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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 92423 Find in a Library
Title: Correctional Crisis - Prison Populations and Public Policy
Author(s): S D Gottfredson; R B Taylor
Corporate Author: Johns Hopkins University
United States of America
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 21218
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-NI-AX-0063; 80-IJ-CX-0104
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS Publication Sales
Box 6000 Department F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An intensive study of correctional policy in Maryland was initiated in 1979 in an effort to understand why correctional reform efforts vigorously undertaken in the late 1970's failed by the early 1980's.
Abstract: Based primarily on large-scale surveys of correctional policymakers, the general public, and the criminal justice system in the State, the study focused on goals and philosophies for correctional systems, attitudes toward reform strategies and their efficacy, and causes underlying the prison crowding problem. Crowding was demonstrated to be the most visible and salient of the problems facing the correction systems. Conflicts over goals and philosophies exist and are reflected in different preferred reform strategies. It was also observed that the reform strategies pursued in Maryland in the late 1970's and from which the system retreated in the 1980's, had the support of the correctional systems' policymakers, the general public, and the majority of persons working in the criminal justice system. Failure to perceive this support was probably responsible, in part, for the abandonment of the reform efforts. A short-term crowding relief strategy is proposed which may help reduce prison populations without endangering the public safety. The plan includes three features: it relies upon and emphasizes cooperation among the judiciary, corrections, and paroling agencies; it emphasizes rationality, experience, and empirical research; and it focuses on correctional goals and the protection of public safety. Figures and 60 notes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Corrections policies; Criminal justice system policy; Criminal justice system reform; Maryland; Prison overcrowding
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