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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98130 Find in a Library
Title: Early Release - Prison Overcrowding and Public Safety Implications
Author(s): B Sims; J O'Connell
Corporate Author: Washington Statistical Analysis Ctr
Office of Financial Management, Forecasting Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 45
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Washington Statistical Analysis Ctr
Olympia, WA 98504-3113
Grant Number: 83-BJ-CX-K017
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
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An analysis of six early release efforts in Washington State between 1979 and 1984 concluded that three of the efforts were clearly successful in relieving prison overcrowding with only minimal reductions in public safety, whereas one reduced public safety and two were too recent for definitive results.
Abstract: The early release efforts involved paroling a total of 1,674 inmates an average of 6 months early. The first three efforts occurred under the parole board's general authority to set and reset prison terms and to parole inmates; the later efforts occurred under the authority of State legislation defining categories of offenders that could not be granted early release. If the early release efforts had not occurred, the difference between inmate population and rated inmate capacity would have be 3 percentage points higher, on the average, than it was as a result of the early release efforts. By the end of fiscal year 1984, inmate population was 133 percent of rated capacity, compared to 88 percent 10 years earlier. Early release was found to produce only a temporary reduction in prison overcrowding. Thus, these programs will not solve the long-term problems of prison overcrowding. Although it appears possible to identify low-risk inmates for early release, the pool of eligible inmates is reduced as more inmates are released. Reduced early release efforts or greater risk to the public will be the only future options to policymakers. Figures, data tables, and five references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Parole; Prison overcrowding; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Program evaluation; Washington
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