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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63883 Find in a Library
Title: GUIDELINES FOR PRISON REFORM
Journal: CURRENT AFFAIRS BULLETIN  Volume:1  Dated:(MAY 1978)  Pages:14-17,19-23
Author(s): F RINALDI
Corporate Author: University of Sydney
Publications Coordinator
Institute of Criminology, Publications Officer
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: THE NEED FOR PRISON REFORM IN AUSTRALIA IS DISCUSSED. SUGGESTIONS FOCUS ON IMPROVING PRISON FACILITIES, ALTERING THE OPPRESSIVE NATURE OF PRISON, PROMOTING ALTERNATIVE SENTENCES, AND ABOLISHING PAROLE BOARDS.
Abstract: HALF OF AUSTRALIA'S PRISONERS ARE HOUSED IN ANTIQUATED INSTITUTIONS, BUILT BETWEEN 1855 AND 1916, WHICH ARE TOO RESTRICTIVE TO PERMIT MEANINGFUL EXISTENCE. NEW PRISON CONSTRUCTION MUST BE GROUNDED ON THE PROVISION OF SAFETY AND SECURITY FOR PRISONERS AND STAFF. EACH PRISONER SHOULD HAVE HIS OWN ROOM, BE PERMITTED TO ASSOCIATE WITH OTHER INMATES UNTIL A REASONABLE HOUR AT NIGHT, TO ENGAGE IN PRODUCTIVE WORK, AND TO TAKE RECREATION IN THE OPEN AIR FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS EACH DAY. INMATES SHOULD ALSO BE ALLOWED TO RECEIVE VISITORS WITHOUT INFRINGEMENTS ON THEIR PRIVACY. ALTHOUGH REHABILITATION CENTERS OR YOUTH TRAINING CENTERS FOR PRISONERS UNDER 21 YEARS HAVE FAILED TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS, IT IS TRAGIC TO DEPRIVE YOUTHS OF THEIR MOST PRODUCTIVE YEARS, TO FAIL TO GIVE THEM THE SKILLS TO COMPETE IN A HOSTILE ENPLOYMENT MARKET, AND TO APPLY A STIGMA WHICH WILL HAUNT THEIR SOCIAL LIFE AND INHIBIT THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE COMMUNITY. ALTHOUGH NEWSPAPER ARTICLES OFTEN DEPICT THE LIFE OF PRISONERS IN ROSY HUES, THE REALITIES OF PRISON LIFE INCLUDE BOREDOM, DULL ROUTINE, AND ALMOST TOTAL SUPPRESSION OF INITIATIVE. STRICT RULES OF DISCIPLINE SHOULD AND ARE BEING MODIFIED THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA'S PRISON SYSTEM, PARTICULARLY THOSE REGARDING INMATE CORRESPONDENCE AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE. IN ADDITION, PRISON SENTENCES SHOULD BE SHORTER, COUPLED WITH THE ABOLITION OF PAROLE BOARDS ON THE BASIS OF THEIR INABILITY TO PREDICT WHETHER A PRISONER WILL CEASE CRIME. PRISONERS SHOULD KNOW THEIR RELEASE DATES THE MOMENT THEY ARE SENTENCED, SO THEY CAN BEGIN ADAPTING THEMSELVES FOR THE PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT. THE CONTINUATION OF WORK RELEASE PROGRAMS IS RECOMMENDED, PARTICULARLY WHEN A PRISON TERM OF 18 MONTHS OR LESS IS APPROPRIATE AND THE OFFENDER HAS A SOUND WORK RECORD. OTHER PRISON REFORM SUGGESTIONS FOCUS ON RESOLVING INMATE GRIEVANCES AND PREVENTING RIOTS, IMPROVING PRISON STAFF MORALE, AND REDUCING THE BUREAUCRACY OF PRISON ADMINISTRATION. PHOTOGRAPHS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Adult offenders; Australia; Correctional facilities; Correctional reform; Corrections management; Inmate grievances; Inmate staff relations; Parole board discretion; Prisoner's rights; Work release; Youthful offenders
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