skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 52096 Find in a Library
Title: WITH FRIENDS LIKE THIS, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?
Author(s): W G NAGEL
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SHORTCOMINGS IN THE FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM ARE NOTED, AND A SHIFT IN EMPHASIS IN CORRECTIONS AWAY FROM PRISON-CENTERED MEDICAL MODELS AND TOWARD COMMUNITY-CENTERED PUBLIC HEALTH MODELS IS URGED.
Abstract: THE TITLE REFERS TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS DIRECTOR'S COMPLAINT THAT HIS EFFORTS TO BUILD BETTER PRISONS ARE COMING UNDER ATTACK FROM THOSE WHOSE DEMANDS FOR CORRECTIONAL REFORM HAVE BEEN LOUDEST. THE DIRECTOR NOTES THAT HIS CRITICS BASE THEIR CLAIM THAT CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE INHERENTLY EVIL ON THE ADMITTED INADEQUACIES OF PRISONS BUILT LONG AGO. IT IS SUGGESTED, HOWEVER, THAT THE OBSERVATION THAT PRISONS ARE INHERENTLY EVIL IS VALID FOR THE 103 NEWEST PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES. THREE SPECIFIC CRITICISMS OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS ARE RAISED: (1) THE FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM IS OUT OF STEP WITH 'CREATIVE FEDERALISM' -- THE IDEA THAT THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD ENABLE WHILE THE STATES AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES OPERATE; (2) THE BUREAU HAS NO GRASP OF THE CONCEPT OF TOTAL SYSTEMS PLANNING; AND (3) BY ITS VERY NAME, THE BUREAU IS LIMITED TO THE BUILDING AND OPERATION OF PRISONS, ITS SUCCESS OR FAILURE TIED DIRECTLY TO THE PERPETUATION OF INSTITUTIONAL SOLUTIONS TO THE CRIME PROBLEM. A BRIEF REVIEW OF PENAL HISTORY INDICATES THAT, IN THE TWO CENTURIES SINCE THE FIRST PENITENTIARY, ONE TREATMENT CONCEPT AFTER ANOTHER HAS BEEN ABSORBED INTO THE PENAL SYSTEM IN A CONTINUOUS, FUTILE EFFORT TO OVERCOME THE INHERENT WEAKNESSES OF CONFINEMENT. FACTORS THAT MAY ACCOUNT FOR THE FAILURE OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION -- THE WORKINGS OF PRISON SUBCULTURES, THE TENDENCY OF PRISON LIFE TO DESTROY THE QUALITIES THAT HELP PEOPLE SURVIVE ON THE OUTSIDE -- ARE NOTED. EVIDENCE THAT THE UNITED STATES' CRIME PROBLEM COULD BE BETTER ADDRESSED THROUGH GUN CONTROL AND REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT THAN THROUGH THE CONSTRUCTION OF MORE PRISONS IS CITED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Crime prevention measures; Deinstitutionalization; Effectiveness; Federal Bureau of Prisons; Reform
Note: REPRINTED FROM CRIME AND DELINQUENCY, V 20, N 3 (JULY 1974), P 225-232 ADDRESS PRESENTED AT THE GEORGE A. MILLER COMMITTEE SERIES, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (CHAMPAIGN-URBANA), FEB 7, 1974
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52096

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.