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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78631 Find in a Library
Title: Clouds in the Crystal Ball - Research and the Future of Corrections (From Correctional Management, P 31-40, 1981 - See NCJ-78630)
Author(s): J P Conrad
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a brief discussion of current problems in correctional management, this paper predicts types of crime that can be expected in the future and offers suggestions for penological research.
Abstract: Correctional professionals are bedeviled today by conflicting ideologies which advocate noncustodial punishment and harsher sentences while legislators are unwilling to appropriate additional funds for any correctional programs. Prison communities are now haunted by fear, and serious assaults are a common occurrence. Responses to violence have been limited to lockdowns, segregation of dangerous prisoners, and protective custody for some inmates. Overcrowding exacerbates this violence and makes program planning impossible. In the age of Proposition 13, local expenditures for jails and correctional services are likely to be especially lean, and administrators must look to the State and other resources for assistance. Recent criticisms that rehabilitation never works have caused some State corrections departments to drift instead of looking for innovative ways to develop realistic and imaginative programs. In the postindustrial society, corrections officials can expect four types in the future offender population: semiskilled poor minorities, persons with skills in occupations that are in chronic short supply, political terrorists, and individuals who commit sophisticated economic crimes. Although there is little latitude for significant innovation in the administration of punishment, the nature of punishment and its appropriate limits should be reconsidered. The costs of incarceration and the barriers it poses in resocializing the offender dictate the expansion of community-based alternatives to prison, but the impact and methods of such programs should be analyzed indepth. Research should focus on evaluating experimental programs rather than assessing costs or studying the effects of law enforcement techinques on small categories of offenders.
Index Term(s): American Correctional Association (ACA); Correctional reform; Corrections management; Future trends; Penology; Prison population prediction; Research
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