Contrast the role of crime with the role of politics in the growth of corrections. Why is the contrast important?
What do you see as some of the advantages and disadvantages of the systems concept of corrections?
Feedback is an important aspect of a system. How does the corrections system get feedback? In what ways does feedback affect corrections?
Assume that the legislature has stipulated that rehabilitation should be the goal of corrections in your state. How might people working in the system displace this goal?
Suppose that you are the commissioner of corrections for your state. Which correctional activities might come with your domain? Which most likely would not?
What should be the dominant goal of the criminal sanction? Why?
What are the prospects for rehabilitating offenders? Should we assume that all offenders can be rehabilitated?
How much discretion should judges have when imposing sentences? What justifies the latitude given to judges?
Suppose that you are a state lawmaker. What considerations will influence your vote on the process by which criminal sanctions are set?
What special problems and needs do jail detainees have? Why? What problems do these needs pose for jail administrators?
What are the pros and cons of preventive detention? How might this tactic affect crime control? Due process?
How would you balance tensions between jail management and public safety?
What are some problems that you would expect to encounter if you were in charge of providing rehabilitative programs in a jail?
Is probation a “strong and effective” aspect of corrections? What are the main points in support of each side of the argument?
How do intermediate sanctions work better—as a way of improving on probation or as a way of avoiding the negatives of imprisonment? Why?
Should intermediate sanctions be run by traditional probation and prison systems or by new agencies seeking to serve as alternatives to them?
What does the California probation subsidy program tell us about the interdependence of various elements of corrections?
Why do states with similar crime rates sometimes have different incarceration rates?
Do you think that intermediate sanctions are acceptable to the general public? Why or why not?
How does the use of probation affect the corrections system? Why is it used so extensively?