Protecting the public, rehabilitating offenders, and reducing recidivism while increasing desistance are essential goals for the Department of Corrections. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the department, several areas need evaluation, and improvement. The focus on reducing recidivism should begin with reconsideration of the methods used to measure an offender's progress and success. The theory that the current measurement of recidivism is unreliable data needs to be investigated and other methods of measurement should be considered. Another aspect that needs inspection is how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect the positive progression that evidence-based programming provides, and how PTSD in correctional staff affect both them and the offenders they supervise. PTSD works against the end goal of rehabilitating offenders in order to make them a productive member of society. Lastly, and most importantly, the issues with staff retention and the increasing staff turnover rate in corrections needs to be addressed and rectified. Without ground staff to carry out the current plans that are in place for rehabilitating offenders, corrections will continuously fail to reach its full potential. Drastic steps should be taken to make corrections a sought after and desired profession. Without impressive benefits and above average pay, the payoff is not worth the stress and abuse to the mental, physical, or emotional well-being of the correctional staff. The Department of Corrections is in need of change. We must reevaluate current practices and initiate changes in multiple areas. Identifying the cause and effect impacts throughout the department will determine what changes will be most effective. Specific areas of interest are as follows. How offender progress is measured, PTSD in both offenders and staff, and the staff turnover rate.
Year Manuscript Completed
Senior Project Advisor
Mr. George Michael Barton, MBA, SPHR
Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree
Field of Study
Harper, Candace, "A Need for Change; Critical Issues Facing Kentucky's Correctional System" (2021). Integrated Studies. 344.