1. Define corrections.
2. Identify the modern American Corrections
Systems two primary goals.
3. What are the outside stresses on the system?
4. EARLY HISTORY OF CORRECTIONAL THOUGHT AND PRACTICE
- Have a general knowledge of the dominant philosophies of
corrections by century.
- Know about the life and work of the three key players in the
Age of Reason and Correctional Reform:
- Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)
- Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
- John Howard (1726-1790)
- Benjamin Rush was very influential in the U.S.. Know why.
5. Know the history of and difference between the
various models in the history of corrections in the U.S: colonial, penitentiary,
congregate system, reformatory, progressive, medical, community, crime control. Be able to
define the characteristics of these models, identify a significant point in the
development of each, and identify the philosophies upon which they were based. Know the
importance of Elmira.
6. Understand the four goals of modern sanctions, and
tie these goals to the sanctions available.
7. Be able to describe the offender typologies listed
in your text, and relate these typologies to examples in your readings.
8. Understand the ways offenders are classified. How
is this affected by public opinion?
9. How are jails different from prisons?
10. What types of people are in jail?
11. What two roles do probation officers play?
12. How do we make probation fit the individual
13. What is a continuum of sanctions? What types of
sanctions are involved, how do we decide who gets which sanction(s)?
14. Describe the change in one of the following
characteristics (age, sex, or race/ ethnicity) of Federal and State Prison Inmates during
the 1990s. How has this change affected prison culture?
15. Discuss the differences and similarities between the
Telephone Pole Prison Design and the Campus Style Prison Design. Include a discussion of
which level (maximum, medium, or minimum security) inmates are most likely to be found in
each type of prison and why.
16. Sykes argues that prison culture is indigenous while
Schrag, Irwin, and Cressey all believe that it is imported. Give one convincing example
for each side of this argument.
17. Violence is endemic in the prison culture; your text
cites a prisoner who claims that every prisoner must kill someone, escape, or submit. Your
text also mentions three characteristics that influence the level of violence: age,
attitudes, and race. Explain the relationship between each of these characteristics and
18. Who was Mary Belle Harris? Describe her life and work.
19. Women prisoners may fall into three roles: squares,
those who are in the life, and those who are cool. How do these roles relate to those
found in male institutions?
20. Our text states that women develop a social network in
prison which is much more intensive than mens. Compare one aspect of prison life for
men and women. Relate this comparison to the differences in the social networks discussed
by your text.
21. Our text discusses remunerative power, normative power,
and coercive power. Relate two of these to the prison culture, and give an example of when
they would be effective.
22. How does the power structure of the prison make
correctional officers similar to inmates? How does it make them different?
23. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable
search and seizure. Give an example of one prison procedure related to this amendment that
has been established as constitutional, and one that has been established as
24. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual
punishment. Why is the issue of overcrowding in prisons (which is related to this
amendment) so costly and controversial? How does this relate to the three principles
established by Hutto v. Finney (1978)?
25. Discuss the outside source (NOT our texts) that you
found on prisoners rights. What information did you find? Do the First (freedom of
speech and religion), Fourth, Eighth, or Fourteenth (due process and equal protection)
Questions 26-28 focus on parole. In addition to our texts,
you may want to reference documents available from the www.ncjrs.org site that refer to parolees, and
probation and parole violators.
26. Describe the parole system and its origins. What is the
difference between discretionary release, mandatory release, and expiration release? Which
is most popular now? Has this always been the case? Who originated the concept of parole,
and how did it become popular in the United States? When did it become less popular, and
27. Describe the individuals involved in the process of
granting parole and the experience of being on parole. Who is on the parole board? What
are their qualifications? What are they looking for in a potential parolee? (How do they
make their decisions?) What is the parole officers role, and how can it be most
28. Describe parole from the offenders point of view.
What are conditions of parole like? How successful are parolees likely to be? How do we
measure parolees "success", and how does this affect our perceptions of
parole? What are the similarities and differences between probation and parole violators?
Questions 29 and 30 ask you to discuss incarceration. You
should refer to our texts as well as the www.ncjrs.org
site and the Correctional Populations in
the United States, 1995 and Prisoners in 1998 documents found there.
29. Identify trends in incarceration in the United States,
and discuss the influences on these trends. Present evidence for each influence, then tell
me which you believe is the strongest influence, and why.
30. Discuss societal reaction to recent changes in
incarceration levels. Which reactions are identified by our texts? How does each reaction
affect us? Which reaction do you feel is most appropriate, and why? Please substantiate
this position with evidence from our texts or the government documents referenced above.
For question 31, please reference the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
31. Discuss racial disproportionality in the criminal
justice system. What does it mean, how do we know it is present, and what are the possible
causes of disproportionality? What evidence do we have to support the existence of racial
disproportionality? What evidence do we have that indicates the cause of this
disproportionality? What are the implications of each of the possible explanations for
racial disproportionality? In other words, if we establish a specific cause of
disproportionality, what can be done to remedy this imbalance? How do we know if the
criminal justice system is racist?
32. Discuss the history and current state of capital
punishment in the United States. In this discussion, include information on the number of
executions, the method(s) of execution, and political and legal influences on capital
punishment. (www.ncjrs.org has a capital punishment
document with lots of information.)
33. Discuss the individuals involved in capital punishment:
the offender, those who are responsible for the decision to execute, and those who conduct
the execution. Use our study questions to guide your discussion, but be creative, and
incorporate several of our resources on this topic into your discussion.
34. Discuss community control. How do we decide what level
of community control is appropriate? How much privacy are we willing to sacrifice for
safety? (This has been an issue since the time Beccaria was writing, and is still being
debated.) Include your general discussion, and select one method of community control as
an example to support your argument.