Write a 700 to 1,050-word paper related to current issues facing correctional managers. Include a discussion of:
- The impact of gangs and gang violence
- The impact of illegal drugs and other contraband in correctional settings
- The impact of gender and transgender-related issues
- The impact of medical and mental health issues within the correctional population
References: You must use at least 3 academic sources, excluding your weekly readings, list them on your reference page and cite them appropriately in the body of your paper.
Managing correctional facilities is not an easy task as most people think of it to be. Correctional managers face many problems and challenges within the correctional facilities, most of which are shunned by governments and local authorities. Inmates in correctional facilities are like any other citizens and often get into a social conflict or engage in criminal activities. Correctional managers have the task of identifying such activities and putting a halt to it. However, the task is hard due to the connection that inmates have to the outside world, either through corrupt correctional officers or other means yet to be discovered. Correctional managers face a multitude of challenges in the effort of maintaining peace and order in correctional facilities. This paper will discuss some of the major challenges that the correctional management teams have to handle.
Gangs and Gang violence
Gangs are a common sight in correctional facilities. Many inmates join gangs as a means of protection when they are serving time in the correctional facilities. However, Gangs have gone out of control in such facilities and cause a lot of havoc and challenges to the correctional facility management. Gang-related violence is on the rise in prisons, and many inmates and staff get hurt through such violence. Most inmates are gang members before they are incarcerated, and they take the trend to the prisons as a means of identity. Gangs in prison are in control of the criminal activities within the correctional facility. They are often involved in activities such as drug trafficking, among other illegal activities.
Guards and prison staff have to be careful about how they allow interaction among incarcerated members. Gangs are always against each other and often fight for control in prison. Prison gangs have been a problem for correctional management for a very long time. According to Mark & Decker (2001) research, prison gangs were a disruptive force in the correctional facilities as they often interfere with correctional programs and often threaten the safety of other inmates and correctional facility staff. Another research by Matt et al. (2006) shows that prison gangs are often an extension of assorted social groups that gangsters form in the community. Their study reveals that such social interactions of gangs in the community are moved into the correctional facilities and affect how inmates relate. A more recent study by Levan (2014) identifies prison gangs as the main cause of violent and disruptive behavior within correctional facilities. Correctional managers have to deal with gangs and figure out strategies to neutralize them to safeguard other inmates and stakeholders’ security in the correctional facilities.
Illegal Drugs and Contrabands
Gangs often introduce and sell and distribute illegal drugs and contrabands within the correctional facilities. This is another challenge that correctional managers have to deal with. Prisons have become an effective tool to move drugs. Most gang members who participate in drug circles within correctional facilities are affiliates of other drug cartels within the community. Their main aim is to infiltrate prisons and access the new market of inmates looking for particular drugs. A study by O’Hagan & Hardwick (2017) shows how drugs land into prisons. Drug dealing is a criminal offense that puts people in prisons, so one would wonder how such drugs end up in prison compounds.
The authors discuss how drugs are trafficked into prisons, issues associated with drug use in the country, and how prison staff and management are dealing with the drug problem. Drug issues in prisons lead to other crimes as inmates participate in illegal activities such as violence to get money to purchase drugs within correctional facilities. Inmates have cited it to be easier to acquire drugs when incarcerated than when out. Drugs lead to repulsive behaviors within the correctional challenge, increasing the risks of violence in the facilities. How drugs get into correctional facilities undermines the main purpose of prisons and the authority of correctional management.
Gender and Transgender-Related Issues in Correctional Facilities
Correctional facility management has a hard time keeping transgender people safe in correctional facilities. Most times, court rulings place individuals in correctional facilities according to their genitals or the sex assigned to them at birth. Transgender individuals are often harassed within correctional facilities. They are viewed as going contrary to human life norms and often face a lot of hatred from other inmates. It is a challenge to correctional managers as they are given the burden to ensure such individuals’ safety, which is close to impossible.
Mental and Medical Health Issues in Correctional Facilities
Mental and health issues within the correctional facilities have a negative impact on inmates and the management of the facilities. Mental health is a common problem in prisons and accounts for a huge sum of all incarcerated people. A report by Hoke (2015) shows that the USA prison system is the largest in the world and has the highest number of mental illness cases compared to other countries. More than half the inmates have mental illnesses compared to 11% of the general population. This makes correctional managers’ work hard as they have to manage the behavior and, at the same time, the mental condition of inmates. Correctional facilities fall short of recommended standards for mental health patients, thus posing a challenge n the management. Most mental cases within prisons tend to worsen as inmates do not get the help they need to get better. It also impacts the levels of violence within the facility, which affects the safety of other inmates in the facility.
Correctional managers have a task in dealing with the many challenges that affect correctional facilities. The managers are responsible for ensuring all the inmates, the staff and ensuring that the facility achieves set objectives. Gangs and gang violence often undermine such objectives. The growth of drug use and access in correctional facilities increases the rates of crimes as inmates try to find income sources to purchase drugs. Transgender issues are a rising concern as it is not clear where such individuals should be placed within the correctional system. Such challenges impact the security, safety, and the ways through which correctional management carry out their duties.