The Prison System
1) The American Prison System in comparison to the view of incarceration internationally.
2) How does the view of incarceration and human dignity in the US compare to other countries around the world?
3) Why is it necessary to have more human service workers in corrections?
Essay 1: Assignment 1
Draft an essay detailing your response, with evidence and examples, to the following essay prompt-
The current recidivism rate in the Unites States is approximately 80%. This is in large part due to the lack of human services and education provided to incarcerated individuals. What role should human service providers play in jails and prisons? Discuss one program you would create within jails and prisons to address the recidivism rate.
Respond to the following discussion prompt
Do you believe it is possible for the US to adopt the view and procedures of the jails and prisons in Norway in an effective way? What would be the potential benefits as well as the potential obstacles? (1-2 paragraphs)
Essay 1: Assignment 1
The main roles of human service providers are associated with helping the individuals in the prison systems to overcome obstacles and perform at their optimum levels. In this case, the providers will assess an offender’s social and clinical needs together with the risk they pose to public health and safety (Rossman, 2017). Then they plan the treatment and services needed to handle the identified needs for each of the offenders. They could also offer the ental physical and emotional care that offenders need. They place the individuals into appropriate correctional programs that will ensure they gain the skills and knowledge fundamental after they have been released into society. They should also establish and implement a transition plan for the offenders such that they get the right services the entire process and any neglected gaps in the care and reform programs are handled adequately (Rossman, 2017).
The work of human service providers becomes very helpful in the Risk-needs-responsivity framework that is effective in reducing recidivism rates. The framework encompasses an offender’s risk factors that would lead one into recidivism (Chin & Dandurand, 2012). These risk facts or rather the criminogenic needs are then addressed through treatment programs to prevent recidivism from happening. For instance, if an offender has a history of antisocial behavior and respective acts in a variety of settings, the professionals will need to set up a non-criminal alternative behavior that is to be adopted in case they find themselves in risky situations. An individual found to be suffering from mental health disorders is prescribed proper mental health services to treat the disorders. This framework is effective as it can also be incorporated in the communities where offenders are allowed to interact with community members (Chin & Dandurand, 2012). The latter become more receptive to the offenders after they complete their sentences by providing them with homes, jobs, and care before the individuals being independent.
The prison system in Norway has taken a less punitive approach compared to its the United States with its main objective being to ensure that the prisoners do not head back into the prisons (Sterbenz, 2014). I believe that the United States can adopt the views and procedures followed in Norway if the country is to reduce the massive prison populations while keeping the prisoners out of prison after completing their sentences. The problem with the prison systems in the US is that the country has strict incarceration programs with a minimum incentive on their rehabilitation programs. Therefore, the country ends up dealing with high recidivism rates. However, if they concentrate on proper rehabilitation initiatives such as the cognitive-behavioral programs that are deeply rooted in social learning, the country will be in a position to reduce the high recidivism rates.
The unique Norway approach will have only the severe crimes sentenced to maximum life sentences which include genocide and war crimes. The rest of the crimes will have criminals getting a maximum of 21 years (Sterbenz, 2014). After the initial term, the system could include five-year increments to a prisoner’s sentence indefinitely if they determine that one has not been properly rehabilitated. This is an advantageous prison system since the prison system would be achieving the main reasons why it was built. The United States taking in this approach will benefit from a reduced manageable prison population, the expenses spent reduced remarkably, and the recidivism rates will also reduce. The community will also be willing to interact with the ex-prisoners as they know that they have undergone an effective rehabilitation program to be better persons in society. The only disadvantage is that prisoners could easily pretend to become better individuals to be released only to get back into their previous crime lives. Also, the requirement that all crimes except the severe ones get a maximum of 21 years may portray the prison system as lenient. Criminals will easily engage in x=crime knowing that they will get a shorter time.
Chin, V., & Dandurand, Y. (2012). Introductory handbook on the prevention of recidivism and the social reintegration of offenders. Criminal Justice Handbook Series), New York: United Nations.
Rossman, S. (2017, March 23). Services integration: Strengthening offenders and families, while promoting community health and safety. Retrieved from https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/services-integration-strengthening-offenders-and-families-while-promoting-community-health-and-safety
Sterbenz, C. (2014, December 11). Why Norway’s prison system is so successful. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/why-norways-prison-system-is-so-successful-2014-12?IR=T