Prisons Don’t Need Guards

One of many ideas for reducing the costs of crime – to taxpayers and victims – is to eliminate prison guards and replace them with trained staff. The staff I refer to, are those who direct needed changes for inmates. Instead of having uniformed guards who often create anger due to lack of respect for authority, the staff will consist of those who care about the welfare of the inmates and a safer society that results from their efforts.
I visualize “prisons” as becoming “rehabilitation centers”. The focus would no longer be on revenge or the perception that punishment is the answer to change felons. These rehab centers would offer a 24/7 program that pre-evaluates the needs of each “client” or inmate, and then develops a series of classes and activities that are monitored for change for each person. The staff is comprised of social workers, psychiatric workers, psychologists, and psychiatric technicians. Most of the staff can be persons who are training for their professional position, and will require little or no pay for their learning experiences. These same “trainees” will most likely work hard as they work with the inmates. Many presently employed guards could be trained for staff positions.
What about safety? All staff members will be trained in security related measures that can be very simple and effective. For example, at Atascadero State Hospital in California, a very effective “security-staff” program has been in place. Staff persons wear only their street clothes, and have a security device on their person. When or if an inmate is about to “go off” or create a disturbance, the staff person signals from their radio device. Within seconds, many staff persons appear at the scene and bodily surround the person(s) creating the disturbance, resulting in having the problem stopped.
Details as to the contents of a rehab program, and many more ideas to reduce crime costs and greatly reducing re-offense rates is found at http://www.educationandjusticesolutions.info . The proven contents of the website are all free and are based on years of experience and research.

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