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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Administrative structure and process within a penal institution : a study of some of the important factors in the transition from a punitive to a treatment method in the Regina prison, Saskatchewan Christie, Hugh Graham


The problem of setting up a prison method which can avoid brutality, provide treatment, and exercise the necessary control, has been tackled many times without success. The punitive prison depends on brutality for control. The treatment prison cannot function or provide control in an atmosphere of brutality. Because the two systems are almost completely incompatible, and because changes in prisons are difficult and slow, this transition, when attempted by the usual administrative methods, has resulted in chaos. This study is an analysis of a successful transition from a punitive to a treatment approach carried out in the Regina prison, Saskatchewan. A description of the British prisons of past centuries and the all too similar Canadian prisons of today, is given as a starting point for the study. Administration, classification, and staff training, are singled out as the most important elements in the proper functioning of a treatment institution. An analysis of the trial and error process involved in the perfection of work at Regina in these areas is recorded. Job specifications, made possible by an analysis of this work, are included as an appendix. The analysis of the Regina material is based on the writer's experience in administering prisons and his visits to twenty Canadian penal institutions. The findings of the study lead to an assessment of standards which endorses the general method, used in .administration, classification, and staff training. Specific suggestions for improvement are made through the revision of job specifications and staff qualifications. The study is concluded by a prediction of future trends.

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