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NCJ Number: 194595 Find in a Library
Title: Governing the Governors: Telling Tales of Managers, Mandarins and Mavericks
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:February 2002  Pages:27-49
Author(s): Pat Carlen
Date Published: March 2002
Page Count: 23
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article analyzed the governmental context within which governors of English women's prisons were struggling to implement the vision of the new Women's Policy Group and comply with the mass of new "regulations" for the governance of women's prisons at the beginning of the 21st century.
Abstract: In January 1998, the Prison Service's Women's Policy Group (WPG) was established within the Directorate of Regimes at Prison Service Headquarters to help the Prison Service achieve Home Office Aim 4 (the effective execution of the sentence of the courts so as to reduce offending and protect the public) by ensuring that "the needs of women and young female offenders are better addressed and the quality of regime provision in the female estate enhanced." The current study queried the governors of the women's prisons on their views of the workings of the WPG and its impact on the quality of life in the women's prisons. The governors were overwhelmingly positive about the impact of the WPG. The main benefits of the WPG were seen to be in relation to the proven skill of the WPG Director in fighting for increased funding to provide for women prisoners' newly recognized distinctive requirements; the increased coordination of and consistency in policy across the sector; and the enhanced policy response to women's special needs. These positive views, however, were tempered by the governors' fear that much of what could be done by the WPG might be subverted by its relatively weak organizational position and also by some of the more deep-seated problems of policy implementation within the Prison Service. Aware that the organizations they managed were indeed unique, the governors believed that the undermining of their professionalism by manageralist practices had been to the detriment of their service delivery. In particular they were concerned about the policy ownership and leadership deficits emanating from accountability to baselines that were either about saving money or were inapplicable to the characteristics of the prison population. The governors believed that the Prison Service had failed to provide them with any clear leadership about how to prioritize opposed objectives; how to realize policies for which funding was lacking; and how to reconcile some of the policy edicts with the operational imperative of all prisons to keep prisons secure. 9 notes and 28 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Female inmates; Foreign correctional facilities; Prison management; Women's correctional institutions
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