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U.S. Navy Corrections System

Definition/Scope: The U.S. Navy Corrections System has evolved, over the last century, along lines similar to corrections practice and philosophy used by civilian institutions around the nation. Progressive improvement in the treatment of naval offenders has resulted in the prohibition of many forms of punishment that were unique to navies, such as flogging and keelhauling. One carry-over from the past is confinement on bread and water; this sentence is now limited to personnel of the naval service in pay grades E-1 to E-3 at sea and to a maximum of three days. In 1944, the Chief of Naval Personnel was delegated responsible for the Navy Corrections Program. Under CHNAVPERS direction, large, centralized programs for “retraining” were opened in Norfolk and San Diego. These facilities operated for the next 15 years on the belief that the majority of naval offenders are not hardened criminals and education, counseling, and assistance in problem-solving would be an effective correctional program. In 1959, the centralized Commands were closed and responsibility for Navy Corrections was again returned to local commands. A 200 year old tradition was discarded on 28 April 1969, when the term “brig” was replaced by “correctional center” for the facilities ashore. However, this proved unpopular and the term “brig” was reinstated more than a decade later. The Navy's corrections mission is two-fold: to return as many people to honorable service as possible or, barring that, to return them to civilian life as productive citizens. Along with many other changes which have occurred in the military and society in general, the Navy corrections program underwent numerous revisions during the late 20th century. Today, the Chief of Naval Personnel is responsible for providing technical assistance in implementing the Navy Corrections Program as an integrated three-tier system at 2 consolidated brigs, 5 waterfront brigs, 4 Pre-Trial Confinement Facilities, and 6 Correctional Custody Units around the world. This mission is accomplished by the Corrections and Programs Division at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. The first or lowest tier includes ship’s brigs and the small waterfront brigs throughout the world confining prisoners with relatively short sentences and personnel awaiting trial. The second tier is composed of the two consolidated brigs responsible for holding up to 400 prisoners awarded punitive discharges and serving sentences up to seven years. The consolidated brigs also operate waterfront brig units. All Department of Defense women are incarcerated at Miramar as well regardless of sentence length. The third tier is the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to which prisoners serving lengthy sentences are sent. Commissioned officers and national security related offenders convicted by court-martial also serve their sentences at the United States Disciplinary Barracks. Officers may also serve their sentence at a consolidated brig. The three-tiered system was designed to enable consolidation of prisoners by sentence length for treatment and correctional programming. In addition, the other branches of the military continue to move toward a consolidated system by sharing correctional facilities. At present, Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar is staffed by Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Army personnel and confines inmates from all branches of the military, although the majority remain naval personnel. Prisoners are sentenced to confinement as punishment, they are not confined for punishment. Prisoners are treated as individuals and taught self-improvement; i.e., set a good example, provide positive encouragement. The dignity of an individual is respected and maintained and it is recognized that all individuals have the capacity to change. There are no typical prisoners, only individual prisoners.

Broader Terms:

US Navy

Narrower Terms:

Camp Pendleton
Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar

Related Terms:

American Correctional Association
Army Corrections System
Fort Leavenworth
US Disciplinary Barracks

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008