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NCJ Number: 181898 Find in a Library
Title: Punishing Decade: Prison and Jail Estimates at the Millennium
Author(s): Jason Ziedenberg; Vincent Schiraldi
Corporate Author: Justice Policy Institute
United States of America
Date Published: December 1999
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Justice Policy Institute
Washington, DC 20005
Sale Source: Justice Policy Institute
1012 14th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper provides an overview of inmate populations in U.S. prisons and jails in the 1990's, with attention to the correlation between crime rates and imprisonment policies, the impact of these policies on minorities, and the cost of corrections.
Abstract: The 1990's will end up being the most punishing decade on record in American history. By year end 1999, far more prisoners will have been added to America's prisons and jails than in any decade in recorded history. The 688,207 prisoners added to America's institutions during the 1990's is 61 percent higher than the number of prisoners added during the 1980's and is nearly 30 times as many as the average number added during the five decades before 1970. The connection between incarceration and crime rates appears as elusive at the end of the 1990's as it has been in previous decades. There is little correlation between States with high incarceration rates and the recent crime declines across the country. America's incarceration policies have disproportionately impacted minorities, particularly African Americans. The human costs of incarceration are matched by the financial drain America's imprisonment policies are having on State and Federal budgets. The Justice Policy Institute estimates that the total cost of incarcerating Americans in State and Federal prisons and jails in 1999 was $39.04 billion, and will top $41 billion in the year 2000. It will cost Americans $25.96 billion to imprison 1.3 million nonviolent offenders in the year 2000.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Corrections costs; Effects of imprisonment; Incarceration; Inmate statistics; Minority overrepresentation; Trend analysis
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