Principles of Direct Supervision

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Principlesof Direct Supervision

Principlesof Direct Supervision

Facilitieswhich pursue the direct supervision model focus on an approach todiscipline and reward. Contrary to traditional jails, they providefor improved control of inmates. Additional advantages of directsupervision facilities include reduced levels of noise, peacefulnessand decreased acts of vandalism. There is also a higher chance ofincreasing the productivity of inmates once they leave the facility.The primary focus is to avoid the isolation of Correctional Officersfrom the inmates thus allow for a quick response to incidents beforethey escalate further (Schmalleger and Smykla, 2012). The principlesof direct supervision are placed into nine categories

  • Effective control: the behavior of inmates is adequately controlled through the deployment of officers, establishment of ground rules for the detainees, incorporation of varied architectural designs and classification philosophy. Correctional Officers must have full control of the facility at all times.

  • Effective supervision: inmates have to be supervised by housing officers who are under surveillance of the jail manager. Officers have to be in direct contact with prisoners and embrace personal interaction with inmates to facilitate effective supervision. Additionally, the staff/inmate ratios should be manageable.

  • Effective communications: direct supervision facilities emphasizes the need to have appropriate channels of communication between the staff, inmates, and management. Management should involve the staff in the daily decision-making processes within the facility.

  • Competent staff: housing officers should be well trained in both managerial and interpersonal skills. Their work should focus on enforcing rules, regulating privileges and monitor inmate behavior, thereby providing effective leadership.

  • The safety of staff and prisoners: safety is significantly enhanced as the inmates and officers stay together. This has considerably reduced the number of violent attacks in prisons and also improving the relationship between prisoners and officers.

  • Classification and orientation: the level of custody is appropriately gauged through the classification of the inmates hence improving safety in these facilities. The orientation of prisoners occurs upon admission. The expected behavior is clearly outlined to them through a one on one orientation with the officers.

  • Manageable/cost effective operations: direct supervision facilities allow for the adoption of additional architectural options at a lower cost hence motivating the inmates to behave appropriately.

  • Justice and fairness: officers should be just and fair when dealing with prisoners. The constitutional rights of detainees should be upheld at all times, and there should be an established mechanism for solving disputes.

  • Ownership of operations: the staff should have total control of the facility for direct supervision to function. Set parameters should be used by the officers in the decision-making process (Schmalleger and Smykla, 2012).

Directsupervision facilities enable the prison personnel to be proactive.They embrace communication and negotiation as the tools of conflictresolution. It incorporates training of staff, the design of thefacility in addition to the managerial and functional philosophy.


Schmalleger,F., &amp Smykla, J. (2012). Correctionsin the 21st Century.McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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