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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 47724 Find in a Library
Title: CRISIS IN THE PRISONS - NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR ALL THE CRIMINALS (FROM READINGS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 1978-1979 - ANNUAL EDITIONS, BY DONAL E J MACNAMARA - SEE NCJ-47702)
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Dushkin/McGraw Hill Publishing Group, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Dushkin/McGraw Hill Publishing Group, Inc
Guilford, CT 06437
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF PRISON OVERCROWDING ARE DISCUSSED, WITH REFERENCE TO CONDITIONS IN PRISONS IN MICHIGAN, MARYLAND, ILLINOIS, CALIFORNIA, NORTH CAROLINA, AND ALABAMA.
Abstract: NEW PRISON CONSTRUCTION HAS NOT KEPT APACE WITH RISING CRIME RATES AND PUBLIC PRESSURE FOR HARSHER PUNISHMENT. NEARLY HALF OF THE COUNTRY'S MAXIMUM-SECURITY PRISONS ARE OVER 50 YEARS OLD. MANY WERE BUILT NEARLY A CENTURY AGO. INMATE POPULATIONS OF STATE AND FEDERAL PRISONS HAVE INCREASED BY 44 PERCENT IN 4 YEARS. COUNTY JAILS ALSO SUFFER FROM OVERCROWDING AS INMATES AWAIT BED SPACE IN PRISONS. LEGISLATORS HAVE RESPONDED TO POPULAR DEMANDS BY INCREASING THE LENGTH OF SENTENCES BUT HAVE NOT PROVIDED THE FUNDS NEEDED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PRISON SPACE. THE CAPACITY OF EXISTING PRISONS IS FURTHER REDUCED BY INMATE VANDALISM AND OBSOLETE EQUIPMENT. OVERCROWDING AGGRAVATES EXISTING PROBLEMS IN PRISONS, CREATING STRESS, WHICH IN TURN LEADS TO AGGRESSION. CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS REPORT PLANS TO INCREASE PRISON CAPACITY TO 325,00 BY 1982. HOWEVER, UNLESS TRENDS TOWARD LONGER PRISON TERMS ARE REVERSED OR THE CRIME RATE DECLINES, THERE STILL COULD BE A SHORTAGE OF 65,000 BEDS IN 1982. ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM OVERCROWDING IN PRISONS IN SEVERAL STATES ARE PRESENTED. A WOMEN'S PRISON IN CALIFORNIA IS DESCRIBED, AS IS A MODEL FEDERAL FACILITY THAT STANDS IN CONTRAST TO TRADITIONAL MAXIMUM-SECURITY PRISONS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Inmates; Maximum security; Model programs; Overcrowding
Note: REPRINT FROM U S NEWS AND WORLD REPORT (NOVEMBER 28, 1977)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47724

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