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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Analyzing Goals

Course Name: Criminal Justice Planning and Innovation
Course Code: MCJ6004
Week: Two
Assignment: Three
Assignment Name: Analyzing Goals

Case Scenario: Smitty Correctional Facility (SCF) is entertaining the idea of creating a job training program for its clients — prison inmates.

SCF has established a goal statement that reads as follows:

SCF is committed to equipping inmates to lead healthy, pro-social lives upon re-entry into the general population.”

One objective, among many, is to provide inmates with marketable job skills to increase their chances of landing a job upon release. They know that employment is a key factor in preventing offender recidivism.

SCF has approached the Smitty City Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) to help them. The SCCC solicited bids from private companies that are interested in low-cost inmate labor. Jailbird Enterprises has won the bid and will pay the correctional facility a sizeable fee to establish a manufacturing base within the correctional facility. Jailbird Enterprises specializes in making rubber bands. Other companies that lost the bid specialized in training bookkeepers, travel agents, and software developers.

  • What are the problems with the interagency arrangement in the case provided? Explain, in relation to this case scenario, when an organization should seek and when it should avoid interagency cooperation.
The first problem with the arrangement is that the objective is unlikely to be achieved from a real world perspective. To begin with, employers do not want to hire convicts; “A survey in five major U.S. cities found that 65 percent of all employers said they would not knowingly hire an ex-offender (regardless of the offense)” (Petersilia, 2001, para .23). In addition, Visher suggests that convicts are unlikly to be stable employees; “the poor employment histories and job skills of returning prisoners create diminished prospects for stable employment” (2003, p.95). Visher continues with the thought that convicts that successfully re-enter the workforce do so because they were stable employees prior to incarceration; “it is important to examine an individual’s preprison stakes in conformity and ties to conventional activities, through legitimate work and other behavior, to fully understand individual transitions from prison to the community and eventual reintegration” (2003, p.95).
The second issue is the expectation of training convicts to be software developers and bookkeepers as a marketable skills objective. These are skill sets that require higher levels of intelligence, which the majority of convicts do not posess. Diamond, Morris, and Barnes report that “the literature suggests that IQ – at the individual and macro-level – is negatively correlated with crime and this effect remains after controlling for possible confounds such as age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status”: Diamond et al associate this to prison studies by reporting that the studies “suggest that IQ is not related to the risk of criminal apprehension and provides support for the use of official reports in studying IQ” (2012, p.116).
Correctional agencies should always seek interagency cooperation, even with private enterprise, to seek cost-effective means of reducing recidivism. Wilson and Chapman discuss the fragmented nature of the criminal justice system, the input of the community, and re-entry issues. They report on the Tennessee Justice Summit which was held to seek common ground amongst stakeholders. This report suggests that coordination and consensus are important to deal with issues tthat are beyond the means of amy single agency to resolve (Wilson & Chapman, 2006).
  • Will this collaborative effort with Jailbird Enterprises threaten SCF’s goal?
It is unlikely that the collaborative efforts could have a negative impact on SCF's goal. There are those that believe these kinds of programs to have positive effects; Wheeler & Patterson “found that vocational training and work release programs were effective for reducing recidivism “ (2008, p.145) For those, who as Visher suggested were likely to be able to hold a stake in legitimate behavior, this program may help. For McDonough states “Work is also a core value in our society, and able-bodied adults are expected by the citizenry to work and pay their own vvay”(2008, p. 71). And even if high school dropuuts arne't being trained to be brain surgeons, there is value in any kind of work;“Changing offender attitudes about work,developing a commitment to work andgiving them the skills to locate, secure,and maintain gainful employment.”(McDonough, 2008, p. 76).

Diamond, B., Morris, R. G., & Barnes, J. C. (2012). Individual and group IQ predict inmate violence. Intelligence, 40(2), 115–122. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2012.01.010

McDonough, J., William D. (2008). Offender Workforce Development: A New (and Better?) Approach to an Old Challenge. Federal Probation, 72(2), 71–76. Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=36530741&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Petersilia, J. (2001). When Prisoners Return to Communities: Political, Economic, and Social Consequences. Federal Probation, 65(1), 3. Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/ehost/detail/detail?sid=da792b0f-f642-418b-9715-c17cb133e72e%40sessionmgr198&vid=1&hid=128&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=pbh&AN=5124169

Visher, C. A. T., Jeremy. (2003). TRANSITIONS FROM PRISON TO COMMUNITY: Understanding Individual Pathways. Annual Review of Sociology, 29(1), 89–113. Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=10878540&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Wheeler, D. P., & Patterson, G. (2008). Prisoner Reentry. Health & Social Work, 33(2), 145–147.
Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=32005954&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Wilson, J. A., & Chapman, G. (2006). Finding Common Ground: Building Consensus Among Criminal Justice Stakeholders. Corrections Compendium, 31(4), 7–10. Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/211805073?pq-origsite=summon

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