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Prison management theory and practice : with special reference to Risdon Gaol


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Paterson, WC 1988 , 'Prison management theory and practice : with special reference to Risdon Gaol', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The thesis addresses the issues of contemporary prison management and prison managers. It discusses recent American at tempts to introduce
organisation theories and management principles into the prison
environment to assist the managerial function. The thesis argues that
the bureaucratic paramilitary nature of the prison inhibits innovation
and encourages, the maintenance of traditional custodial management
practices. It suggests that the practice of promoting managers using
the 'seniority principle' entrenches the custodial' practice which in turn leads • to ineffective management, staff and inmate discontent, and centralised control.
The thesis argues that the manager's role cannot be considered in isolation. It must take account of the many external and internal
factors such as penal philosophy and Government policy, staff and
inmate interactions, among others. The manager's success depends on his skills and attributes in balancing and harmonising these variables.
The thesis questions the American practice of investigating the prison using the open-systems approach. It takes the view that the prison is a closed system and that research should be conducted on this premise. The thesis demonstrates the difficulty of locating the prison within organisation theory and suggests that present methodological tools are inadequate for prison management investigation.
R isdon Prison management practice is examined using administrative
management principles. The thesis suggests that the changing nature of prison philosophy has not materially affected the management routine established Prior to the prison's opening in 1960. The establishment of the Law Department in 1982 relegated the former Prisons Department to Divisional status within the newly created organisation. Centralised decision-making at Head Office and Prison Senior Mangement level has led to industrial unrest, unclear goals and a power vacuum.
The recommendations of the Grubb Report ( 1976 ) are 'considered and it is argued that many of the points made then should still be implemented. The current hierarchical structure of the prison staff should be altered to provide opportunities to encourage staff to seek promotion and provide management with a ready pool of future managers. One method of
reaching this goal is the introduction of Unit Management. The thesis concludes by suggesting the Risdon Prison must have a primary function containment, and base its managerial practices on that premise.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Paterson, WC
Keywords: Risdon Gaol, Prison administration
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1988 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1988. Bibliography: leaves [294]-307

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