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The federal and state prisons are correctional institutions under the federal Bureau of Prisons. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a law enforcement agency under the Department of Justice. The bureau was established in the year 1930 and is responsible for the administration of the federal and state prison systems. The federal and state prison system has its roots in the 18th and the 19th century. The prisoner act of 1891 was the foundation of an organized prison system in the administration of justice.
What distinguishes the two types of reform centers is that federal prisons are more associated with white collar crime. White collar crime can be described as the crime that is committed by an individual in a high social status in the society in the course of his/her occupation. State prisons on the other hand deal with blue collar crimes which can be defined as crimes committed by individuals at a relatively lower social class (Harlow, 1991).
There are several levels of security in federal and state prisons. The prisons that are subjected to the highest level of security are the supermax prisons. In these prisons, the level of security is extremely high since these prisons house the worst of the worst criminals in the society. Daily operations are closely monitored via closed circuit television cameras and inmates are kept under 23 hour lockdown and only one hour for exercises.ADX Florence in Colorado is the only supermax facility under the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Robert & Springer, 2007).
The administrative security prisons are detention centers specifically put up to serve a particular group or purpose. An example of this is housing mentally ill offenders. The level of security in these prisons range from minimum to administrative maximum security. Next are the maximum security facilities. As the name suggests, these facilities have extensive security measures in terms of high security perimeters and physical barriers. Supervision of inmates at this level is done frequently.
Under this are the high security facilities. Like the maximum security facilities, the security measures under this level are in terms of physical barriers such as highly secured perimeter walls. There is close monitoring and control of inmate movement. The next security level in state and federal prison system is the medium security. Unlike the previous levels, inmates at this level pose a moderate escape risk. However, supervision in these prison facilities is constant and regular (Pollock, 2005).
The next level of security is the close security level. The facilities at this level house inmates who are considered dangerous for the low level security facilities. However, inmates at this level always have committed a crime not worthy of incarceration at the medium level security facilities. The low level security facilities are designed to instill self responsibility to the inmates. Inmates within this security level are seen to be of minimal risk to the staff and the general public. Most programs in these facilities are designed to help the inmates be reformed and be absorbed into the society.
The lowest security level an inmate can be assigned directly is the minimum security level. At this level, most facilities are fashioned to be work oriented facilities. The facilities are used to house petty criminals and other white collar crimes. Unlike the previous levels, supervision at this level is minimal. The least security level in state and federal prison is the pro-release level. At this level, inmates are allowed to interact with the general public without supervision. However, observation of inmate behavior is appropriate under certain conditions (Weiss, 1988).
The growth of state prison systems is as a result of proper legislation in the justice system. The creation of several government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the administration of the state prison systems has helped the systems to be more effective. This growth hence is as a result of the cohesiveness of the prisons system and the justice system in operation. Proper amendments on previous policies in the system have also improved the application of the prison system.