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Comparison of "Direct" and "Indirect" Supervision Correctional Facilities, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
107 pages
Data from a mail survey and case studies of direct and indirect supervision jails and prisons formed the basis of a comparison of the two approaches in terms of their costs, staff impacts, safety and security, behavior in relationship to the physical environment, design issues, and overcrowding.
The research hypothesis was that the direct supervision institutions would demonstrate several advantages over the traditional indirect supervision. The survey received responses from 52 facilities, and case studies were conducted at 7 sites. Findings showed that direct supervision facilities appear to cost less or the same as indirect supervision ones to build and operate, require less or the same level of staffing, and achieve desirable outcomes in terms of meeting their missions, reducing stress, and improving safety and security. Their main drawback is that they may take more effort and commitment in planning, training, and management. However, some of the indirect supervision facilities performed well in many ways. Thus, the research does not show that indirect supervision does not work. Tables, photographs, figures, and 17 references.