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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Program/Policy Analysis

Assignment I: Program Analysis
What factors should be considered in determining the number of instructors hired to staff the education program? Should there be any restrictions in terms of inmate eligibility?
There are four steps in determining the number of instructors; first, a curriculum must be designed and the time of length necessary to complete that curriculum must be defined. Second, the target population must be from among those convicts that will be incarcerated long enough to benefit from the program. Third, a vetting system must be designed to determine the number of prisoners that want a GED for the actual benefit of having one; Manger, Eikeland, & Asbjørnsen note that in the prison context, some convicts (especially the educationally disadvantaged convicts that would benefit the most) were motivated more by attempts to escape from prison routines, rather than desire for education itself (2013, pp. 246,247). It is a waste of time and resources to attempt to educate people that aren't motivated to learn. Finally, a staff to student ratio must be determined. One consideration to keep in mind is that underestimating the ratio is preferable to overestimating the ratio, in that criminal justice resources are limited.

Manger, T., Eikeland, O., & Asbjørnsen, A. (2013). Effects of educational motives on prisoners' participation in education and educational desires. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 19(3), 245-257. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10610-012-9187-x

Assignment II: Policy Analysis
What are the important procedures to be considered for the policy on inmate death notification? Why? Are there any procedures you believe have been omitted in the policy above? Are there other critical elements that should be included in the procedures above?
Lloyd discusses the creation of the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2000, and that the sponsors of tht bill considered reporting procedures as important due to issues of accountability and transparency (2012, p.310). Notifying the public, the family, and the Department of Corrections all meet those concerns, However, one procedure that should be included as policy is the conduct of an autopsy and the reporting of it's results to the same three entities as soon as possible. This action completes the demands of accountability and transparency. Finally, the body should be released to the family as soon as the autopsy is completed and this should be logged up to and including a release form on the body.
Lloyd, M. (2012). Dormant data: Why and how to make good use of deaths in custody reporting. American Journal of Criminal Law, 39(2), 301-325. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1018428360?accountid=87314

Other Considerations
Welsh and Harris distill the planning process into it's simplest expression; “in general, in designing a program we must answer the following questions as specifically as possible: Who does what to whom, where, in what order, how much, and how often?” (2012, p.105)
Another perspective on the planning proces can be found in the military. SMEAC (Situation, Mission, Execution, Administraion, Command & Control) is a simple format for answering the questions Welsh and Harris ask. I found SMEAC (the 5 paragraph order AKA an op order) very easy to use, and also easy to translate from military terms into other concepts. For those of you that may be interested, here are some links:
Sample 5 paragraph order (although the Army uses “Service Support” instead of “Admin”)
Here is a discussion on using SMEAC planning in the civilian world.
Waterhouse, M. D., & Hockersmith, P. J. (1990). Economic Development Strategic Planning Through “SMEAC.” Economic Development Review, 8(2), 25. http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/230073886/abstract?accountid=87314

Assesment of job descriptions:
Job Description 1
Assist individuals in a correctional environment to take the GED examination.
This is the weakest of the three descriptions. It requires no qualifications, and uses the word “assist” rather then “teach”; it implies less responsibility to the position as far as the goal of getting convicts to pass the GED. Furthermore, it does not identify whether the pupils are to be inmates or staff as the subject group to teach.
Job Description 2
Prepare incarcerated inmates to pass a GED examination. Must have a Master's degree.
This is stronger then Description 1; although it still uses the more passive word “assist”, it does specify a goal of convicts passing the GED. In addition, it requires a qualification of holding a Master's Degree. However, it does not specify the discipline that the degree should be in, and doesn't recognize that simply holding a Master's is not a certification for teaching skills...or the skill of teaching.
Job Description 3
Successfully teach correctional inmates in five subject areas covered by the GED examination—Writing, Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies. Must possess a state Teaching Certificate, preferably in Adult Education, in order to qualify for the position.
This is the strongest of the 3. It specifies not only a goal of “Successfully teach” convicts, but it specifies the “what” of the subjects to be taught. The qualifications required are specifically oriented towards teaching skills, in particular adult oriented teaching.

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