Category Archives: Corrections

State Corrections Expenditures, FY 1982-2010

Source: Tracey Kyckelhahn, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bulletin, NCJ 239672, December 2012

From the summary:
Presents data on state corrections expenditures from fiscal years 1982 to 2010. This bulletin examines trends in state corrections spending for building and operating institutions and for other corrections functions. The report also details institutional operating expenditures per inmate over the study period. It compares trends in state corrections expenditures with state spending for public welfare, education, health and hospitals, and highways. Data are drawn from the Census Bureau’s State Government Finance Survey, which collects information on state expenditures and revenues, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Prisoner Statistics, which collects information on state prison populations.
Highlights:
– Preliminary data from the Census Bureau’s annual State Government Finance Census indicate states spent $48.5 billion on corrections in 2010, about 6% less than in 2009. By comparison, states spent $571.3 billion on education in 2010 and $462.7 billion on public welfare.
– From 1999 to 2010, among 48 states, 11 states showed a linear decrease in current operations expenditures per inmate, with an average annual decline of $1,093; 5 states had a linear increase, with an average annual additional cost per inmate of $1,277.
– The mean state corrections expenditure per inmate was $28,323 in 2010, although a quarter of states spent $40,175 or more.
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Probation And Parole In The United States, 2011

Source: Laura M. Maruschak, Erika Parks, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bulletin, NCJ 239686, November 2012

From the summary:
Presents data on adult offenders under community supervision while on probation or parole during 2011. The report describes trends in the overall community supervision population and analyzes changes in the probation and parole populations. It provides statistics on the number of offenders entering and exiting probation and parole and their average length of stay. The report describes the outcomes of supervision, including the rate at which offenders completed their term of supervision or were returned to prison or jail for violating the conditions of supervision. Appendix tables include jurisdiction-level data on entries and exits and describe the national-level prevalence of offenders on probation or parole by sex, race, Hispanic origin, offense type, and supervision status

Highlights:
– The number of adults under community supervision declined by about 71,300 during 2011, down to 4,814,200 at yearend.
– At yearend 2011, for the first time since 2002, the U.S. probation population fell below 4 million; about 4.3 million adults moved onto or off probation during the year.
– Nearly 853,900 adults were on parole at yearend 2011; about 1.1 million adults moved onto or off parole during the year.
Part of the Probation and Parole Populations Series
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Correctional Populations In The United States, 2011

Source: Lauren E. Glaze, Erika Parks, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bulletin, NCJ 239972, November 2012

From the summary:
Presents summary data on the number of offenders under the supervision of the adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2011. Persons supervised by the adult correctional systems include those in the community under the authority of probation or parole agencies that supervise adults and those in the custody of state or federal prisons or local jails. The report provides statistics on the size and change in the total correctional population, by correctional status, during 2011. It presents a comparison between the rate of offenders under correctional supervision at yearend 2011 and 2000 and between the rates of offenders supervised in the community and those incarcerated at yearend 2011. The report also examines the impact of the changes in the community supervision and incarcerated populations during 2011 on the change observed in the total correctional population. Appendix tables provide additional information on prison populations, including prisoners under military jurisdiction and those in the custody of correctional authorities in the U.S. territories and commonwealths.

Highlights:
– Adult correctional authorities supervised about 6,977,700 offenders at yearend 2011, a decrease of 1.4% during the year.
– The decline of 98,900 offenders during 2011 marked the third consecutive year of decrease in the correctional population, which includes probationers, parolees, local jail inmates, and prisoners in the custody of state and federal facilities.
– About 2.9% of adults in the U.S. (or 1 in every 34 adults) were under some form of correctional supervision at yearend 2011, a rate comparable to 1998 (1 in every 34).
– At yearend 2011, about 1 in every 50 adults in the U.S. was supervised in the community on probation or parole while about 1 in every 107 adults was incarcerated in prison or jail.
– The community supervision population (including probationers and parolees, down 1.5%) and the incarcerated population (including local jail inmates and federal and state prisoners, down 1.3%) decreased at about the same rate in 2011.
– The majority (83%) of the decline in the correctional population during the year was attributed to the decrease in the probation population (down 81,800 offenders).
Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series
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Fear is a Disease: The Impact of Fear and Exposure to Infectious Disease on Correctional Officer Job Stress and Satisfaction

Source: Deborah J. Hartley, Mario A. Davila, James W. Marquart, Janet L. Mullings, Journal American Journal of Criminal Justice, June 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This study examined individual and work-level factors that impact job stress and satisfaction for correctional officers. Existing research has explored officer job stress and satisfaction, but very few studies have focused specifically on fear of contracting an infectious disease while at work (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis), and the impact fear of and exposure to infectious disease have on correctional officer job stress and satisfaction. Random sample data were collected from 2,999 male and female officers from across the state of Texas to assess job stress, satisfaction, personal safety, and exposure to infectious disease. Ordinary Least Squares analyses indicated that fear of disease was positively correlated with job stress, and inversely correlated with job satisfaction. Exposure to disease however, failed to yield any significant effects on job stress or satisfaction. Officers who felt that their supervisors were supportive of them on the job reported less stress and higher satisfaction levels, while perceived dangerousness of the job was positively correlated with job stress. These findings highlight the importance of supervisory support as well as continuous, in-depth education and training on infectious diseases for officers.

Examining Growth in the Federal Prison Population, 1998 to 2010

Source: Kamala Mallik-Kane, Barbara Parthasarathy, William Adams, Urban Institute, Research Report, September 2012

From the abstract:
Growth in the size of the federal prison population over the past decade is largely driven by increases in time served, and particularly by longer lengths of stay for drug offenders. This research report, which examines changes in the federal Bureau of Prison’s population from 1998 to 2010, also notes that a higher conviction rate in drug cases and heightened enforcement of immigration and weapon offenses contribute to prison population growth. This growth was moderated by reductions in the rate at which sentenced offenders were admitted to prison and modest declines in the federal prosecution rate. Report findings were based on a statistical decomposition analysis using data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Federal Justice Statistics Program.

The Growth & Increasing Cost of the Federal Prison System: Drivers and Potential Solutions

Source: Nancy G. La Vigne, Julie Samuels, Urban Institute, December 2012

From the abstract:
The federal prison population exceeds 218,000, a tenfold increase since 1980. This massive growth is projected to continue and is accompanied by increasing costs, which account for 25% of the Department of Justice’s budget and edge out other important public safety priorities. This brief describes the main drivers of the federal prison population, half of whom are drug offenders. Front-end decisions about who goes to prison and for how long have the greatest impact, suggesting that reductions in sentence lengths -particularly for drug offenders – can most directly contain future growth. “Back-end” changes, such as increasing earned credits for early release, can also help alleviate the pressure. The federal system can learn much from state efforts to contain prison populations and costs; doing so will require the cooperation and support of numerous players across all branches of the federal system.

On the Chopping Block 2012: State Prison Closings

Source: Nicole D. Porter, Sentencing Project, December 2012

The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported that the overall state prison population declined for the third consecutive year in 2011. State sentencing reforms and changes in parole revocation policies have been contributing factors in these reductions. As a result, state officials are now beginning to close correctional facilities after several decades of record prison expansion. Continued declines in state prison populations advance the narrative that the nation’s reliance on incarceration is largely a function of policy choices.

In 2012, at least six states have closed 20 prison institutions or are contemplating doing so, potentially reducing prison capacity by over 14,100 beds and resulting in an estimated $337 million in savings. During 2012, Florida led the nation in prison closings with its closure of 10 correctional facilities; the state’s estimated cost savings for prison closings totals over $65 million. This year’s prison closures build on closures observed in 2011 when at least 13 states reported prison closures and reduced prison capacity by an estimated 15,500 beds.

Dishwashing Won't Kill Tummy-Troubling Norovirus: Study

Source: HealthDay, News & Views, December 13, 2012

Commercial dishwashers can kill everyday bacteria but not norovirus, the cause of stomach flu and many foodborne illnesses around the world, according to a new study.

Although restaurant-industry guidelines for cleaning dishes and silverware eliminate bacteria, they are not effective against norovirus, said researchers from Ohio State University. They found the virus can withstand both manual and mechanical washing….
See also:
Efficacies of Sodium Hypochlorite and Quaternary Ammonium Sanitizers for Reduction of Norovirus and Selected Bacteria during Ware-Washing Operations
Source: Lizanel Feliciano, Jianrong Li, Jaesung Lee, Melvin A. Pascall, PLOS One, December 5, 2012

Measuring the Effect of Public-Sector Unionization on Criminal Justice Public Policy

Source: Derek Cohen and Jay Kennedy, University of Cincinnati, November 2012

From a press release:
…UC’s Kennedy and Cohen used a range of data going back as far as 15 years to test three broad impacts that popular wisdom sometimes ascribes to unions. They examined
– whether what’s called “public choice theory,” another way of saying that individual voters vote to benefit themselves, can be applied to collective bargaining units. “Public choice theory” stands in opposition to “communal will theory,” where it’s posited that individual voters opt for the good of the many or group vs. their own individual goods.
– whether unions associated with the criminal justice system engage in “competitive rent seeking,” seeking to maximize specific expenditures into the criminal justice system above and beyond a cost-recovery level in order to benefit specific unions, say a police vs. a corrections union.
– whether states with more liberal ideologies are likely to have smaller per-capita prison populations, and, alternately, whether states that are less liberal have higher incarceration rates. (The researchers are interested whether more-liberal states with stronger unions associated with the criminal justice system might not have harsher laws/sentencing requirements as a means of “guaranteeing concentrated benefits” or prosperity for unions associated with the criminal justice system.)….

…In their research, Kennedy and Cohen found that, yes, when unions associated with the criminal justice system make expenditures related to state issues, there is a broad, diffuse impact. In other words, if one union spends to support an issue benefiting functions in the criminal justice system, the state’s broad public safety sector is likely to generally benefit in the form of more funding, but not necessarily the specific union or sector that made the expenditure….Correspondingly, they found no evidence that competitive rent seeking was taking place. In other words, there is no lion’s share of the spoils (in the form of jobs) going to any specific union making expenditures on behalf of a state issue. So, in general, a specific union making ballot initiative expenditures will not see a relative increase in employment numbers one year on….