A professional, working with criminals in a jail or prison must be guarded against contingencies that arise suddenly. As jails and prisons house criminals with varying criminal records, it is best to expect the unexpected. Normally, a professional review a prisoner’s activity log, any or all disciplinary actions taken against him or her, check their grievances, and other reports of that person in jail. It is important that any contingency that arise during their visit to a cell or criminal is addressed and corrected as soon as possible, to prevent it from growing out of proportion. As a professional working in a jail or prison, he or she should offer a humane level of supervision and confinement based on professional standards; inculcate good practices in them by encouraging them to acquire social, educational, family, and vocational skills; be fair, helpful, and courteous at all times; treat them well; and address their grievance on time. Addressing grievances on time can stop any form of lawsuits that criminals have a right to file.
Considering the complexity and sensitivity associated with handling criminals, working professionals can look to develop a strong bond between, which builds confidentiality. Counseling, says Tennyson and Strom (1986:298), “is a moral enterprise requiring responsibleness.” In other words, counselling is based on careful, reflective thought about what kind of response will suit a particular situation. It harbours on the dominant power of the counsellor, who has the power to influence thoughts and actions. Counseling gives counsellors the power to control a criminal’s emotions and lead him or her toward a goal-directed activity. Another aspect of the power of counselling is that it can be used to encourage criminals reflect on what is right and what is wrong, says Lederer (1976) and London (1964).
When one considers the power and importance of counselling, activities can be programmed to change the mindset of the criminals. Since the jail houses people with all kinds of criminal offences, it cannot be construed that each one in the prison is a violent criminal. Drug abuse, diminished mental state, personal tragedy, and the likes are causes attributed to criminal behaviour, and so, if a counsellor is able to understand the person’s behaviour by counselling him or her, there is a fair chance that the counsellor will be able to influence that person’s thoughts. A policy manual that directly looks at counselling sessions for criminals will be a great start to minimize criminal behaviour.
According to Mandryk (2010), and the International Center for Prison Studies, in Berridge & Goebel (2013:68) An In-depth Look at a GED Program in a U.S County Jail, says “the U.S has the world’s largest prison population.” Therefore, because of the number of inmates growing in these prisons, the percentage of prisoners participating in any education program has declined (Boulard, 2005). Harlows (2003), says that the number of prisoners who actually attend jail General Educational Development (GED) programs was only 8.6%. One reason for this was explained by Behan (2007), who found that the inmates of the prisons, “who had become institutionalized, resisted participation in educational programs because they were a radical departure from the daily routine of prison life.”
This is precisely the problem with the current prison system in the U.S. and prison inmates have become so used to the uncivilized manner of behaviour and treatment from the professionals treating them in prisons, that they revolt or challenge authority. The manual should take into consideration, direct interactions with each inmate in the jail, encouraging them to get involved in social activities, spend time with them in outdoor activities, which could include sports.
Only through counselling and listening to their grievance will professionals in the jail or prison be able to develop a strong relationship with them. The strong bonding will help influence the thoughts and acts of the criminals, who will then find ways to change. Thus, the policy manual should stress on prioritizing, a humane level of supervision and confinement, instigating good practices, learning to be fair and just, and addressing their grievance through counselling.
Berridge, G, and Goebel, V, (2013), An In-depth Look at a GED Program in a U.S County Jail, Journal of Research & Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary & Basic Education, p.68-69
Tennyson, W, W, and Strom, S, M, (1986), Beyond Professional Standards: Developing Responsibleness, Journal of Counseling and Development, Volume 64, p.298-300
any Write an essay on (or discuss) how you would put together a policy manual for treatment professionals who work in a prison or jail. Evaluate the professional codes and identify problematic controversies, and then create a policy that can accommodate a conflict (such as confidentiality).