Essay: Correcting Corrections Program for Training

Pages: 5 (1473 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Alternatively, candidate team members could be culled from new CO recruits during initial correctional academy training, as was portrayed in the motion picture The Departed (Pitt, Grey, King, and Scorsese, 2006). This approach would avoid the inevitable disillusionment that can quickly set in during their time spent at the academy (Chan, 2004) and provide an opportunity to train IA investigator candidates before they enter a prison as a new CO. Since CO recruits would probably tend to be young and unmarried this would provide an additional advantage given the level of time commitment that would be required. For example, a unit member might be required to engage in afterhour's surveillance activities while working full time as a CO.

Training

Undercover IA-CO investigators would require not only the requisite correctional academy training to become a CO, but also that required to become an independent IA investigator capable of functioning undercover. Training would be structured in part according to the standards established by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC, 2009, pp. 215-235; NPREC, n.d.). Training/retraining would include the recommended TR-1 (general training), TR-3 (inmate training), TR-4 (investigations), and SC-1 (screening for sexual victimization and abusiveness). The undercover investigative skills needed to be effective and to survive, could be obtained through specialized courses like that offered by Undercover Techniques Unlimited, LLC (2010). The skills and knowledge needed to investigate organized crime and gang activity could be obtained from similar organizations and from collaboration with law enforcement agencies.

The other skills that have been identified as essential to correctional IA investigators include administrative duties (logs and reports), interfacing with prosecutors and law enforcement, and a complete knowledge of the applicable federal and state criminal codes and prison regulations and policy (The Moss Group Inc., 2006, pp. 4-5). The latter would help the undercover investigator identify contraband, misconduct, and criminal activity within the prison, while avoiding any behaviors that could be construed as entrapment.

Anticipated Problems

The primary concern would be the IA-CO investigator's cover being blown inside the prison, which would endanger the investigator's life. Adequate training and support would help minimize this possibility, but the risk is unavoidable and part of the job description. An ability to adapt to prison culture would also help minimize being exposed as an undercover IA investigator and for this reason sufficient time working as a CO will be required before an investigator will be 'activated'. In other words, COs recruited to become unit members would either have to have at least two years of experience working as a CO, or if recruited straight out of correctional academy training would be required to function as a 'sleeper' for two years before being activated as an undercover IA-CO investigator. This approach should allow sufficient time for the IA investigator to become acclimated to prison and CO culture before beginning investigations into CO misconduct (Chan, 2004, pp. 341-343).

Summary

Recruiting and training members of an undercover IA unit that will function within a prison or jail is feasible, but it will require a significant investment in the process of selection, specialized training, and strategies of infiltration. However, the depth and prevalence of corruption among correctional staff, and the penetration of gang culture, criminality, and violence into prisons, demands such a response, if we believe prisoners have a right to feel safe while incarcerated and be rehabilitated if they so choose.

References

Chan, Janet. (2004). Using Pierre Bourdieu's framework for understanding police culture. Droit et Societe, 56-57, 327-347.

Evaluation and Inspection Division. (2009). The Department of Justice's efforts to prevent staff sexual abuse of federal inmates. Office of Inspector General, Department of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/plus/e0904.pdf

Investigative Techniques Unlimited, LLC. (2010). About us. Retrieved from http://www.ituops.com/aboutus.html

The Moss Group, Inc. (2006). Correctional internal affairs investigators: Job analysis. National Institute of Corrections. Retrieved from http://static.nicic.gov/Library/021984.pdf

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. (2009). National Prison Rape Elimination Commission report. Retrieved from http://www.juvjus.state.nc.us/resources/pdf_documents/prea/NPREC_FinalReport.pdf

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. (n.d.). Standards for the prevention, detection, response, and monitoring of sexual abuse in adult prisons and jails. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/226682.pdf

Pitt, Brad, Grey, Brad, and King, Graham (Producers), & Scorsese, Martin (Director). (2006). The Departed. United States: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Smith, Van. (2010, May 12). Inside job: Evidence of corruption in Maryland prisons has been mounting. Can current reform measures clean things up? Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved from http://www2.*****/news/story.asp?id=20206 [END OF PREVIEW]

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