YOU DECIDE: Chapter 8



  1. kinsey heucke

    An interesting idea that stood out to me throughout chapter 8 was the issue of cooperative and collaborative groups and the improvements that were advocated for. Healthcare, environment, education, and corrections are all important in our everyday lives.

  2. Jennifer Dessel

    Chapter 8 discusses that the biggest problem that justice administrators face is how to improve an inmate’s chances for parole success. I found this interesting because it has been an on-going issue for decades and it is something we as a society have a hard time finding a solution for.
    In order for us to help inmates with parole success we need to have a rehabilitative system with punishment because their needs to be a deterrence aspect as well. For them to return to society they also need to receive job training and education so they have the tools to contribute to society once they are released. Job training will better equip them to survive outside of incarceration. Also, once released they often can’t find a place to stay and return to the same community so we would need funding to help formerly incarcerated individuals to get back on their feet. I hope as we graduate we can help solve this issue and find solutions to help lower recidivism and have a positive outcome on parolees.

  3. Nancy Torres

    Chapter 8 discusses how inmates do not have the necessary tools once released to find suitable jobs. This, in turn, sets them up to fail especially when it comes to parole. The chapter discusses how important it is to have inmates learn these skills because as it is in California, there are more jobs than there are qualified and skilled workers for these jobs. The “lock them up” rhetoric isn’t helping anyone. Most of the inmates serving time in prison will eventually be released and it is important for them to contribute to society and gain the tools necessarily to stay afloat and not return to prison. Hiring inmates while they are still in prison is a great way for them to learn responsibility, learn skills, and make some money while serving time. They, unfortunately, do not get paid very well in prison which may disincentivize the idea of working. If private companies teamed up with public prisons, they could do a lot of good and help train inmates. Even possibly help them get jobs once they are released. This chapter sparked some really good points and made me think about the population locked up that is not getting the tools they need in order to be successful once released or out on parole.

  4. Pricila Madrigal

    “The US cannot afford to return predators that producers back into out community. Training new work-force entrants, namely ex-offenders, is certainly important to attaining that goal” (Dr. K. Garth-James). I definitely agree with this statement. I believe the best way to for an offender to become a producer in a society is to get a job and contribute like the rest of us do. The only way that this can really happen is if they are getting the sufficient training while they are incarcerated. Society is constantly changing and a long with that so does the workplace. Inmates need to be trained with the correct skills that they can use when they get released. If public-private partnerships is the way to do this I believe it is something that California should strive for.Inmates need to be given every opportunity possible to be able to be successful in society

  5. Adriana Avalos

    From this chapter what stood out to me the most was the idea from the previous chapter that prison is a breeding ground. This point is made directed at Muslim gangs who use prison to recruit, but in my opinion this is relevant to everyone. Not everyone who ends up in prison is meant to be there, but because of the way our criminal justice system works they are sometimes put there without a choice. Once this happens they pick up tricks or join gangs in order to stay alive. These tactics then stick with them once they leave prison and then create predators instead of consumers for our community. If we had more private sectors as partners in prisons then there would be less people incarcerated and more being giving other chances to improve their lives. Having more people in charge of prisons or being partnered with them means less pressure on wardens and staff and more chances for inmates to get their voices heard and not be locked up for long periods of time or at all.

  6. Kaylee Luiz

    One of the more interesting topics from chapter 8 was how it pointed out that the just “lock’em up” approach does no benefit society. I do believe in punishment, but I also think that the current system and policies now just make it easy for people to locked up and not properly dealt with. There needs to be more training for people who are in prisons for them to gain work skills and basic skills needed for everyday function so they will not become a debt to society once released.There needs to be more focused on the needs of the people.

  7. While some people are wanting to have the “lock em’ up” mentality, other people are understanding the strain that puts on our economy. What is really strange is how although the US puts so much money in putting these people away hurting our economy through tax money and other finances, it is hurting our labor force as well. The US cannot afford to return these predators into producers because they do not have the necessary finances to do so. If they stopped hemorrhaging so much money into the prison system and investing into the inmates themselves we would see an increase in our labor force and increase in our economy which allows for growth. This, in turn, will allow for tax money to be spent elsewhere. If people in the government understood that these people will eventually come out and investing in them so when they did finally come out they did not fall victim to the revolving door we call our justice system.

  8. Danielle McCreadie-Spurgeon

    On page 151, under Recommendations for Government Action, I found the idea of using “recidivism risk-profile to educate policy makers, victims, and community stakeholders.” I think this is an important topic to discuss; recidivism rates are so high because of the lack of jobs, housing, support and other opportunities to survive is so low. Our community will always be fearful, and feel as though offenders will never rehabilitate; however in reality it is because of the inability to survive without committing crimes. As a result, is necessary for everyone to be educated on this fact so that in the long run something can change about recidivism rates.

  9. Joi Fisher

    After doing more research on McClesky v. Kemp and the implications that its resulting decision had to set legal precedent, I think the Supreme Court dropped the ball. At the same time, I understand the position the Justices were in. If they had voted differently, it would have opened all justice institutions to questions of racial bias and discrimination. As a student doing work in criminology, I see how an alternative decision could be damaging to the justice administration institution. On the other hand, as a black woman I can’t help but wonder what necessary institutional changes would have resulted from a different decision. There are blatant racial biases in the implementation of the death penalty, particularly as it pertains to the gross overrepresentation of black men on death row. Furthermore, people who are in favor of the death penalty are more likely to be selected to serve as jurors on death penalty sentencing trials. As a result, these trials more likely result in death sentences than not – in spite of race. Personally, I believe the death penalty should be abolished on the grounds that the United States is one of the only Western countries with such a punishment still in place. Additionally, capital punishment is not economically feasible, has no apparent statistical deterrent effect (states with the death penalty have higher incarceration than those who don’t), and there may very well be innocent people on death row (considering our current system isn’t focused on innocence as a standard but rather presence or absence of guilt). The only reasonable argument in favor of the death penalty is belief in retribution which is more ideological but still understandable in some cases. I guess we will have to see how this conversation manifests itself in national legislation in the coming years.

  10. Robert Chapman

    One thing that had resonated with me in chapter 8 of the reader was the section that discussed a few recommendations for government action. The first point that was brought up was measured that needed to be taken to be sure PIE’s and Joint Venture Programs remain and don’t become a source of conflict. In our class presentations I found evidence that clashing with labor unions and private workers was a major issue that JVPs had to avoid. This is reinforcing that point. Another thing I thought was smart was the idea of weighing costs vs ROI (return on investment) to see whether programs should stay or not. Especially for certain people, some programs like JVPs may not be beneficial/ they may not be receptive or appreciative of the opportunity. Thus I believe that the correctional system should also have programs in place to get individuals into that “I want to better myself” mindset. That way they can take full advantage and make something out of these kinds of programs.
    Going off of this, another point brought up was the fact that different groups of people have different literacy and education rates, and some may have more job skills/ training than others. All of this needs to be taken into account when implementing correctional programs, and there needs to be some sort of common starting point (GED) that all individuals reach before starting programs. That way they are more effective and inmates are more receptive to them. Lastly, the point about bringing back indeterminate sentencing is something that I also agree with. The idea of going in serving your time and coming out unchanged is ineffective and is putting the same individuals back into society. In order to rehabilitate individuals into producing members of society, more money and funding has to be dedicated to actual correctional programs and not just prison cells for offenders to sit in for a set amount of time.

  11. Jasmine Delgadillo

    Chapter 8 of the reader gave me a lot of new insight. One thing that stood out to me is that California led the nation in the 1990s with failure on parole. A big reason for this was said to be because of low literacy ad lack of job skills and private company work experience. It is important to recognize that the inmates who are behind bars, will not always be there. At some point, they may have the opportunity to be released, and parole may be one of those opportunities. I recently watched a Ted Talk of man that goes by “Wall Street” who is serving time in San Quentin. He tells his story on how he got involved in crime, and how at the age of 20 he was still not able to read or write. These skills are basic skills learned through education at an early age. If one was not given these opportunities, and they find themselves it is hard to get a job with a legitimate legal pay. Wall Street’s story is not uncommon among inmates in our criminal justice system which is why I agree with Dr. James. There needs to be reform of policies so that these inmates are able the opportunity to learn basic literacy and job skills within prison, so they can transfer these skills into the world outside of prison and crime.

  12. Jennifer Avena

    In general, chapter eight was an interesting chapter to me because it is closely related to the program my group and I came up with. What stood out to me was what was mentioned about inmates in regards to education and job skills. It was mentioned that inmates tend to have poor job literacy as well as marketable job-skills training. This point is important because this explains why it is so difficult for ex-cons to obtain a job. Not only are employers reluctant to offer ex-cons a job because of their past record but the ex-cons tend not to have the necessary job skills. This is why programs such as the joint ventures program are important. This program prepares inmates with the necessary job skills that will allow them to have good jobs once released by giving them the opportunity to work and get experience in a job of their interest while serving their sentence. By working while in prison, the inmates have a higher chance at obtaining a good paying job upon release that will help refrain them from reoffending. Having inmates with a good education and good job skills is key to lowering recidivism rates.

  13. Kiley G Levesque

    An interesting idea I found in our last chapter of the reader was how crucial it is for ex convicts to find jobs after being released. Unfortunately, inmates have difficulty finding jobs due to their lack of work experience, education, or labeling stigma. Returning back to society as a producer rather than predator becomes increasingly challenging when they aren’t granted equal job opportunity. Many employers would avoid hiring an ex inmate due to the stigma that label carries. Many people perceive lawbreakers to be untrustworthy, dangerous, or lazy. This being said, we should ask ourselves do ex convicts truly ever stop serving time? They are continuously being labeled even well after serving their sentences. If inmates struggle to find jobs post release we must implement policies and programs to better support them. Often times offenders resort to bad habits as a source of income because they aren’t able to find job stability. In order to lower recidivism rates we must help inmates find careers after being released. Although this requires funding, it would be well worth it in order for them to stay out of incarceration. Implementing policies to aid job security after prison could prevent future incarceration, which will potentially lower facility costs.

    – Kiley Levesque

  14. Abigail Bulnes

    What I found to be the most interesting in this chapter was the inclusion of recommendations for Government Action.The entire chapter was intriguing and there were many points in which I just heard about and many others that I found myself nodding and agreeing too. However, seeing the sub-portion of the recommendations interested me because for once, or for the first time I have seen, someone else is offering advice to the government themselves. The recommendations that were given are very good points and in my opinion, should really be considered. I believe that all individuals aside from just the government and just stakeholders should push for policies that will work to fit reform/work programs into facilities for inmates. This will be very beneficial for them as they learn the skills needed to return into society. I also agree with the point mentioned that in order to get programs such as these ones up and running, people who are motivated and determined to help others, are the type of people needed for a project like this. With inmates, they will need all the extra attention that they can get, almost like children, stepping out into the real world. With the skills that can be provided within the facility will enhance their chances on finding jobs afterwards compared to going through agencies that provide skills that perhaps won’t even meet the bare minimum requirements. The United States is suppose to be known as “The land of opportunity” but with the rejection of such programs, their opportunities are being stripped away the moment of their incarceration.

  15. Elaina Tripp

    The success of an individual is very important to the American mindset, and how that individual is viewed. Some examples can be from their success in things such as sports, education, politics, and science. Their success inspires others to strive for their own success. This mindset can be defined as federalism. Cooperative and collaborative groups meet to discus and project improvements within the fields of health care, education, corrections, and the environment. These efforts made by specific groups are seen as an influence of a third party relationship with the government. These groups projected ideas for reducing crimes and improving the way corrections are administered. With all of this in mind, the main goal is to increase the amount of inmates who are receiving parole.

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