Overcrowding Is Greatest Problem - overcrowded jails and prisons is greatest law enforcement problem - Brief Article
Of the myriad problems plaguing law enforcement today, overcrowded jails and prisons are the worst, based on a survey of nearly 200 law enforcement personnel by EPIC Solutions, San Diego, Calif., according to Daniel A. Crawford, president and CEO. Of those attending the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference, 33% named overcrowded facilities as the industry's greatest problem. Difficulty in recruiting officers and a rising crime rate were a close second and third, garnering 25 and 24%, respectively, of the response. Six percent cited lack of community support as a major issue. When asked their opinions on deterring sex crimes, 47% felt that keeping sex offenders locked up was the best solution, while 38% thought that informing the public if a registered sex offender lives in the vicinity was the answer. Just three percent stated that rehabilitating offenders would help curtail sex crimes. "Obviously, keeping sex offenders locked up presents a bit of a conundrum considering that our detention facilities are overflowing," Crawford points out. "While there is no simple solution, addressing the issue of facility congestion obviously has the potential to alleviate many law enforcers' concerns." Fifty-three percent of the respondents believed insufficient funding was the most prominent factor hindering the police's ability to fight crime, with inadequate technology (14%) and inadequate equipment (11%) coming in second and third. COPYRIGHT 1999 Society for the Advancement of Education
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group
FindArticles / Reference / USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education) / August, 1999
U.S. Prisons: How Crowded Are They?
Total Population Rising at Alarming Rates
Mandatory sentencing guidelines and a growing number of drug-related convictions are factors in a continued growth of inmates held in federal, state and local prisons and jails in the United States. Although local jails are generally operating under their stated capacities, all state and federal prisons are overcrowded -- some as much as 33 percent higher than their official capacities. The total population of prisons and jails in the United States neared the 2.1 million mark in June 2003, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), indicating the largest increase from year to year in four years. The latest BJS report listed 2,078,570 men and women incarcerated on June 30, 2003, an increase of 57,600 more inmates than state, local and federal officials held on the same date a year earlier. States and the federal prisons held 1,380,776 prisoners while local municipal and county jails housed 691,301 inmates. From July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003, the number of state and federal prisoners grew by more than 2.9 percent, the largest increase in four years. The federal system increased by 5.4 percent, and state prisoners increased by 2.6 percent. During the same period, the local jail population increased by 3.9 percent. According to the June 2003 BJS report:
Incarceration rates of state and federal prisoners continued to rise. At midyear 2003, the number of sentenced inmates was 480 per 100,000 U.S. residents, up from 476 per 100,000 on December 31, 2002. There were 238 jail inmates for every 100,000 U.S. residents on June 30, 2003. Overall, one out of every 140 U.S. residents was incarcerated in prison or jail. 100,102 Female Inmates
During the year the number of female state and federal inmates grew by 5.0 percent, compared to a 2.7 percent male inmate growth. By June 30, 2003, the female inmate population reached 100,102. Ten states reported an increase of at least 5 percent in the 12-month period, led by the smaller state prison systems: Vermont (up 12 percent), Minnesota (up 9 percent) and Maine (up 9 percent). The largest state prison systems, Texas and California, rose by 4 percent and 2...
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