Prisons are some of the fastest expanding facilities in the world. Their prevalence has created the need to implement the most effective correction strategies that will improve the attitudes of the prisoners while reducing crime rates. The focus is gradually shifting from the custody employees to psychologists, teachers, and unit managers (Garland, McCarty, & Zhao, 2009). The following discussion evaluates the characteristics of forensic populations, treatment options, and the actualization of professional goals.
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The forensic populations are involuntary clients because they do not have control over the treatment options provided. The facilities identify the best treatment options for the prisoners without requiring approval or promises of commitment. According to Jeglic, Maile, and Calkins-Mercado (2011), the forensic populations include violent offenders, sexual and intimate, juvenile, mentally challenged, and female offenders. Every category has unique behavioral patterns and attitudes.
The violent offenders constitute the largest percentage of prisoners with extreme hostility, defiance, and anger (Hanser, Mire, & Braddock, 2011). Denial and low self-disclosure characterize the behaviors of intimate and sexual offenders. Additionally, they have serious psychological issues that include mood swings, stereotyped attitudes, and resistance to change.
The juvenile population comprises the offenders below 18 years. Most of them have cognitive impairments and psychological traits that are shaped by family backgrounds and childhood experiences. Female offenders have specific treatment needs because of their unique life experiences. Some of the experiences include childcare, pregnancy, and gender-specific regulations.
The characteristics of the forensic populations have direct and indirect effects on my professional practice. The unique demands from each group affect my anger management capabilities and communication skills. In fact, every group requires a personalized approach. Whereas the violent group requires effective anger management skills, the juvenile population requires the application of parenting skills. The understanding of these populations helps to identify the skills gaps that should be addressed to enhance efficiency.
The forensic institutions have various risks that should be addressed by improving the relationships between the inmates and staff. The uniqueness of the populations evokes the need to evaluate the decision-making capabilities, general life skills, and interpersonal behaviors.
The treatment strategies must incorporate specific interventions that will address the behavioral and psychological wellbeing of prisoners (Hanser et al., 2011). In fact, some population-specific interventions that include health, substance abuse, and parenting education are essential in improving the staff-prisoner relationships. Additionally, the categories evoke the need to diversify the understanding of cultural, racial, and gender attributes.
According to Garland et al. (2009), the feedbacks from the forensic populations and the treatment environments represent some of the essential elements of professional practice. In fact, prisons have to establish adequate supervision guidelines that will improve the relationships between the non-custody employees and prisoners. The rate of defiance, anger, and noncooperation from the prisoners is caused by poor relationship strategies and a misguided culture.
The forensic institutions must change their culture to improve the interaction between the inmates and staff. Prisons have created behavioral and emotional rifts between the employees and prisoners. Poor communication structures affect all treatment strategies because they interfere with the cooperation and dedication of prisoners to the therapies.
The institutions’ management should assign professional roles according to the populations’ needs. Additionally, there should be efficient supervision strategies to facilitate performance evaluation, feedback, and recognition. These attributes are critical in defining the relationships between prisoners and staff. An improved culture is appropriate in establishing trust and confidence among the prisoners.
Garland, B, McCarty, W. P., & Zhao, R. (2009). Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment in Prisons An Examination of Psychological Staff, Teachers, and Unit Management Staff. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36(2), 163-183.
Hanser, R. D., Mire, S. M., & Braddock, A. (2011). Correctional counseling. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.
Jeglic, L., Maile, C., & Calkins-Mercado, C. (2011). Treatment of offender populations: Implications for Risk Management and Community Integration. In G. Lior & S. Hung-En (Eds.), Rethinking Corrections: Rehabilitation, Reentry, and Reintegration (pp. 37-70). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.