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NCJ Number: 97607 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Doing Idle Time - An Investigation of Inmate Idleness in New York's Prisons and Recommendations for Change
Corporate Author: Correctional Assoc of New York
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 45
Sponsoring Agency: Correctional Assoc of New York
New York, NY 10027
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report concludes that inmate idleness in New York State's prisons is a major problem that cripples the system's ability to function efficiently, increases tension among inmates and between inmates and staff, and fosters boredom and frustration that make prison disturbances almost inevitable.
Abstract: The study was based on (1) 1983 site visits to eight maximum-security prisons (Attica, Auburn, Bedford Hills, Clinton, Coxsackie, Great Meadow, Green Haven, and Ossing) and four medium-security prisons (Arthur Kill, Fishkill, Taconic, and Long Island), (2) interviews with State corrections officials as well as persons working with the prison system and legislative committees, and (3) a questionnaire survey of facilities not visited. Attempts to establish the numbers of idle inmates were frustrated continually by the confusing sets of numbers and definitions supplied by the corrections department. Using site visit data, the study calculated that approximately 3,100 inmates were completely idle at the 8 maximum-security facilities, 24 percent of their population. Over 1,500 inmates at 1 maximum- and 5 minimum-security facilities, representing over a quarter of their populations, were partially idle because they were assigned to unnecessary, unproductive jobs. Overcrowding was a prime contributor to idleness, producing large numbers of transient inmates, excessive featherbedding in job assignments, reduced space for programs, insufficient programs, inefficient use of the program day, many mentally unstable inmates, and high staff and inmate turnover. The study also found inadequate equipment in vocational programs and insufficient support for volunteers. The report presents several recommendations to alleviate idleness. The numbers of types of idle inmates are detailed for individual institutions.
Index Term(s): Employment; Inmate Programs; New York; Prison disorders; Prison overcrowding; Riot prevention; Vocational training
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