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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 68885 Find in a Library
Title: SECURITY ISSUES IN PENNSYLVANIA STATE PRISONS
Author(s): ANONYMOUS
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF PRISON RIOTS AND OF THE CONSTANT THREATS TO THE SECURITY AND LIFE OF PRISON GUARDS AND FELLOW INMATES BY PSYCHOPATHIC AND MENTALLY-ILL PRISONERS ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract: PREPARED BY THE CITIZEN CRIME COMMISSION OF PHILADELPHIA IN MARCH 1980, THIS REPORT ON SECURITY ISSUES IN PENNSYLVANIA STATE PRISON, DESCRIBES THE CONSTANT PRESSURES UNDER WHICH THE UNDERSTAFFED AND OVERCROWDED STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES ARE EXPOSED AS PRISON RIOTS ARE THREATENING TO ERUPT AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT. THE REASONS FOR THIS SITUATION ARE DESCRIBED IN DETAIL IN THIS REPORT, WHICH OFTEN REFERS TO THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHER CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS NATIONWIDE TO DERIVE SOME VIABLE LESSON FOR LOCAL SECURITY PLANNING. OBSOLETE PRISON FACILITIES, FILLED WITH IDLE INMATES SATURATED WITH HOSTILITY FOR ONE ANOTHER AND THEIR KEEPERS, INEVITABLY BREED VIOLENCE, ACCORDING TO PRISON OFFICIALS AND CORRECTIONAL EXPERTS. CORRECTIONAL PERSONNEL ARE FRUSTRATED BY RECENT COURT DECISIONS GIVING PRISONERS DISCIPLINE-DISRUPTING RIGHTS, WHICH OFTEN RUN COUNTER TO PRISON REALITIES AND CANNOT BE ENFORCED PIECEMEAL, OUT OF CONTEXT WITH A STILL DOMINANT CUSTODIAL PENAL PHILOSOPHY. STRESS ASSOCIATED WITH OVERCROWDING AND CONFINEMENT BREEDS ASSAULTS AND VIOLENCE, ESPECIALLY AMONG YOUNG ADULT INMATES. UNIONIZED GUARDS RESENT THEIR BEING MADE SCAPEGOATS FOR INMATE VIOLENCE AND RECEIVING WHAT THEY PERCEIVE AS INSUFFICIENT SUPPORT FROM THEIR SUPERIORS. ON THE OTHER HAND, INSUFFICIENT FUNDING OF STATE CORRECTIONS PREVENTS THE HIRING OF ENOUGH GUARDS TO ENSURE PRISON SECURITY. THE STUDY CONCLUDES THAT INCREASING OVERCROWDING, INMATE ACTIVISM, AND A GROWING FINANCIAL CRISIS WILL DISABLE THE AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM FROM IMPLEMENTING PROGRESSIVE REHABILITATION AND TREATMENT POLICIES, FORCING IT TO REVERT TO ITS FORMER PURELY CUSTODIAL ROLE. REALIZATION OF THIS TREND BY INMATES MIGHT CREATE A SECURITY PROBLEM IN ITSELF.
Index Term(s): Correctional Officers; Corrections effectiveness; Corrections internal security; Inmate personal security; Overcrowding; Pennsylvania; Prison disorders; Prisoner's rights; Violent inmates
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68885

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