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Alabama Department of Corrections - Research Paper Example

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Alabama Department of Corrections Abstract This paper studies the Alabama Department of Corrections, an agency responsible for the confinement of prisoners in the state of Alabama. The paper seeks to understand the decision making procedures of the agency, observing how planning and problem solving functions are undertaken by the agency…
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Alabama Department of Corrections
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Download file to see previous pages Introduction Alabama Department of Corrections is the agency responsible for the confinement of convicted inmates in the state of Alabama (Donal, 9). Throughout the history of the agency, it operated a farming system where the prisoners were deployed to the farms as laborers. This effectively ended in 1870, from when the prisoners were rendered idle. The agency seeks to confine, manage and rehabilitate the inmates, while providing them a suitable environment and eventually re-introducing them into the society (Donal, 11). Planning in this agency is made through the publication of monthly plans and statistical reports. Through planning, the department of planning and research produces an annual fiscal report, develops monthly management reports and prepares and analyses models for projections of the agency operations (Donal, 22). The agency evaluates the states and the national correctional standards and aligns their standards to these requirements. The agency has a research and planning division that oversees the planning functions of the agency. The accounting division is responsible for making the projections of the agency’s annual operational budget. These two divisions are the ones responsible for all the planning, publication and release of the reports prepared by the agency. All the reports have to be analyzed and approved by the higher departmental authority before they are released (Donal, 17). Discussion Problem solving and decision making in the agency follows a well pre-determined procedure. At the helm of decision making is the commissioner of the agency, who is responsible for most of the decisions affecting the agency, including the appointments to key positions of the agency (Donal, 34). It is the authority of the commissioner to determine the qualifications of the deputy commissioners, associate commissioners and other employees of the agency. Subject to the laws issued by the state and the federal government, the commissioner then appoints some individuals to fill in these positions. The commissioner is also bestowed with the decision making regarding the appropriate divisions that the agency should have (Donal, 45). Decisions regarding the operations of the divisions are made by the respective divisional directors. While the accounting division’s director determines the budget for the annual operations of the agency, the research and planning division determines the reports that should be published. However, all the decisions made by the divisions and their directors are subject to the approval of the higher office of the commissioner (Donal, 38). The agency follows well laid bureaucratic models of human relationships, where by one individual is answerable to the other depending on the position they hold in the agency. For example, an associate commissioner of the agency will serve in the positions as required by the commissioner of the agency (Donal, 50). Another example of such bureaucratic relationships is that of the deputy commissioners and the commissioner. The commissioner determines what role the deputy commissioners are to undertake in the agency. He also determines the roles that the employees of the agency should play (Donal, 52). Yet another demonstration of the bureaucratic nature of the relationships in the agency is the procedures that reports should follow before they are r ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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