Category Archives: Corrections

Reducing Correctional Health Care Spending

Source: Laura Tobler and Kristine Goodwin, LegisBrief, Vol. 21 no. 12, March 2013
(subscription required)

State spending on corrections quadrupled during the last two decades, making it second only to Medicaid in budget growth, according to a Pew report. Aging inmates and the associated expenses for their health care services are among the factors driving costs. The number of sentenced state and federal inmates over age 55 grew by about 194 percent between 1999 and 2011, based on Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 2011, 7.9 percent of the these inmates were over age 55, up from 3.4 percent in 1999. Older inmates more often require long-term care and medications for complex and expensive chronic medical and mental conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and loss of mobility. This aging inmate population places a strain on state budgets. The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency found that the cost of providing care for inmates between the ages of 55 and 59 was more than four times the cost for those between the ages of 20 and 24. This LegisBrief is based on a forthcoming report from the State Health Care Spending Project an initiative of Pew and the MacArthur Foundation that will outline state actions to contain correctional health care spending in more detail.

Prison Time

Source: Lead producer: Brian Mann, North Country Public Radio, NPR, 2013

Forty years ago, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller launched his campaign for what came to be known as the Rockefeller drug laws. Rockefeller wanted tough prison sentences, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts. It was an idea that quickly spread, influencing state and Federal law across the US. In the decades since, the nation’s prison population has grown seven-fold, with more than 2 million men and women now behind bars. Over the next year, North Country Public Radio in cooperation with NPR and other member stations will look at ways the Rockefeller laws changed America and the North Country, from their impact on race relations to the growth of a booming national prison industry.

Articles include:
Are prisons and prison jobs saving rural America?
Illinois mothballs half dozen correctional facilities, despite crowding
Transforming police into soldiers for the War on Drugs
and more…

Women Working in Corrections

Source: Corrections Today, December 2012

Articles include:
Commentary: Women Working in Corrections: New Questions, Different Voices
By Andie Moss

Continuing Support for Women in Corrections
By Joan Shoemaker and Susan Jones

Women in Juvenile Justice: Leadership Advice From Professionals
By Cherie Townsend

Friends Outside’s Positive Parenting for Incarcerated Parents: An Evaluation
By Charlene Wear Simmons, Amanda Noble and Marcus Nieto

The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues, and Options

Source: Nathan James, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report for Congress, R42937, January 22, 2013

Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population. Some of the growth is attributable to changes in federal criminal justice policy during the previous three decades. An issue before Congress is whether policymakers consider the rate of growth in the federal prison population sustainable, and if not, what changes could be made to federal criminal justice policy to reduce the prison population while maintaining public safety. This report explores the issues related to the growing federal prison population….Changes in federal sentencing and correctional policy since the early 1980s have contributed to the rapid growth in the federal prison population. These changes include increasing the number of federal offenses subject to mandatory minimum sentences; changes to the federal criminal code that have made more crimes federal offenses; and eliminating parole….

A Report on Assaults, Disturbances, Violence, and Prosecution in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction: January 1, 2007 through September 30, 2012

Source: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, 2013

From the OCSEA press release:
A study showing major increases in staff assault rates at the state prisons confirms what leaders of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association have been saying for months: that violence in Ohio prisons has escalated. The new report, which was conducted by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and required under House Bill 86, indicates their own findings are “disturbing” and further states, “Assaults on staff resulting in serious injury to one or more staff members is a significant problem at the present time….” Despite the DR&C’s analysis last year that prisons were getting safer and less violent, this report indicates just the opposite to be true. According to the study, in 2008, assaults on staff that resulted in serious injury doubled. After a slight decrease in 2009, that number went up another 25 percent in 2010, and then held steady in 2011 and in 2012. Even the researchers had to admit that assault-rate figures for these last three years are, “The greatest current problem in the prison system.”…

Prisoners in 2011

Source: E. Ann Carson, William J. Sabol, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 239808, December 2012

From the summary:
Presents data on prisoners under the jurisdiction of federal and state correctional authorities on December 31, 2011, collected from the National Prisoner Statistics series. The report compares changes in the prison population during 2011 to changes from yearend 2000 through yearend 2010. It explores factors leading to the second straight year of decline in the state prison population, as well as continued growth in the federal prison population. Findings cover data on decreasing admissions and releases in state prisons; imprisonment rates for prisoners sentenced to more than one year, by jurisdiction, age, race, Hispanic origin, sex, and offense distributions of prisoners; and the contribution of California’s new Public Safety Realignment policy on the national state prison population.
Highlights:
– During 2011, the number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities declined by 0.9%, from 1,613,803 to 1,598,780.
– The number of sentenced prisoners under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 2011 increased by 6,409 inmates (up 3.4%) from 2010.
– During 2011, the number of releases from state and federal prisons (688,384) exceeded the number of admissions (668,800).
Part of the Prisoners Series
See also:
Press Release
ASCII file
Comma-delimited format (CSV)

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.
See also:
ASCII file
Comma-delimited format (CSV)

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
See also:
Press Release
ASCII file
Comma-delimited format (CSV)