Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Prison Monitoring Agencies
James R. Coldren & Charles A. Fasano
Citizen monitoring of correctional facilities helps ensure that corrections officials run prisons fairly and humanely. Because of the inherent imbalance of power that exists within it, citizens have a responsibility to monitor, like “watchdogs,” the performance of the criminal justice system. Only by having independent, external reviews can we hope to minimize abuses of power. However, other than a few organizations like the John Howard Association, the New York Correctional Association, and the Pennsylvania Prison Society, citizen monitoring of corrections facilities is rare in the United States. Instead, the general public has willingly turned the work of criminal justice over to professional workers in the system. Thus, most states rely on professional associations such as the American Correctional Association, the American Jail Association, the National Juvenile Detention Association, and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, which promote standards and quality control practices and, in some cases, operate accreditation programs. ...