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Don McDonnell also identified a more general change in the corrections system, one related to the larger society within which Corrections operated.

Coming out of a sixties mentality, there was a sort of belief out there that people can make a difference, and when you work with people, be it in the health care system, any kind of system where you are working with people, then you believe that an individual professional could make a difference in the lives of people. Like everything else, when you take on self-responsibility and if you want to get something done you do what it takes to give your best. When it comes to managing offenders, if you were in a judging situation as a case manager and you felt that something wasn't being done properly, you would do your best to make it right. So advocacy was built into the system, and as the system has changed, so the role has changed. We're not advocates. It's just not part of the job description. If you are an advocate you are viewed with distrust.(McDonnell interview)

Barry Owen and Randy Voth began their careers in corrections fifteen years after Don McDonnell did, and they represented a later generation of case management. In my interviews with them, as the senior case management officers during my research at Kent, they reflected on both the changing nature of their responsibilities and the attitudes and values of the latest generation of case management officers, with their new title of "institutional parole officers", most of whom had been recruited since the passage of the CCRA. Barry Owen summarized his response to the computerized Offender Management System:

It is more and more case management by numbers. We are attached to those computers. It is almost like as long as we feed that machine and keep it happy then we are okay. We have done our job. But we don't have to go down to the units and see the inmates, or rather we can't because of the time constraints imposed by all the reports we have to write. You end up spending the vast majority of your day typing reports. It is more like we are technicians operating numbers and scales. The human side is going out of it more and more, and I think that was where the advocacy role came into it. You could relate to this person as a human being. You could see if there was an injustice and say, "This isn't fair. I've got to get something straightened out for this guy. The prisoner might be a total jerk, but still he doesn't deserve this." (Interview with Barry Owen, Kent Institution, August 12, 1999)

For Randy Voth, the demand for more and more data and progress reports had taken a toll on his ability to work at a personal level with offenders.

One big part of the job that has really been lost in the last ten years is the whole aspect of counselling. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 25-30 per cent of our job is supposed to be counselling offenders. However, counselling does not happen between institutional parole officers and offenders at any level. New initiatives such as the streamlining of the Offender Management System have actually taken away from the quality time where you can actually sit down with an inmate and develop some kind of plan with him. That is where the real challenge is. When you go home at the end of the day and you have talked to half a dozen guys, and maybe there are three or four of them that involve very intense, heated discussions, and a couple of them were very positive, you feel like you have accomplished something. And you might even have developed some rapport with that person. But the computers have taken us away from that. It doesn't matter if an IPO [institutional parole officer] doesn't have social skills because they can hide behind the computer screen. (Interview with Randy Voth, Kent Institution, August 12, 1999)

Both Mr. Owen and Mr. Voth expressed grave reservations about the attitudes of the newest practitioners of "good corrections," the young institutional parole officers who had been hired as part of the move to strengthen the reintegration strategy of the Service. Ironically, said Mr. Voth the Correctional Service's efforts to carve out career paths for employees had given rise to a narrow corporate mentality among new recruits.

A lot of these people are very highly career-motivated. They will toe the company line at all costs. They do not want to offend management. They do not want to disagree with management, because they are concerned that it is going to impact upon their career aspirations. It is almost like these people have suspended their own personal value system when they come into the Service and they have sold themselves out and basically whatever management wants they will do. If that means writing somebody up for the Special Handling Unit, they'll do it even if in their hearts they believe that the guy should not be transferred. They will not sit there and argue with a unit manager or deputy warden that this is not a legitimate case. They will just write it up the way management wants it. There is no conscience there.

Randy Voth's criticisms of the technologically driven corporate approach to modern corrections demonstrated the continuing relevance, at the end of the twentieth century, of David Rothman's characterization of correctional history as a process in which conscience is repeatedly subordinated to convenience.

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