Thesis

The unseen crisis in corrections

This one-hour documentary script for television with accompanying materials, examines the corrections component of the American. criminal justice system. The script is designed to help fill an "information gap" that exists between the public and corrections. Besides offering a broad picture of the correctional establishment's superstructure, the script provides some insights into the forces that shaped it. A brief historical overview of criminological theory is included along with an inquiry into some of the chronic problem areas of corrections~ such as the overcrowding of institutions and the large caseloads of probation and parole officers. The script utilizes a variety of film techniques and formats, including graphics, staged live action, historical documentary film footage, still photographs, rear screen projections, filmed interviews and Cinema Verite coverage of psychodrama scenes. Perhaps the major theme which emerges in the script is the need for more public awareness of the correctional establishment. Towards affirming that need, it is pointed out that there is a growing discrepancy between those correctional services the public expects and those it is willing to pay for. This discrepancy is credited with contributing heavily towards making the job of correctional professionals increasingly difficult. The script concludes with a warning that the present crisis in corrections, whether the public knows about it or not, is probably getting worse. It is suggested that unless the crisis is remedied quickly, by some constructive actions, we are all likely to be affected in one way or another.

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