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Correcting Corrections: Missouri's Parallel Universe, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2000
7 pages
Publication Series
In Missouri, offenders are engaged full time in activities that parallel those of the outside world; because prisoners are prepared for release throughout their confinement, they no longer face an abrupt transition that leaves them ill-equipped for the real world.
The "parallel universe" provided in Missouri corrections has four interactive expectations or opportunities. First, every offender is engaged during work and nonwork hours in productive activities that parallel those of free society. In work hours, offenders go to school and work and, as applicable, to treatment for sex offenses, chronic mental health problems, and drug and alcohol dependencies. In nonwork hours, they participate in community service, reparative activities, and recreation. Second, every offender must adopt relapse prevention strategies and abstain from unauthorized activities, including drug and alcohol consumption and sexual misconduct. Third, most offenders can earn opportunities to make choices and are held accountable for them. Fourth, offenders are recognized for good conduct and can improve their status by obeying the rules and regulations. Because each inmate's performance and program participation is important, the Missouri Department of Corrections maintains work and training reports and documents academic performance, vocational training, and job skill levels. Such records permit feedback to offenders and can be used by the parole board and inmates' prospective employers. 7 notes

Date Published: May 1, 2000