The term misconduct refers to deliberate ill manners that do not conform to the established laws. In this case, professionals behave improperly, engaging in activities that contravene morals and the law. Community corrections professionals are supposed to maintain both ethical and qualified standards that are in the code of ethics of the American Correction Association (Cornelius, 2001). However, some of them disregard this policy and knowingly commit misconducts.
There are various types of misconduct in the correctional environments. These are performed by the community corrections professionals on various instances while in line of duty. Correctional corruption is a type of misconduct that is rampant among correctional professionals. It is an intentional breach of the workplace norms. Thus, prison corruption occurs when penitentiary employees violate the rules of prison organization for their own material gain.
The various types of misconducts, specifically in prisons, include embezzlement of funds, trafficking of contraband, theft, and misuse of authority by the prison’s professionals. Trafficking of contraband is very extensive in prisons; the members of correctional facilities staff conspire with civilians and inmates to smuggle in contraband. The contraband includes both money and drugs, either in or out of prison (Pollock, 2011). In return, the staff members allow the flow of these items and receive payment from the parties involved.
The prison professionals are also involved in theft. Certain items are reported on various occasions to be stolen from inmates or other staff members. These theft cases involve staff members, who assist prisoners to steal from other staff members or their fellow inmates at a fee. The employees of correctional facilities are also involved in embezzlement of funds. The employees steal materials and money from the state accounts for their own use and gain.
The misuse of authority or power is another misconduct type. The professionals in community correction offices intentionally misuse discretion for their own personal gains. Hence, they commit offences through acceptance of gratuities from the inmates. The rewards from the inmates are done to invite favors in acquiring normal prison privileges (Sutty, 1994). The staff members also protect unlawful prison activities, such as gambling and mistreatment of inmates, by obtaining personal gains.
Additionally, community corrections officials also violate the rules of professional conduct. They do not maintain diligence, competence and proper safe keeping of their client’s property. Diligence and competence are very vital, since they make the community corrections professional represent their clients effectively, and prevent cases of offering of services that are below expectation. Inappropriate safe keeping of the client property is also considered a misconduct that puts the efficiency of the community correction professionals into question.
There are various factors that are related to the misconduct of community corrections professionals. These factors include the opportunities of corrupt activities that present themselves, the incentive levels to utilize such misconduct opportunities, and the political influence involved in the appointment of executive staff and resources allocation. Opportunities of corrupt activities come up from the legislature given discretionary authority to the correctional professionals. For instance, the low-level staff members in a prison setting are responsible for making certain discretionary decisions, which penalize and reward the behavior of inmates (Pollock, 2011). They hence give punishments to some prisoners and offer privileges to others, who offer them payments or gratuities.
Incentive levels to utilize misconduct range from organizational management to personal aspects. Defaults, friendships between officials and inmates, and reciprocal relationships are some of the factors undermining proper functioning of prisons and other community corrections departments. Reciprocal relationships, for instance, demand giving out something in order to receive a favor in return. Misconduct through friendship entails the close interaction that inmates and guards have on a daily basis, leading to an offering of certain favors. Misconduct through default is very crucial, as it involves guards or corrections officials relying on inmates or errant individuals subjected to community correction facilities, or programs to assist them in doing their duties.
It is essential to employ measures that can help reduce instances of misconduct. These measures include proper orientation of the offenders, clear-cut investigations, and adequate employee training (Cornelius, 2001). The community correction mission will thus be achieved if these measures are adequately implemented. This will ensure the development of a better society with little or no misconduct from community corrections professionals.
Cornelius, G. F. (2001). The Correctional Officer: Practical Guide. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.
Pollock, J. M. (2011). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Sutty, T. A. (1994). Legal Issues for Correctional Staff. Crofton, MD: Capital Communication Systems.