A. Prison management is a daunting task due to several factors that has to be considered in order to keep the corrections facility to function for its intended purpose. There are several approaches to prison administration that can be adopted, but each of them has their own advantage and disadvantage. There are three administration approach and models that applies to prison management, derived from different principles and employs a variation of approach. The three administrative approach models are based on control, consensual and responsibility. In terms of the communication responsibility model more informal and it has the tendency to cross the levels of authority. It is the complete opposite of control model in which the line of communication follows the chain of command and mostly to the officials. Consensual model on the other hand is a combination of control and responsibility model, which allows the diversity of communication to flow through the appropriate channel.
The three models also have different perspectives in terms of creating a relationship with the inmates and staff. Responsibility approach tends to be more formal, while the consensual approach tends to be the opposite of the first. The good thing about the control approach is that it constitute professionalism and good level of formality in building relationship among the inmates and the staff. Staff latitude can also be observed in the three administrative models, it concerns about giving authority to the staff in exercising judgement. In control model, staff has limited to no latitude when it comes to exercising judgement. However, the consensus model gives a complete discretion to use judgment on all staff in order for the to perform their jobs and it has no restrictions to the extent of use. The responsibility model on the other hand, provides latitude up to a reasonable extent that authority and judgement will not be abused by the staff. Giving only the enough to enable the staff to perform their duties (Salinas, 2009, p. 29-30).
Exercising judgement has a direct correlation to the level of sanctions that the staff may or may not give in any event that inmate violating the house rules. The administrative approach based on responsibility model gives greater freedom to the staff in sanctioning punishment to the inmates in compliance to safety and security inside the facility. However, the consensus model follows strict procedures in controlling the inmates' activities, but not as strict as control model that follows more strict routine regimen. Therefore, the consensual model firmly puts emphasis on addressing the inmate's disruptive behaviors while the control model imposes swift punishment to rule offenders in order to maintain the status quo. Dealing with disruptive behavior is part of the staff's daily routine, but the three administrative approaches deal with such problems in different ways. The control model uses official counterparts, while responsibility model tends to negotiate with inmates when it comes to giving sanctions. Lastly, the responsibility model emphasizes on involving the inmates when it comes to decision making, which is the complete opposite of the control model that totally leaves the inmate out of the picture when it comes to making decisions. The consensus model on the other hand uses a combination of control and responsibility in terms of decision making.
Choosing between the three administrative approaches, the elements that make up a good model should be considered to determine the effectiveness of the approach. Looking at the characteristics of each model, certain advantage and disadvantages can be seen in each of the administrative approaches. However, in order to determine the most effective model to use the disadvantages had to be re-assessed against the advantages. It appears that the most effective approach to use in managing a correctional facility is the responsibility model. Given all the characteristics of responsibility approach, the model constitutes a more reasonable assumption of a better environment for both the staff and the inmates. The control model tends to exaggerate the condition that the inmates are already in. Furthermore, the control model appears to be more appropriate in a supermax incarceration setting where inmates are put in maximum security, disallowing any sort of free movement within the facility. It entails recidivism to the inmates, which contradicts the main objective of a correctional facility to rehabilitate the convicts and to get them ready to be reintegrated into the society (Mears and Bales, 2009, p. 5).
There is always a notion that jail conditions are worse than prison because they are being operated by the local government as compared to prisons that are being managed by the state. However, regardless of it is a prison or jail, the inmates and the staff's conditions should be placed in equal priority. In order to do so, the facility administration has to have a concrete and more effective managing approach. Jail county staff in particular is having dilemmas about their job, the public perception about them, the pay and the worries about their own safety during inmate intervention (Living and Working in Prison Jails, p. 31). Other factors that might affect the staff's work performance is the lack of adequate training, community support and on-the-job risk. The presence of such problems will reflect to the weak performance of facility staff and could eventually affect the inmates in return, creating an occasional collision between the two sides (Zupan, p. 39). The psychological effect of working in a jail facility is inevitable and it constitutes the same effect to the inmates. Convicts on death row for example has a notion that correctional facilities are actually human warehouse and they are just waiting on the line for killed next. Therefore, the mere disregard to their living condition is not much of a concern (Johnson, p. 108). These situations create more challenge to the administrators and the best way possible to resolve the problem is to adapt a more effective administrative approach. Among the three models discussed earlier, responsibility model offers a more open communication between the staff and the inmates, which would help maintain a social setting type of relationship.
Johnson, R. Reading 12: Living and Working in Death Row. 108.
Mears, D. L., & Bales, W. D. (2009). Supermax Incarceration and Recidivism. Criminology, 47(4), 5.
Part Two: Living and Working in Prison Jails. 31.
Salinas, G. L. (2009). A Preliminary Analysis: Prison Models and Prison Management Models and the Texas Prison System. An Applied Research Project, 29-30.
Zupan, L. L. Reading 5: The Persistent Problems Plaguing Modern Jails. 31.