5 Ways to Prevent Conflict in Your Correctional Facility
Reducing conflict is a sure fire, sustainable way to reduce costs in correctional facilities. Here are five ways to prevent conflict:
1. Prevent overcrowding: Overcrowding causes several problems for a facility as a whole. More inmates means more costs for healthcare, programming, basic services (hair care, food, laundry…) and more staff to manage the population. But as correctional operators try to reduce costs, these services and programming are trimmed and the facility operates on a lean staff–a combination for disaster. Inmates sit idle in their cells for longer periods of time, creating pent-up resentment that results in prison riots and other destructive behavior. To learn some strategies that prevent overcrowding click here.
2. Control noise: Excessive noise levels are also associated with patterns of increased irritability and aggression, as well as decreased cooperation. According to ACA’s Noise Standard, inmate housing should not exceed 70 dBA during daytime hours and should stay below 45 dBA at night. To read a case study about noise control click here.
3. Design to eliminate contraband: Strategic person flow throughout the facility is proven to reduce contraband levels. White County Law Enforcement Center, in Arkansas, established two major interior traffic flows: one for the public and one for justice in order to cut down the interaction between visitors and weekend inmates. The justice center realized lower rates of contraband as a result of the design.
4. Keep programming: As mentioned above, programming is an outlet for inmates to keep busy and out of trouble. In addition to this, programming is proven to prepare inmates for re-entry into civilization, reducing recidivism and overcrowding.
5. Eliminate hidden and unmonitored corners: Unmonitored areas of the facility are breeding grounds for conflict. Inmates use these areas to gang up and assault other inmates and officers. During the planning stages of a facility, take a good look at the design for potential problem areas. Or, use the latest monitoring equipment.
6. Create a housing strategy based on evidence-based offender classification: Segregating the inmate population by classification will provide a safe haven for those inmates at risk of being victims of assault.
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