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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150244 Find in a Library
Title: Using Special Management Units To Control Inmate Violence
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:56  Issue:5  Dated:(August 1994)  Pages:88-91
Author(s): J A Beard
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 4
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has developed a Special Management Unit (SMU) program that provides a high level of security and control seriously disruptive and violent inmates and also focuses on restoring these inmates to stable participation within the general population of a correctional institution.
Abstract: The SMU program consists of five phases. Inmates transferred to the program start in Phase V if they are serving disciplinary time as a result of misconduct. If they have completed their sanction, they begin in Phase IV. These inmates receive few privileges; security and control practices are intense. At reception, each inmate receives an orientation that includes behavioral expectations and a specific prescriptive program. Inmates who follow program guidelines progress to Phase III, where they receive additional privileges and longer exercise periods and are allowed more personal property. Phase II involves more privileges as well as small group education and counseling programs and work assignments. Security measures decline as inmates move through the program. Phase I is the inmate's release to the general population of an appropriate institution, with intensive supervision for 90 days. The SMU program began in April 1992 as a pilot project and has expanded to a housing unit with four pods of 32 beds each. Nineteen of the 45 inmates admitted to the program from April 1992 to October 1993 have graduated; only three of them have returned to the program. The program has a high ratio of staff to inmates. Correctional officers are assigned to the program based on their ability to communicate, their professionalism, and their maturity. Unit staff receive extra training, largely in security and control. They must also learn that the nonconfrontational, nonviolent approach is the method of choice. The objective of the program is to provide a secure, humane housing unit for disruptive or violent inmates to promote institutional safety and reduce the number of inmates in restrictive units. Photograph
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Control units; Inmate discipline; Pennsylvania; Rehabilitation; Violent inmates
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