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NCJ Number: 134133 Find in a Library
Title: Managing Overcrowding: Corrections Administrators and the Prison Crisis
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(1990)  Pages:115-143
Author(s): G H Cox Jr; S L Rhodes
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 29
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: based on a 1987 survey of State corrections departments, this paper describes the causes and effects of prison overcrowding.
Abstract: Top-level correctional administrators in all 50 States replied to a questionnaire that queried them on the standards they used to define prison capacity, the factors they viewed as the causes of prison overcrowding on their organization, and the responses to the problem in their States. They were also questioned about the roles played by a variety of potential constituents in relation to their agencies. Respondents indicated that overcrowding was having serious negative effects on corrections personnel and physical facilities. The construction of new institutions received the most support from corrections administrators as the answer to the overcrowding, even though most administrators viewed court sentencing practices as the major source of growth in inmate populations. The building of additional bedspace is not an adequate response to the current situation in prisons, however. There is a need for more staff and improved support services as well as inmate services and programs. Given the sparse resources of most States, the required space and improved services in prisons is not likely to materialize, and a commitement to alternatives to imprisonment is not politically popular. The overcrowding problem requires more resources and political courage, both of which are rare commodities these days. 5 notes, a 39-item bibliography, and the survey questionnaire
Main Term(s): Prison overcrowding
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel attitudes; Corrections management; Prison conditions; Prison construction
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