CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"U.S. Prison Populations Decline, Reflecting New Approach to Crime"

From the New York Times:

The prison population in the United States dropped in 2012 for the third consecutive year, according to federal statistics released on Thursday, in what criminal justice experts said was the biggest decline in the nation’s recent history, signaling a shift away from an almost four-decade policy of mass imprisonment.

. . .

Imprisonment rates in the United States have been on an upward march since the early 1970s. From 1978, when there were 307,276 inmates in state and federal prisons, the population increased annually, reaching a peak of 1,615,487 inmates in 2009.

But in recent years, tightened state budgets, plummeting crime rates, changes in sentencing laws and shifts in public opinion have combined to reverse the trend. Experts on prison policy said that the continuing decline appears to be more than a random fluctuation.

 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2013/07/us-prison-populations-decline-reflecting-new-approach-to-crime.html

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