Penology Lecture 3 --> Running a Prison

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  • Running a Prison
    • Prison Managerialism
      • The need to manipulate prison life to turn it into a 'positive and optimistic' environment
      • Need humanity, punitiveness and expedient managerialism
      • Movement towards hierarchical structures
      • Monitoring staff through target setting and info technology, HR
      • Developments:
        • Changes in organizational structures and practices
        • Normative changes that provide ways of thinking about legitimizing organizational practice
        • Shaping the agency of workers
      • Some reluctant PMs have been required to change
    • 4 Types of Ideal Governors
      • General Managers --> focus on performance and adopt an approach based upon their operational experience
      • Chief Officers --> work their way through the ranks, academic background
      • Liberal Idealists --> morality of imprisonment, academic background
      • Conforming Mavericks --> innovative practices whilst achieving the majority of conventional targets
    • Changes to PM
      • Increasingly hierarchical divisions of labour
      • 'Blasé' professionals less concerned about moral aspects of imprisonment
    • Individual Agency
      • POs do not blindly accept rules and follow them
      • Act of 'balancing'
    • Key Performance Targets (KPTs)
      • Decency and Health -> suicide and self-harm
      • Organisational Efficiency and Effectiveness -> completion of staff appraisals, timely responses to prisoner complaints etc
      • Regimes -> prposeful activity and the attaintment of prisoner qualifications
      • Safety -> assaults and accidents
      • Security -> escapes, breach of temporary release and completion of searchers
      • Placing on a 'league table'
      • 'Get a kicking' if they do not meet the targets
      • Extreme distraught if a target is not met
      • Limiations of KPTs:
        • Targets did not always reflect what was important inside a prison
        • Described as 'inflexible'
        • Measures concerned with quantity not quality
        • Deliberate gaming and manipulation of figures
    • Measuring the Quality of Prison Life (MQPL)
      • Taken into account when reviewing individual prisons
      • Some managers take pirsoner's POVs with a 'pinch of salt'
      • Some prisoners have 'an axe to grind' and say bad things deliberately
      • Not much acted upon when criticism comes back from the MQPL report


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