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Female Offenders’ Community Correctional Programs Essay

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Updated: Aug 9th, 2020

The professional activities of staff working in the female community corrections area are largely related to the work with women representing a psychologically complex contingent with a negative sentiment to the administration, with aggressive incentives, and those resisting and countering the efforts of the staff (Alarid & del Carmen, 2012). In addition, in many cases, females tend to have a complex relationship with other residents. In this connection, the system of psychological assessment of women’s identity should not only help fix objectives but also respond to the challenges of security activities. In the course of working with women, there is a need to achieve lower total aggression and conflict levels; however, it is often accompanied by the increased internal hostility, decrease in the sense of guilt, the emergence of emotional dullness, decreased mental alertness, and increased intensity of frustration (Alarid & del Carmen, 2012). In order to evaluate this issue from different dimensions, it is necessary to analyze it from the point of view of both the females undergoing correctional activities and the professionals working with such women.

Females and Correctional Facilities

The article written by Cantora, Mellow, and Schlager (2014) indicated that there is a variety of non-programmatic factors influencing the successfulness of rehabilitation of women offenders as well as their further integration in the society. According to the authors, many factors should be considered to facilitate the effective community correction services such as “social relationships among clients; perceptions of safety and security; physical characteristics of the internal setting (e.g., sleeping accommodations, visitation area, and privacy); and the neighborhood where programs are situated” (Cantora et al., 2014, p.38). The authors argue that the study of the moral and psychological condition of the offenders (with respect to the interaction with other women, responsiveness to the employees of the correctional institution, the general conditions) and the use of psychological and educational programs to work with them are required.

The remedial activities should be directed to the development of psychological and social stability; the work should be designed to maximize the psychological and social rehabilitation of women. One of the indicators of the success of this process will be expressed in the improved relations with inmates, more balanced mental state and a more active interaction with the environment (Cantora et al., 2014). However, it should be noted that the application of the accredited and non-accredited correctional programs for different categories of offenders should comply with the non-programmatic methods of interaction with the setting and environment due to the fact that the psychological techniques should be supported by the appropriate correctional programs. This approach implies the joint work of the primary and secondary measures on the rehabilitation of the female offenders.

Another Perspective

The article that was written by Heather Wood Rudulph (2015) provides another perspective on the non-programmatic factors of community corrections work, in particular, the interaction of the guards with the female offenders. It should be noted that though the research described above indicated the positive influence of the guard-offender communication, the interviewee stated the reverse. Harriet Fox who has been working as a corrections officer highlighted that they almost never show any personal interest in the rehabilitation of females and prefer to remain unbiased (Wood Rudulph, 2015). She supported her opinion by the fact that the emotional connotation is inappropriate while serving as an officer is her job, and she is responsible for performing her duties strictly. She stressed out that it is not her liability to provide emotional or any other support to the offenders and she would never establish relations close to friendly with any of them (Wood Rudulph, 2015). Nevertheless, she mentioned that it is an emotionally and physically demanding work, but she would never allow any emotional attachment to any of the women.

Personal Opinion

The correctional work with women is often difficult. It is due to the personal characteristics inherent to women offenders such as excessive temper, aggression, affective behavior, persistent desire for self-assertion. The collapse of the socially useful connections among women is more intense than that of men. As a consequence of the presence of these traits, women are more maladjusted to the new conditions of life than men are and therefore, this category of the population is one of the most difficult in management activities and conducting the remedial work (Hanser, 2013).

In managing the female offenders, from the psychological point of view, it is crucial to take into account the features of the person due to their differences in background, too. One of the leading principles of the corrective actions should be the principle of respect and rigor (Hanser, 2013). However, as it follows from the analysis of the interview, in prisons, the attitude of the correctional officer to the female offender is not always based on respect and trust; quite often, the staff prefer to distance themselves and remain indifferent. It is worth noting that if individuals are treated like a subordinate, they often come to the representation of themselves as inferior, and their behavior can become childish or aggressive. For this reason, the creation of a friendly but highly demanding atmosphere in communication with the offenders is an important requirement, without which the implementation of positive management is impossible (Hanser, 2013). Moreover, the corrective measures should develop a respectful attitude towards other women and develop empathy in them. The success of the correctional activities is dependent on the complexity and integration of the approach.

Conclusion

The study of female crimes and their implications should be comprehensive, continuous and take into account the significant changes taking place in the contemporary society as well as the influence of social attitudes and changing social roles of women. It is necessary to develop and implement special programs in which concrete techniques and methods of influence on women’s rehabilitation will be applied. Due to the inherent characteristics, women should be provided with better conditions enabling more active social and environmental interaction. Individually psychological properties of the women undergoing corrective activities reflect the situation of chronic stress associated with the new conditions of life and interaction (Latessa & Smith, 2015). It is indicative of the distinct features of coping with stress associated with gender. Individual psychological characteristics such as spiritual potential, life-orientation, personality traits, accentuation of character, temperament characteristics, and physical health can be attributed to the characteristics of the adaptive resources of women’s personality. The components of personality structure cannot adequately provide the necessary level of adaptation to the conditions, which makes female offenders recourse to primitive psychological defenses. In this connection, the necessary level of social and psychological adaptation of women should be supported at the expense of more active use of accentuation of individual female traits.

References

Alarid, L., & del Carmen, R. (2012). Community-based corrections (9th ed). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Cantora, A., Mellow, J., & Schlager, M. (2014). What about nonprogrammatic factors? Women’s perceptions of staff and resident relationships in a community corrections setting. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 53(1), 35-56.

Hanser, R. (2013). Community corrections. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Latessa, E., & Smith, P. (2015). Corrections in the community. New York, NY: Routledge.

Wood Rudulph, H. (2015). . Web.

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