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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165482 Find in a Library
Title: American Jails: Public Policy Issues
Editor(s): J A Thompson; G L Mays
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 303
Sponsoring Agency: Nelson-Hall Publishers
Chicago, IL 60606
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8304-1262-x
Sale Source: Nelson-Hall Publishers
111 North Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The four sections of this book on American jails contain chapters that address the policy environment of the jail, health and safety issues, jail crowding and management issues, and "emerging issues."
Abstract: The editors set the tone in the introductory chapter, as they advise that American jails have been and still are in a state of crisis. Three chapters that discuss the policy environment of the American jail consider the political and organizational context of American jails, competing ideologies of jail confinement, and disaggregating jail use; the latter chapter focuses on variety and change in local corrections over a 10-year period. Four chapters on health and safety in the American jail include an exploration of suicides and deaths by natural causes in large jails from 1978 through 1983. A chapter on mental health services for jail inmates addresses imprecise standards, traditional philosophies, and the need for change. Remaining chapters in this section discuss public policy issues in the delivery of mental health services in a jail setting, as well as a comprehensive strategy for addressing AIDS in jails. Section Three is composed of four chapters on crowding and management issues that are facing the American jail. A chapter on the politics of jail overcrowding examines how the dynamics of public attitudes and official policies have fueled the crisis. This is followed by a chapter that analyzes the policy of using "makeshift" jails to expand jail capacity in an effort to reduce jail crowding. Other chapters suggest changing jail organization and management to improve the use of employees and the construction of "new generation" (direct supervision) jails to improve inmate management. The "emerging issues" discussed in the four chapters of the final section include jail inmate litigation, removing juveniles from adult jails, a public-private partnership in local corrections, and recommendations for improving the conditions and operations of jails. For individual chapters, see NCJ-165483-97. A 514-item bibliography and case, name, and subject indexes
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Inmate health care; Inmate personal security; Jail management; Jails; Prison overcrowding
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