POLICING IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: Comparing Firsthand Knowledge with Experience from the West,
© 1996 College of Police and Security Studies, Slovenia


James Houston
Dragan StefanoviŠ

The emerging democracies of Eastern and Central Europe are currently experiencing a growth in crime that they are ill-prepared to handle. Police resources are stretched to the breaking point and the correctional system is unprepared as well. This paper suggests a meaningful and effective way to structure the correctional organizations in order to enhance the distribution of scarce resources and security and accountability. Suggestions are given as to how management can be improved by decentralizing the decision-making process and improving upward communication. In addition, attention is given to the proposed bed capacity for jails and prisons to provide a planning guide for each of the Eastern and Central European countries. In this context a wide variety of statistics are examined and comparisons are drawn between U.S. States and the countries in Eastern and Central Europe. From the comparisons conclusions are drawn and estimates of needed capacities are presented.


The radical increase in crime in Eastern and Central Europe created, in great part, by the political turmoil and rising expectations of the populace has brought new problems and demanded new sacrifices from the citizens of that region. The noticeable increase in property crimes, crimes against the person and the emergence of organized crime groups has created a significantly different law enforcement environment.

As a consequence, law enforcement officials and prison system administrators are currently faced with a number of problems: a public image in need of repair, personnel shortages and poor morale, deteriorating physical plant, equipment obsolescence, and delays in passing enabling legislation. These problems are particularly acute for prisons and prison executives.

This paper explores two related theses: correctional organization management and necessary prison capacity for the newly democratic societies of Eastern and Central Europe.


In nearly every country in Eastern and Central Europe, beginning in 1991, the prison population has risen precipitously resulting in greater demands on an already fragile corrections infrastructure (Walmsley, 1995). The greatest increases have occurred in Belarus, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. In addition, Romania and Slovakia have noted increases of more than 50% in the prison population since 1991. In spite of these problems, extensive progress has been made in the reform of the criminal justice system in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe (Walmsley, 1995).

A number of problems have been noted in all countries of Eastern and Central Europe:

A number of suggestions have been made by experts in the field and their suggestions hold promise to move the respective countries towards the goal of compliance with UN Standards and humanitarian treatment of prisoners. The suggestions for pre-trail detainees include:

For sentenced prisoners a number of suggestions have been made, among them:


As the countries of Eastern and Central Europe attempt to deal with what seems to be an overwhelming increase in crime, they need to remember that crime is usually a response to real or perceived deprivation at some level. Whether or not that deprivation is the result of a pathological family or as a result of systemic disjunction between agreed upon goals and one's ability to reach those goals, crime is often the result. Thus, society is forced to respond to the lawbreaker and apply sanctions appropriate to the crime.

Recently in the United States the response has become more harsh and out of proportion to what the citizenry really wants. Legislative response to crime appears to be a function of those seeking elected office and who strive to use an issue to motivate the public to vote for him or her. At present the United States incarcerates 350 people per 100,000 population and spends more than $31 billion for corrections alone. (Maguire and Pastore, 1995). Only Russia with 565 persons per 100,000 population comes close to the United States in numbers of prisoners incarcerated. Clearly, such expenditures have had an effect on the quality of life in the United States. Countries in Eastern and Central Europe cannot expect to model themselves after the United States in this area and at the same time develop their countries economically. Thus, as suggested by a number of scholars, alternatives to incarceration must be implemented.

The effective management of a complex organization such as a corrections agency requires the implementation of an approach to management that recognizes the complexity of the organization and the environment. As a consequence, correctional executives In Eastern and Central Europe should consider implementing a system that effectively integrates inmate supervision and service delivery to an increasingly hostile and sophisticated population while recognizing the needs of employees.

Traditionally prisons have relied on a pyramidal type of organizational structure with most decisions and policy being made at the top. Such a management style inhibits creativity and adds to employee dissatisfaction. If inroads are to be made in meeting the suggestions noted above, efforts should be made to address employee needs and solicit input in order to deflect employee and public criticisms and enhance ownership of changes, particularly in light of limited resources.

In the United States there have been great strides in improving institutional discipline, classification, sentencing, and programs in the past 75-100 years. But, few gains were made in the management of prisons until the United States Bureau of Prisons (USBOP) conceived and implemented what is called unit management (Houston, 1995).

Beginning with Frederick Taylor and his research in the United States early in this century, called Scientific Management, there have been many advancements in management science that resulted in improved organizational functioning. Scientific Management, essentially a shop level approach, gradually gave way to the Classical School of Management which focused upon the structure of organizations and how to best organize resources and personnel. The Classical School gave way to the Human Relationists and their emphasis on relationships. Their primary contribution was recognition of the work place as a social experience just as it is a vehicle to attain organizational objectives. The Systems Approach appeared during WWII and viewed the organization as the sum total of its parts. That is, a problem in one part affects the rest of the organization.

Managers discarded very little of the various strains of thought, as each had its merits. However, they all seemed to come together during the 1960s and as Rensis Likert (1967) points out, the informal structure of the organization began to be viewed as being more important than the formal structure. He suggests some important aspects of the informal structure that can modify, supplement, or replace the more traditional structural designs used in business and government. His suggestions are based upon his own research into the following list of organizational and performance characteristics:

Weiland and Ullrich (1976), explain the procedure used by Likert:

Likert divides each continuum upon which responses can be made into four intervals, each of which is related to a different style of management. In completing the questionnaire, an individual is asked to place a mark on the continuum at the point which best describes the organization under investigation. Responses which fall to the left of the center of the continuum are indicative of an authoritative system of management while three which fall to the right of center indicate a system which is more participative.

Figure 1. Likert's Management Systems


Source: Rensis Likert. The Human Organization: Its Management and Value
(New York: Harper and Row, 1967)

Likert found that the lowest producing departments fall to the left of the continuum and that the departments falling to the right of the continuum have the highest production. Further, when employees were asked what kind of organization they would like to work in, they usually described a system four. The lesson for prison systems where structure and rigidity are the norm, is that employees perform better if they work in a system three or four environment.

According to Likert, three things appear to explain the success of system four management:

  1. The existence of supportive relationships. The elements of danger and authority (Skolnick, 1993) require staff to support each other on the job, and working in proximity to one another brings mutual interests to light. The effective manager nurtures these relationships through staff meetings and other formal and informal meetings with his or her staff.
  2. Group decision making and group methods of supervision. Decentralization and unit management in prisons are excellent vehicles for promoting shared decision making. Inmate classification decisions should be shared all staff should have input about prisoners and should be able to offer some insight to behavior and attitude. Other decisions such as program changes and policy matters can be shared with staff and involvement promoted in order to improve staff morale and performance.
  3. High performance goals for the organization. Organized work groups properly empowered focus on problems and foster the process of improving the quality of service and programs. The ability of staff to take responsibility for and accomplish tasks in a unit or work group under capable leadership automatically promotes the establishment of high performance goals. The effective leader only guides the staff when necessary to relentlessly pursue agreed upon goals.

Clearly, groundwork needs to be laid in order to improve correctional systems in Eastern and Central Europe when resources become available for such things as construction and renovation of facilities as well as the purchase of equipment. In the meantime progress can be made by aggressively implementing community programs to provide alternatives to incarceration and the implementation of a more decentralized management approach in prisons.


The decision of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to decentralize and adopt unit management reflected a general organizational trend in the 1970s. Many private companies as well as organizations in the public sector learned that their structure was too rigid to quickly adapt to market conditions or public need. As a result they began to move toward the adoption of work teams in order to improve service delivery and to allow greater input by the rank and file.

Decentralization springs from the idea that the input of subordinates is of value and that a cumbersome many-layered bureaucracy inhibits productivity; its adherents have promoted a variety of approaches such as management by objectives, quality circles, total quality management, job enlargement, etc. Many of these approaches have been implemented by organizations desiring better management, improved quality, better service and more adaptive and innovative staffs. In the United States private sector organizations such as Saturn boast fairly flat and decentralized organizational structures and have emerged as success stories. Some public organizations, as well, by following initiatives promoted by the Reinventing Government movement started by Gaebler and Osborne (1992) are attempting to reorganize to become more responsive and quality oriented.


As noted above, there should be a greater emphasis on alternatives to incarceration if governments want to decrease prison populations. Prior to implementing alternatives, however, thought should be given to using a more decentralized management structure. While there is nothing wrong with having an overall centralized approach at the top, the bottom tiers of the organization should be decentralized to afford supervisors and middle managers the opportunity to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in subordinates.

For example, the corrections agency can be organized under one Director who is responsible for all operations under his or her purview. Assistant Directors for the various sub- units of the organization would report to the Director. These units would consist of functions such as probation and parole, work release/fines/community service, institutions, administration, and the Inspector General. The Assistant Director, however, would preside over a decentralized sub-unit designed to meet the needs of the offender and the public.

Figure 2. Central Office Organization


Depending on the land mass and population size of the nation-state, establishing 2-3 Regional Offices would best meet the needs of the organization of most countries. Located within the Regional Offices' area of responsibility should be probation/parole programs, work release/fines/community service, and institutions. Each regional office should be presided over by a Regional Director who is responsible for all operations in his or her region. The Regional Director would be responsible to supervise and coordinate activities within the region at the direction of the Director.

Figure 3. Regional Office Organization


Probation/parole and the other forms of community programs are fairly straight forward and their effective management assures continual dedication to public service and protection of the community. It is in the area of institutions where the greatest innovation is possible for the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. The implementation of decentralized unit management will perhaps require the greatest effort, but has the potential of reaping the greatest rewards.

Figure 4. Institutional Organization



From its inception to the early 1970s, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, like most corrections organizations in eastern and central Europe, was a traditional pyramidal agency with the Director sitting at the top of the pyramid with the layers of the organization spreading out beneath him. Policy and budgetary decisions reflected a top-down approach that often failed to allow for input from lower levels. By 1970, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (USBOP) recognized two needs that would drive the adoption of unit management (Toch, 1992). One was to reduce tension and violence in many institutions and to protect weaker inmates who are prone victimization by the more predatory inmates. The second need was to deliver effective programs for those inmates with a history of substance abuse.

Previous experience with units developed to deliver drug abuse treatment on a limited basis had proven to be quite successful. As a result of that experience, Roy Gerard, Robert Levinson, and then Director, Norman Carlson embarked on a journey that has revolutionized prison management (Gerard, 1991). The result has been an approach to prison management that incorporates the basics of sound management; staff are allowed more input into organizational decision making, prisoners are humanized, and staff are in close proximity to the prisoners for more effective control and supervision.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, unit management is defined as a small, self- contained, inmate-living and staff office area, which operates semi-autonomously within the confines of the larger institution (U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 1977). The essential components are:

In the United States unit management is the evolutionary product of the classification process. Classification is defined as "a method by which diagnosis, treatment planning, and the execution of the treatment program are coordinated in the individual case" (Loveland, 1960). Classification grew slowly at first with the segregation of the sexes and children from adults. Gradually, institutions began to add educational and spiritual programs along with vocational training. Many states had relatively sophisticated classification systems by the 1930s when the U.S. Bureau of Prisons instituted classification as a central intake procedure.

Walmsley (1995) notes an inadequate classification of prisoners, limited to rudimentary classifications such as separation of sexes, youth from adults and so on as the norm in most Eastern and Central European countries. This deficiency can be easily made up for via the implementation of unit management. Prisoner classification can be easily accomplished in the unit or in a central intake unit in each institution. Once classification has become a part of the institutional regime, assigning prisoners to units easily follows. For example, upon the arrival of a prisoner at an institution, he or she is met in a common reception area by members of the staff who are responsible for intake matters such as fingerprinting, photographing, and orientation, but also for assuring the completion of educational, social, medical, and psychological testing of the individual. Once these processing procedures are accomplished, the prisoner is ready for assignment to a unit that is most suitable for him or her.


In a unitized institution, newly arrived inmates meet with a counselor within twenty-four hours of their arrival. This meeting can be used to compose a list of possible visitors and to discuss any concerns the inmate may have. After the prisoner is moved to his or her unit, the inmate will meet with unit staff to undergo more specific classification. At this time such matters as custody, programs, education, and counseling will be discussed and a program will be established. Periodically, the prisoner will be brought before the unit staff for a program review in order to assure all concerned that he or she is progressing and that he or she is not administratively lost.

The advantage of unit management is that the staff are able to follow the inmate closely, physically see him or her on a daily basis, and interact on a more equal level as individuals and as human beings. In addition, decisions are made on the unit, the inmate has a say in those decisions and there is the added flexibility of programming. Thus a proactive approach has, in many instances, brought unruly and mutinous institutions under control. Roy Gerard (1991) developed what he calls the "Ten Commandments of Unit Management." If followed, he asserts, one is able to implement unit management successfully. Six of the ten are noted below:

                                               General           Special

                                                 Unit              Unit


   Unit Manager                                    1                 1

   Social Worker                                   2                 2

   Correctional Counselor                          2                 2

   Secretary                                       1                 1

   Psychologist                                   1/2                1


  Part-time education, recreation, and volunteer staff as well as twenty-four hour coverage or 

  correctional officers.

While unit management has not been extensively researched, there are a few studies that point out its effectiveness as a management approach and as a service delivery vehicle. Most of these studies were conducted in the United States by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (USBOP) and by the Ohio Department of Corrections (ODOC). The USBOP conducted a number of studies in the 1970s and found that inmate on inmate assaults decreased; overtime pay to staff decreased not only because of disturbances, but also during other, quieter times indicating a more tranquil environment; and that abuse of sick days declined. Other research using an instrument designed by Rudolf Moos revealed remarkable satisfaction in all areas of the prison organization.

Unit management has also been implemented in Australia and Robson (1989) reports that the change in management style, i.e., the implementation of unit management, has been found to be more efficient and cost effective in one institution. He also notes that unit management appears to have reduced vandalism, negative behavior, and assaults. The Ohio Department of Corrections (ODOC) has completed the most recent and perhaps the most thorough system- wide evaluation of unit management (Ohio DOC, 1991). Central Office staff conducted interviews and on site reviews at 20 of the Department's 22 institutions. With few exceptions, the report concludes:

We have found it [unit management] to be both an effective and efficient means of addressing the concerns of managing an expanding inmate population while remaining sensitive to community expectations and the responsibilities we share with our legal system. Since the transition to unit management, we have observed a marked improvement in the overall operation of our institutions.

The authors of the report note the proactive approach of unit management and conclude that escapes dropped significantly, inmates are held more responsible for their behavior, non- security staff are more involved and more knowledgeable of security measures, the multi- disciplinary team approach responds to inmate needs more quickly and the over-all delivery of services is improved. In addition, line staff are more aware of management's expectations, the custody-treatment dichotomy is reduced, and in general the overall training and experience of staff is expanded and eliminates a tendency to have a narrower perspective.


Clearly the adoption of a decentralized approach to correctional management has a number of benefits:


The advantages of a decentralized correctional system are noted above, but to what extent does a nation-state attempt to incarcerate its citizens? How many beds are necessary and what kinds of programs are to be developed? The types of programs or management styles used are largely a policy issue at the discretion of executives and staff. The required capacity of correctional institutions is another matter entirely.

One of the many important challenges that the newly independent Eastern and Central European nation-states face is how to put together a correctional system that will adequately serve them in the years to come. To accomplish this task they must not only determine what their correctional facility needs are and will be in the future, but also how to best organize their particular penal system. To define these needs and to offer workable and appropriate recommendations for the countries in the region, we examine these issues from two perspectives: the physical plant needs of the countries in the region and, management and prison organization styles presently used in the U.S. The management and organization of prisons are discussed above.

The number, capacity, organization, type and location of correctional facilities of a nation-state are dependant on a variety of factors. Some of the most important of these are: the size and distribution of the population, location and size of urban centers, geographical size, crime rate, social and cultural norms, and the political and economic situation. A factor that can be easily overlooked but yet plays an important role in the development of a correctional system is the experience that a country gains over time while administering its penal system. Obviously, this experience factor is not directly available to the new nations but can be critical in helping a nation avoid some very costly mistakes. An effective method to overcome this difficulty is to factor into the planning and development phases of correctional facilities the experience of others. By using the comparative approach, countries or regions with similar territorial and demographic characteristics and with developed correctional organizations can be selected and their prison organizations used as examples for deciding what should or should not be done.

To provide Eastern and Central European nations with workable and useful examples for constructing and/or reorganizing their correctional institutions, nineteen nation-states in the region are matched with individual U.S. states. In our view the U.S. states, because of their widely differing characteristics, available data and fairly extensive experience in the field, if appropriately matched with the countries, can serve as excellent examples for the sake of comparisons. To properly match specific Eastern and Central European countries with U.S. states, a variety of factors, including those that already have been mentioned, that have an effect on the overall organizational structure of a country's correctional system must be considered.

The size of the population is one of the key determinants of the number and type of facilities that are needed in a particular country. Larger population size is positively related to the size and capacity of correctional facilities. Table 1 (attached at the end of the paper) depicts the population of each one of the countries in the region and that of selected U.S. states or combination of states (regions) that have similar populations.

Table 1. Population

Country                Population                Country                    Population


Albania                 3,414,000                Oklahoma                     3,258,00

Belarus                10,438,000                Pennsylvania               12,052,000

Bosnia                  3,202,000                Oregon                       3,086,00

Bulgaria                8,775,000                North Carolina              7,070,000

Croatia                 4,666,000                Maryland                    5,006,000

Czech Republic         10,433,000                Illinois                   11,752,000

Estonia                 1,625,000                Maine                       1,240,000

Hungary                10,319,000                Michigan                    9,496,000

Latvia                  2,763,000                Iowa                        2,829,000

Lithuania               3,876,000                South Carolina              3,664,000

Macedonia               2,160,000                Arkansas                    2,453,000

Moldova                 4,490,000                Louisiana                   4,315,000

Poland                 38,793,000                California                 31,431,000

Romania                23,198,000                Texas                      18,378,000

Russia1			149,909,000              United States             260,341,000

Slovakia                5,432,000                Washington                  5,343,000

Slovenia                2,052,000                Utah                        1,908,000

                                                 Illinois, Ohio,

Ukraine2 		51,868,000                Pennsylvania, 

                                                 Indiana                    50,145,000

Yugoslavia             11,102,000                Ohio                       11,102,000


Another important factor to be considered in ascertaining the number and type of correctional facilities that are needed is how densely populated a particular country is and the size of its metropolitan areas. Crime rates vary significantly between rural and urban areas. For instance, the crime index for rural areas in the United States for 1993 was 1,971.1 per 100,000 residents whereas in the metropolitan areas it was 6,045.1 -- a significant difference (Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1994). Table 2 lists the density of the population and Table 3 the percentage of the people who live in urban areas.

Table 2. Population Density

Country               Pop Density                Country                   Pop Density


Albania                     118.6                Oklahoma                         18.3

Belarus                      50.3                Pennsylvania                    103.8

Bosnia                       62.6                Oregon                           12.3

Bulgaria                     79.1                North Carolina                   56.0

Croatia                      82.5                Maryland                        197.7

Czech Republic              132.3                Illinois                         81.6

Estonia                      36.0                Maine                            15.5

Hungary                     110.9                Michigan                         64.5

Latvia                       43.4                Iowa                             19.5

Lithuania                    59.4                South Carolina                   47.0

Macedonia                    84.0                Arkansas                         17.8

Moldova                     133.2                Louisiana                        38.2

Poland                      124.1                California                      201.5

Romania                      97.7                Texas                            27.1

Russia                        8.8                United States                    27.5

Slovakia                    110.8                Washington                       31.0

Slovenia                    101.3                Utah                              9.0

Ukraine                      85.9                Illinois, Ohio,


                                                 Indiana                          82.73

Yugoslavia                  108.7                Ohio                            104.4


Note: Population Density is the number of people per square kilometer

Table 3. Percentage of the Population in Urban Areas

Country                 Urban Pop4 		Country                     Urban Pop5


Albania                      37.0                West Virginia                    36.1

Belarus                      70.3                Pennsylvania                     68.9

Bosnia                       47.9                North Carolina                   50.4

Bulgaria                     70.1                Michigan                         70.5

Croatia                      63.5                Georgia                          63.2

Czech Republic               65.3                Indiana                          64.9

Estonia                      72.8                Delaware                         73.0

Hungary                      64.1                Indiana                          64.9

Latvia                       72.5                Delaware                         73.0

Lithuania                    71.4                Delaware                         73.0

Macedonia                    59.4                Iowa                             60.6

Moldova                      50.9                New Hampsire                     51.0

Poland                       64.3                Indiana                          64.9

Romania                      55.0                South Carolina                   54.6

Russia                       75.6                United States                    75.2

Slovakia                     58.3                Idaho                            57.4

Slovenia                     62.7                Georgia                          63.2

Ukraine                      69.7                Illinois (84.6)

                                                 Ohio (74.1)

                                                 Pennsylvania (68.9)

                                                 Michigan (70.5)

                                                 Indiana (64.9)

                                                 Region                          73.6

Yugoslavia                   55.9                South Carolina                  54.6


States that have a larger population density tend to have a higher incidence of crime and consequently require more prison capacity than states with a lower population density. Another important variable that deals with the distribution of the population is the urban population variable. This variable, depending on how it is reported, indicates either the percentage or the number of individuals who live in urban areas. Theoretically an even better predictor of crime would be a combination of the density variable and the urban variable. The available statistics tend to point out that a positive relationship exists between the increase of the urban population and the increase of crime. However, it is less clear if a positive relationship exists between an increase in density and the rate of per capita crime. This relationship needs to be tested to determine if it is significant and how strong it is. Theoretically, population density is positively related to the crime rate. However, there are cases of densely populated countries with lower crime rates than other less densely populated countries. Most often this scenario can be found when countries with large urban areas and sparsely populated rural areas are compared with countries with less extensive urban areas but more populated rural areas. Nevertheless, it is the position of this paper that the independent variables density and urbanization are positively related to the crime rate. These relationships will be examined more closely and tested later in the paper.

The physical size of a nation-state also has an impact on the number of correctional facilities that are required. Minimum and medium security prisons, because they are more regional, should be carefully planned and positioned to serve specific areas. Maximum security prisons on the other hand, because of greater costs associated with maintenance and construction are more dependant on the number of inmates that have to be housed than on regional considerations. Consequently, we suggest that only countries with populations of more than 15,000,000 and a considerable land area consider more than one maximum-security prison. In this sample Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Romania are the only ones that may need to have multiple maximum-security facilities.

The comparison of countries on the basis of size and not population required in most cases the usage of different states than were used for population comparisons because of the variance between states in population density and the size and number of metropolitan areas. Table 4 depicts the land areas of the Eastern and Central European countries and matches them up with U.S. states with land areas of similar sizes.

Table 4. Land Areas

Country                      Area                Country                          Area


Albania                    28,748                Maryland                       25,316

Belarus                   207,600                Minnesota                     206,207

Bosnia                     51,129                New Hampshire/Vermont          47,948

Bulgaria                  110,994                Louisiana                     112,836

Croatia                    56,538                West Virginia                  62,761

Czech Republic             78,864                Maine                          79,931

Estonia                    45,100                Vermont/Massachusetts          44,256

Hungary                    93,032                Indiana                        92,903

Latvia                     63,700                West Virginia                  62,761

Lithuania                  65,200                West Virginia                  62,761

Macedonia                  25,713                Maryland                       25,316

Moldova                    33,700                Connecticut/Massachusetts      32,847

Poland                    312,683                New Mexico                    314,334

Romania                   237,500                Oregon                        251,385

Russia                 17,075,000                Unated States               9,368,900

Slovakia                   49,035                New Hampshire/Vermont          47,948

Slovenia                   20,251                Massachusetts                  20,251

                                                 Illinois (142,987)6

                                                 Ohio (106,067)

                                                 Pennsylvania (116,083)

                                                 Michigan (147,136)

                                                 Indiana (92,903)

Ukraine                   603,700                Region Total                 606,376

Yugoslavia                102,173                Virginia                     102,558


Note: The fihures in the table indicate the land area of countries and U.S. states in square 


Source: The Statesman's Year-Book 1994-1995

The frequency and the severity of crime is undoubtedly the most important variable to be considered in the development of correctional facilities. To get a general feel for the frequency of crime, an index such as the Total Crime Index is very useful. In the U.S. this index can be obtained from the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics published on a yearly basis by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The index, illustrated by state, indicates the rate of crime per 100,000 inhabitants for a particular year and is a compilation of statistics from a variety of sources. Included in the index are eight different categories of crimes. These include the following: (1) Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter, (2) Forcible Rape, (3) Robbery, (4) Aggravated Assault, (5) Burglary, (6) Larceny-theft, (7) Motor Vehicle Theft, and (8) Arson. Table 5 lists the total Crime Index for all 50 states and the United States.

Table 5. Crime Index 1993

State                 Crime Index                State                     Crime Index


Alabama                   4,878.8                Montana                       4,790.0

Alaska                    4,467.9                Nebraska                      4,117.1

Arizona                   7,431.7                Nevada                        6,180.1

Arkansas                  4,810.7                New Hampshire                 2,905.0

California                6,456.9                New Jersey                    4,800.8

Colorado                  5,256.8                New Mexico                    6,266.1

Connecticut               4,650.4                New York                      5,551.3

Delaware                  4,872.1                North Carolina                5,652.3

Dist of Col              11,761.1                North Dakota                  2,820.3

Florida                   8,351.0                Ohio                          4,485.3

Georgia                   6,193.0                Oklahoma                      5,294.3

Hawaii                    6,277.0                Oregon                        5,765.6

Idaho                     3,845.1                Pennsylvania                  3,271.4

Illinois                  5,617.9                Rhode Island                  4,499.0

Indiana                   4,465.1                South Carolina                5,903.4

Iowa                      3,846.4                South Dakota                  2,958.2

Kansas                    4,975.3                Tennessee                     5,239.5

Kentucky                  3,259.7                Texas                         6,439.1

Louisiana                 6,846.6                Utah                          5,237.4

Maine                     3,153.9                Vermont                       3,972.4

Maryland                  6,106.5                Virginia                      4,115.5

Massachusetts             4,893.9                Washington                    5,952.3

Michigan                  5,452.5                West Virginia                 2,532.6

Minnesota                 4,386.2                Wisconsin                     4,054.1

Mississippi               4,418.3                Wyoming                       4,163.0

Missouri                  5,095.4                United States                 5,482.9


Note: The Crime Index indicates the total number of reportable crimes per 100,00 inhabitants.

Source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics -- 1994

Despite the fact that the index is a good indicator of crime it does not by itself provide sufficient information for decision-making as to the type of facility or facilities that a particular state may need. Moreover, because of the content of the index comparisons across countries are very difficult to make because of the difference between available statistics.

To decide what number and the capacity of maximum, medium, minimum, open institutions (defined as work-release centers and half-way houses) and women's institutions are needed, a number of variables must be considered. In addition to the above mentioned variables, additional variables such as gender, age of criminals and the rate of recidivism also need to be considered. Women and juvenile offenders have to be considered because they require separate facilities from the general prison population.

An available path to determine the required prison and jail capacity of a particular country or state is to examine the actual number of inmates in correctional institutions of similar states. Table 6 lists the number of inmates in jails and in prisons in the United States by state. Jails in the United States are administered by city and county officials and are generally used to hold inmates, after arraignment, for more than 48 hours but less than one year (Bureau of Statistics, 1993) -- prisons are for inmates serving sentences longer than one year.

Table 6. Number of Inmates in Jails and Prisons

State                  Jail       Prison         State                  Jail       Prison


Alabama               7,100       18,313         Montana                 700        1,541

Alaska                   31        2,703         Nebraska              1,700        2,483

Arizona               7,100       17,811         Nevada                2,700        6,153

Arkansas              2,800        7,702         New Hampshire         1,100        1,899

California           69,300      119,951         New Jersey           15,100       20,237

Colorado              6,300        8,902         New Mexico            3,000        3,499

Connecticut               0       13,384         New York             28,100       64,569

Delaware                  0        4,129         North Carolina        8,800       22,098

Dist of Col           1,600       10,342         North Dakota            300          572

Florida              33,200       53,048         Ohio                 11,700       40,253

Georgia              22,700       27,783         Oklahoma              4,100       12,108

Hawaii                    0        2,814         Oregon                3,000        6,544

Idaho                 1,500        2,500         Pennsylvania         19,200       26,059

Illinois             14,500       34,495         Rhode Island              0        2,600

Indiana               8,300       14,470         South Carolina        5,600       16,933

Iowa                  1,600        4,898         South Dakota            600        1,570

Kansas                2,700        5,732         Tennessee            14,300       11,495

Kentucky              6,800        8,622         Texas                55,400       70,127

Louisiana            15,900       16,078         Utah                  1,800        3,046

Maine                   700        1,437         Vermont                   0        1,188

Maryland              9,200       19,992         Virginia             14,500       18,258

Massachusetts         7,900       10,034         Washington            7,400       10,429

Michigan             12,500       39,318         West Virginia         1,800        1,805

Minnesota             3,600        4,060         Wisconsin             7,800        8,781

Mississippi           4,800        8,326         Wyoming                 400        1,102

Missouri              5,000       16,178         United States       455,500      909,186


Source: Correctional Populations in the United States, 1993

The number of inmates divided by the population of the state provides an adequate measure/estimate of the per capita correctional facility capacity that a state must have to house its inmates. Table 7 provides the per capita capacity (PCC) by state.

Table 7. Per Capita Capacity (PCC)

State                    PCC                        State                   PCC


Alabama                  .60                        Montana                 .26

Alaska                   .45                        Nebraska                .26

Arizona                  .61                        Nevada                  .61

Arkansas                 .43                        New Hampshire           .26

California               .60                        New Jersey              .45

Colorado                 .42                        New Mexico              .39

Connecticut              .41                        New York                .51

Delaware                 .58                        North Carolina          .44

Dist of Col             2.10                        North Dakota            .14

Florida                  .62                        Ohio                    .47

Georgia                  .72                        Oklahoma                .50

Hawaii                   .24                        Oregon                  .31

Idaho                    .35                        Pennsylvania            .38

Illinois                 .42                        Rhode Island            .26

Indiana                  .40                        South Carolina          .61

Iowa                     .23                        South Dakota            .30

Kansas                   .33                        Tennessee               .50

Kentucky                 .40                        Texas                   .68

Louisiana                .74                        Utah                    .25

Maine                    .17                        Vermont                 .20

Maryland                 .58                        Virginia                .50

Massachusetts            .30                        Washington              .33

Michigan                 .55                        West Virginia           .20

Minnesota                .17                        Wisconsin               .33

Mississippi              .49                        Wyoming                 .32

Missouri                 .40                        United States           .52


The PCC provides a convenient method to estimate the required capacity of countries and/or states that share characteristics with states whose PCCs are known. Since we have compared and matched Eastern and Central European countries with states using four different characteristics -- population, density, land area and urbanization -- a preliminary required capacity can be computed by examining the matching states PCCs and averaging them to obtain a PCC for the specific countries. Table 8 depicts the computed required capacities for the countries. It is understood that these figures are very tentative and that many more variables need to be considered, however, they provide a beginning point.

Table 8. Population, PCC and Required Capacity

Country                        Population           PCC          Required Capacity


Albania                         3,414,000           .47                     16,045

Belarus                        10,438,000           .29                     30,270

Bosnia                          3,202,000           .30                      9,606

Bulgaria                        8,775,000           .52                     45,630

Croatia                         4,666,000           .53                     24,729

Czech Republic                 10,433,000           .31                     32,342

Estonia                         1,625,000           .40                      6,500

Hungary                        10,319,000           .49                     50,563

Latvia                          2,763,000           .30                      8,289

Lithuania                       3,876,000           .39                     15,164

Macedonia                       2,160,000           .46                      9,936

Moldova                         4,490,000           .41                     18,409Poland                         38,793,000           .47                    182,327

Romania                        23,198,000           .50                    115,990

Russia                        149,909,000           .52                    779,526

Slovakia                        5,432,000           .38                     20,641

Slovenia                        2,052,000           .50                     10,260

Ukraine7         		51,868,000           .44                    100,416

Yugoslavia                     11,102,000           .58                     64,391


Note: PCC indicates the estimated percentage of the population in jails and prisons.


Eastern and Central Europe face a daunting challenge. On the one hand they must continue to expand their economy in order to improve their standard of living and the infra- structure. On the other hand, they must up-grade societal institutions such as the criminal justice system. As a consequence, hard decisions lie ahead.

To begin, improvements in policing must be implemented, courts, community programs and prisons must be both physically and organizationally improved. In the area of corrections a decentralized approach is suggested that draws upon the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of all organizational members. Community programs must be expanded taking advantage of decentralized management and prisons should also be decentralized using unit management.

Unit management offers a number of advantages including: increased supervision, more orderly and competent classification of prisoners and enhanced programming opportunities. Research in the U.S. indicates that staff and inmates are satisfied with unit management and it is responsible for bringing hard to manage institutions under control.

A final difficult decision is how many prisons are necessary to adequately protect the public. This is a difficult choice, but this paper attempts to minimize the difficulty. Using U.S. states as a guide in terms of population, population density, urban population and land areas, we have attempted to construct a guide to establish prison capacity needs.

Clearly this is a work in progress and much more remains to be done. However, we caution all executives dealing with the problem that one cannot build a way out of a spiraling crime rate. Innovation, boldness, time and vision will be necessary to meet the needs and challenges of the coming century.


  1. Russia becouse of its physical size, population and federal system can only be adequately compared to the United States.

  2. Becouse of the size of Ukraine several states had to be combined to get the equivalent population. Data obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Census, July 1994

  3. This number indicates the population density for the region including the five mentioned states.

  4. United Nations World Urbanization Prospects: 1994 Revision.

  5. The Statesman's Year-Book 1994-1995

  6. The figures in paratheses depict the land area of each state. The region total is the sum of the land areas of the five states included in the region

  7. Required Capacity is population times PCC

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