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NCJ Number: 66608 Find in a Library
Title: PRISONER REDRESS - ANALYSIS OF AN INMATE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:26  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1980)  Pages:162-178
Author(s): J R HEPBURN; J H LAUE
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr for Community Justice
Washington, DC 20006
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN INMATE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE DEVELOPED BY THE CENTER FOR COMMUNITY JUSTICE IS DESCRIBED AND EVALUATED, BASED ON ITS USE IN JUVENILE AND ADULT CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN SEVERAL STATES.
Abstract: THE PROCEDURE IS DESIGNED TO RESOLVE INMATE GRIEVANCES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. IT CALLS FOR INMATE AND OFFICER PARTICIPATION IN ITS DESIGN, IMPLEMENTATION, AND OPERATION. SPECIFIED PERIODS FOR REVIEW ARE DESIGNATED, AND WRITTEN RESPONSES AT EACH APPEAL LEVEL ARE MANDATORY. INPUT CAN BE MADE BY PERSONS OUTSIDE THE CORRECTIONAL STRUCTURE. IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN INSTITUTIONS IN FIVE STATES. EVALUATION WAS BASED ON ONSITE OBSERVATIONS, INTERVIEWS WITH INMATES AND STAFF, RECORD REVIEW, AND QUESTIONNAIRES. RESULTS INDICATED THAT IMPLEMENTATION SHOULD BEGIN WITH LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT, INITIATION AT A SINGLE FACILITY IN A STATE, AND COMMITMENT OF STAFF AND FUNDS. THE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE SHOULD HAVE EQUAL NUMBERS OF INMATES AND OFFICERS AND BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL MONITORING. THE PROCESS'S SUCCESS CAN BE GAUGED BY ITS USE, TYPES OF GRIEVANCES HANDLED MOST EFFECTIVELY, CITIZEN MONITORING, AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND PREVENTION. THE PRECODURE APEARED TO HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON VIOLENCE IN INSTITUTIONS OF CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT. MOST INMATES, HOWEVER, VIEWED THE PROCEDURE AS USEFUL AND NECESSARY. IN ADDITION, THE PROCEDURE HANDLED MANY JUSTICIABLE CASES AND INCREASED THE NUMBER AND CLARITY OF WRITTEN RULES AT THE INSTITUTIONS. THE PROCEDURE HAS NUMEROUS ADVANTAGES AND MINIMAL DISADVANTAGES TO INMATES. IMPACT ON LINE OFFICERS IS MINIMAL BUT POSITIVE. THE PROCEDURE HAS BEEN AN EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATIVE TOOL. IT COULD BE APPLIED IN MANY KINDS OF SETTINGS. PROPER DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF SUCH A PROCEDURE COULD PROMOTE SOCIAL CHANGE TOWARD DEMOCRATIC DECISIONMAKING BY GIVING INMATES AND GUARDS TRAINING IN PROBLEMSOLVING. NEVERTHELESS, A FORMAL MECHANISM CAN CHALLENGE THE INFORMAL INMATE POWER STRUCTURE AND SERVE AS ANOTHER TOOL FOR SOCIAL CONTROL RATHER THAN SOCIAL CHANGE. AN INFORMED OUTSIDE CONSTITUENCY TO MONITOR THE PROCESS IS NECESSARY TO MAKE SURE THAT SUCH A SYSTEM BECOMES AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR POLICY CHANGE. FOOTNOTES WHICH INCLUDE REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Inmate attitudes; Inmate grievances; Prisoner's rights; Program evaluation; United States of America
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66608

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