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March 7, 2011

New report taking "the long view" on Ohio's crowded prisons notes Blakely's impact

The Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission has released this fascinating new report titled "Prison Crowding: The Long View, With Suggestions." There are lots of interesting part of this document, but these parts from the executive summary strike me as especially blog-worthy:

Most of this report takes you through the recent history of Ohio’s prison population (see A Short Primer on Prison Crowding, beginning on p. 4).  As Ohio faces record deficits and record prison populations, that primer should be worth 15 minutes of your time.  The table on p. 6 is especially useful.  Several informed suggestions designed to ease the problem begin on p. 14.  Here are a few of the report’s highlights:

• Ohio prisons now hold about 50,500. That’s 6½ times the number held in 1974. That puts the prison system 31% over its rated capacity, with about 12,500 more inmates than the prisons were built to hold...

• For years, the prison population increased as prison intake grew. However, recent growth in Ohio’s prison population — even with mandatory sentences and scores of bills that increase penalties for particular offenses — is not driven primarily by intake (although it is a factor).  It’s largely fueled by increases in inmates’ average length-of-stay...

• In the past 35 years, the only period in which the Ohio prison population remained relatively static was the first decade under S.B. 2, from 1997-2006.  That bill increased the actual time served for high level offenders but made tradeoffs for others, including meaningful checks on length-of-stay....

• A peculiar line of U.S. Supreme Court cases led the Ohio Supreme Court to strike down S.B. 2’s key length-of-stay restrictions in 2006.  Even when accounting for other factors, these decisions led to an increase in average time served of almost 5 months per inmate. The cumulative “Blakely/Foster effect” so far has been well over 4,000 beds.  None of this growth came from tough-on-crime legislation.

March 7, 2011 at 07:08 PM | Permalink


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While "none of this growth came from tough-on-crime legislation" it did come from tough-on-crime judges. The issue is whether the growth (increased sentences across the board) is warranted.

Posted by: k | Mar 7, 2011 9:32:54 PM

Texas has many un-used ranches owned by the U.S, just build prisons, or one large prison in there, heavily guarded, that way you solve the over-population on the prisons.

Posted by: בניית אתרים | Oct 5, 2011 11:48:10 AM

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