Management and Quality Control of Prisons

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Prisons are viewed as institutions where tough rules and regulations are applied. The system of management in prisons is therefore organized around a bureaucratic, high handed and static culture, (Eichorn, 2005). This kind of organizational culture is termed as the ‘power culture’. In the prison setting, power streams from the top rank downwards to the warden and, lastly, to the prisoner. Hence, authority is centralized and autocratic in nature.

On the contrary, the relationship culture in prisons is based strictly on respect to authority and adherence to the law. In prisons, just like in the military, the junior staff is expected to obey all commands without question. The kind of organizational culture that governs prison relationships is based on roles and duties. There exists a ‘role culture’, whereby everyone has a duty that is allocated to him according to his skills (Cited in Kenneth, 2008).

Power culture is defined by control and the absence of delegation of this control. On the other hand, role culture encourages the participation along the same levels. The two cultures are, however, similar asin the implementation of both, there is no room for flexibility in orders.

These two types of organizational cultures run along the extremities in a continuum. There is no meeting point between the two organizational cultures of power and role (Evans and Lindsay, 2007). It means that one level is concerned with dispatching orders, while the other level is one that is charged with the implementation of these orders.

The management of prisons calls for the development of a culture that will allow the goals of the prison institution to be met. The organizational cultures of the prison institution cut along the lines of power and they undoubtedly play a huge role in the running of prisons.

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