Experts Address Corrections' Current Issues

Corrections Today, October 1993 | Go to article overview

Experts Address Corrections' Current Issues


This year's Congress workshops covered a variety of issues facing today's corrections professionals. Although space limitations prevent full coverage of each session, some highlights are detailed here.

In the workshop, "Geriatric Prisoners: What Can Be Done with This Growing Population?" Richard L. Douglass, Ph.D., associate professor of health administration at Eastern Michigan University, discussed the effects of an aging population on prison management. "Throughout the nation, we are faced with the possibility of building nursing homes for prisoners, recruiting geriatricians to our hospitals and infirmaries, and training custodial and nursing staff in gerontology," he said.

In "Criminal Justice Policy: Who's Driving?," Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph D. Lehman discussed the impact legislative policy decisions, such as mandatory sentencing, have on the criminal justice system. "The responsibility for sentencing has been removed from practitioners, who can assess public safety and the offender's needs, to a legislative policy based on |just deserts,'" he said.

In "Community Corrections: Is This a Sanction?," Terry Lang, director of community operations for the Corrections Division of the Saskatchewan Department of Justice in Canada, discussed community corrections programs' role as an alternative to incarceration. He said Saskatchewan officials have found electronic monitoring most effective when used as an element of an intensive supervision and treatment program.

In "Getting the Most Out of What You Know: Putting Research Into Action," Elyse W. Kerce, organizational psychologist for the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center, discussed a current study on the Navy's corrections program. The study is examining which offender retraining programs are most beneficial. …

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