SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: Podular direct-supervision jails, also known as new generation jails, are a radical departure from the design and management strategy of traditional institutions. These facilities provide a normalized physical environment plus a proactive supervision and management strategy in an attempt to provide a safer and more comfortable living environment than what has historically been found in jails. Are these jails truly different from traditional facilities? The current article presents the results of a national survey of new generation jails conducted in 2004. Results of the data analysis indicate that many of these jails are not including important components of the new generation jail model, such as a normalized living environment, in their facilities.
Abstract: An examination of the quality of operations at private and public prisons is essential to making informed decisions about the desirability of using private and public prisons. Previous studies have used survey data collected from staff and inmates to compare prisons based on the proportions or percentages of staff making favorable evaluations of different items. As argued here and elsewhere, the previous studies have been flawed by methodological shortcomings. An approach is demonstrated here that allows for an examination of the aggregate measurement properties of survey items as well as for making comparisons of different prisons. The data are from surveys administered to staff at 96 federal prisons and two private prisons. The results demonstrate that not all survey items can be used indiscriminately to compare prisons, and when comparisons are made, it is essential to control for individual-level and institutional-level factors that are not related to institution performance but still influence survey results.