Category Archives: Corrections

State Sentencing and Corrections Legislation 2007 Action, 2008 Outlook

Source: Alison Lawrence, National Conference of State Legislatures, January 2008

From the press release:
State legislatures are concerned about the projected growth in prison populations and accompanying increases in corrections spending. As a result, many state legislatures passed laws in 2007 to expand community corrections, manage probation and parole violators, boost incentives for good behavior, prepare inmates for re-entry, and link released offenders to community support.

A new report released by the National Conference of State Legislatures, in partnership with Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project, shows that many state legislatures will continue this action in 2008. The report, State Sentencing and Corrections Legislation 2007 Action, 2008 Outlook, highlights at least a dozen states with task forces or other groups at work on community corrections, evidence-based practices in corrections, and tracking and preventing recidivism.

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 31st Edition

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics brings together data from more than 100 sources about many aspects of criminal justice in the United States. These data are displayed in over 1,000 tables. The site is updated regularly as new statistics become available. The Sourcebook is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Data tables are organized into six topical sections. Access information of interest by browsing the content lists of these sections, the index, or by searching the website. You will be directed to individual tables displayed separately in Adobe® Acrobat and spreadsheet formats.

To be aware of newly added material see this page.

Probation and Parole in the United States, 2006

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

From press release:
This report presents the number of persons on probation and parole at yearend 2006, by State, and compares the national totals to counts for yearend 1995 and 2000 through 2005. The report provides State-level probation and parole supervision rates at yearend 2006 and the percentage change in each population during the year. It presents probation and parole entries and exits, by State, and it provides national and State-level data on parole revocations. The Bulletin also includes a national description of the race, gender, and offense composition of these populations.
Highlights include the following:
• The number of adult men and women in the United States who were being supervised on probation or parole at the end of 2006 reached 5,035,225. In 2006 the combined probation and parole populations grew by 1.8% or 87,852 persons.
• More than 8 in 10 offenders under community supervision were on probation at yearend 2006. During 2006 the probation population grew by 1.7% which represented an increase of 70,266 probationers.
• At yearend 2006 a total of 798,202 adult men and women were on parole or mandatory conditional release following a prison term. The population grew by 17,586 parolees during the year or 2.3%.

Full report (PDF; 243 KB)

Improving Correctional Officer Safety: Reducing Inmate Weapons

Source: U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs

Our communications with prison facility personnel had one message in common: they are always on the lookout for homemade weapons and for materials that can be made into weapons. Our results provide guidance for identifying materials and/or objects that should be redesigned so they cannot be modified to inflict injury. In particular, objects such as razors and padlocks that are issued to inmates or purchased from the commissary deserve special attention because prisons have some control over the design and choice of such items. Further research such as that being conducted at the Applied Physics Laboratory should prove useful in eliminating materials that can be modified into weapons.

Full report (PDF; 1.2 MB)

One in Every 31 U.S. Adults Was in a Prison or Jail or on Probation or Parole at the End of Last Year

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

From press release:
The U.S. adult correctional population — incarcerated or in the community — reached 7.2 million men and women, an increase of 159,500 during the year, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today in a new report. About 3.2 percent of the U.S. adult population, or 1 in every 31 adults, was in the nation’s prisons or jails or on probation or parole at the end of 2006.

The number of men and women who were being supervised on probation or parole in the United States at year-end 2006 reached 5 million for the first time, an increase of 87,852 (or 1.8 percent) during the year. A separate study found that on December 31, 2006, there were 1,570,861 inmates under state and federal jurisdiction, an increase of 42,932 (or 2.8 percent) in 2006.

Prisoners in 2006

Full Report (PDF; 306 KB)

Evaluation of Florida’s Faith- and Character-Based Institutions

Source: Urban Institute

This report summarizes findings from a process and impact evaluation of two of Florida’s Faith- and Character-based Institutions (FCBIs). The FCBI model is designed to rehabilitate adult prisoners by offering a vast array of faith and self betterment programs that are delivered by community volunteers. The UI research team gathered and analyzed data from: (1) one-on-one, semi-structured interviews with facility administrators, correctional officers, program staff, chaplains, and volunteers; (2) focus groups with inmates housed in the FCBIs; (3) administrative data on FCBI and general population inmates; (4) official documents; and (5) telephone and email communications with state corrections officials.

Full report

Breaking the Code of Silence: Correctional Officers’ Handbook on Identifying and Addressing Sexual Misconduct with Offenders

Source: Brenda V. Smith and Jaime M. Yarussi, National Institute of Corrections, American University Washington College of Law Project on Addressing Prison Rape

This handbook is based on training we have conducted on staff sexual misconduct over the past eight years, and the feedback and comments that we have received from correctional professionals who have attended those trainings and implemented changes in their system to prevent sexual abuse of individuals under custodial supervision.

This publication is a critical step in reaching out to rank-and-file correctional staff in order to address the code of silence that surrounds staff sexual misconduct with offenders. We hope that it will deepen the dialogue between line staff, administrators, community leaders, and criminal justice advocates about strategies to eliminate staff sexual misconduct with individuals under custodial supervision.

This handbook aims to educate correctional professionals at all levels on:
• why correctional staff and administrators need to be concerned about staff sexual misconduct with offenders
• how agency culture and the workplace environment influence staff sexual misconduct
• the tools that will help identify and address staff sexual misconduct
• the consequences of staff sexual misconduct with offenders
• the investigative process that should follow an allegation of staff sexual misconduct
• how correctional staff members can keep the workplace safe

Changing Systems : Outcomes from the RWJF Reclaiming Futures Initiative on Juvenile Justice and Substance Abuse

Source: Jeffrey A. Butts, and John Roman, Urban Institute, September 26, 2007

From the abstract:
Reclaiming Futures (RF) is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that seeks to improve outcomes for drug-involved youth in the juvenile justice system. The Urban Institute and Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago conducted biannual surveys in each of the ten communities participating in the initiative (December 2003 to June 2006) measuring the quality of juvenile justice and substance abuse treatment systems in each community. Positive and significant changes were reported in all ten communities. In several communities, most quality indicators measured by the evaluation improved significantly during the course of the initiative.

BJS – Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts Series

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, annually since 1980

Bureau of Justice Statistics – Expenditure and Employment Statistics: “Since 1980, these data have been extracted from the Census Bureau’s Annual Government Finance Survey and Annual Survey of Public Employment. This series includes national and State-by-State estimates of government expenditures and employment for the following justice categories: police protection, all judicial (including prosecution, courts, and public defense), and corrections. Federal data for the same categories are also included, as are data for the largest local governments (counties with populations of 500,000 or more and cities with populations of 300,000 or more). The unit of analysis in the CJEE is the government. For example, the corrections employment reported for any particular State represents the total of all correctional personnel employed by that State regardless of which prison, probation office, or other corrections agency employ them. Annually since 1980.”
See also:
National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

How to Collect and Analyze Data: A Manual for Sheriffs and Jail Administrators, 3rd edition

Source: Gail Elias, U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, NIC Accession Number 021826, July 2007

This National Institute of Corrections manual provides guidance on how information affects policy decision making. Topics include good management; data collection; how to locate and capture information; analyzing, interpreting, and sharing information; and getting the most from your information system.