Corrections Today

Corrections Today is a magazine covering corrections, law enforcement and rehabilitation. Founded in 1938, it is published six times per year. The magazine is published by the American Correctional Association. Subjects include: Police, Penology, and Penal Institutions. The managing editor is Susan Clayton.

Articles from Vol. 55, No. 4, July

A Look at Day-to-Day Death Row Operations
In Florida, as in other states, executions are often high-profile events that receive national media coverage and generate a great deal of interest and discussion. Less is known, however, about the day-to-day operation of the state's death row unit....
A Tough Assignment
This past January at the ACA Winter Conference in Miami, I attended a workshop that focused on death penalty procedures. Listening to the discussions and presentations, one could have concluded that executions occur in a sterile environment, devoid...
A Tribute to Correctional Employees
ACA proudly salutes the courageous deeds and spirited efforts of all correctional employees as they confront the enormous challenges facing correctional systems throughout America and in other nations. All of us want to have our contributions recognized...
Bringing Vision to Corrections
Throughout my 40-plus years in corrections I have been intrigued with technology. It can be a great ally in assisting correctional staff in their responsibilities within institutions and the community. Correctional services have improved immensely...
Conducting Safe and Efficient Probation and Parole Searches
As parole and probation continues to become more control-oriented, an officer's ability to conduct effective searches of offenders and their property is increasingly important. In many jurisdictions, judges now require offenders to submit to searches...
Corrections/vo-Tech Partnership Offers Maximum Training Benefits
Like many states, Oklahoma has worked to expand its vocational training efforts in recent years. The state now offers 54 programs at vocational skills centers in 13 state prisons. About 570 inmates are currently enrolled in vocational classes. However,...
Discover Middle Tennessee during Your Trip to Nashville
Nashville's mid-state location makes it a natural starting point for making your way around the surrounding area. Natural wonders, historic homes and sites, state parks and a variety of festivals and events all provide entertaining day trips when you're...
Enforcing the Death Penalty with Competence, Compassion
Planning and managing an execution is the most difficult assignment I have ever faced or asked my staff to support. Since 1990, we have carried out two executions at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia, S.C., where I am warden. I hope...
Examining the Role of Corrections in Managing Death Row, Executions
The death penalty is a much discussed issue among the public, the criminal justice community and ACA members. The fact that 36 states currently have capital punishment while 14 states do not is just one sign of the division of opinion on this subject....
Helping Prison Staff Handle the Stress of an Execution
An execution is an intensely symbolic act, one that stirs heartfelt beliefs about capital punishment and fuels growing public frustration with violent crime. For those involved in carrying out an execution, the experience is particularly difficult...
It Could Save Your Life
About 13 percent of the state and federal inmate population is Hispanic, making it vitally important for officers to know how to communicate in Spanish. Correctional officers and probation and parole officers who take the time to learn what I call...
Massachusetts Officers Disarm Inmate Holding Woman Hostage
King Williams, a correctional counselor at the Pondville Correctional Center in Norfolk, Mass., was meeting with an inmate the afternoon of July 11, 1992, when he sensed that another counselor's meeting with an inmate wasn't going well. "I had a...
Missouri Prison Staff Head Citizen Awareness Program
Of the problems confronting corrections, perhaps none is more critical than the public's lack of understanding of contemporary prison operations. Although the public considers crime one of today's most pressing social concerns, the realities of prison...
New York State Converts Forms onto Electronic Mail Network
Forms - they're one of corrections employees' biggest headaches. Every day staff use reams of paper to fill out forms for everything from tracking inmate movement to requesting office supplies to generating monthly expenditure reports. To alleviate...
NIJ Service Provides Valuable Corrections Construction Data
The National Institute of Justice Construction Information Exchange offers a number of services to help corrections officials plan, finance, design and build new prisons and jails. Among the services the network offers are: * information from a...
Nine Steps to a Successful Prison Construction Project
The success or failure of a prison construction project often is decided before the first shovel breaks ground. The principal determining factor, as with every type of endeavor, is how meticulously it is planned. The preconstruction process is particularly...
Ohio County Finds Accreditation Offers Solutions for Small Jails
When funding is limited, how can administrators of small jails meet their fundamental obligation to comply with constitutional minimums for inmate life, health and safery standards? As sheriff of Geauga County, Ohio, from 1981 until January 1993, I...
Ohio Revamps Protective Control
The management of protective control inmates in Ohio has developed over the past 25 years into an important security feature of the state's correctional system. The changes we have made in handling these inmates and in our overall philosophy toward...
Planning Is the Key to Handling Media Interest in an Execution
As dawn was breaking the morning of April 22, 1992, more than 100 news reporters at San Quentin State Prison sent word to their editors that Robert Alton Harris had been executed. Within minutes, the historic prison became a giant backdrop for viewers...
Probation Program Offers Officer His Toughest Challenge
In April 1990, the New York City Department of Probation established a special needs unit in Brooklyn to address the problems of probationers whose offenses relate to domestic violence, sexual assault or driving while intoxicated. I would like to offer...
Profiling Inmates by Custody Level
In June 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics carried out the nation's fourth census of state and federal correctional institutions. In the summer of 1991, BJS conducted a nationally representative sample survey of nearly...
SCDC Provides Proper Burial for Inmates with No Survivors
A metal casket adorned with a spray of blue and white carnations rested on a brace over the open grave. A minister standing next to Jimmy Patterson's coffin read Biblical passages, then recited the benediction. "In the name of the Father, the...
South Carolina Victim Advocate Helps Address Families' Concerns
In 1982, during a hearing to determine whether a death row inmate would win a new trial, the victim's wife angrily confronted the prosecuting attorney handling the case. She was upset because she had only learned of the bid for the new trial from the...
The Lighter Side of Corrections Technology
When my corrections career started at a Pennsylvania jail in 1970, technology consisted of a two-way speaker system - affectionately called the "squawk box" because you could hardly hear the other party over the static - and a bicycle bell strapped...
US Army Details Execution Plans
The last military execution took place in 1961, when John A. Bennett was hanged for rape and attempted murder. Currently, the military has six inmates on death row. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, more than a dozen military offenders...
USDB Corrections Officers Help End Major Disturbance
Johnnie H. Smith, Theonis S. Brown and Robert G. Super, correctional sergeants at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., each faced angry inmates and dangerous conditions during a May 1992 disturbance and took steps to prevent a...