The prison experience of career criminals: current practice and future considerations

by Paul K. Honig

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Focuses on the prison experience of career criminals. This investigation derives from a larger study examining the feasibility of a comprehensive systemwide approach to career criminals. The correctional response to career criminals is examined using telephone interviews with administrators and inmate surveys. Administrators describe institutional behavior and correctional treatment of career criminals. Career criminal subgroups, e.g. younger hard-core inmates, present major disciplinary problems. Career criminals generally wait longer for entry into treatment programs. Career criminals participate in treatment and work assignments at rates similar to other inmates. Their need for and participation in educational, job training, alcohol, and drug programs is compared with those of less serious offenders. Less than one-quarter of all inmates in need of a particular treatment actually receive such treatment. Administrators' suggestions for policy changes as well as objectives to changes for a special prison treatment of career criminals are presented. They recommend further research before devising specialized programs.

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