Controlling Security Threat Groups Essay

785 Words 4 Pages
Security threat groups or, “prison gangs” pose a daily problem within the walls of our national prisons and officials must constantly devise new methods in dealing with an ever growing population of inmates. The difference in dealing with multiple gangs is that prison officials focus on the group behavior rather than centering on individual involvement. With the focus on the whole group, one then must develop plans or procedures when controlling various threats within a correctional facility. This paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the methods used to control security threat groups within the correctional system.
With the increase of street gangs, prisons see a rise in gang activity such as race related crime, drug
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For over 50 years prison officials have dealt with the problem of gangs within the cell block walls and over the years it has evolved and shaping due to changing times, “but all jurisdictions today continue to utilize variants of two philosophies: suppression and intervention.” (Carlson, Peter M., Jan 2001).
The idea of suppression is to center on identifying individual group members by tracking their individual disruptive behavior. The member is then removed from general population, “and interruption of their negative influence by placing them in a Special Housing Unit (SHU) if their conduct becomes a problem.” (Carlson, Peter M., Jan 2001). This method takes a significant amount of time and effort to seek out the predominant problems and punish them one by one with isolation. “Understanding career criminals, their perceptions, characteristics, and traits as individuals should rank among the most paramount objectives of improving officer safety.” (Allender, David M., June 2003).
Intervention programs offer a way out for gang affiliates by educating the violator. “Institutional-based gang programs tend to utilize general education efforts mixed with specific cognitive-behavioral interventions.” (Carlson, Peter M., Jan 2001). Many argue that individuals forced to enter program are more likely to cooperate with the benefit of removal from lock-down status. “Scholars have clearly identified that