Ardmore Prison Case Study essay

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1. Was Warden Duffy acting responsibly in creating and enforcing strict behavioural standard for these inmates, considering that this is a maximum-security prison?

Isolation has serious repercussions to an inmate.  It causes not only physical problems but also mental illnesses.  The inmates who undergo long-term isolation become worse or commit suicide.  If such a measure should be applied, then it should be for serious misbehaviours and not petty issues.  In addition, punishment should be a corrective discipline.  It should teach a person to be a better person.  Such strict behavioural standards, even in a maximum-security prison, make the inmates more rebellious. They will develop a negative attitude towards the authority rather than change their ways.

2. What are some alternative ways Duffy could have managed the prison that may have minimized the occurrence of inmate rioting? 

Warden Duffy should be easy on the prisons in order to reduce the occurrence of inmate rioting.  Instead of punishing the inmates to improve behaviour, he should introduce privileges for them.  The inmates should be allowed to come out of their cells for a couple of hours daily depending on how well behaved they act.   In addition, he should put up rehabilitation program that will help the mentally disturbed.  This kind of help is what psychologically disturbed inmates need.

3. If you were the correctional officer who had been hit with the bread slice, should you have reported the incident to your supervisor? 

Yes, I would have reported the incident to my supervisor in order not to compromise the system of the discipline and show a point of weakness to the inmates.

If you had not reported the incident, and if the other officers did not see the bread being thrown, how do you think this would have been regarded by the prisoners?  The prisoners would sense division among the authority body and take advantage of that to cause chaos.

Did the officer handle the situation properly?  No, he did not because as much as it is important to comply with the rules of the warden, they should also have tried to raise the issue of the strict discipline on the inmate and the lack of confidence that the warden has on his correctional officers.

4. Is there anything the correctional officers could have done collectively to meet with Warden Duffy and get him to ease up on the strict disciplinary policies? 

The correctional officers should come together and face the warden on easing up on the inmates or otherwise warn him to report him to high authorities.  They can also use the human rights body to address the issues on the rights of prisoners.

5. Is two months of solitary confinement too harsh of a punishment for violating minor institutional rules? 

Yes because the negative consequences are more than the minor rules.  A person is highly damaged mentally.  In some cases, the inmates commit suicide.  Furthermore, it increases violence.

What type of power is being exercised here?

The power is of the dictatorial type because both the inmates and the correctional officer cannot question the authority of the warden.

What type of compliance is to be expected from inmates? 

The inmates are expected to fully comply with all the rules including the minimal regulations.  The prisoners who failed to do so are severely punished.

Is this compliance predictable?  It is not predictable

Why or why not? 

This is because the prisoners put up resistance to such strict rules. They will put up oppositions in order to express their dislike over such rules.

6. If you were the warden of this prison, what type of leadership would you want to use, both over your officers and over the inmates?

I would want a democratic kind of leadership for both the inmates and officers.  Most of the inmates want to behave well. If encouraged to do so through supportive means then they will accelerate change. I would listen to their grievances, pay attention to their needs in order to put up the right corrective measure. Different inmates react differently to different incarceration.  It is the responsibility of the leader to determine the right situation to create change for an inmate. A democratic leadership helps to achieve this.  It is important for a warden to appreciate its officers.  They should give them the freedom of voice as they are the ones handling the inmates and they, therefore, know them better. Their views should be considered.

What would be your primary objectives as an administrator?

My primary objectives would be to instil discipline through formation of relationships.  I would achieve this through the placement of education and recreation activities such as sports and rehabilitation.  By doing so, the prisoners will develop a positive attitude towards the authority and put efforts in reforming their behaviour as less pressure and torture is put on them. I would opt for such methods because isolation has proved to be psychologically damaging and economically expensive. Using preventive measures and less abrasive disciplinary acts has proven to be more effective.

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