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A World Apart - A World Apart Correctional systems include...

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A World Apart Correctional systems include a wide range of programs. Prisons, jails, parole, and probation are some given to offenders around the world. This paper will compare and contrast the American correctional system and the South African correctional system. Also discussed will be my opinion of this foreign country’s correctional system compared to that of the United States. Let us first begin with the types of systems and institutions. The Bureau of Justice in the United States provides four types of incarceration facilities. These include federal prisons, state prisons, private prisons, and local jails. In the mid-1990s, South Africa's Department of Correctional Services operated 234 prisons. Of these, 226 are primarily or solely for male prisoners, and 119 of these have separate women's sections. The department also operates twenty prison farms (South Africa Prison System, 2004). Let us move on to the management in these correctional systems. “The South African correctional systems are crippled by lack of funds and severe staff shortages. South Africa, at 1 warden to every 5.5 prisoners, has a far lower staff to prisoner ratio than that which exists in the "developed" world (Dissel, 1996). “The Department of Correctional Services in South Africa has roughly 34,000 employees, at least 4,500 less than its workload requires. Severe staff shortages are sometimes ameliorated by employing some of the 1,500 members of the Prisons Service Reserve Force (mostly retired prison staff) and as many as 1,000 military reservists” (South Africa Prison System, 2004). “Because we’ve been trying to “incarcerate our way” out of crime for so long in the United States, federal and state prisons and county jails are experiencing near-crisis levels of overcrowding. At the same time, operating budgets have been severely cut, as has funding to build new facilities. And over the next two
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years, researchers predict the situation will get worse” (Jail Overcrowding, 2010). The staff to inmate ratio differs in each facility depending on the population. Privatization is a big help in relieving the stress of overcrowding. In the United States, correctional population, those in jail, prison, on probation, or on parole, totaled 7.3 million, or one in every 31 adults (CNN, 2007). “Based on current projections, by 2011 the U.S. prison population will increase by 13% – which is triple the growth of the entire population as a whole – to more than 1.7 million. Supporting that increase in incarcerated
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