Immediately, the number of probation violations dropped. The Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska imposed a similar program in 2000 for misdemeanor cases and also saw immediate positive results in probation completion and reduced recidivism (Boyd, 2010).
When probation was first used the idea was to try and give certain criminals a second chance to redeem themselves and prove that they could be law abiding citizens without having to spend time in jail. Over time it has become more of a way to deal with those criminals who have not committed very serious crimes. Due to the overcrowding of the jails that society is facing now there is simply no room for those people who have not committed a serious crime.
Jails have to preserve a safe and secure environment in order to protect their inmates, staff, visitors, and the community as a whole. In the past, a lot of jails have struggled to attain this, as demonstrated by the all too common occurrences of assault, suicide, fire, and escape. Traditionally, jails have sought to control inmates solely through physical containment, namely, hardware such as locks, steel doors, security glass, and alarm systems. The safety of the staff was believed to depend on preserving physical barriers between staff and inmates (Hutchinson, Keller and Reid, 2009).
A good inmate behavior management plan must contain the following essential elements:
Assessing the risks and needs of each inmate at various points during his or her detention.
Assigning inmates in regards to housing.
Meeting the basic needs of inmates.
Defining and laying down expectations in regards to inmate behavior.
Keeping inmates engaged with useful actions.
These elements function as an ongoing, integrated process that is designed to generate positive inmate behavior. This consists of behavior that conforms to the staffs expectations of what is acceptable. Putting into practice these basics puts control of the jail in the hands of the staff instead of the inmates . Having a formal, written inmate behavior management plan helps jail administrators in having both a strategy for achieving more effective control over inmate behavior and a device for recognizing problem areas in inmate behavior management (Hutchinson, Keller and Reid, 2009).
Boyd, Karen. (2010). Probation Effectiveness. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from eHow Web site:
Hutchinson, Virginia, Keller, Kristen and Reid, Thomas. (2009). Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Web site: http://nicic.gov/Downloads/PDF/Library/023882.pdf
Probation and Parole: History, Goals, and Decision-Making – Origins of Probation and
Parole.(2010). Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Web site:
Probation and Parole: Supervision – Effectiveness of Community Supervision.(2010). Retrieved
May 22, 2010, from Web site: http://law.jrank.org/pages/1850/Probation-Parole-Supervision-Effectiveness-community-supervision.html.