Projecting the future priorities for any organization is important in achievement of the set goals and objectives. Setting future priorities also makes it possible to face unforeseen challenges. A correctional facility is not exceptional as it is prone to more or less challenges in its key areas of operation such as management, staffing, supervision, cost of operation among others. Moreover, the facility may face challenges related to the healthcare system, the parole process, ability to accommodate inmates, especially those with disability and increased demand of services.
Therefore, the plan for the next decade must come up with ways to address the unforeseen challenges that may have a direct or indirect effect on the operations of the facility. One of the major problems that have been facing correctional facilities includes overcrowding conditions in prison, something that even the government is grappling with.
The correction facilities have been working to reduce the prison population in the coming years. However, there is no likelihood that the population will decrease in the next decade. With the increasingly imbalanced budget on correctional systems, there is need to address the growing challenges. Thus, the facility must work within the budgetary allocations and comply with the set regulations. Reducing overcrowding in prison cannot be achieved by the correctional facility alone; all stakeholders including the federal government must come up with legislation in realignment of the existing legislations.
In addition, the law must allow establishment of community-based correctional facilities that will play a vital role in reducing the crowding in prisons. They will take care of lower level offenders under the management of county governments. Therefore, this paper explores the correctional facilities in various faces such as the outline in the instructional curriculum for both the offenders and the staff, future emerging and driving forces in the operation and management of the correction facility as well as traditional correctional programs to meet the needs of incoming offenders.
The Instructional Curriculum Methodology for Inmates
The instructional curriculum methodology for inmates will involve the use of various styles and approaches such as lectures, group work, facilitated discussions and presentations among others. The instructional curriculum for inmates eligible for transition will include the following:
- Preparing offenders for jobs and transiting back into the community. This will involve giving a range of advices and counseling aimed at motivating them to be integrated back into the society.
- Training on societal changes and expectations as they prepare to leave.
- Training on motivating them on available opportunities; giving them momentum to start afresh (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 2014).
Training curriculum for offenders in the re-entry program will comprise of the following:
- Training on intended code of behavior and ethics as one stays in prison.
- Training on mission, core values and vision of the correctional facility. This is important to shift the focus of the offenders from being punished to being corrected.
- Technical training on the available opportunities as one stays within the correctional facility (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 2014). The trainer can encourage the offenders to engage in short-term technical courses.
A Plan to Coordinate the Training of Staff Members
The correctional facility staff should be trained regularly. This is because such training is meant to continue throughout the employees career. The training is based on a set of state-o-the-art instructions academy aimed at developing and enhancing the in-service officers to continue working efficiently in their line of duty. The following is the plan to be used in coordinating the training of the officers:
- Each officer will be trained at a specific period, say, three months, when someone is in charge of his or her duties. This means that the training will be rotational to prevent any vacuum or absence (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 2014). It will also make it easy for the management to plan financially and operationally.
- Any officer will be allowed to select the course of interest that is in line with his or her needs. The officer will then attend the academy after the course has been approved by the management.
- An officer will be required to choose a course which correlates with his or her line of duty so that the organization can also benefit. Therefore, the course is not only meant for personal benefit but also for capacity building to enable him or her deliver the intended duties more diligently.
- The course should also focus on hand-on practical activities which will help the officers to sharpen their skills on what they have already learnt.
- The correctional officers will also be required to register online with the training academy to enable them undergo free additional classes as well access some academic information online.
- The staff will undergo training on new policies and refresher courses. It is important to enable the staff learn about the new policy being introduced and be aware of what needs to be done to deliver.
- Staff will also be trained on leadership and management roles. The training focuses on all levels of staff. It helps to provide knowledge and skills to enable everyone fit in a leadership role at a specific level of the organization (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 2014).
- Staff with specialized role should also be trained differently. Their specialization may be based on their functions or the nature of prisoners they deal with.
Strategic Plan for the Next 10 Years
The correctional facility needs to come up with detailed workable strategic plan for the next ten years. It must project the major areas of priories that need to be set in terms of technology, training, management and supervision as well as perceived challenges within this period of time. Firstly, management is the most important organ for any organization. Going with the current trends, there is a likelihood that the number of prisoners in this correction facility will increase significantly within the next ten years. Therefore, it is important to come up with strategies that would help to handle such an increase in inmates in future.
Despite the fact that neither the operational budget nor the number of staff will be increased, the program director can come up with measures to provide solution to such problems. The first solution will be to establish a centralized and strong leadership for the benefit of the staff and the inmates (Wehr & Aseltine, 2013). Motivation of the staff is another critical component that the management has to consider. Motivation does not necessarily mean monetary rewards as the facility may not get additional funds to rewards its staff. However, the organization can put in place methods of rewarding the hardworking employees.
For instance, they can give a reward to certain chosen staff at the end of every year as recognition. This will instill a spirit of handwork, as everyone will try to attain the threshold of being recognized and rewarded. The management can also decide to give a chance to the working staff to undergo a training of their choice which should be rotational to ensure everyone gets a chance. This will go a long way in improving the performance of the staff. Management should also improve the access to rehabilitation programs. This will make it possible for the facility to plan for more than half of the prisoners population in a rehabilitation programs which will shorten the time required to transform an inmate (Roberts, 2004).
In such a scenario, prisoners will be prepared to go back into the society within a short period of time. In addition, the rehabilitation programs will be advantageous to inmates as they are likely to undergo other academic programs as well as meet other needs. On the same, this process is going to save significant amount of money that could have been used if the inmates stayed in the prison for a long period of time (Rhodes, 2004). The management must also work on classification changes, mainly for short and long jail terms of those confined in different cells.
Secondly, staffing will be of great influence in the operations of the facility within the next ten years. Generally, the level of staffing should take priority in future plans. The ratio of staffing should be favorable with the number of prisoners. The plan should also consider the establishment of uniform staffing standards for all officers to increase operation' efficiency and safety. The staff should be motivated by the management and the higher authorities. Inequalities compensation should also be addressed among the officers; this will develop a favorable career path that will in the long run save money for the facility.
As earlier stated, the program director must develop a non-financial way to enhance the staff morale. This will solve several problems such as high staff turnover and boost performance. One of the methods that can be used to improve staff morale is the improvement of the working environment such as housing and childcare among other benefits (Roberts, 2004).
This brings in the necessity of having a supervision body that is effective and sensitive to the needs of the inmates. Thus, supervision is a critical component in a correctional facility. It involves officers who are assigned the role of manning the inmates and ensuring the facility is safe. To improve supervision, advanced and more advanced steps must be taken in future.
Thirdly, the staff should be trained regularly to ensure that they are to treat the prisoners well. Management should come up with several ways of capacity building their staff in various areas. Capacity building courses should be introduced into the system to see that each staff attends short-term training. This will play a vital role in enhancing their service delivery. In the past, the focus of correctional facilities has been just to train their officers to sharpen their physical combat or related skills (Wehr & Aseltine, 2013).
However, for the coming ten years, the facility should focus on equipping the staff with knowledge and skills in their daily service delivery, particularly in their area of work (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 2014). As stated earlier, the officer must be taken through an intense training which should comprise of academy basics and job requirements training. This does not only apply to the newly recruited officer. Therefore, in our case, the situation does not allow for recruitment of new officer. However, it is equally important to expose the existing officers under regular training to enable them stay fit and serve well (Wortley, 2002).
Investing in technology cannot be avoided by the facility in future. With the emerging and advancing use of technology in every sector in the world, the correctional facility must also be able to apply technology in its daily activities in order to make the work easier as well as enhance security of the systems. The organization should develop systems and databases. Moreover, the organizations need to establish advanced technological systems to store their data. The system should be able to store the information of the inmates, the staff, and the stakeholders among others. Basically, the organization should be computerized not only for reference but to make the data easily accessible for now and in future (Thompson, 2008).
Most importantly, there should be enhanced protection systems to limit any chances of attacks such as hacking or cybercrime. These measures will ensure that their systems are not compromised. Going forward, the organizations should ensure that their systems are up-to-date to avoid any malicious threats within their systems. This is because the correctional facility stores vital information that can either be influenced or attached for various reasons. Thus, it is mandatory to have such systems because they must use computers hence should keep their network safe (Wehr & Aseltine, 2013).
They should also have advanced CCTV cameras. Having camera stuck inside the buildings and within the prisoners rooms is not enough. The facility should have well advanced mechanisms to avoid any form of physical attacks. The facility should have modern web-based programs and applications that will enable all the users to access vital information at their dashboard and facilitate best management practices. The mainframe servers should also be served to facilitate access to information.
Traditional Correctional Programs
There are various traditional correctional programs that can be used in the new correctional facilities to help the new transferred inmates. These include the following. Bailing supervision programs. This is where the accused awaiting the trial are let to undertake some work where they are supervised by a member of the community instead of staying in the custody hence reducing the crowding in prisons. The eligibility criteria for this program are based on the nature of the case, the individual involved and ability to pay the bill. The desired outcome is to allow the individual perform other duties as he or she waits the day of the trial in court.
Alternative Measures Programs
This is another traditional mechanism that the correctional facility can use. This is where a certain offender is taken through a criminal justice system before and after the charges have been established. Instead of being taken as an inmate, one enters into a contract with the correctional authorities to perform community work to stand for the crime committed. This agreement involves community work, service to the victim to whom the crime was committed, being engaged in counseling as well as being taken through a certain task or condition (Wehr & Aseltine, 2013).
Fining Petty Offenders
This is where the offender is fined by doing an approved community work which is paid a small amount of money per hour. The eligibility into this program is based on the nature of offence committed. It is a way of correcting low-level offenders who if taken to prison might cause crowding; yet, their offences can be corrected using traditional methods. There may be substantial evidence that the accused committed the crime, but it may be classified as petty which may attract penalty according to law as opposed to being sent into prison. The desired outcome is change in behavior.
This is where the offender is given a set of probation order to which he or she must abide with as one is taken back to the society under supervision of an officer or is required to report regularly to a police station or an appointed authority. Some of the conditions that an offender is given includes maintaining peace, being of good conduct, obey law as well as report regularly to the appointed authority. However, the conditions of probation differ depending on the nature of crime, individual and location (Carlson, 2013).
In extreme measures, an offender can be taken through intensive supervision probation. This is where the offender is required to report every day under high surveillance as well as be highly controlled until the change in behavior is evident, which will warrant withdrawal of the set conditions. The eligibility is based on nature of offence where low-level offenders adults who are allowed back in the community where the desired outcome is changed behavior.
The use of community-based centers is another traditional method that can be used in a correctional facility. Most of these facilities are owned privately at residential levels. They are operated by individuals who are released from the community correctional centers owned by the government to this lower level where they are gradually integrated back into the society.
These centers cater for children below the age of 18 where they are meant to go back to school. Children at this age are required to take a short period of time within which they must show change in behaviors so that they are taken back into the society. The eligibility is based on the age where children under 18 are mainly involved in this program where the desired outcome is to change behavior.
Although not very traditional, electronic monitoring is one way that the correctional facility authorities can use to manage low-level offenders. In this case, the offender is fitted with an anklet or a bracelet that is able to transmit signals showing his or her whereabouts to an officer in charge. This enables one to continue with education or even continue working while still being under the restriction of the authority in charge.
This method can be used for children as well but is more common among the adults who can be allowed to work or study while still serving their term. The offender is required to abide with these regulations, failure to which results in him or her taken back to prison and this favor taken away. Eligibility is based on the importance of an individual to the community and the role he or she plays. However, it is also based on the case committed with the desire to teach one a lesson and change behavior.
Parole can also be used to reduce concentration in prison. This is a form of a conditional release where an offender is allowed to go back into the community as well as continue to serve the prison sentence. It mainly occurs among the offenders who have been incarcerated. An offender can be released into the community for a specific period of time for varied reasons among them seeking employment, visiting the family or seeking treatment. The eligibility is based on the willingness of an offender to change behavior or reform.
The condition such as health and family may also warrant one involved in such a program. However, the offender must be accompanied by an officer to ensure one does not disappear, especially in cases where the management doubt such a person and do not want to take chances. The desired outcome is to change behaviors.
Prison education program is another vital traditional program that the correctional facility must continue to offer. The education is meant to provide some basics to the inmates by delivering vocational education programs mainly to enable them acquire skills such as carpentry and farming among others. This is one of the correctional methods that can facilitate the inmates to acquire basic skills that will enable them to be integrated back into the society and become productive. This is eligible for any inmate as the desired outcome is to help the offenders acquire additional skills.