Institutional corrections and their efficiency is the topic that extremely interests me. Nowadays, the institutional corrections are enhanced by various technologies that improve the metal detection capability, management of the Internet access among the inmates, and various devices that help officers ensure that no illegal action will take place (e.g. X-Rays to identify any contraband, cameras that capture movement in the zones where no movement is allowed, etc.). At the same time, such use of sensitive technology leads to the technology dependence in jails and prisons, which can significantly complicate the work of officers.
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If the institutional correction facilities are so dependent on technology, is there any way to prevent any crimes or illegal actions that might be committed when there is a malfunction in the technological devices used in jails? I believe that the technology in institutional correction facilities is necessary but, at the same time, the reliance of officers on it can lead to various consequences, including escapes or wrong judgment.
At the same time, the potential of technologies in such facilities is incredible because it allows predicting trouble spots in jails and monitoring any suicide attempts that the inmates might consider or plan. The prediction of trouble spots can help officers evaluate the overall safety of the facility and address the specifics of such places, which will help them understand what exactly is the cause of the rising violence. At the same time, the suicide-watch warning system is cost-effective because it does not require additional training (as officers do) and does not interfere with officers’ duties. I believe that the value of life is often diminished in institutional correction facilities, but such a system has the potential to prevent tragic outcomes of imprisonment that still happen sometimes.
Another issue I would like to address is the depiction of correction professionals in media. One of my relatives (a former correction officer) pointed out that correction professionals are often depicted as mean or evil (or antagonists even) in TV series and films (see “The Shawshank Redemption”, “The Green Mile”, TV series “Daredevil”, “Luke Cage”, for example). Despite the difficulties and dangers correction officers have to face every day, their work often remains unpraised or overlooked. Sometimes, such work is perceived as simple or unimportant, but the correctly performed duties of correction officers secure the citizens’ safety and ensure that law institutions work accurately and precisely.
I also believe that the mental state and health of correction officers often remains unaddressed or even tabooed because of the specifics of this profession. Nevertheless, the dangers and the difficulties these professionals have to endure need to be addressed more often, both in media and by citizens. The recognition of correction professionals would show them that their work is valued and appreciated and that they are not perceived in the way series and films like to present them.
The image of correction officers as brutal, dumb, revengeful, and corrupt individuals harms not only the society that loses trust in those people but also the officers themselves who feel underappreciated or even hated for their duties. Such portrayals lead viewers to assumptions that correction officers love to abuse their power and engage in destructive behavior as often as possible. The correction officers remain to be the outsiders among the workers who ensure citizens’ safety and well-being. The officers need to be reminded that the society cannot function properly without their engagement.