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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82615 Find in a Library
Title: Crisis in Jails
Journal: Corrections Magazine  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1982)  Pages:18-24,26-40
Author(s): R Allinson; P B Taft; R Carney; B Daviss; P Sweeney
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 22
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The extent and causes of local jail overcrowding are examined, and measures taken to reduce overcrowding are noted. Onsite reports detail conditions in New York, New Jersey, Colorado, and Texas. The influx of Cuban Mariels (those who immigrated to the United States in 1980) into the Dade County Jail (Florida) and their behavior and treatment there are also documented.
Abstract: Jail overcrowding appears to be more widespread than ever. It stems from higher crime and arrest rates, the absence of formal pretrial release programs and alternatives to incarceration at the local level, and recent judicial decisions reflecting more conservative sentencing practices. Court orders and the enforcement of State jail standards have been particularly effective at reducing jail overcrowding and improving jail conditions. State subsidies for jail construction, an extremely expensive undertaking, are being relied upon in several States. Jail conditions, inmate lawsuits, and corrections attitudes in four States illustrate the problem. In the Dade County Jail, Mariels have begun turning up in increasingly large numbers. Racial segregation has been instituted because of Mariel violence and other inmates' fears. Many of the Mariels are former Cuban prisoners who were preyed upon in those institutions. Their presence in Dade County has caused severe overcrowding in the local jail, which the county hopes to alleviate through the purchase of additional housing units and the eventual construction of a new pretrial detention center. The crime rate among Mariels has not reached epidemic proportions, although police link many Mariel killings with Miami's flourishing drug trade. Aggressive patroling in Dade County will probably result in the arrest of more Mariels. For separate articles, see NCJ 82616 and NCJ 82617.
Index Term(s): Class action lawsuits; Colorado; Correctional reform; Florida; Hispanic Americans; Inmate grievances; Inmate lawsuits; Jails; New Jersey; New York; Overcrowding; Texas
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