You, as an expert in corrections, have been asked to do a 500 word summary for the following. In your town, you have a state prison that currently houses 800 men. The State Department of Corrections wants to change the prison to be a co-correctional institution with 100 women and 700 men. Summarize the primary issues in starting a co-correctional institution, including facility problems, social problems and staff/management problems. Don’t try to solve the problems – simply point out and describe the issues that must be considered if this change is to go forward.
The recommendations for co-gender institutions may seem extreme to the unitiated, but leaving the effect of a system that allows at least nonsexual social contact in daily activity with members of the opposite sex is considerable (Allen, Latessa, & Ponder, 2010). The change of an all-male institution to co-gender institutions requires very careful screening and supervision of offenders.
While allowing some male and female inmates to participate in programs together may be a partial solution to equal protection problems, it is never going to be a complete solution. Few other issues will surface during the proposed initiative and to mention some of them; the institution management should have prevalent preoccupation of prison officials and inmates in the facility to have specific set of policies about contact between the sexes. Establishing rules to either grant inmates to practice sexual intercourse or prohibit it.
Determine those areas to have privacy where the two sexes mingle. What areas should be considered for the general inmate community and which areas are restricted to the opposite sex. The relationships play an integral role in the lives of the population and they fall into three categories: companionship, counselor relationships and dating (Anderson, 1978).
The institution infrastructure will be subject for evaluation to meet that may be require to provide subdivision housing cells for females, areas specific to specialized health care providers and their equipment to take care of the female specific medical issues. The care for female inmates that could be going through sickening pregnancy, also the facility must be fit to provide care for the younger child if programs enactment allows female inmates to live in prison with their children to encourage family cohesion.
The focus of most correctional institution law libraries has been on materials related to the criminal law and to “inmate rights” issues, which may not be the most pressing legal concerns for many female inmates. A very high percentage of women in prison had children living with them before incarceration 36 and are likely to be more concerned about parental rights issues (Collins & Collins, 1996).
The social aspect requires for reasonable risk reduction programs that speak the underlying problems that had led to criminal behavior and incarceration (Allen, Latessa, & Ponder, 2010). The overall treatment geared more towards female inmates such as; family/parental education, social development programs, etc. Obviously, the recruitment of female correctional officers is required which entails recruitment, training and adaption of the staff.
The possibility of overwhelming numbers of male inmates surrounding the limited number of females could cause aggressiveness and physical confrontations. It depends of their sentence length that will dictate their appetite to satisfy their heterosexual needs. Also, the demonstration male correctional officers practicing illegal resolutions with sexual abuse of female inmates can occur and, in some situations, can become a pattern of behavior.
Many opportunities could develop in serious events such as; assaults of rape by coerced sodomy; unsolicited touching of female prisoners’ vaginas, breasts, and buttocks by prison employees; vulgar sexual remarks by officers; and male officers entering female housing units unannounced harmed some female inmates and was so “pervasive” as to create a serious risk of serious harm to other female prisoners (Collins & Collins, 1996).
Allen, H. E., Latessa, E. J., & Ponder, B. S. (2010). Corrections in America: An Introduction (12th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Anderson, D. C. (1978). CO-CORRECTIONS . CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE , 32-41. William C. Collins, & Collins, A. W. (1996, December). Women in Jail: Legal Issues. Retrieved Oct 14, 2012, from National Institute of Corrections: http://static.nicic.gov/Library/013770.pdf