Chapter Activities

These lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.

Activity 1:

Security in a Solitary Confinement

Describe to students how solitary confinement is used as punishment for infractions while detained as well as protection of inmates at risk of inmate-on-inmate attacks (e.g., gang activity, sexual assault).

Divide students into two groups: inmates in need of protection and correctional officers. Smaller within subsection groups may be created to facilitate discussion. Ask students to create a list of concerns persons in their group would have related not only to protection, but inmate rights such as education and recreation. After 10–15 min, ask student groups to share their concerns with the larger class. For an extended activity, record the concerns of each group (inmates and correctional officers) on a whiteboard and then have the correctional officer group to respond to the inmate group’s concerns with suggestions to address all or major topics highlighted (have the inmate group also respond to the correctional officer group’s concerns). End the discussion by generating ideas to meet the needs of both groups.

Activity 2:

Free Writing on Facility Design and Security

Offer students an opportunity to free write their reactions to the safety concerns of correctional management after a lecture or reading on facility design as it relates to maintain security. Students could write about their reactions to the reading/lecture material or respond to prompts such as:

  • What are the primary issues related to facility security in modern prisons?
  • How does facility layout contribute to or detract from facility security?
  • What is the most appropriate facility design for high-risk offenders? Low-risk offenders? What are the benefits and drawbacks to these different designs?
  • What would it be like to live as an inmate or work as a correctional officer in various types of facilities?