We are living in the era of huge influence of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on society. The ICT is generally regarded as the super high way through which information is transmitted and shared by people all over the world. The ICT is shaping our daily activities whether at home or on other places. It completely changed the way the government services are conducted. We can provide numerous examples of the wider application of the ICT in the spheres such as economy, trade, finance and education. In a society and economy networked with complex info communications systems we take care of almost all of our daily businesses in the net. The government, economy structure, traffic network, power supply system etc. of a well networked and developed country can become limited in their operations.
Public organizations’ management and leadership are actively encouraging the mechanisms to support the promotion of the newly established ICT. For example, it seems to be that the Internet and mobile phone applications could enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public service providers like hospitals, schools and administrative offices.
But there is one specific public field of activity where the process of the ICT penetration made a slow start at the beginning. It is the prison system. At the first half of the twentieth century prison institutions lagged far behind business and other government institutions in adopting new technology. The Luck of access to ICT seems to be as a new obstacle for all core social groups making up the prison institution as whole entity. Prison administration’s main role is to lead and organize the daily activities of the organization. The role of prison staff is to support and organize the daily activities of the organization according to the rules and procedures which are applied to the particular organization. Prisoners are the essential group of people which on all functions and operations of prison institutions are focused on.
Some experts stated that the reason of prison organizations’ use of the ICT particularly slow is related to the specific characteristics of its activities. It is fair to state, based on the evidence and analyses developed by key researchers in the field, the following propositions: the technology can greatly improve the safety and effectiveness of the prison institutions in any country. A clear concern of those in the prison institutions is the safety of prison staff and prisoners themselves. The best way to do this is to reduce the possibility of dangerous and critical situations in prisons. In short, ICT can make prisons safer for both prison staff and prisoners. New and innovative technologies could enhance the effectiveness of prison institutions. For example, computers will offer nearly unlimited possibilities for collecting information and sharing it with other governmental organizations which is very important for the functioning of any institution.
The increasing use of ICT is an important aspect in addressing the needs of the prison officers. New technologies have also proved helpful in reducing costs and improving the effective operation of facilities.
Modernization of security systems and improved protection for staff are key issues facing prisons. Real power in a prison resides in information. To manage prisons effectively, operators need to control information at all levels. This means knowing what is happening at all times, although the difficulties associated with a prison environment in which, by definition, information is frequently withheld or concealed.
The wider implementation of ICTs in prisons helped to increase the level of security for the prison officers and prisoners. Because of unique situation, prison staff is constantly facing the dangerous conditions which could put their wellbeing and life in danger. The prison system brings various technological solutions to tackle the persistent issues of security and safety.
Society and the prisoners benefit from the continued use of ICT in prison institution. It influence could be seen beyond the prison institutions.
The programs could support prisoners’ rehabilitative potential and increases the chances of having more family contacts. ICT programs will increase and equip the inmate’s knowledge and opportunities in empowering them.
Human beings need connection with one another. For people imprisoned in prison institution, it can be very important. Regular interactions with family, friends, and supporters can help to reduce the pain of imprisonment. All of above-mentioned processes could definitely increase the chances of success. To sustain such activities further prison establishments have been seeking new ways. For example, video visitation, like Skype, allows prisoners to hold video calls with their family members and friends from a personal computer. Video visits provide the opportunity not only to see, but to hear their voices. It has rather emotional effect.
Prison sentences always constitute a deprivation of freedom. But beyond security aspects the aim of the organization is to foster reintegration of prisoners into society after release.
According to international conventions and recommendations the prisoners have the same right to education as other citizens. Education helps to develop the personality and character of the individuals. Education plays an important role in the process of reintegration.
All prison systems apply prison education all around the world. It is evidence that rehabilitation is effective in reducing the criminal behavior in at least some of the lawbreakers. Imprisonment is not a solution for all criminals but an important and in many cases necessary tool for crime prevention. The evidence that suggests the effective correctional treatment programs appear to follow some basic principles. The effectiveness of any prison treatment and education depend on the level and quality of them. The prison atmosphere, level of free-will and cooperation basically determines the success. Prisons are part of any societies and prisoners are human beings who committed crimes and therefore they have to been punished. But the kind of punishment we use against them is vital.
Considering the growing importance of ICT in society, prisoners should have the chance to use ICT for education and training purposes (E-learning).
E-learning can give prisoners – online or offline – access to learning material from general schools, vocational training schools or colleges. In addition, central examination facilities, which can be reached via secure internet channels, should be used by inmates to obtain degrees which are widely acknowledged by employers.
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