« Is immigration reform a critical criminal justice priority? | Main | Does Mommy not-so-dearest merit an extra harsh sentence? »

November 16, 2008

More evidence that prison crowding will prompt sentencing reform and/or more technocorrections

Regular readers know how many states are struggling with overcrowded prisons and the lack of ready or easy solutions (especially in tough fiscal times with budgets getting tighter and tighter).  Two effective articles this morning from very different part of the country — Massachusetts and Idaho — highlight that sentencing reform and/or technocorrections are going to have to play a major role in on-going efforts to deal with state and county prison crowding problems.

First, consider this piece from the Boston Globe headlined "Prison to double-bunk inmates: Sentencing changes urged to ease overcrowding in system." Here is how it starts:

The number of inmates in Massachusetts prisons is projected to reach about 12,000 next year for the first time, prompting the head of the prison system to call for sentencing changes that ease overcrowding and to proceed with a controversial plan to double-bunk inmates at a maximum-security facility.

About two weeks short of his one-year anniversary as commissioner of the Department of Correction, Harold W. Clarke said last week that he hopes Governor Deval Patrick reintroduces legislation to reform "mandatory minimum" sentences, which Clarke said have led to a surge in inmates, many with no history of violence. "We've been really concerned with mandatory sentencing laws," Clarke, 57, said at the department's headquarters here. "We don't want people backed up in prison that are not posing a risk to the community at large."

Next, consider this reporting from the Idaho Press-Tribune headlined "County struggles with jail crowding." Here are excerpts:

Canyon County and local police have a plan to put fewer offenders in the county jail to alleviate crowding. The county and Nampa and Caldwell police have written a proposal to book and release more people arrested by the cities’ police officers. The effort is intended to reduce the number of inmates in the county jail.

The reason: Canyon County faces a possible lawsuit from the ACLU and reduced insurance from the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program if it fails to take steps to reduce crowded conditions....

Other potential measures to alleviate jail overcrowding [include lowering] the cost for work release inmates from $20 to $12.50 a day [and greater] use of security ankle bracelets. Some offenders waiting for sentencing could be released from jail with tracking ankle bracelets. Their jail time wait for sentencing can be as much as 10 days.

November 16, 2008 at 01:18 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference More evidence that prison crowding will prompt sentencing reform and/or more technocorrections:


Thanks! Very Interesting! Great Job! Great Blog!

Posted by: מוסך מיצובישי | Jan 6, 2011 6:29:54 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB