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Various countries usually have correctional facilities and they always used in helping individuals change their attitudes and behavior. They are always aimed at making the convicted people productive members of the society. Some of the common correctional facilities include jails, lockups, and prisons. In addition to these facilities, rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and destitute children are also part of correctional facilities (Fagan, 2002).
The Roles of Correctional Psychologists
Psychologists serving in correctional facilities always perform many duties and we can describe them as follows. They always offer therapeutic interventions to clients who have been experiencing problems related to psychological disorders. This can help such convicts to improve their behavior. Secondly, they always carry out violence and risk evaluation to the convicts.
In this case they examine a client and then they apply a given model of therapy for the treatment of the client (Fagan, 2002). The response of the client is then closely monitored. In addition to the normal duties given to the correctional psychologists, they are now being trained to give medical prescriptions to the clients. The use of medical prescriptions can make the correction process more effective.
Careers in Correctional Psychology
Correctional psychology has quite a good number of job opportunities for clinical psychology practitioners and they include the following. Psychologists who have vast experiences and qualifications can serve as chief psychologists in correctional facilities.
In this case they oversee the management of the clients and they can also be consulted if there is a serious problem. We also have clinical psychologists who conduct counseling services to clients (Meyer, 2005). They interact with the clients regularly in order to assess their response to therapy.
Goals of Incarceration
Incarceration refers to “the detention of a person in jail, typically as punishment for a crime” (Lowman, 2006). An individual can be incarcerated if he or she is convicted or suspected of having committed a certain crime. People are always incarcerated because of the following reasons.
It is always done to discourage other people from engaging in criminal activities. It serves as punishment to those who break the law. It quarantines criminals hence they cannot have the chance to engage in more offences. Apart from these measures, incarceration also helps in rehabilitating the convicts and this enables them to become responsible and productive citizens. The nature and the terms of incarceration always vary depending on the type of crime committed (Meyer, 2005).
Challenges affecting Correctional Psychologists
Correctional psychologists normally experience myriad challenges in their activities and they can be briefly explained this way. Most of the correctional facilities lack the necessary resources and facilities to support the surging number of mentally ill incarcerated individuals. For example there are few hired psychologists in the correction facilities due lack of proper funding by the government.
This has led to poor working conditions among the correctional psychologists (Lowman, 2006). They also find it difficult gather information about the clients who in most cases are always very conservative about their past behaviors.
This information is always important because it is what dictates the type of evaluation and therapy to be used on a client. Most of the correctional psychologists are also not aware of the ethical requirements in their jobs. Last but more importantly, is the challenge of how to develop a good working relationship with the clients (Lowman, 2006). For counseling to be effective there must be a good environment and mutual relationship between the client and the counselor.
Owing to the poor state of most correctional facilities, most of the incarcerated individuals always end up being adapted to the bad conditions. They therefore become unreceptive to the correction measures provided. This has culminated to the repetition of vices by criminals ones they are freed. It is therefore necessary for those institutions to be rehabilitated before they can serve the purpose of rehabilitating the criminals.
Fagan, T. (2002). Correctinal mental health hand book. New York: Sage.
Lowman, R. (2006). The ethical practice of psychology in organizations. Boston: American Psychological Association.
Meyer, R. (2005). Law and mental health: a case- based approach. New York: The Guilford Press.