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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83180 Find in a Library
Title: Research and Development in Corrections
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:46  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1982)  Pages:81-84
Author(s): J P Conrad
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings from a 1980 prison study examine the adequacy of the Nation's prisons to meet expanding inmate populations, predictions about the size of the prison population in the near future, and the impact of determinate sentencing on the use of imprisonment.
Abstract: The study (American Prisons and Jails, 1980) showed that by American Public Health Association standards (60 square feet for each inmate, whether in a cell or dormitory), State prisons have an occupancy of 114 percent. The most disturbing statistic indicated that of a total of 83,655 State inmates living in dormitories in 1978, 52 percent lived in dormitories housing more than 50 prisoners. Three projections for future prison population increases were based on the following assumptions: (1) that there would be a rough balance between the capacity of the prisons and the number of prisoners, (2) that there would be some sort of understandable relationship between admissions and releases, and (3) that admissions would approximate the 1976 level and the releases during 1977-82 would equal admissions lagged by about 2 or 3 years. Projections were computed for 1979-83. Predictions based on the first two aforementioned assumptions shows a growth rate in prison populations of about 4 to 5 percent annually. The projection under the third assumption indicated a stable state. A study of forms of determinate sentencing in Florida, California, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon failed to produce a firm conclusion about the effects of reduced discretion in the sentencing process in prison populations. States should make constructive use of the patterns of analysis used in this study, so the arithmetical imbalances of prison population and capacity can be identified and remedied by policy decisions. Six footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Determinate Sentencing; Overcrowding; Prison population prediction
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