Adult Corrections

Adult Corrections


Correctional Adult Settings

The prison system in the United States is under duress. Prisons are overcrowded, understaffed, underfunded, and out of balance. The United States, per capita, has the highest rate of incarceration of its citizens of any other Western country. It is also higher than China and Russia. With an increasing population of those incarcerated, cities and towns across the country are struggling to keep the balance of operating safe and secure facilities with shrinking budgets. Overcrowding and understaffing are becoming the norm. In some states, non-violent offenders are being released to make room for the violent ones. In other states, inmates are being shipped out of the state to help reduce the overcrowding problem.

Incarceration Policies

As a society, we need to look at this issue and make decisions about our incarceration policies. From a forensic behavioral science perspective, you need to look at the impact of these issues on the health and well-being of officers and inmates, the role of treatment and rehabilitation, and the treatment of special populations. Inmates are afforded legal rights while incarcerated. These rights have been affirmed by the courts and must be addressed within the prison system. The prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment is applicable as the public is split over the goals of incarceration. The high rates of recidivism suggest we need to look at what and how we address those who break the laws. The variability in types of crimes also suggests a review.


Stress of Incarceration

The stress of incarceration is exacerbated by overcrowded conditions, the prison culture, and fear. Within this context, the treatment of mental illness is more difficult. The use of behavioral and cognitive behavioral models has generally been the treatment of choice. Forensic behavioral health teams work to contain non- violent and violent manifestations of psychiatric illness. The use of these models, with medications, can help address the mental health issues of these inmates. Long-term stabilization can be more difficult in this setting due to the high stress level experienced by most inmates.

Corrections Officer Stress
The other impact of stress in adult inmates is the impact on corrections officers. These officers are changed with the safety of inmate and staff alike. Generally, these facilitates are understaffed causing the issues of safety to become paramount. The stress experienced by corrections officers because of the conditions and because of the stress levels of the inmates can be significant and can result is stress related health issues.


Rehabilitative Programs

Forensic mental health professionals are also very much involved in the development and implementation of rehabilitative programs to assist inmates in breaking the cycle of crime they may find themselves in. Assisting in the assessment of inmates to develop programs to address these issues can help to provide a basis for change. One of the biggest issues is the return to an environment of crime upon release. Mental health professionals also address the issues of correctional officers. They, too, work in an overcrowded, underfunded, and often unsafe environment. They may have similar issues to police officers in terms of exposure to trauma, safety concerns, shift work, impact on the family and pay.



For this module, read the following in Bartol & Bartol:


Chapter 12 (5th ed.)

Active Learning Discussion Guidelines


In the Active Learning threaded discussion area, respond to the stated questions, including any relevance to and implications on the field of criminal justice. Be sure to discuss the issue(s) to which the question pertains. Remarks can include your opinion(s), but must be based on experience, research, and/or prior learning. Use this exercise to foster a rich dialogue with your colleagues about issues that are important to the field of criminal justice.




During the span of the discussion, you must post to the board on four unique days.




Your initial posting must be no less than 200 words and is due no later than Thursday 11:59 PM EST/EDT. The day you post will count as one of your required four unique postings.


You will also be required to post responses to at least three of your colleagues’ initial postings. Responses must be no less than 100 words, be posted on at least three unique days, and are due no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EDT.

Active Learning Discussion 7


The Active Learning Discussion Question for this module is posted on the Active Learning 7 Discussion Board.




  •     Post an initial response and then post responses to your classmates.
  •     Be sure to review both the Active Learning Discussion Guidelines in the Start Here menu before posting.

Written Assignment 7
Your written Assignment is:

Discuss the behavioral and psychological issues of incarceration for adults and the impact of these issues on correctional officers.

This is a research-based APA review of literature assignment and cannot include any personal opinion, experience, or hypothetical scenarios. Consider using the readings for this module as a starting point and then use the research literature to gain a more in-depth view of what each group deals with in the course of their professional work. This must be in APA format and include a cover page, abstract, discussion, conclusion, and references. Your paper should go beyond the obvious, be written at a graduate level, and must be at least 1,200 words in length. You must use at least two outside scholarly and/or professional sources other than your textbook.  Remember, all resources including, but not limited to, journals, magazine, and/or books must be properly cited using APA style

Research Paper:


Research Paper submission on the investigate one of several behavioral issues and discuss how these issues may impact the criminal justice professional psychologically in the performance of their duties. 

 Approved Topics


1.    Personal and professional police or corrections officer stressors.


2.    Interacting with those who have mental illness


3.    The criminal justice professional testifying in court


4.    Domestic violence


5.    Juvenile false confessions


6.    Hate crimes


7.    Workplace violence


8.    Elder Abuse


9.    Child Abuse


10. Working with sexual assault victims


If you select one of these topics you do not have to obtain pre-approval from the instructor. If you would like to research a different topic, please contact the instructor for approval.

Submit this paper to the Research paper Assignment box and to the Research Paper Discussion Board in Module 7

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