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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99557 Find in a Library
Title: Correctional Administrators' Perceptions of Contributory Factors and Effects of Prison Overpopulation
Author(s): Anonymous
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: 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
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 50 State prison directors to examine the perceived effects of and factors contributing to prison overcrowding.
Abstract: Of the responses, 47 addressed overcrowding affects and 48 considered factors. Public demands for increased sentences and justice system response were seen as the major factors contributing to overcrowding. Legislative responses perceived to contribute to increased prison populations included stiffer driving-while-intoxicated penalties, determinate sentencing codes, and speedy-trial programs. Additional contributory factors cited by respondents included more effective law enforcement and prosecution, increased crime rates, reductions in service programs, and more stringent parole conditions. Prison overpopulation was perceived as resulting in six major problems. Overcrowding was seen to have an immediate effect on the adequacy of budgetary and personnel resources. Additionally, support services (food service, laundry, visitation, recreation) were strained, resulting in longer waits for basic inmate services and problems in maintaining daily schedules. Rehabilitative programs were also seen to suffer because of overloads on staff, space, materials and equipment, and resultant restrictive entrance requirements. Effects on staff included work overloads, increased custodial (as opposed to rehabilitative) roles, and less security coverage, and, therefore, increased stress and lower morale. Effects of overcrowding on the inmates included increased idleness and lowered morale. Finally, overcrowding was seen to result in increased misconduct, assaults on staff and other inmates, and violent disturbances.
Index Term(s): Business security; Corrections occupational stress; Corrections research; Corrections resources; Inmate discipline; Inmate Programs; Preappeal screening; Prison overcrowding
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