9/28 NYT: "Crime Keeps on Falling, but Prisons Keep Filling

John Bush jbush at POST.CIS.SMU.EDU
Mon Sep 29 04:48:23 MDT 1997


On Sun, 28 Sep 1997, A. C. Szul wrote:

>  but Prisons Keep Filling Up....WHY?"
>
> "It has become a comforting story: for five straight years, crime has
> been falling, led by a drop in murder. So why is the number of inmates
> in prisons and jails around the nation still going up? Last year, it
> reached almost 1.7 million, up about seven percent a year since 1990..."
>
> Is this weakening our criminal justice system?  Anyone catch this
> article and wonder why this is happening?  Beyond the article's
> conclusions, any thoughts?
>
In Texas that is occurring.  The early and mandatory release programs
have been reformed over the past few years, and criminals aren't
getting out as often or as easily.  There is no doubt this will lead
to an increasing number inmates while crime itself decreases.
Additionally, if we are able to arrest and prosecute more criminals
(a higher percentage) then there could be a larger number entering
the system as well.



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