Whiteville Correctional Facility
The interview is aimed at gaining an essential insight into special needs associated with mental illness and sex offenders in Whiteville Correctional Facility located in Tennessee. In this case, the interview seeks to assess the programs and treatment that the prison facilities offer prisoners with special needs. Evidently, individuals with mental illnesses and those convicted of sex offenses are considered as people with special needs. As a result, they require different treatment as compared to the other inmates. The interview featured Warden Tammy Ford who gave essential information about the correction facility and the services they offer inmates with special needs.
While in prison facilities, inmates struggle emotionally and physically due to their aims to maintain self-respect. The feeling of being cut off from friends and families enhances the potential for violence among the inmates. Consequently, life in prison is harder for individuals with special needs. Patients diagnosed with mental illnesses and those charged with sexual offenses have impaired thinking and lack the ability to cope with the environment. Additionally, they are at risk of being victimized and exploited by other prisoners. The prisoners with special needs also find it difficult to adhere to the formal and informal rules leading to higher rates of rule-breaking as compared to other inmates. In this case, their care within prison settings requires special attention that can at times be expensive and difficult to manage. This paper will explore some of the programs implemented in correctional facilities to deal with special needs by reflecting on Whiteville Correctional Facility.
The management of Whiteville Correctional Facility is associated with the Corrections Corporation of America (“Whiteville Correctional Facility”). The Corrections Corporation of America is a private corrections management firm that ensures that the prisoner’s needs are met through the provision of resources necessary for their safety and wellbeing. The resources provided by the organization are essential in ensuring that the facility is capable of handling patients that require special attention.
According to the interview, it is evident that the initial design of prisons was not meant to accommodate the mentally ill. However, it is one of the major roles correction facilities currently carry out. Individuals who are unable to gain mental health treatment in the society are taken to correction facilities through the justice system. As a result, prisons handles cases such as bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and depression. More than 10% of prisoners have psychiatric disorders that limit their functional ability. Therefore, they are categorized as people with special needs since they require a form of intervention during their time in correction facilities.
Special programs for mentally ill patients are essential since they play a significant role in influencing their recovery. Within prison facilities, they enhance the inmates’ independent functioning and positively influence their mental health. As a result, the prison enjoys safety and order as well as community safety once the inmates are released back to the society. Consequently, the majority of prisons are ill-equipped to handle special cases such as mental illness. The health services within the correction institutions are deficient and lack facilities. Additionally, some prisons do not have programs that are capable of handling special needs.
Whiteville Correctional Facility consists of health professionals who work within the facility to ensure that the special needs of inmates are handled effectively. However, it is evident that the health professionals face challenges with regard to meeting the needs of the patients. In some cases, the facility is subjected to large caseloads. Moreover, the initial design of the prison was not designed to handle mentally-challenged patients. As a result, the physical resources are inadequate.
Handling special mental needs in prison settings is expensive (Hill, 2004). In most cases, it becomes difficult to handle these cases due to the lack of funds provided by the elected officials. The lack of funds subjects the prisons to limited resources. Additionally, it also limits their work power in regards to the mental health of the staff taking care of the patients’ mental health needs. The lack of necessary care for the mental inmates subjects them to suffering from painful symptoms. In some cases, their condition can deteriorate significantly. Patients are often afflicted with hallucinations, delusion, mood swings and fears. Some of the inmates suffer in silence in their cells. In most cases, mental inmates are difficult to handle since they lash out without being provoked. The interviewee indicated that some patients hit their heads against the cell walls. Other inmates are found vulnerable to committing suicide while, in rare cases, some also self-mutilate themselves.
Whiteville Correctional Facility has a crisis intervention tactic in place, which is a combination of a training program that ensures that the guards are capable of approaching a conflict situation and resolving it in an effective manner. The strategies have proven to be efficient among all the inmates regardless of their needs. The warden stated that the crisis intervention tactic is essential among the guards to ensure that the inmates with special needs are dealt with in an ethical manner that does not subject the other inmates of guards to some harm. In this case, the guards assess the inmate before approaching him. They then move in slowly and introduce themselves in a calm and soft tone to avoid any form of provocation. The guard then slows things down and attempts to create a supportive environment. Additionally, the guards try to establish the cause of the issue and move on to come up with an effective resolution to the situation. The crisis intervention method is essential since it ensures that the inmates feel better than they did during the crisis. It also creates an environment which enhances the inmates and guards’ future interactions.
The strategy implemented in the prison facility is one of the management programs for mentally ill inmates. Evidently, the program has proven to be effective in resolving issues that involve mentally ill patients. In addition, the program is affordable and easy to manage. The success of the program involves the effective training of the guards to ensure that they are well-equipped to deal with a crisis involving mentally ill patients. The management program is essential since it reduces the pressure of handling volatile situations by ensuring the guards’ readiness. It also guarantees that everyone is safe.
According to the warden, the inmates who have serious mental health issues require medical rather than special treatment they receive from guards. In this case, the facility has professional medical practitioners who evaluate the mental illness cases. The facility is also equipped with counselors who offer the inmates programs such as anger management, family counseling, life skills, and pre-release counseling. The programs are effective since they ensure that the patients are equipped with the necessary resources to survive prison life. Additionally, it ensures that the patients are ready to go back to the society.
The facility provides mental inmates with intensive mental health intervention measures. Additionally, they have special housing where the inmates whose conditions are not manageable live. The special housing units are also provided for the inmates with acute mental health needs. In this case, the units are under 24-hour supervision by trained professionals. Moreover, the facility comprises a mentally challenged unit that offers the inmates workshop programs that are aimed at enhancing their condition. According to the Warden, the prison is fortunate to have such facilities to care for the patients. Her response was based on the fact that, in some prisons, mentally-challenged patients are handled by part-time health professionals who visit the prison a few times a week to care for the patients.
The facility bears responsibility for offering medical and mental health care to their patients. Thus, the inmates in the facility are offered access to health care. The prison has trained professionals who work hand in hand with the guards in handling mental health issues to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the prisoners. For these purposes, the facility has a medical department that operates under a multi-disciplinary approach. It comprises dentists, nurses, psychiatrists, ophthalmologists, psychological examiners, and other staff. Evidently, handling mentally-challenged patients in a prison facility is expensive. Therefore, the correction facility utilizes a performance-based monitoring strategy that involves gaining extreme details and reviews of offenders and their health records. As a result, the facility can offer high-quality care at cost-effective rates.
Prison facilities across the country have embraced long-term segregation measures as a form of management of patients with mental issues. The measures are taken since the inmates may pose a potential threat to others (Klugiewicz, 2011). Additionally, the inmates may prove to be difficult to handle. The confinement measures ensure that they gain extensive surveillance and gain security controls. Some of the measures taken in other prisons are not effective in handling the mentally challenged patients. The interviewee stated that the act of shackling and handcuffing the inmates and leaving them in the cells makes their condition worse. Confinement under such conditions is harmful to the prisoners since it provokes depression, anxiety, anger, paranoia, psychosis, and cognitive disturbances (Klugiewicz, 2011). She stated that some prison facilities are responsible for the mental health issues of their prisoners based on the way they treat them.
Suicide cases and self-mutilation also occur in segregation units. Mentally ill prisoners decompensate in isolation. In some cases, the patients’ health may deteriorate to levels where they require psychiatric hospitalization and crisis care. In supermaximum prisons, mentally challenged prisoners undergo harsh punishments when they break the rules. The harsh treatment is conducted regardless of the patient’s reflection of mental illness. According to the interviewee, prison officials across the country have adopted long-term segregation as a form of management of mental illness.
The mentally challenged inmates in the correctional facility meet challenges forcing them to serve their full sentence in the facilities. The majority of mental cases in the facility occur during the initial years of the inmates’ sentences. Evidently, very few inmates are brought into the prison with mental health issues. Their irrational behaviors are caused by factors such as trauma that is triggered by the prison environment, lack of support, and the time they have to serve in prison facilities. The programs in the facility are aimed at ensuring that the prisoners come to terms with what they did. Additionally, they also seek to guarantee that the inmates’ mental state is restored to normal or manageable through medication.
In prison settings, sex offenders are often at the risk of being victimized and exploited by other prisoners. As a result, they require special treatment to ensure that their stay in the correctional facilities leads to the improvement of their condition. In this respect, appropriate treatment reduces the risk of reoffending once they go back to the society. The majority of sex offenders in correctional facilities are convicted for the production and engagement in child pornography. Sexual offenders often require enhanced monitoring and protection from other inmates since they are categorized as the most hated group in prisons. Evidently, other inmates do not like to associate with sexual offenders making them prone to violence based on victimization. Sexual offenders’ lives in prison are difficult due to the lack of ability to acknowledge their condition. Additionally, the environment is not conducive since they are often subjected to assault and killing in some cases.
The conditions that sexual offenders encounter while in prison are inevitable. Often, other prisoners plan and attack the offenders who end up being brutally hurt. Therefore, one of the major management policies applied by prison facilities involves the segregation of sexual offenders for their own safety. They are also transferred to other facilities in a situation where the treatment is not controllable.
Research shows that offenders are at the risk of violent assaults that occur in prison facilities (Zoukis). Consequently, sexual offenders require as much attention and surveillance as mentally ill patients. Evidently, the programs used to manage the inmates may be expensive. Sexual offenders can be vulnerable as a group within the prison environment. However, those who volunteer for treatment increase the probability of successfully overcoming the problem before they are released back into the society. According to the interviewee, the correctional facility offers inmates a residential treatment program within the prison. The program entails high intensity programing and lasts for 12 to 18 months. In this case, the sexual offenders benefit from the program through the therapeutic assistance that they receive. As a result, the treatment of sexual offenders requires individual willingness to participate. The facility also offers the offenders group meetings that occur 2-3 times a week. The completion of the group programs takes up to 12 months. Thus, sexual offenders in prison get opportunities for learning basic skills that will help them understand their offenses and reduce the occurrence of such cases in future.
The sex offender treatment and counseling programs in the facility are aimed at changing the inmates and restricting them from engaging in the behaviors once they are released from prison. Evidently, the program is expensive based on the fact that it is a lasting process. Additionally, the interviewee stated that sexual offenders cost the state much money since the monitoring and programs have to go on after their release back into the society. Proper monitoring of sex offenders is essential since it ensures that they are less likely to re-offend. The warden stated that the participants have the ability to monitor and learn to control activities that lead to abusive behaviors. She also adds that the prison does not allow any form of discrimination against the offenders. As a result, the offenders have access to the prison’s facilities and programs regardless of their sexual orientation, race, age, religion, and ethnicity. The sexual offenders have equal opportunities. However, their access to the program is voluntary.
Sexual offenders are difficult to deal with due to their weak self-esteem that makes them vulnerable to provocation. The offenders are also found to cause chaos within the prison setting. The warden stated that the sexual offenders are housed in different housing units to reduce the probability of assault from other inmates.
The facility has a high success rate in the management of sexual offenders. The main goals of the programs implemented in the correctional facility are aimed at ensuring that the offenders accept the responsibility regarding their actions. Acceptance is considered an essential step to progress since it ensures the offenders can come into reality with their problem. The programs are also aimed at developing the understanding of the sexual offenders. Finally, the program seeks to develop a viable plan for the intervention and prevention strategies. The prison facility measures progress indicators through an evaluation criterion.
The program is expensive due to the fact that the facility has to provide a sex offender with a social worker and correction counselor. Notably, the prison houses a number of sexual offenders, some with a Class C felony and greater. As a result, the prison is subjected to advanced care in regards to the provision of lifetime supervision. According to Warden, the number of sexual offenders has increased significantly over the years. As a result, more resources are required to assist the offenders in their recovery process.
Whiteville Correctional Facility utilizes a performance-based monitoring program that is similar to the mental health program. In this case, they carefully assess the inmates to establish their records. Having a clear history of inmates’ sexual offenses is essential since it allows them to develop effective solutions to deal with their behaviors. Sex offenders pose a significant threat to other inmates through rape. In this regard, the cases involving inmate sexual abuse occur under the influence of sexual offenders. In some cases, sexual offenders deal with the situations where they are raped by other inmates. Sexual abuse in correction facilities is a major crime. There is a prison rape elimination act, which is aimed at eliminating sexual assaults and misconducts in the facilities.
The majority of sexual offenders at a correctional facility are aged between 30 and 45 years. A significant number of offenders are in custody for sexually assaulting children. Some of them are arrested for the crime of documenting and distributing child pornography. Class C offenders tend to serve ten years without parole. The most frequent sexual offenses in the facility include the assault of young girls, inappropriate sexual behavior in public, inappropriate sexual offenses with others, sexual offenses with minors, and nonconsensual sexual activity. The misconception existing in the society deems sexual offenders to have oversexed attitudes. However, it is evident that they lack a way of expressing themselves. They are ignorant and lack knowledge of what is considered appropriate in regards to sexual activities. Moreover, they do not have social education being poorly developed and lacking self-control.
Sexual offenders require assistance since they lack the information about sexual expression and intimacy. In this respect, they need to be taught some of the sex essentials. Additionally, they are short of social skills and require training on safe sexual behavior and building relationships that will enhance their sexual knowledge. The programs offered make sexual offenders reflect on the lack of sexual partners. Additionally, their condition is influenced by socioeconomic factors in their environment. In this regard, sexual offenders reflect on projecting the consequences of their behavior in the society. They also face difficulties regarding the expression of their emotions, with some of the offenders denying their behavior.
The programs implemented in the facility are essential since they engage the sexual offenders in acceptable sexual behaviors. The programs equip them with the necessary social skills and sex therapy provided by a qualified sexual therapist who has worked with individuals with both intellectual and cognitive disability.
All intervention methods are essential to protecting the future of victims and helping them learn healthy ways that are socially appropriate to express their sexuality. The programs used to care for sexual offenders are significant since they have limited intellectual abilities. In this case, the long duration of the program is used to shape them intellectually. The form of correctional methods employed in prison is rare since most of such facilities adopt programs focusing on behavioral intervention, environmental modification, mental health services, and legal sanctions.
The intervention methods used in Whiteville Correctional Facility are aslo crucial in preparing the offenders for returning to the society as reformed individuals. The programs in the facility are aimed at recognizing the sexual offenders as sexual beings who have certain needs. They view the sexual offenders from a human perspective and are aimed at showing them intimacy, affection, and sexual gratification. According to the interviewee, subjecting sexual offenders to cruel treatment such as locking them up in solitary confinements and violence as a form of punishment for their crimes is an act against human rights. She also stated that such measures are incapable of equipping the offenders with the tools necessary to improve the nature and condition of their lives in the society once they are released. The interviewee claimed that the program implemented in the correctional facility was effective since it provided the offenders with tools such as good sex and relationship education that will improve their lives in the society. She also stated that the program was effective since it enabled the offenders to express their sexuality.
Whiteville Correctional Facility comprises various programs aimed at dealing with prisoners who have special needs such as mental illness and sexual offenders. The programs are funded by the Corrections Corporation of America, which oversees the prisons’ activities. The corporation has played an essential role in ensuring that the prison is well equipped with the resources needed to handle special needs programs. Unlike other prisons in the country, with the aim of enforcing reform, Whiteville Correctional Facility bases its strategies on treating each individual as a human being rather than subjecting him to inhuman treatment. The programs available for both mentally-challenged patients and the sex offenders are aimed at encouraging reform and providing the inmates with options for managing their condition. The inmates are treated ethically due to their treatment as human beings regardless of their crimes.
In conclusion, the interview featured Warden Tammy Ford who offered essential information in relation to the correction facility and the services they offer inmates with special needs. In this case, it was found out that the inmates struggle emotionally and physically while in prison facilities based on their aims to maintain self-respect. Whiteville Correctional Facility management is assigned to the Corrections Corporation of America. The special programs for the mentally challenged patients in the facility are essential since they play a significant role in influencing their recovery. Whiteville Correctional Facility has a department that consists of health professionals who work within the facility to ensure that the special needs of inmates are handled effectively. Additionally, the facility has a crisis intervention tactic in place, which is a training program that ensures that the guards are capable of approaching a conflict situation and resolving it successfully.
The strategy implemented in the prison facility is one of the management programs for mentally ill inmates. It was discovered that sex offenders in prison settings are often at the risk of being victimized and exploited by other prisoners. The conditions that sexual offenders face in prison are often inevitable. Whiteville Correctional Facility utilizes a performance-based monitoring program that is similar to their mental health program. Thus, the sex offender treatment and counseling programs in the facility are aimed at changing the inmates and preventing them from engaging in the behaviors once they are released from prison. As a result, the facility has a high success rate in the management of sexual offenders and mental health special needs.