Economic Impacts of Prison Growth

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Economic Impacts of Prison Growth, The U S corrections system has gone through an unprecedented expansion during the last few. decades with a more than 400 jump in the prison population and a corresponding boom in. prison construction At the end of 2008 2 3 million adults were in state local or federal custody. with another 5 1 million on probation or parole Of that total 9 were in federal custody. Globally the United States has 5 of the world s population but 25 of its prisoners Prison. growth has been fueled by tough drug enforcement stringent sentencing laws and high rates of. recidivism the re arrest re conviction or re incarceration of an ex offender. The historic sustained rise in incarceration has broad implications not just for the criminal. justice system but for the larger economy About 770 000 people worked in the corrections sector. in 2008 The U S Labor Department expects the number of guards supervisors and other staff to. grow by 9 between 2008 and 2018 while the number of probation and parole officers is to. increase by 16 In addition to those working directly in institutions many more jobs are tied to. a multi billion dollar private industry that constructs finances equips and provides health care. education food rehabilitation and other services to prisons and jails By comparison in 2008. there were 880 000 workers in the entire U S auto manufacturing sector Private prison. companies have bounced back from financial troubles in the late 1990s buoyed in part by. growing federal contracts Nearly all new U S prisons opened from 2000 2005 were private. Private prisons housed 8 of U S inmates in 2008 including more than 16 of federal. The growth of the corrections sector has other impacts A number of rural areas have chosen to tie. their economies to prisons viewing the institutions as recession proof development engines. Though many local officials cite benefits broader research suggests that prisons may not generate. the nature and scale of benefits municipalities anticipate or may even slow growth in some. localities Record incarceration rates can have longer term economic impacts by contributing to. increased income inequality and more concentrated poverty The problems are exacerbated by the. fact that African Americans and Hispanics are far more likely than whites to be incarcerated The. large prison population also may be affecting distribution of federal dollars The U S Census. counts individuals where they reside Some regions may record a significant population increase. due to new prisons meaning they garner more aid under federal population based formulas. The corrections sector is in stress as states seek to reduce prison populations and rein in costs. The efforts have been underway for several years but have intensified as the recession that began. at the end of 2007 has wrought havoc on state budgets At least 26 states cut corrections spending. for FY2010 California Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger has suggested amending that state s. constitution to ensure that spending on prisons cannot exceed spending on higher education. Arizona is preparing to sell prison facilities to private firms It remains to be seen whether private. companies will prosper from state efforts or incur losses if inmate populations level out or. decline Congress is involved in the debate via federal contracts with private prisons proposed. legislation to create a task force on the prison system increased funding to reduce recidivism a. proposed bill to allow collective bargaining for public sector correctional workers proposals to. alter rules for the 2010 Census count and rural development efforts Legislation introduced in the. 111th Congress includes S 2772 S 714 S 1611 H R 4080 H R 413 and H R 2450 This. report will not be updated,Congressional Research Service. Economic Impacts of Prison Growth,Corrections a Rising Concern 1. Corrections Sector 2,U S Corrections System 6,Prisoner Boom 7. Incarceration Trends 10,Prison Employment 12,Prison Construction 15.
Rural Prisons 16,Cost and Overcrowding 17,Financing 18. Private Sector 20,Private Prison Companies 22,The Private Prison Industry 25. Corrections Corporation of America 25,Geo Group 26. Cornell Companies 27,Other Private Firms 27,Phone Service 29. Economic Impact 29,Prisons as Drivers of Economic Development 32.
Shelby MT 32,Hardin MT 32,Challenges for Policymakers 33. Figure 1 Imprisonment Rates by State 4,Figure 2 U S Imprisonment Rate 1925 2008 8. Figure 3 Percentage of Prisoners in Private Prisons 22. Table 1 Prisoners Under State And Federal Jurisdiction By Sentence Length Race And. Gender 2008 10, Table 2 Median Wages and Employment of Correctional Workers 2008 2018 12. Table 3 Number of State or Federal Prisoners in Private Facilities 2000 2008 20. Congressional Research Service,Economic Impacts of Prison Growth. Author Contact Information 35,Congressional Research Service.
Economic Impacts of Prison Growth,Corrections a Rising Concern. The U S prison system has exploded in size and economic importance during the past three. decades due to a variety of factors including mandatory sentencing laws and tougher drug. enforcement efforts At the end of 2008 more than 2 3 million adults were in local state or. federal custody according to the U S Department of Justice 1 More than 5 million more were on. probation or parole 2 Overall one in every 31 U S adults was under the authority of the. correctional system in 2007 Globally the United States has the highest per capita incarceration. rate of 218 countries and territories 3, The record U S prison population is creating pressures on the federal and state governments as. spending on corrections claims a larger share of tax dollars potentially crowding out public. investment in other areas There is growing concern among policymakers across the political. spectrum that corrections policy may have reached a point of diminishing returns Correctional. spending has continued rising even though the crime rate has declined or stabilized since the. early 1990s 4 High rates of recidivism ex offenders coming back into the corrections sector for. new offenses or violations of probation or parole indicate that the system may not be effective. as desired in deterring or rehabilitating offenders 5 Responding to these concerns Congress is. considering a variety of actions to alter corrections policy While state and local governments. fund and administer the bulk of corrections related activity the federal role is significant For. example federal contracts are the main source of funding for the private companies Nearly 17. of federal prisoners are housed in private prisons 6. During the 111th Congress lawmakers have introduced legislation to reduce the size and fiscal. impact of the corrections system and to increase scrutiny of prison operators One measure S. 2772 companion bill H R 4080 would create a grant program to help states and localities. reduce spending on corrections Another S 714 would create a National Criminal Justice. Commission to carry out a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system The FY2010. omnibus spending bill P L 111 117 included 100 million a 75 million increase from FY2009. for programs authorized by the Second Chance Act that focus on reducing recidivism by. supporting a variety of state local and tribal offender re entry programs. Sabol William J Heather C West and Matthew Cooper Prisoners in 2008 Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin. Washington DC U S Department of Justice DOJ Office of Justice Programs OJP Bureau of Justice Statistics. BJS December 2009 p 8 http bjs ojp usdoj gov content pub pdf p08 pdf viewed on April 2 2010. Glaze Lauren E and Thomas P Bonzcar Probation and Parole in the United States 2006 Bureau of Justice. Statistics Bulletin Washington DC DOJ OJP BJS Revised July 2008 http bjs ojp usdoj gov content pub pdf. ppus08 pdf viewed on April 2 2010, Walmsey Roy World Prison Population List 8th ed King s College London International Centre for Prison Studies. 2008 http www kcl ac uk depsta law research icps downloads wppl 8th 41 pdf Viewed on April 2 2010. Austin James and Tony Fabelo The Diminishing Returns of Increased Incarceration A Blueprint to Improve Public. Safety and Reduce Costs The JFA Institute Washington DC July 2004 p 2. http www jfa associates com publications srs BlueprintFinal pdf viewed on April 2 2010. CRS Report RL34287 Offender Reentry Correctional Statistics Reintegration into the Community and Recidivism. by Nathan James, Sabol William J Heather C West and Matthew Cooper Prisoners in 2008 Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin. Washington DC Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs December 2009 p 8 http bjs ojp usdoj gov. content pub pdf p08 pdf Viewed on April 2 2010,Congressional Research Service 1.
Economic Impacts of Prison Growth, Other congressional initiatives include H R 413 and S 1611 to allow public safety officers to. engage in collective bargaining and H R 2450 to make non federal prisons and private facilities. housing federal prisoners comply with the same public disclosure rules as other federal. institutions The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing mandatory sentencing laws for some. drug related crimes Congress is also involved in oversight and funding of the expanding federal. prison system, A number of states are trying to reduce their prison populations 7 The efforts have been underway. for several years but have accelerated during the recession which began in 2007 and has reduced. tax revenues and forced governors and legislators to cut spending to balance their budgets States. are laying off corrections workers releasing nonviolent prisoners closing facilities changing. sentencing laws and considering selling prisons to private firms More than 26 states reduced. their corrections budgets for the 2010 fiscal year additional cuts are expected for FY2011 8. In addition the Congressional Black Caucus is part of a coalition that has pushed for change in. U S Census policy The CBC contends that the practice of counting inmates as residents of the. area where they are incarcerated rather than where they usually reside drains federal funds that. are distributed under population formulas based on Census data from needy urban areas 9. This report provides an economic overview of the correctional sector as background for the. unfolding debate over spending and other policies It begins with information on the growth in. prison populations in public and in private prisons It also briefly explores the economic impacts. of prison location It is not intended a study of the effectiveness of sentencing and other laws nor. of evolving polices aimed at reducing recidivism and prison populations 10. Corrections Sector, The corrections system has expanded during the past three decades into a nationwide network of. businesses and workers whose livelihoods are tied to the prison system 11 The nation spent 68 7. billion on corrections in 2006 a 660 increase from 1982 12 State governments on average. Lawrence Alison Cutting Corrections Costs Earned Time for State Prisoners Denver CO National Conference of. State Legislatures July 2009 p 1 http www ncsl org documents cj Earned time report pdf Viewed on April 2. Scott Hayward Christine The Fiscal Crisis in Correction Rethinking Policies and Practices Washington DC Vera. Institute of Justice July 2009 p 2 http www vera org files The fiscal crisis in corrections July 2009 pdf Viewed. on April 2 2010, National Urban League The Fight for a Fair Count in the 2010 Census Press Release December 18 2009. http www nul org content fight fair count 2010 census Viewed on April 2 2010. For background on those issues refer to CRS Report RL32766 Federal Sentencing Guidelines Background Legal. Analysis and Policy Options by Lisa M Seghetti and Alison M Smith and CRS Report RL34287 Offender Reentry. Correctional Statistics Reintegration into the Community and Recidivism by Nathan James Another related issue. beyond the scope of this report is the expansion of prison based industries For more information on that topic refer to. CRS Report RL32380 Federal Prison Industries by Nathan James. U S Census Bureau Government Employment Payroll 2008 http www census gov govs apes Viewed on April. 2 2010 The data are derived from an annual survey of state local and federal government entities. DOJ OJP Bureau of Justice Statistics Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts 2006 December 1 2008. http bjs ojp usdoj gov content glance exptyp cfm Viewed on April 2 2010 The DOJ report is based on data from. the Census Bureau s Annual Government Finance Survey and Annual Survey of Public Employment The corrections. population includes people in prisons jails and other facilities The term prison usually refers to facilities for inmates. Congressional Research Service 2,Economic Impacts of Prison Growth.
spend about 7 of their general fund revenues on incarceration 13 During the past three decades. correctional spending has risen nearly twice as fast as state spending on education health care. and social service programs 14 In some states for example California the prison system now. consumes a larger share of general revenues 10 than higher education 7 15. About 770 000 people work in U S prisons and jails and other institutions and many additional. workers are employed by companies that provide supplies and services to the corrections sector. California Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger has suggested amending that state s constitution to ensure that spending on prisons cannot exceed spending on higher education Arizona is preparing to sell prison facilities to private firms It remains to be seen whether private companies will prosper from state efforts or incur losses if inmate populations level out or decline Congress is involved

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