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Understanding Prisons: A Corrections Manual

NCJ Number
P Johnson
Date Published
181 pages
This corrections textbook, written by a former Michigan prison warden, covers prison organization and management, female prisoners, inmate rights and privileges, prison security, prison custody, community corrections, and the death penalty.
The textbook is primarily intended for those entering the field of corrections, and it assumes no prior knowledge of the field. By looking at corrections from a historical perspective on the origin and purpose of prisons, the textbook provides more thorough preparation for new employees than a handbook of current practices. Individual chapters consider the organizational structure and management of prisons and such inmate rights and privileges as religion, freedom of speech, access to the press, visits, search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, use of force, protection from harm, due process of law, and prison privileges as incentives for cooperation. Other chapters cover prison security (order and discipline, contraband control, internal investigations, emergency procedures, and firearms safety), as well as prison custody (food, clothing, housing, health care, personal safety, and protection of legal rights). A chapter on community corrections reviews probation, parole, halfway houses, and home confinement. The constitutionality of the death penalty and future directions in corrections are discussed. Future directions concern the incidence of crime, public perceptions of crime, the political process for crime control, sentencing policies, escalating prison costs, the long-term impact of public policy on prisons, and the potential for diverting offenders from prison. 109 references, 3 tables, 2 figures.