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Corruption and Brutality in Department of Corrections - Dissertation Example

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This research will begin with the statement that corruption is defined as forbidden acts that involve the misuse of office for gain. By its very nature, corrections work involves the potential for corruption which can take many different forms, including brutality…
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Corruption and Brutality in Department of Corrections
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Download file to see previous pages Therefore, to develop strategies to effectively reduce the occurrence of corruption and brutality in corrections, more research is needed. As mentioned above, corruption in corrections may take many forms. For example, perjury is a form of corruption among corrections personnel. Perjury involves the untruthful testimony of corrections personnel regarding an incident or inmate, including falsifying reports or lying during questioning. Perjury is often associated with brutality, another form of corruption in corrections. Other types of corruption include using drugs or introducing them to a corrections facility, sexual acts involving inmates and corrections personnel, and the misuse of confidential information. Theories of Corruption A variety of theories attempt to explain why corruption exists in corrections. Corrections agencies often explain corruption as the act of a “rotten apple” or “rogue officer”. This explanation may reduce any angry response from the public; however, it is not a reasonable explanation for the occurrence of corruption in corrections. A more accurate explanation may be the theory of “occupational socialization”. According to this theory, corrections personnel are exposed to numerous and varied criminals which, by its very nature, can lead to misguided attempts of control and opportunities for improper conduct by corrections personnel. The “adrenaline factor” may also play an important role in corruption among corrections personnel. Loss of control and lack of good judgment lead to corruption under this theory. Another possibility is that a combination of factors can lead to corruption in corrections. More research is absolutely necessary in order to understand what causes corruption among corrections personnel and to develop effective strategies and techniques for reducing it. Brutality Corrections brutality has been defined as excessive force, name-calling, sarcasm, ridicule, and disrespect. Other definitions have simply used a vague definition as “any violation of due process”. Excessive force definition is “excessive violence, to an extreme degree, which does not support a legitimate police function”. When an inmate charges brutality, they may be referring to a number of things. Corrections perjury and brutality go hand in hand, as officers who commit brutality will most likely lie on the stand to prevent the possibility of a lawsuit or departmental charges. The reasons why an officer might engage in this kind of conduct are many: a small percentage may have been attracted to corrections work for the opportunity to enjoy physically abusing and hurting somebody; an officer may come to believe “it’s a jungle in there”; and, an officer may be provoked and pushed beyond their mental endurance. The most common reason is occupational socialization and peer support. One common belief is that it’s necessary to come down hard on those who resist authority because they may kill the next officer who tries to discipline them so you have to “teach ‘em a lesson.” Criminal justice experts are divided over whether racial differences exist with respect to use of force, but more research is needed to explore this. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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