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Introduction to Corrections

Introduction to Corrections

Third Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

January 2019 | 560 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Introduction to Corrections provides students with a comprehensive foundation of corrections that is practitioner-driven and grounded in modern research and theoretical origins. This text uniquely illustrates how the day-to-day practitioner conducts business in the field of corrections in both institutional and community settings. Experienced correctional practitioner, scholar, and author Robert D. Hanser shows students how the corrections system actually works, from classification, to security, to treatment, to demonstrating how and why correctional practices are implemented. Furthering the reality of the modern correctional experience, the Third Edition includes a new chapter on immigration detention centers.

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Chapter 1: Early History of Punishment and the Development of Prisons in the United States
Defining Corrections: A Variety of Possibilities  
The Notion of Punishment and Corrections Throughout History  
The Enlightenment and Correctional Reform  
Punishment During Early American History: 1700s–1800s  
The Age of the Reformatory in America  
Prisons in America: 1900s to the End of World War II  
Modern Day Systems: Federal and State Inmate Characteristics  
Chapter 2: Ideological and Theoretical Underpinnings to Sentencing and Correctional Policy
Philosophical Underpinnings  
Types of Sanctions  
Sentencing Models  
Criminological Theories and Corrections  
Chapter 3: Correctional Law and Legal Liabilities
The Hands-Off Doctrine  
The Emergence of Inmate Rights  
Corrections and the Constitution  
A Restrained Hands-On Perspective and Court Deference to Prisons  
State and Federal Legal Liabilities  
Compliance With Judicial Orders  
Chapter 4: Jail and Detention Facilities
Jails in the Past  
The Modern Jail  
Jails as Short-Term Institutions  
Jails as Long-Term Facilities  
Health Care in Jails  
Jail Training Standards  
Specialized Types of Jail Sentences  
Special Issues in Jails  
Chapter 5: Probation
A Brief History of Probation  
Contemporary Probation: When the Jail Is Full  
Characteristics of Probationers  
The Administration of Probation  
Probation Officers  
Probation Revocation  
Chapter 6: Intermediate Sanctions
Types of Intermediate Sanctions  
Methods of Ensuring Compliance  
Intermediate Sanctions in Different States  
Chapter 7: Facility Design to Meet Security and Programming Needs
Prison Facility Designs Throughout History  
The Rise of the Supermax  
Accommodations for Inmates With Disabilities  
Innovative Security Designs  
Internal Security  
Auxiliary Services and Physical Security  
Technology Systems in Prisons  
Chapter 8: Classification and Custody Levels
History of Classification  
Rationale for Classification  
The Goals of Classification Systems  
Elements of All Classification Systems  
Special Housing Assignments  
Chapter 9: Prison Subculture and Prison Gang Influence
Theories of Prison Subculture  
The Inmate Subculture of Modern Times  
The Impact of the Inmate Subculture on Corrections Staff  
Scenario 1  
Scenario 2  
The Guard Subculture  
The Impact of Gangs Upon Prison Subculture  
Major Prison Gangs in the United States  
Chapter 10: Immigration Detention Centers Deciding to Stay or Go
A History of Competing & Contradictory Objectives to Immigration Control  
Current Organization & Implementation of Immigration Control  
Special Insert 10.1: The 38 National Detention Standards  
The Mission of the ERO  
The Structure of the ERO and Detention Facilities  
The ERO Classification System  
Jails and Immigration Detention  
Budgeting for ICE: Notable Concerns  
Lobbying and Big Money for Private Prison Companies  
Civil Rights Violations in Immigration Detention Facilities  
Detention Facility Housing Conditions  
Failure to Uphold Legal Requirements  
Chapter 11: Female Offenders in Correctional Systems
Female Offenders Behind Bars: A Detailed Look at Percentages and Rates  
Rates of Women Held in State Prisons, in Local Jails, or on Community Supervision  
History of Women Behind Bars  
Women’s Reformatories in the Early Twentieth Century: A Feminist Perspective  
Issues Related to the Modern-Day Female Offender Population  
Considerations for Female Offenders  
Conditions of Care for Female Offenders  
Female Offenders and Treatment Implications  
Chapter 12: Specialized Inmate Populations
Administrative Considerations  
Prison Subculture and Special Needs Offenders  
Mentally Ill Offenders  
Sex Offenders  
HIV/AIDS-Related Offenders  
Elderly Offenders  
Chapter 13: Juvenile Correctional Systems
History of Juvenile Corrections  
Legal Precepts and Orientation of the Juvenile Justice System  
Screening and Classification of Juvenile Offenders  
Commonality of Juvenile as Victim of Prior Abuse  
Female Juveniles in Custody  
Juvenile Gang Members  
Detention Versus Incarceration  
Incarceration of Juveniles  
Chapter 14: Correctional Administration
Federal Bureau of Prisons Administration  
Regional Offices and Jurisdictions  
Correctional System Administration  
Levels of Prison Management  
Styles of Management  
Management Versus Leadership  
Women in Correctional Management  
The Corrections Workforce  
Emergency Management  
Chapter 15: Prison Programming
Medical Care  
Food Service  
Educational Programs  
Prison Work Programs  
Drug Treatment Programs  
Recreational Programs  
Religious Programs  
Chapter 16: Parole and Reintegration
Parole and Parolee Characteristics  
The Beginning History of Parole  
Parole at the State Level  
Parole as the Correctional Release Valve for Prisons  
The Role of Institutional Parole Officers  
Common Conditions of Parole  
Reentry Initiatives  
The Use of Reentry Councils  
Violations of Parole, Parole Warrants, and Parole Revocation Proceedings  
Chapter 17: The Death Penalty
Constitutionality of the Death Penalty  
Death Row Statistics  
Methods of Execution  
Arguments For and Against the Death Penalty  
Brutalization Hypothesis  
Correctional Aspects of the Death Penalty  
Chapter 18: Program Evaluation, Evidence-Based Practices, and Future Trends in Corrections
Evaluation Research  
Evidence-Based Practice  
The Future of Corrections  


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“I would and have told colleagues that this is the best text on corrections I have used. It is the text my students have used the most and complained about the least in the 15 or so years I have been teaching corrections. It is comprehensive without smothering the student in minutiae. The language is easily understood, but does not leave out terminology the student must know and understand. Great balance of affordability, utility, and acceptance by students.”

Patrick J. Faiella
Massasoit Community College

“A great introduction into corrections that covers the necessary material and helps students think critically about the issues within corrections.”

Jeanne M. Subjack, PhD
Southern Utah University

“This textbook is a must have and you will not be disappointed by the level of engagement that you will receive from the students. There are many add-ons that are relevant to the millennial learner and for this reason this textbook addresses all of their learning needs.”

Nerissa James
Miami Dade College

“This book provides a comprehensive overview of the correctional system with specific attention to research. The additional resources and activities are designed to engage students with the material in a variety of ways.”

Nicole Smolter,
California State University Los Angeles

“This textbook is functional to both students and instructors. It is written well and easy to follow along with.  The best feature of this textbook is the instructor and student resources provided throughout each chapter. This promotes student learning and development. I had nothing but success using this textbook and will continue to use it for my upcoming courses.”

José Rosales
El Camino College
Key features


  • A new chapter on immigration detention centers (Chapter 10) explores a timely topic and illuminates the connection between corrections and immigration detention.
  • Up-to-date statistics have been added to the tables and figures to provide a timely snapshot of the current status of corrections.
  • New topics including medical care in jails, probation, compassionate prison design, female drug offenders, the effects of realignment in California, the treatment of HIV/AIDS in prisons, the use of re-entry councils, and updated court decisions and controversies around the death penalty have been added.
  • New feature boxes covering topics on hunger strikes in Israeli prisons, the classification process for violent offenders, white supremacist prison gang members, prison riots in Brazil, and MS-13 gang activity in prisons have been added to select chapters.
  • Coverage of new technology in corrections, including RFID in correctional settings, the use of drones in prison security, and easy-to-smuggle contraband is now included.


  • Balanced coverage of research and practice offers students a comprehensive view of the field and evidence-based practices as they prepare for a career in corrections and/or the criminal justice system.
  • Assessment and classification from both institutional and community corrections perspectives offer students a well-rounded understanding of the field of corrections. 
  • Exclusive Prison Tour and Inmate videos provide a view into the daily operations of the correctional facilities at Angola State Penitentiary and Richwood Correctional Center with commentary from correctional staff.
  • Engaging chapter-opening vignettes highlight important issues in corrections and allow students to understand the challenges corrections practitioners face each day.
  • Various issues associated with specialized offender typologies help students understand a variety of offenders they will encounter in the field, such as female offenders, geriatric offenders, mentally ill offenders, gang offenders, and others.
  • Technology and Equipment boxes offer solid coverage of modern technology and equipment used in corrections and expose students to the benefits of technology, such as the use of electronic surveillance systems, locking systems, and other advanced equipment.
  • What Would You Do? assignments at the close of each chapter provide students with an opportunity to engage critically with the material.
  • Corrections and the Law sections highlight legal considerations in each chapter and demonstrate how the field of corrections is continuously changing.
  • Cross-National Perspectives boxed features help students develop a global mindset using issues as they are addressed in nations around the world.
  • Applied Theory inserts bridge the connection between criminological theory and the actual daily operations of correctional facilities, highlight issues specific to the chapter from a theoretical perspective.
  • Focus Topic boxes delve into key topics in corrections by adding depth and detail, ensuring that the material reinforces the learning objectives for each chapter.

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