Strategies to address overcrowding in prisons in california

what impact has overpopulation of prisons played in sentencing

But the state worried that a sharp reduction in personnel could leave facilities understaffed. Release more elderly prisoners from Bureau of Prisons custody. Additionally, court rulings have required the state to spend billions improving medical care. Today, 95 percent end up behind bars.

The formula meant a huge increase in prison personnel during the s and s, especially in the ranks of correctional officers. The problem: A sentencing law passed in the s dictated that that people caught dealing or posessing crack would go to prison for much longer than people caught with powder cocaine.

Per prisoner, the state spends more than three times the amount it did 20 years ago when the population was a similar size. Before this law, one-quarter of all federal drug offenders were fined or sentenced to probation, the study notes.

factors that cause overcrowding in prisons

A Counterintuitive Conclusion The results are surprising: Split sentencing can accomplish any targeted reduction in jail population with a smaller increase in crime than would result from a policy of pretrial release alone, even though it means freeing convicted felons.

The fix: Expand the program so that every graduate receives a full year off his or her sentence. Until recently, the latter was rarely used in Los Angeles or anywhere elseand some judges have resisted it. Prior to realignment, during more than two decades of swelling inmate numbers, the state staffed facilities using a simple formula: For every six new inmates, the department hired one new staff member.

Jeff Sessions R-Ala.

how to reduce overcrowding in prisons

That means pretrial release saves only 53 days of jail time per inmate while adding days of recidivism risk. Borrowing a framework from operations management, the model simulates the flow of inmates through the judicial process, from arrest through sentencing, custody, and eventual discharge.

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How to Fix Overcrowded Jails