he Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported the number of people in
prison declined in 2010 for the first time since 1972; state and federal prison
populations fell by more than 9,200 between 2009 and 2010, a decline of
0.6%. Currently, more than 7.1 million men and women are under some form of
correctional supervision. The majority of persons – 4.8 million – under criminal
justice supervision are in the community on probation or parole, while 2.2 million
are incarcerated in prison or jail. The United States continues to maintain the
highest rate of incarceration in the world at 731 per 100,000 population.
Reductions in the scale of incarceration are the result of declining crime rates and a
mix of legislative and administrative policies that vary by state. Lower demand for
correctional capacity resulted in at least 13 states closing prison institutions or
contemplating doing so during the past year. One salient reason for prison closures
is the reduction in state revenues caused by the recession. According to a report by
the National Governors Association, at least 40 states made cuts to correctional
expenditures between 2009 and 2010 by reducing labor costs, eliminating prison
programs, and making food-service changes. Additionally, states have increasingly
focused on finding ways to downscale prisons.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Friday, January 27, 2012