In his book, Daniel Mears writes that for the last four decades, policymakers have relied on the excessive usage
of incarceration, and this narrowly focused response to crime has been implemented with neither credible social scientific support nor overwhelming public support. Given the fact that mass incarceration is so costly, in your opinion, why do you suppose both Republicans and Democrats have been so adamant about sending people to prison?In your opinion, to what extent (if any), should policymakers consider either public opinion or social scientific data when formulating criminal justice policy? Fully elaborate. It should be evident that you have reflected upon the first 80 pages of the book.
Next, given the high recidivism rates, it is evident that most prisons do not do a very good job of rehabilitating inmates. In order to change to the prison culture, if you were a warden, would you permit inmates to evaluate correctional officers in written surveys (in much the same way that professors are evaluated by students)? Would this contribute in a positive or negative way to the institutional climate? Take a position either way and fully defend it. Be sure to fully elaborate explaining why this would be either advantageous or detrimental to rehabilitation.
Next, please provide at least one original suggestion as to how correctional administrators can change prison culture in a meanginful way that can truly work to help rehabilitate offenders. Your suggestion should be novel and creative, yet it must also be realistic.
Also, in Chapter Two, Mears discusses what he refers to as the 'no-captain problem.' In your opinion, what are some of the most important characteristics of an effective criminal justice administrator? How can a leader of a criminal justice organization empower his or her staff yet at the same time take the charge of the organization and steer it in the right direction? Elaborate. It should be evident that you have reflected upon Mears' book.
Also, why do you suppose most public agencies typically lack a meaningful research infrastructure to regularly evaluate criminal justice policies? What, if anything, could a criminal justice adminstrator do in order to improve this? Again, be creative yet realistic.
Next, please point to one aspect of Chapter Three that you found to be of interest. Please explain how it enhances our understanding of the systems improvement solution and criminal justice policy.