Past, Present, and Future Trends that Pertain to Institutional Community Based Corrections

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Throughout the United States, there are many correctional facilities that house thousands of inmates. Individuals who work within these facilities have a tough job in maintaining the prison facility and the inmates. Correctional officers are called the front line workers and are responsible for looking after the inmates. The officers who work for the correctional facility deal with issues that may arise inside and outside the facility.

The subject to discuss is to evaluate the past, present, and future trends pertaining to the development and operation of institutional community based corrections. An identification and analysis of current and future issues facing prisons and prison administrators today and the role/issue of alternate correction systems as a developing trend will also be discussed. There are many trends that correctional facilities have used in the past and these trends have continued on to modern day.

Many people may wonder if these trends are going to continue into the future or if these trends can be put to a stop. One trend that correctional facilities have used in the past and has carried on into the future was the lack of rehabilitation services that are offered to inmates. When inmates go to a correctional facility it is usually because of a crime that the inmate has committed. There are many reasons why an inmate can be sent to a correctional facility, these reasons can be from drug abuse, committing murder, or something from the individual’s life-style that has triggered this behavior.

Because of reasons such as the ones listed above, the inmate(s) should be allowed to get treatment or go through a rehabilitation program so that there is an understanding of where the problems first began. The purpose of rehabilitation is to educate offenders and motivate offenders to make a better life for themselves and everyone around them when he or she is released from the facility (Saunders, 2006). There is not enough data that shows that treatment and rehabilitation programs will reduce criminal behavior in an offender and keep the offender from re-offending.

Once an offender is released from an institution, he or she may have an idea about the way an institution is run by his or her demeanor and attitude once he or she is released from the facility. Community based correction programs are about as important as a lock-down facility. These types of programs are designed to hold the inmate accountable for his or her actions, but also hold the communities responsible for reducing crime.

Individuals who work toward reducing crime with the help of community based programs are also working hard to keep the community members involved in reducing crime, but also help the community understand how to manage offenders and get the offenders reintegrated back into the community (Evans, 2004). Another trend that has caused issues for correctional facilities is gangs within the prison facility. Gangs within a correctional facility have been an ongoing issue for many years.

There are so many members of gangs that are incarcerated and these gang members when brought into a correctional facility also bring his or her beliefs that his or her gang is the best. When members of the same gang become incarcerated in the same correctional facility, the prison gang grows and this causes a risk in harming the other inmates as well as the staff that works for the correctional facility. One main issue with gang members incarcerated is that the members are still able to communicate with each other and other members who are on the outside of the correctional facility.

Gang members who are incarcerated continue to work and communicate with his or her members on the outside. There are also members of other gangs who are murdered while incarcerated because of the communication going on from one member to another whether the gang member was incarcerated or the gang member was on the outside (Cohn, 2006).

Current and Future Issues Facing Prisons and Prison Administrators

One of the biggest issues that prisons and prison administrators are facing today is over-crowding. There are so many offenders who are imprisoned and there is not enough space for all these inmates to be placed, but this does not stop prisons from getting more inmates. This issue is not only a huge problem, but it is a burden on the prison system, the administrators, and state and local governments. Not only is over-crowding a problem, but there is also not enough funding for these prisons with the amount of inmates that the correctional facilities are trying to hold. Many researchers have said that privatizing prisons may be a better solution for the criminal justice administration, but in all reality, the cost is about the same.

The main issue that private ran facilities have is management. Private facilities have been scrutinized for the way that inmates are treated and the amount of health services inmates are getting. Another issue that prison and prison administrators are facing today is the re-entry of inmates back into society. Many inmates need to have basic knowledge of being in communities and to do this; some inmates are allowed to work in the community. When an inmate works in the community and then commits a crime, then the community might think badly of the correctional facility that the offender was released from.

Before an inmate is released back into the community, the inmate needs to go through a treatment program to work on his or her needs before interacting within the public. Without the funds for these programs, there could be a huge issue for the criminal justice administrations, the community, and the prison that the inmates are housed at. Community based programs are great programs for inmates to get involved with because this gives the inmate the opportunity to learn basic social skills, independent living skills, life skills, and job skills.

These programs also allow for inmates to show the public what he or she is about and that he or she can do things right. These programs are also designed to help inmates learn the right ways of life and to also test them to see if he or she is ready to be released back into society or if he or she needs to be incarcerated for a little longer. Sometimes, the criminal justice system looks at restorative justice for inmates instead of a correctional facility (Inayatullah, 2002).

With restorative justice, inmates work toward building relationships with the people that he or she has committed a crime against, such as the community and its members. Restorative justice is less expensive because the inmate is not locked down in a facility, but is in a rehabilitation facility.


There is so much to speak about when it comes to prisons and if the prison facilities are actually helping inmates to become better members of his or her community or if there is more harm taking place. Prison administrators work hard to try and change the inmates and instilling values into the inmates, but over-crowding and underfunding is a big issue that the facilities are facing. There is so much to be done in the future in order to help the corrections system for example, building more facilities, restorative justice, and placing inmates into community based programs to help the inmate work on his or her individual needs.


  1. Saunders, M. , (2006), The Evolution of Correctional Programs, http://www. aca. rg/pastpresentfuture/archivemessages. asp Cohn, E. , (2006), The Gang Culture Continues To Grow, http://www. aca. org/pastpresentfuture/archivemessages. asp
  2. Evans, D. , (2004), http://www. aca. org/pastpresentfuture/archivemessages. asp
  3. Austin, J. , & Coventry, G. , (2001), Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons, https://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles1/bja/181249. pdf
  4. Inayatullah, S. , (2002), Scanning For Correctional Futures, http://www. metafuture. org/Scanning%20for%20Correctional%20Futures%20%20Executive%20Summary. pdf

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