America's Prisons Questions and Answers

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What difficulties might you, as a correctional officer, foresee in attempting to run your unit of the institution while at the same time upholding the legal rights of the prisoners?

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The major issue with managing correctional facilities is money. The United States has a large and growing prison population. It is not popular with taxpayers to allocate funds to prisons when they could go towards infrastructure and schools. Many states have turned to privatized prison systems but these businesses often cut corners in order to ensure the greatest profit for themselves without regard to prisoner safety or well-being. Even state-run prisons turn to outside vendors in order to fulfill medical and nutritional needs. This can sometimes lead to substandard care if the state is only worried about getting the lowest bidder.

Another issue with managing correctional facilities is a lack of qualified employees. Many people do not want to make a career out of being a prison guard. The hours are long and the conditions are potentially dangerous. Many prison guards are not adequately trained to handle the complex psychological issues that prisoners face. Though prisons have tried to...

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