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Examining Implementation Issues with New Generation Jails

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: 13 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2002 Pages: 219-237
Christine Tartaro
Nanci Koser Wilson
Date Published
September 2002
19 pages
This study involved an examination of the characteristics of 76 jails, identified as podular direct-supervision facilities, in order to determine the extent to which the jails adhered to what had been identified as elements vital to the success of the institution.
The podular jail, first instituted in 1974, is described as a radical design departure from the previously utilized linear intermittent designs. Four jail characteristics were studied: individual rooms for inmates providing a more normalized living environment and less institutional feel in the facilities, living units that housed fewer than 50 inmates allowing for concentration of staff members and services to particular sections, direct supervision of inmates by officers, and restricted movement within the facility. Data were obtained from surveys sent to all jails in the American Jail Association's directory with a rated capacity of 51 or higher. Tables include corrections officer characteristics, and privacy factors, physical characteristics of responding jails. The goal of these redesigned facilities was to reduce destructive and violent behavior while maximizing control of the inmate population. It was found that because the inmates had more to lose by being removed from these more normal environments, these institutions experienced sharp reductions in assaults, suicides, graffiti, and vandalism by the inmates. Results indicate that few jails were strictly adhering to the training and design techniques that had been found essential for successful operation of these jails. It was found that criminal justice administration has been partially implementing the program, adopting only parts of it, not realizing that success hinges on the sum of the parts rather than the parts individually. References