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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74127 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Crisis
Author(s): P Evans
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 180
Sponsoring Agency: Allen and Unwin
Winchester, MA 01890
Sale Source: Allen and Unwin
8 Winchester Place
Winchester, MA 01890
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This book reviews problems facing British Prisons, such as overcrowding, and presents suggestions for reform.
Abstract: During the 1970's a crisis in the prison system became apparent as a wave of prisoners' protests culminated in riots and disorder. An introductory chapter describes the first signs of this crisis and the growing concern of the Government. The major difficulties experienced in the prisons receive attention. In 1978, for example, as many as 16,000 inmates in some of the country's most primitive institutions were forced to live 2 or 3 to a cell intended for only 1 inmate. In addition, increasing numbers of persons prone to riot, subversion, and violence were dispersed among the traditional prison population as terrorists and offenders receiving longer sentences under revised laws were incarcerated. Added to these problems are the hundreds of mentally ill people placed in prison because many hospitals had insufficient resources and safeguards to cope with violent patients. At the same time, juvenile correctional facilities were unable to provide effective rehabilitation. Reconviction rates reached 85 percent for 15 and 16 year olds who had been in borstals. Furthermore, increases in the numbers of women prisoners who had committed minor offenses resulted in greater disruptions in family life. Prison officers confronted with these problems were also faced with rising demands for prisoners' rights which they saw as a factor undermining prison morale and discipline. The genesis of the riots which ensued is traced, and the protests formulated by prison officials are reviewed as is the Government's response. Finally, suggestions for rescuing the prisons through reforms in the areas of sentencing, prison administration, staff-inmate relations, inmate-family contacts, and pay for prisoners are delineated. Footnotes, chapter notes and an appendix with information on members of an inquiry committee are provided. An index is not included.
Index Term(s): Borstal; Correctional reform; Corrections effectiveness; Female inmates; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Juvenile Recidivism; Mentally ill offenders; Prison disorders; Prisoner's rights; Riot causes; Violent inmates
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