1. You need to put the essay within the format of an observation
Plan on going to the base main gate to watch while they conduct vehicles search and my back up plan is to do a ride-along
Length is 4-5 pages APA format
Sample Student #3
Observation of Corrections Operations
As soon as I entered the United States Disciplinary Barracks (U.S.D.B.) at fort Leavenworth Kansas I felt like I had made a transition from Soldier to inmate. The U.S.D.B. is the only maximum security correctional facility in the Department of Defense and therefore is the oldest penal institution in continuous operation in the Federal system. This facility started operations in May 1875 and continues to this date (Defense, 2012). The current facility is not the original building (that is down the road on Fort Leavenworth) but a state of the art facility that was first opened in 2001. At first glance you might think of a military prison and think of guard towers and inmates being housed in large bays like popular movies would depict, but this facility is actually much different and is even referred to as being a “campus lifestyle” environment.
All of the military branches house their inmates here that have a sentence of approximately 5 or more years, making this essentially a jointly run facility. In addition to this I was surprised to see the large amount of civilian employees at the facility; including many that are in leadership roles.
As I accompanied my escort through the prison I noticed that the inmates are able to walk around the facility like students going to and from class. They are not escorted or placed in restraints unless they are considered dangerous. Also facilitating is that the guards working in the facility are not armed and only have a radio or whistle to protect themselves. Considering the worst of the worst is housed in this facility I thought this was odd but I was assured that most
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correctional institutions are run like this and there is a mutual level of trust between the inmates and the guards. When this level of trust is broken than the inmate is placed in a Special Housing Unit or “SHU” as it is commonly referred to in the correctional system.
This facility is not the stereotypical military prison and even has vocational programs for the inmates housed there. Training includes carpentry, barber school, embroidery shops, engraving and graphic arts, printing, sheet metal, welding, and auto repair (Army, 97, p. 29). After about an hour of convincing, while at the prison I even received a haircut from an inmate serving a life sentence that cut my hair using scissors and a razor.
I discovered that aside from military regulations this facility is required to follow guidelines and standards set forth by the American Correctional Association (ACA). The ACA is the oldest and largest correctional association in the world with a mission to shape the future of corrections through strong, progressive leadership that brings together various voices and forges coalitions and partnerships and to set forth standards for all prisons to follow (ACA, 2013). Mr. Grande a civilian working in the prison feels that being accredited is extremely important and is undoubtedly the way ahead for the military (Grande, 2008, p. 22). I discovered that this is important because it helps reduce the rate of recidivism of the inmate population. With the U.S.D.B. motto being “our Mission, your future” (Sapp, 1981) I think it was important to look at why they felt the need to reduce recidivism and how it affected society as a whole. Every inmate leaves the U.S.D.B. eventually; alive or dead. And every person that leaves the facility is a direct reflection of not only the military, but also the facility that they were housed in. The programs offered in this facility are set up to reduce the chances of them returning. The
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results of a study conducted by the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) demonstrated “that an offender who has not attended correctional education programs during incarceration is approximately 3.7 times more likely to become a recidivist offender after release from IDOC custody when compared with an offender who has participated in a variety of correctional education programs during incarceration” (Nally, Lockwood, Knutson, & Taiping, 2012, p. 20).
To reflect on my journey into the U.S.D.B. it makes my thankful for the opportunity to see a part of the military that most people don’t get to see. Although it is not glorious work, I give credit to the young men and women that work in that facility. They do face threats from gangs and unruly inmates and it’s because of their professionalism and dedication that the rest of the military can continue to fight the war on terror.
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ACA, A. C. (2013). American Correctional Association Home. Retrieved from American Correctional Association: http://www.aca.org/
Army. (97). USDB prepares inmates for life after lockup. Army Reserve Magazine, 43(1). doi:9710250356
Defense, D. O. (2012). Retrieved from United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: http://usdb.leavenworth.army.mil/main.htm
Grande, P. J. (2008). The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Leads the Military in Professional Certification. Corrections Today, 70(6).
Nally, J., Lockwood, S., Knutson, K., & Taiping, H. (2012, April). An Evaluation of the Effect of Correctional Education Programs on Post-Release Recidivism and Employment: An Empirical Study in Indiana. Journal of Correctional Education, 63(1), pp. 69-89. Retrieved from 0740-2708
Sapp, D. E. (1981). “Our Mission, Your Future”: The United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas : an Overview. University of Minnesota.