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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118620 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Jail Crowding
Corporate Author: National Coalition for Jail Reform
United States of America
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Coalition for Jail Reform
Washington, DC 20036
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document provides an overview on jail crowding and the strategies being developed for reduction of the jail population.
Abstract: Seven million people, equal to three percent of the total U.S. population, pass through the nation's jails each year. Eighty-one percent of all inmates live in less than 60 square feet of cell space each, the accepted minimum standard. Eleven percent of all jails are under court order to improve conditions and 20 percent are involved in pending lawsuits for such problems as crowded conditions, lack of recreation programs, outdated facilities, and inadequate medical care for inmates. Jail crowding can be viewed as a primary cause of many other jail problems: health and safety problems, the incidence of rape, suicide and other violence, psychological stress among both inmates and jail staff, violations of Constitutional and other legal rights, lack of services and programs, and deteriorating physical plants, among other problems. Jail capacity is measured by the number of inmates the jail was designed to hold, and the level of population at which the jail can function from day to day. However, there is no precise definition of what a "crowded" jail is. General strategies in dealing with crowding are population caps and building new jails.
Main Term(s): Overcrowding effects
Index Term(s): Jail management; Jail statistics
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