a full range of control, including denial of liberty and application of physical force. • Correctional officers have discretionary powers, such as charging an inmate with a disciplinary infraction versus delivering a verbal reprimand. • Disciplinary committees also exercise discretion when making a decision to punish an inmate for an infraction. • Treatment professionals have discretion in writing parole reports, making decisions on classification.
  • 5. Correctional Ethics In the 1970s, prison guards adopted correctional officer as a more descriptive professional title. The period also saw such dramatic changes as: • Increased on-the-job danger • Loss of control • Increased stress • Racial and sexual integration • Unionization • Higher standards of professionalism • Expanded bureaucratization
  • 6. Relationships With Inmates • Both guards and inmates prefer to live in peace. • Both feel they must take sides when conflict occurs. Reciprocity: Officers become dependent on inmates for completion of important tasks. In return, officers may overlook inmate infractions and allow a degree of favoritism.
  • 7. Relationships With Inmates • Officers have the power to make life difficult for inmates they do not like. • If officers become personally involved (e.g., sexually), their professionalism is compromised. • An alliance sometimes forms between guards and inmates that is not unlike foreman-employee relationships. • Officers insist that “you can be friendly with inmates, but you can never trust them.” • Mature officers learn to live with this inconsistency.
  • 8. Thinking Point In June of 2010, correctional officer David Francis of Charleston WV, was implicated for allegedly sexually abusing, harassing, and assaulting two female inmates over the course of two years. The inmates have filed suit against the officer as well as the West Virginia Department of Corrections for punitive and compensatory damages. Should the inmates profit from the unethical behavior of the correctional officer? What punitive action should be taken against Francis?
  • 9. Types of Officers Violence-prone: use the role of correctional officer to act out an authoritarian role Time-servers: serve time in prison much the same as most inmates do (trying to avoid trouble and hoping nothing goes wrong on their shift) Counselors: seek to enlarge their job description; perceive their role as inmate counselor/helper
  • 10. Use of Force • Physical force is often necessary in prison situations. • Prior to the 1980s, overt physical force was used routinely in U.S. prisons. o “tune ups” o “hanging up” • Hudson v. McMillian • Today, the incidence of excessive force is less common, but it is still used in some institutions. • Inmates have more to fear from each other than from correctional officers.
  • 11. • An HIV positive inmate killed his ex-wife and her companion, and subsequently went to prison, where he bit a corrections officer. • Upon transfer to the Charlotte Prison in Florida, he was beaten by numerous guards for extended periods of time, and denied appropriate medical treatment. • As a result of the abuse, Edwards attempted suicide by cutting his wrists. He was then moved to a psychiatric ward and shackled. • Edwards ultimately bled to death over a 12 hour period. • 10 people arrested, 14 people lost their jobs, 3 told the truth and received probation and community service. The 7 who denied everything were acquitted. • Jurors allegedly celebrated with officers after the verdict. Inmate John Edwards Charlotte Penitentiary (1997)
  • 12. Detention Officers in Jails • In many respects, local jail officers have more difficult responsibilities than state prison officers. • Jail population is transitory and often unstable. • Offenders may come into jail intoxicated, suffer from undiagnosed diseases or psychiatric conditions, or be suicidal. • Visitation is more frequent, and family issues are more problematic. • The constant activity and chaotic environment of a jail often create unique ethical dilemmas.
  • 13. Treatment Staff • The professional goal of all treatment specialists is to help the client. • This goal may be fundamentally inconsistent with the punitive prison/jail environment. • A dilemma of treatment programs is deciding who is to participate. • Psychiatrists in corrections may feel they are being used more for social control than treatment.
  • 14. Treatment in Prison • The fact that prisoners are captive audiences makes them attractive subjects for experimentation. • Can inmates give voluntary and informed consent? • Treatment vs. custody issues • Issues with faith based treatment programs
  • 15. Medical Experiments on Prisoners • 40-80 years ago, experiments were conducted on prison inmates • Hepatitis was given to mental patients in Connecticut, a pandemic flu virus was squirted up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and cancer cells were injected into chronically ill people at a New York hospital. • Researchers uncovered 40 ethically dubious experiments by combing through medical journals and news reports from that time frame. • The test subjects were often referred to as “volunteers. “ A few of the studies indicated that test subjects were incapacitated. • In one study in Brooklyn in the early 1960s, the “volunteers” didn't know they were being injected with cancer cells.
  • 16. Ethical Issues for Prison Psychologists • Confidentiality • Protection of psychological records • Informed consent • Corroboration • Refusal of services • Nondiscrimination • Competence • Knowledge of legal structure • Accuracy and honesty • Misuses of psychological information • Multiple relationships
  • 17. Probation Discretion • Make sentencing/revocation recommendations. • Write violation reports. • Responsibility to the offender’s family. • Relationships/closeness to the offender. • Gratuities. • Part-time employment.
  • 18. Probation Officer “Types” • The Punitive Law Enforcer: Officers have a tendency to use illegal threats and violate due process protections. • The Welfare/Therapeutic Practitioner: Officers infringe on clients’ privacy because they are “helping” the client. • The Passive Time Server: Officers do not perform assigned duties.
  • 19. Mark John Walker Oregon (2011) • Former U.S. probation officer. • Willfully violated several individual’s civil rights by kissing and inappropriately touching them. o He forced one victim to have sexual intercourse with him during a home visit, as part of his official duties. At the time of the assault, he was wearing his badge and carrying his government-issued firearm, and the victim was not able to escape. • The victims were afraid that no one would believe them and that Walker, as their probation officer, had the power to have them incarcerated or otherwise punished. • Sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Walker will also have to register as a sex offender under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
  • 20. Parole Supervision of parole officers is stronger than probation officers. The parole officer usually manages a caseload of older and seasoned offenders. • 67 % of released inmates were charged with at least one serious crime within three years. • Studies indicate that the rate of recidivism is worse than it was twenty years ago. • Men, blacks, and young people are the most likely to recidivate. • Those who participate in property crimes are most likely to return to criminal behavior.
  • 21. • Low wages • Incompetent promotion • High caseloads • Correctional ineffectiveness • Politics • Emotional Investment Causes of Probation/Parole Officer Burnout…

Related Documents