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Prison Simulation A

The Australian government is concerned with the escalating rate of imprisonment in the country regardless of decreasing the nation's crime rate. According to Weatherburn (2018), crime and penal policing analysts have attributed the high recidivism rate as one of the significant contributors to the issue. Therefore, the Prison Simulation A was implemented to curb the high recidivism rate. According to Payne (2007), for every three prisoners imprisoned in Australia, one was previously detained, and in every four released, one will be convicted again in three months since their release. This paper will use rehabilitation and incapacitation penological theories to account for the events and results of Prison Simulation A.

Prison Simulation A is a representation of new prison designs and administration. The simulation video does not portray any particular occurrence of an event. However, it shows an open plan of the prison compound with a flexible and relaxed norm that enables the inmates to move freely and access various points of the prison compound without restriction and motivates them to live independently in their cells. The simulation video shows prison cells suit one inmate, fitted with a small library, a shower, toilet, and television.

Moreover, the doors to other critical places like visitation rooms, recreational spaces, and education are also open for free training and unrestricted access. The staff offices are monitored through CCTV, with each door to the offices left unlocked to allow the prisoners to enter as they wish. The daily schedule of the prisoners revolves around balancing their free time and work. The simulation has incorporated reform programs like kitchen safety and educational areas and programs to ensure the rate of recidivism among the prisoners decreases upon their release. This incorporation of reform programs has resulted in reduced punishment levels and improved reform and health of the prisoner.

Additionally, Prison Simulation A has adequate lighting enabling broad surveillance and preventing the prisoners from breaking any rules while in the prison compound. The simulation shows a green environment around the prion area, almost replicating the prison outside world, thus offering the prisoners a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The outcome of this prison simulation and all the elements therein portray how the prison can be cooperative and peaceful with the prison staff and fellow inmates. The open environment of imprisonment instils a sense of dignity, self-reliance, and responsibility to the prisoners while imprisoned and prevents them from reconviction once released.

The penological theories that apply to Prison Simulation A include rehabilitation and incapacitation theories. Rehabilitation programs are offered in prison to help prisoners rehabilitate and equip them with the discipline required to live a productive life and abide by the law (Heselitine et al., 2011). As evident in the simulation video, programs that are self-improving, educational, and counselling in prison effectively reduce the prisoner's reoffending and stress levels. In their study on factors associated with prisoners' reoffending, Hopkins and Brunton (2013) observed that vocational, educational, and intervention programs positively affect the rate of reoffending in the prisoners. The Prison Simulation A has enforced various reform programs, such as academic and work programs, resulting in reoffending law rates among the prisoners.

Rehabilitation and Incapacitation Theories

Substantially, rehabilitation is but a temporary solution. Evidence-based research shows that rehabilitation should be accompanied by incapacitation to realise its potential. The penological incapacitation theory dictates that the offenders be isolated from the community and incarcerated. Cullen and Johnson (2017) argue that the objective of incapacitation is to reduce the offender's freedom, with the ultimate goal of reducing the chances of committing another crime. The Prison Simulation A portrays the temporary incarceration of the prisoners to prevent another criminal offence in the community. It is essential to consider the prison environment when considering recidivism's likelihood. The more the prison is autonomous and private, the more the stress and aggression levels decrease, leading to positive experience and perception of the prisoners with the judicial system and thus lowering recidivism rates. Therefore, incapacitation and rehabilitation are critical penological practices in reducing recidivism in Australia.

Instructions: Review the video titled "Prison Simulation B" on the course Learning@Griffith site. Drawing on the observations you make in viewing this simulation, compose a short essay below (750 words, +/- 10%) that includes (1) a brief description of the events that unfolded and the outcome that resulted, (2) an analysis of the circumstances that led to those events and that outcome, and (3) an overview and application of the penological theories and research evidence that accounts for those events and that outcome.

https://vimeo.com/329595749

Prison Simulation B appears to be a traditional prison system that shows tension between the prisoners and the correctional officers, leading to riots in prison, claiming massive lives and injuries. The simulation starts with a prisoner lighting a fire in the boiler room leading to problems with plumbing in prison. The general manager orders a lockdown of all the prisoners in the cafeteria and orders the inmates not to leave until the plumbing problem is solved. The guards start to escort the prisoners to the cafeteria room, but some inmates refuse the directive. The crowd in the cafeteria area grows enormous, and the inmates grow angry with the staff, suspecting a riot breakout. In efforts to curb the alleged and imminent riot, the general manager issued a warning that he would punish misbehaviour by cancelling all the privileges of the inmates for a week. This warning sparks outrage amongst the inmates, and they plan a revolt by smuggling weapons and other contrabands into the cafeteria area. Fearing an imminent riot, the general manager orders a lockdown and deploys security guards into the cafeteria area, increasing the tension between the guards and the prisoners. Shortly, the prisoners learn of armed guards making their way into the cafeteria and start to riot. The prisoners break through the cafeteria main gate and attack the correctional officers. Generally, the simulation outcome is the injury and death of several inmates and corrections officers.

Prison Simulation B appears to represent a traditional prison complex with smaller open spaces and poor staff interaction than the previous simulation, Prison Simulation A. The areas within the prison are small, close in, and stuffed with too many prisoners, thus making it difficult to manage the prisoners and effectively correct them. As proposed in Simulation A, the prison's recreational spaces are two concrete exercise yards without a green environment, thereby harbouring the prisoners' sense of the outside world. The doors to various rooms in prison are locked, ensuring that the prisoners have restricted access to such places. In Prison Simulation B, the prisoners have to balance their daily routine between sleep, eating, work, and minimal time for activities such as recreation and education.

Prison Simulation B

The penological theory I find evident in Prison Simulation B is incapacitation theory. Although incapacitation theory temporarily limits the prisoners' freedom, it fails to deter or effectively rehabilitate the inmates from the probability of committing an offence again once they are released back into the community. Incapacitation plays a risk management role in correctional facilities. It provides a temporary solution by temporarily restraining the inmates' freedom such that they are unlikely to commit the offence again (Cullen & Johnson, 2017). The incapacitation theory addresses the arising immediate problem by locking up the offenders. Still, the approach does not offer a sound solution in the long run or treat the crime and explain its occurrence. The offender is likely to commit the crime again once released from the prison to the society.

Harsh prison environments significantly contribute to violence induction and lead to the offender committing even more crimes once they are released from the prison (Chen & Shapiro, 2017). Moreover, McCorkle et al. (2015) attributed the increase in prison violence and riots to poor management skills of the prison managers and the prison environment. It is evident in the simulation video that the prison manager's poor management skills and the prison's closed environment largely contributed to the heightening of the prisoners' riots. Factors such as mismanagement, incompetent discretionary power execution of the general manager and corrections officers, negative and poor rehabilitative prison environment, and the environment without outside world reflection lead to riot and violence outbreaks in the prison as seen in Prison Simulation B.

Nevertheless, poor conditions in prison and a sophisticated environment, as in Prison Simulation B, highly contribute to the revolting and rioting of the prisoners. Moreover, Bion and Rattray (2016) observe that overcrowding, oppressive custodial discipline, and poor living conditions are the main factors that induce riots in prisons. Overcrowding of prisoners increases tension and uncalled inmate competition, entirely resulting in the aggressiveness of the prisoners. With aggression due to overcrowding and uncertainty due to poor living conditions, prisoners will misbehave and have harsh discipline. In prison simulation, the general manager used deterrence to curb riots and misbehaviour. However, the warning of depriving prisoners of privileges for something they never caused aroused more aggression and thus riots.

References

Bion, A., & Rattray, W. (2016). Understanding prison riots: Towards a threshold theory. The Netherlands and the Scottish Prison Service, 47-65.

Chen, K. M & Shapiro, J. M (2017). Do harsher prison conditions reduce recidivism? A discontinuity-based approach. American Law and Economics Review, 9(1), 1-29.

Cullen, F., & Jonson, C. (2017). Correctional theory: context and consequences. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.

Heselitine, K., Day, A., & Sarre, R. (2011). Prison-based correctional offender rehabilitation programs: The 2009 national picture in Australia. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.

Hopkins, K. and Brunton-S. I. (2013). The factors associated with proven reoffending following release from prison: findings from Waves 1 to 3 of SPCR. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series.

McCorkle, R. C., Miethe, T. D., & Drass K. A. (2015). The roots of prison violence: A test of the deprivation, management and "not-so-total" institution models. Crime & Delinquency, 41(3), 317-331.

Payne, J. (2007). Recidivism in Australia: Findings and future Research. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.

Weatherburn, D. (2018). Australian imprisonment 2002–2016: Crime, policing and penal policy. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 537-559.

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