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NCJ Number: 183424 Find in a Library
Title: Why Inmate Populations Are Up (From Selected Readings in Criminal Justice, P 237-246, 1998, Philip L. Reichel, ed. -- See NCJ-183418)
Author(s): William M. DiMascio
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the reasons for increasing prison and jail populations cites mandatory sentencing laws, three-strikes laws, longer prison terms, the aging inmate population, drug laws and drug law enforcement, and other factors.
Abstract: Incarceration rates remained relatively constant during much of the 20th century and began increasing rapidly in the 1970’s as a result of policy changes. Fear of crime--not rising crime--is one factor responsible for the rising incarceration rates. Changes in laws have increased average sentence lengths. Increased prosecution and conviction of sex offenders, as well as longer and harsher sentences, have also contributed significantly to prison population growth. Local jails and some prisons also have been affected by the rising number of people released from facilities for persons with mental illnesses. In addition, parole boards have tightened release criteria, often in response to political pressure, and Virginia as abolished parole. Policies called truth in sentencing have also increased prison populations. A possible response to the issue of rising inmate populations is the use of sentencing guidelines that incorporate concerns about the growth of inmate populations. 53 reference notes
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Corrections trends; Drug law enforcement; Fear of crime; Inmate statistics; Legislative impact; Mandatory Sentencing; Prison population prediction; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform; Three Strikes Laws
Note: Reprinted from William DiMascio, "Why Inmate Populations Are Up," in Seeking Justice: Crime and Punishment in America, published by Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, 1997
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