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Pspp prison projections_0207

  1. 1. Public Safety,Public SpendingForecasting America’s Prison Population 2007–2011
  2. 2. Revised June 2007. The projected incarceration rates in this report have been updated with revised population estimates.
  3. 3. About the Public SafetyPerformance ProjectA n operating project of The Pew Charitable Justice, and former bureau chief of the Bureau of Trusts, the Public Safety Performance Project Research and Data Analysis for the Florida Department seeks to help states advance fiscally sound, data- of Corrections.driven policies and practices in sentencing and corrections • Richard Berk, professor of criminology and statistics,that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable and University of Pennsylvania, and former Distinguishedcontrol corrections costs. The project helps states Professor of Statistics and Sociology at UCLA.diagnose the factors driving prison growth and provides • Gerald Gaes, visiting scientist at the National Institutepolicy audits to identify options for reform, drawing on of Justice, criminal justice consultant and formersolid research, promising approaches and best practices in director of research for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.other states. The initiative also helps state officials,practitioners and others share state-of-the-art knowledge While these experts have screened the report forand ideas through policy forums, public opinion surveys, methodology and accuracy, neither they nor their currentmulti-state meetings, national, regional and state-level or former organizations necessarily endorse its findingsconvenings, and online information about what works. or conclusions.The project works closely with the Pew Center on the Substantial contributions to the report also were made byStates (PCS), a division of Pew. By conducting nonpartisan the Vera Institute of Justice and the Council of Stateresearch and analysis, educating the public and federal and Governments Justice Center, partners of the Public Safetystate policy makers, bringing together diverse stakeholders, Performance Project. Staff of both organizations reviewedand encouraging pragmatic, consensus-based solutions, drafts of the report and offered excellent comments andPCS identifies and advances effective public policy insights that were instrumental to its completion.approaches to critical issues facing states. We also would like to thank the 50 state correctional agencies and the federal Bureau of Prisons, whichAbout this Report provided much of the data used to create the national forecast and other parts of this report.This report was prepared for the Public SafetyPerformance Project by the JFA Institute, a well-respected,Washington-based, nonprofit consulting firm. JFA is ledby James Austin, Wendy Naro and Tony Fabelo, three Contact Informationnationally renowned researchers with deep expertise in For more information, please visit www.pewpublicsafety.orgstate criminal justice policy and statistics. JFA conducts or contact Project Director Adam Gelb atprison population forecasts under contract with a number agelb@pewtrusts.org or (404) 848-0186.of states, and several other states use JFA’s software tomake their projections. The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform theThe report was reviewed by three independent specialists public and stimulate civic life. We partner with a diverse range ofin prison population forecasting: donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens• William Bales, associate professor, Florida State who share our commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven University, College of Criminology and Criminal investments to improve society. Public Safety Performance Project i
  4. 4. Executive Summary fter a 700-percent increase in A The national price tag is staggering. The the U.S. prison population between projected 192,023 new prisoners—leave aside 1970 and 2005, you’d think the the current population of more than 1.5 nation would finally have run out of million inmates—could cost as much as $27.5 lawbreakers to put behind bars. billion: potentially a cumulative $15 billion in new operating costs and $12.5 billion in new But according to Public Safety, Public Spending: construction costs by 2011. Every additional Forecasting America’s Prison Population 2007- dollar spent on prisons, of course, is one 2011, a first-of-its-kind projection, state and dollar less that can go to preparing for the federal prisons will swell by more than next Hurricane Katrina, educating young 192,000 inmates over the next five years. people, providing health care to the elderly, This 13-percent jump triples the projected or repairing roads and bridges. growth of the general U.S. population, and will raise the prison census to a total of more Don’t picture this parade of prisoners as an than 1.7 million people. Imprisonment levels exclusively male group. Nationwide, men are expected to keep rising in all but four outnumber women behind bars, but women states, reaching a national rate of 550 per are playing a dubious kind of catch-up here. 100,000, or one of every 182 Americans. If The number of women prisoners is projected you put them all together in one place, the to grow by 16 percent by 2011, while the incarcerated population in just five years will male population will increase 12 percent. In outnumber the residents of Atlanta, some states this disparity is particularly Baltimore and Denver combined. striking. Nevada, for example, is projecting a 36-percent increase in female prisoners over the next half-decade. National Prison Population, 1980-2011 2,000,000 1,800,000 Gender differences aren’t the only area in 1,600,000 which trends vary widely among states and 1,400,000 Projected 1,200,000 regions. Although national prison populations 1,000,000 Actual aren’t currently growing at the same furious 800,000 600,000 pace as they were a few years back, in some 400,000 200,000 states and regions growth rates remain in 0 crisis mode. Prison populations in the West, 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2011 Midwest and South are expected to increase Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics (historical) and JFA Instituteii Public Safety, Public Spending
  5. 5. by double-digit percentages between 2006and 2011, led by the West with a projected National Prison Incarceration Rate, 1980-2011growth rate of 18 percent. The Northeast, 600 Prisoners per 100,000 residentswith its slow population growth and steady 500crime rates, will see slower but still costly Projected 400growth of 7 percent during the same period. Actual 300 200A few other trends add to the image of states’ 100prisons and budgets stretched at the seams:• Over the next five years, the average 0 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2011 inmate will be more likely to be female or elderly—both groups that have special Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics (historical) and JFA Institute needs and higher costs.• In some states, corrections officials, already State Highlights having difficulty hiring and keeping guards on the job, are becoming more and more This report provides forecasts for prison concerned about finding and retaining populations and incarceration rates for all 50 qualified personnel to staff new prisons. states. Among its findings:• In some states, especially in the West, • By 2011, without changes in sentencing or Midwest and South, methamphetamine release policies, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, cases have become significant contributors Montana and Vermont can expect to see to prison growth. one new prisoner for every three currently• In the past few years, many states have in the system. enacted enhanced penalties for sex crimes. • Similarly, barring reforms, there will be one The impact of most of these laws on prison new prisoner for every four now in prison populations and state budgets will be felt in Colorado, Washington, Wyoming, beyond the five-year window of this report. Nevada, Utah and South Dakota. • Incarceration rates are expected to spike in Arizona and Nevada, from 590 and 540 prisoners per 100,000 residents, respectively, to 703 and 599. Particularly worrisome is the growth in the population of young males, the group at highest risk of 10 Highest-Growth States criminal activity. Both states have recently (by percent increase) increased their prison population forecasts because of the combined impact of Montana 41% demographics and policies that increase Arizona 35% prison terms. Alaska 34% Idaho 34% • Louisiana, which has the highest Vermont 33% incarceration rate among states, with 835 Colorado 31% prisoners per 100,000 residents, expects Washington 28% that figure to hit 852 by 2011. Wyoming 27% Nevada 27% • Florida is anticipated to cross the 100,000- Utah 25% prisoner threshold within the next five Public Safety Performance Project iii
  6. 6. years, the only state other than Texas and heinous crime can have on the public’s views California to do so. about the appropriate punishment for that • None of the states is projecting an actual type of offense and incarceration in general. decrease in its number of prisoners between 2006 and 2011. The report projects no The size of a state’s prison system is growth in Connecticut, Delaware and New determined by two simple factors: how many York. people come in and how long they stay. Yet • The Midwest’s prison population continues both variables are the products of a dizzying to rise primarily because of increases in new array of influences, from policy-level decisions prison admissions and parole violations. and the discretion that judges, prosecutors Iowa’s prison population is expected to and corrections officials exercise in individual increase at a slower rate than other cases, to the larger forces at work in society. Midwest states. • Though the Northeast boasts the lowest During the past three decades, a number of incarceration rates, it has the highest costs changes in states’ sentencing and corrections per prisoner, led by Rhode Island ($44,860), policies have been particularly significant. Massachusetts ($43,026) and New York These include movement from indeterminate ($42,202). The lowest costs are generally in to determinate sentencing; abolition of parole the South, led by Louisiana ($13,009), and adoption of truth-in-sentencing Alabama ($13,019) and South Carolina requirements; lower parole grant rates; passage ($13,170). of “three-strikes” laws; and establishment of sentencing guidelines. While the impact of reforms varies in each state, the states report Driving Forces that these policy decisions are among the major drivers of their prison populations. Predicting the future is a risky business, of course. In Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, Scrooge asks the last ghost that appears to Implications for Public him, “Are these the shadows of the things Safety and Public Policy that Will be? Or are they shadows of things that May be, only?” It’s a tempting leap of logic to assume that the more people behind bars, the less crime In the world of criminal justice policy, as much there will be. But despite public expectations as in Dickens’ famed tale, nothing is inevitable. to the contrary, there is no clear cause and The size and attributes of a state’s prison effect. In fact, the question of the effect that population are linked to an array of factors. imprisonment has on crime rates cannot be Population growth and crime rates can be the solved with simple arithmetic. It requires fuel for this fast-moving train, but the throttle something more like a social policy calculus. is in the hands of state leaders who make related policy choices. Some of these decisions The central questions are ones of are made on the basis of careful analysis of effectiveness and cost. Total national facts and history. Others are predicated on spending on corrections has jumped to more anecdote and the impact a single, particularly than $60 billion from just $9 billion in 1980,iv Public Safety, Public Spending
  7. 7. and yet recidivism rates have barely changed.More than half of released prisoners are back Methodology Overviewbehind bars within three years. If states wantthe best results from their correctional Forecasting prison populations has grown more sophisticated sincesystems over the next five years—both in the days of estimating using time series or trend analysis, which showed what had already happened but failed to make accurateterms of public safety and public spending— projections of future patterns. Today’s more advanced models arehow should they approach the significant designed to mimic the flow of the correctional system based onprison population growth that is anticipated? probabilities of prison admissions and inmate lengths of stay.That question is the chief challenge states arefacing. They are not fated to such high rates This national prison projection report was generated from data fromof prison growth by factors out of their the states themselves. The federal Bureau of Prisons and 42 states (including the 36 states that use advanced simulation methods)control. The policy choices they make—the provided their official forecasts to form the basis of this report. Thosesentencing and release laws, programs and jurisdictions accounted for 92 percent of the national prison populationpractices they enact and fund—are principal as of 2005. The remaining eight states were unable to providedeterminates of the size, effectiveness and projections, so researchers calculated estimates using the states’ owncost of their corrections systems. most recent monthly population counts and available admission and release data. Those estimates—for Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware,The key is for policy makers to base their Maine, New York, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming—are not official forecasts.decisions on a clear understanding of thecosts and benefits of incarceration—and of Researchers also contacted each state to obtain the most current costsdata-driven, evidence-based alternatives that per prisoner. The cost figures included administrative support, programcan preserve public safety while saving much- services and facility maintenance. If a state contracts with a privateneeded tax dollars. To begin the process of prison company, researchers attempted to incorporate those into thelooking at costs and benefits, state policy annual cost figure.makers need to know whether, and at what It’s important to note that an increase or decrease in a state prisonrate, their correctional system is likely to population will not yield a direct change in operating costs. Somegrow, and how their system’s growth rate states whose prison populations grow by only a small amount willcompares to that of other states. By providing experience only marginal cost increases, such as the costs of medicalthis comparative data, this forecast can assist care and food; they will likely not need to hire additional staff or buildstates in their efforts to develop cost-effective new cells. Other states may pass a tipping point and proceed withoptions that reduce corrections expenditures constructing new prisons and taking on new staff.while protecting public safety. It’s possible, too, that the projected population may involve disproportionately lower-custody inmates or that a state may employThose last two words—public safety—are of alternative, lower-cost housing methods and divert some offenders intoparticular consequence. No policy maker is community punishments. These scenarios would result in anlikely to (or should) pursue a path that saves overestimate of future costs if the estimate is made using an averageprison money if it runs a substantial risk of cost per inmate.increasing recidivism or crime rates. On the Capital costs for corrections are more difficult to project than operatingother hand, an option that can lead to better costs. Prison beds cost about $65,000 to construct, but totalpublic safety outcomes while saving money is construction cost figures exclude renovation and conversion ofthe picture that goes alongside the dictionary existing bed space.definition of win-win. For these reasons, the report does not provide cost estimates for each individual state. Public Safety Performance Project v
  8. 8. Table of Contents Introduction .....................................................................................................................1 Forecasting Correctional Populations ........................................................................3 Micro-simulation Models ..........................................................................................................6 Accuracy of the Projection Models...........................................................................................7 National Prison Population Projection Estimates ...................................................9 Growth of Women Prisoners Will Continue to Outpace Males............................................10 Age of Inmates (and the Cost of Their Medical Care) is Expected to Rise .........................11 Corrections Workforce Recruitment and Retention is a Growing Concern .........................11 Rise in Methamphetamine-related Cases ...............................................................................11 Impact of Enhanced Sex Offender Sentences Will Be Felt Beyond Five Years .....................12 Regional and State Trends..........................................................................................13 Northeastern Region ...............................................................................................................13 Midwestern Region .................................................................................................................14 Southern Region .....................................................................................................................15 Western Region .......................................................................................................................17 Estimating Current and Future Prison Costs .........................................................18 Methodological Issues.............................................................................................................19 Current Operational Costs .....................................................................................................20 Estimates of Future Operational Costs ..................................................................................21 Capital Costs...........................................................................................................................22 The Relationship Between Incarceration and Crime Rates.................................23 Public Safety, Public Spending: The Challenge Ahead for State Policy Makers........................................................25 Appendix.........................................................................................................................27 Public Safety Performance Project vii
  9. 9. Tables and Figures Table 1: Adult Correctional Populations, 1980-2005..........................................................2 Figure 1: Schematic Flow of Prison Population Components..............................................4 Figure 2: Crime and Incarceration Rates by State, 2004 .....................................................5 Figure 3: National At-Risk Population: Males Between 18-34.............................................6 Figure 4: Accurate Projections: West Virginia, 2004-2006 ..................................................8 Figure 5: Projections Responding to Change: Nevada, 2005-2006 .....................................8 Figure 6: Projected National Prison Population and Incarceration Rate, 2006-2011 ........10 Figure 7: Projected Change in Regional Incarceration Rates, 2006-2011 .........................10 Table 2: Ohio 10-Year Prison Population Projections, 2007-2016 .....................................14 Figure 8: Projected Year-End Resident Population by Region, 2006-2011 ........................15 Table 3: Nevada 10-Year Prison Population Projections, 2007-2016.................................16 Table 4: Arizona 10-Year Prison Population Projections, 2007-2016 ................................16 Table 5: Costs Per State Prisoner, 1984-2005 ...................................................................21 Figure 9: National Crime and Imprisonment Trends, 1931-2005 .....................................23 Appendix Table A-1: Key State Data, 2005 ...........................................................................................27 Table A-2: State, Regional and National Residential Populations, 2005-2011.....................28 Table A-3: State Prison Populations by Region, 2006-2011 .................................................29 Table A-4: State Prison Populations by Growth Rate, 2006-2011 .......................................30 Table A-5: State Incarceration Rates by Region, 2006-2011 ................................................31 Table A-6: State Incarceration Rates by Growth Rate, 2006-2011.......................................32 Table A-7: Annual Operating Costs per Inmate...................................................................33 Table A-8: Sources of State Prison Population Projections...................................................34 Table A-9: Sources of State Inmate Costs .............................................................................36viii Public Safety, Public Spending
  10. 10. Introduction his report estimates theT world in incarceration rates, well above Russia future size and cost of the state and and Cuba, which have the next highest rates federal prison systems. It examines of 607 and 487 per 100,000. Westernthe reasons for the projected growth and, since European countries have incarceration ratesprison expansion is generally intended to that range from 78 to 145 per 100,000.3reduce crime, it outlines what we currentlyknow about the relationship between Probation and parole populations haveincarceration and crime rates. Finally, the skyrocketed alongside the rapid growth in thereport highlights the efforts of some states to state and federal prison systems. Since 1980,control corrections spending while protecting the total correctional population has grownpublic safety and holding offenders from 1.8 million to over 7 million peopleaccountable for their actions. (Table 1). While the prison population has grown at the fastest rate, more than 4 millionThe past three decades have witnessed an adults are on probation, making that the At year-endhistoric increase in the nation’s penal system largest component of the correctional system; 2005, there wereat all levels. In 1970, the state and federal it too has nearly tripled since 1980.prison population was less than 190,000. The almost 2.2 millionlatest report by the U.S. Department of Justice While noteworthy in their own right, national people—one inputs the 2005 population at nearly 1.5 trends tend to mask significant state-level every 136 U.S.million. Further, almost 750,000 people are variation. This is the case both forincarcerated in local jails, resulting in a total incarceration (covering jails and prisons)4 and residents—incarcerated population of almost 2.2 million, the population under community supervision in U.S. jailsor 737 per 100,000 U.S. population.1 Put (including parole and probation). For and prisons.differently, for every 1,000 U.S. residents, example, while the national prisonseven are incarcerated either in jail or prison incarceration rate in 2005 was 491 peron any given day. Each year, over 600,000 100,000 residents, Louisiana had the highestpeople are admitted to state and federal prison incarceration rate (797 per 100,000)prisons. A much larger number (over 10 followed by fellow Southern states Texasmillion) go to local jails. There are another (691), Mississippi (660) and Oklahoma (652).4.3 million ex-convicts living in the U.S.2 Maine had the lowest incarceration rate (144), followed by Minnesota (180), Rhode IslandThe U.S. imprisons significantly more people (189) and New Hampshire (192).5than any other nation. China ranks second,imprisoning 1.5 million of its much larger While it is generally true that Southern statescitizen population. The U.S. also leads the have high incarceration rates while Public Safety Performance Project 1
  11. 11. national correctional system. Currently, each TABLE 1 state bears responsibility for forecasting its Adult Correctional Populations, 1980–2005 own population. A national forecast such as this will have several important uses. Population 1980 2005 % Change Probation 1,118,097 4,162,536 272% First, state policy makers need to know how Jail 183,988 747,529 306% Prison 319,598 1,461,132 357% much their correctional system is likely to Parole 220,438 784,408 255% grow, if at all, so that they at least can ensure Total Adults that sufficient funds are available to support Under Corrections 1,842,100 7,155,605 288% growth. This is especially true for the jail and Adult Population 162.8 Million 222.3 million 36% prison systems that must maintain standards of % of Adults Under care for their prisoners. Second, because Corrections 1.1% 3.2% differences in population increases often reflect Sources: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Prisoners in 2005, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, by Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck (Washington, D.C.: differences in criminal justice policies, November 2006), NCJ 215092; U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, by Paige M. understanding such policy differences and their Harrison and Allen J. Beck (Washington, D.C.: May 2006), NCJ 213133 and U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Probation and Parole in the US 2005, Bureau of impact on prison populations and costs can Justice Statistics Bulletin, by Lauren E. Glaze and Thomas P. Bonozar (Washington, D.C.: November 2006), NCJ 215091 help policy makers better evaluate whether they should pursue reforms. Third, given the Northeastern states have low rates, there is large and increasing amount of taxpayer funds considerable variation even among states being devoted to prison systems, policy makers from the same region or sharing similar want to ensure that their investments in public crime rates. For example, North and South safety are generating their intended results. If Dakota had low but very different other states are slowing the growth of their incarceration rates in 2005: 208 per 100,000 prison populations while achieving better for North Dakota versus double that—443— public safety outcomes, such as lower for South Dakota. In the South, North recidivism rates or lower crime rates, policy Carolina’s incarceration rate is 360 while makers want to know that. South Carolina’s is 525.6 As discussed later, these pronounced differences in incarceration Finally, the costs of constructing and operating rates often reflect different sentencing laws and jail and prison systems are an ongoing concern correctional policies that have been adopted by for policy makers. Between 1982 and 2003, policy makers. In other words, the size and national spending on criminal justice increased attributes of a state’s prison population are from $36 billion to $186 billion. Over $61 heavily determined by policy choices. billion of that total is allocated to local, state, and federal corrections.7 Indeed, corrections In light of that, it would be valuable for policy spending—which consists primarily of budgets makers and the public to understand the likely for jails and prisons—grew by more than 570 future outcomes in states that have adopted percent during that period, faster than any varying policies. While the U.S. Department other aspect of the criminal justice system. of Justice provides accurate and Given the phenomenal period of growth in comprehensive historical data on the size and correctional populations and its associated attributes of the various correctional costs to the taxpayer, public officials are populations, there is no organization or agency becoming increasingly concerned about what that provides estimates of the future size of the the costs will look like in the future.2 Public Safety, Public Spending
  12. 12. Forecasting CorrectionalPopulations stimating the future size of anyE The basic formula is: correctional system is part science and Prison admissions x length of stay (LOS) = part judgment. Criminal justice policy Average Daily Population (ADP)8is a dynamic phenomenon and is difficult topredict with a high degree of certainty. This simplistic formula becomes far moreDuring the past three decades, we have complex when one begins to understand thewitnessed a wide array of policy shifts in myriad factors that can influence admissionssentencing, including some states abolishing and the LOS. Relatively minor changes inparole, moving from indeterminate to admissions or LOS can have an enormousdeterminate sentencing, establishing impact on the ADP. For example, if the LOSsentencing guidelines, and adopting truth-in- in a prison system is 30 months, an increasesentencing and “three-strikes” laws. Many of of three months in the LOS would increasethese changes were intended to remove repeat the ADP by 10 percent. Changes in the LOSoffenders from the streets. But as the cost of can be achieved by modifying sentencecorrections has skyrocketed, so has interest in lengths, awarding or rescinding good timefinding cost-effective options that could credits, changing parole eligibility dates, andreduce expenditures without jeopardizing paroling (or not paroling) offenders at eitherpublic safety. their initial parole date or at a subsequent parole Between probation, parole,Identifying these options requires sound hearing. jail and prison, the U.S.research, comprehensive analysis and reliableforecasting techniques to better inform Figure 1 illustrates the correctional populationpolicy makers and the public about the various internal and exceeds 7 million people.consequences of current and proposed external factors that One in every 32 U.S. adultpolicies. Estimating the future prison influence ADP andpopulation is the beginning of this enterprise, therefore influence a residents is currently undernot the end. Decision makers need to forecast of the future ADPs. correctional supervision.understand why prison populations are External factors reflect thegrowing and how future changes will affect interplay of demographic, socio-economic andthe system. crime trends that produce arrests, and offenders’ initial entry into the criminal justiceIn the simplest terms, prison populations process. Criminologists have long noted that(and all correctional populations) are the certain segments of the population have higherresult of two factors: the number of people rates or chances of becoming involved inadmitted to prison and how long they stay. crime, being arrested and being incarcerated. Public Safety Performance Project 3
  13. 13. FIGURE 1 Schematic Flow of Prison Population Components Demographics—at risk population Crime Arrests New New Charge Convictions Charge Probation Prison Technical Violator Technical Violator Parole/Community Supervision Release to Community4 Public Safety, Public Spending
  14. 14. FIGURE 2 Crime and Incarceration Rates by State, 2005 800 LA 700 Incarceration Rate per 100,000 residents TX MS OK 600 AL MO GA SC AZ 500 ID MI FL KYVA DECA AR NV SD CO TN WY AK 400 CTWI MT IN OH MD IL NC OR NY NJPA KS NM HI 300 WV IA WA VT MA NE UT 200 NH ND RI MN ME 100 0 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 Crime Rate per 100,000 residents Source: FBI Uniform Crime Report and BJSThis is known as the “at-risk” population, It is unfortunate but true that African-which generally consists of younger males. Americans and Hispanics have significantlyThe high crime rate ages are 15-25, while the higher arrest and incarceration rates thanhigh adult incarceration rate is between the whites. One must also factor in the extent toages of 18 and 35. When the at-risk which these racial and ethnic groups withinpopulation is expected to increase in a these age ranges are also projected tojurisdiction, one can also expect some increase. As shown in Figure 3, the numberadditional pressure on criminal justice of at-risk African-American and Hispanicresources, all things being equal. males has been increasing over the past few years. States that are projected to have aFigure 2 shows the association between crime larger at-risk population over the next decaderates (which are produced in part by also are likely to experience continueddemographic and socio-economic trends) and pressures on criminal justice and correctionalincarceration rates. The figure plots the crime resources based on demographic growth.and incarceration rates for each state, showingthat states with low crime rates tend to have Internal factors reflect the various decisionlower incarceration rates. The spread of states points within the criminal justice system thatup and to the right on the graph shows that cumulatively determine prison admissionsstates with higher crime rates tend to have high and LOS. These decisions begin with policeincarceration rates. The last section of this and end with correctional officials who,report summarizes what is known about the within the context of the court-imposedrelationship between crime and incarceration. sentences, have the authority to release, Public Safety Performance Project 5
  15. 15. criminal justice systems often vest considerable FIGURE 3 discretion in their public leaders who construct National At-Risk Population: these policies and procedures. A complete Males Between 18-34 understanding of these complex influences is 25 m essential to the accuracy of planning and 20 m White forecasting a prison or jail population. 8m Hispanic Micro-simulation Models 7m Traditionally, prison populations were 6m estimated using time series or trends analysis. 5m Black This was easy to do since the historic counts 4m were readily available and it required little 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 — skill to use such methods. These methods Source: U.S. Census Bureau were very inaccurate, however, especially in recommit, give and restore a wide array of an environment where policy is very good time credits, and offer supervision and dynamic. Time series models can show only services that may reduce recidivism.9 what has already occurred; they cannot estimate future populations based on current For example, one of the most difficult or future criminal justice policies and numbers to estimate is the number of prison sentencing legislation. admissions for the next five years. As suggested by Figure 1, people come to prison To better account for such a complex and for three basic reasons: (1) they have been dynamic system, a new generation of micro- directly sentenced by the courts to a prison simulation models has been developed to help term (new court commitments); (2) they have decision makers estimate the effects of current failed to complete their term of probation and policies and the likely consequences of specific are now being sentenced to prison for a policy proposals. These micro-simulation violation of the conditions of their release or models are designed to mimic the flow of (1) new crime; or, (3) they have failed their term the current prisoner population, and (2) the of parole (or post-release supervision) and are expected new admissions over the projection being returned to prison for a violation of the horizon based on these internal factors. Based conditions of their release or new crime. on stochastic entity simulation methods, the Almost two-thirds of the estimated 600,000- models mimic the actual flow of the plus people who are admitted to prison are correctional system based on current and future those who have failed to complete probation probabilities of being admitted to prison under a or parole. A projection model thus should particular legal status, with a certain sentence have a “feedback loop” that captures the for a certain crime, and being released at a expected rate of probation and parole failures. certain time based on probabilities of receiving good time and being released on parole. The impact of recently enacted sentencing Similarly, each person released to probation or laws, judicial decisions and other criminal parole has a certain probability of being justice policy choices also must be considered revoked for a new crime or technical violation in a population forecast. These complex factors and being returned to prison for a certain also vary from state to state. State and local period of time before being re-released. All of6 Public Safety, Public Spending
  16. 16. these “probabilities” are based on the current Time series or regression models are not ablebehavior of the decision makers. to employ such techniques and thus are less able to demonstrate their accuracy. Moreover,Accuracy of the because they are based on historical patternsProjection Models that do not account for contemporary policiesA recurring question about any projection or laws, they often either over- ormodel is its accuracy. In one sense this is the underestimate short-term developments.wrong question to ask, since a forecast of anycorrectional system is predicated upon the Figures 4 and 5 highlight recent accuracyassumptions of future criminal justice policy. analyses for West Virginia and Nevada, bothBecause such policies are constantly in flux, of which employ simulation models. Westthe projection must be modified as lawmakers Virginia reflects a fairly stable policyadopt new policies and correctional officials environment, so the 2004 projection has beenadjust their administrative procedures. For quite accurate for the past two years.example, if a parole board implements new Conversely, the Nevada estimate issued inparole guidelines that serve to increase the March 2005 began to display anrate of parole for low-risk prisoners from 35 underestimate in fall 2005. This was causedpercent to 50 percent, the projection model’s by a significant and unexpected surge in newparole grant rates must be similarly adjusted court commitments, largely from the Lasand thus show a lower forecast. If the Vegas metropolitan area. The model’s newlegislature adopts a longer sentencing range court intake estimates were then adjustedfor drug dealers that is not retroactive to the with the assumption that new admissionscurrent prisoner population, the new would continue to grow at the 2006 ratheradmission stream must be altered and will than the 2005 rate. As shown in the graph,show a higher projection. this single change in the new admission assumption increased the 10-year forecast byDespite the nuances of the dynamic policy over 900 prisoners.arena, the models must demonstrate that theywould be accurate if policies remain constant.The micro-simulation models are especiallyadept in this regard if they are designed tomodel both the current and future correctionalpopulations. For the first 12 to 18 months of aprojection, the current parole and prisonpopulations have a large influence on theforecast since it takes that long for largenumbers of that population to exit. Further, themicro-simulation models are loaded with themost current data to reflect current practicesand are then “started” several months in thepast to see if they are mimicking actualmonthly counts of admissions, releases andpopulations. Only when this test has beensuccessful is the forecast deemed “accurate.” Public Safety Performance Project 7
  17. 17. Two of the most significant examples of FIGURE 4 overestimates occurred in Virginia after it Accurate Projections: West Virginia, 2004-2006 adopted truth-in-sentencing laws and in 5800 California after it adopted its “three-strikes” 5600 mandatory sentencing laws. The Virginia 5400 error resulted in a massive over-construction Actual plan to build prison beds that were not Inmates 5200 Projected 5000 needed. In subsequent years Virginia was able 4800 to cancel some of its construction plans and 4600 recoup some of its losses by renting out the 4400 surplus prison beds at a profit to states that 4200 had crowded systems. Jan Apr Jul Oct Jan Apr Jul Oct Jan Apr Jul 04 04 04 04 05 05 05 05 06 06 06 In California, the original estimate was that the Source: JFA Institute “three-strikes” legislation would more than double the inmate population from 121,000 FIGURE 5 prisoners in 1994 to over 245,000 in 1999. It Projections Responding to Change: turned out that the prison population rose to Nevada, 2005-2006 160,000. The estimate was off by a staggering 13500 85,000 inmates. The primary source of the July 2006 projection 13000 error was an assumption that all criminal cases 12500 Actual population that fit the criteria for either a second- or third- Inmates 12000 strike sentence would be so prosecuted. In 11500 reality, prosecutors used the law to plea April 2005 projection bargain a large number of cases to lesser 11000 10500 charges. And in several major counties, 10000 including San Francisco and Alameda Jan Mar May Jul Sep Nov Jan Mar May Jul Sep (Oakland), prosecutors rarely applied the law.10 05 05 05 05 05 05 06 06 06 06 06 Source: JFA Institute The lesson for “projectionists” is that they The level of accuracy raises the issue of must anticipate adjustments that practitioners under- and overestimates. It is fair to say that will make to new policies that strain their correctional officials are more fearful of an agencies’ capacities or their local community underestimate, which may lead to crowding standards. For instance, it can’t be assumed and perhaps a more dangerous prison that mandatory sentencing laws will be strictly environment. Overestimates typically pose followed by prosecutors or the courts. For this little operational problem to prison officials reason it is useful to discount the estimated who may welcome a surplus of vacant prison effects of such laws. beds or at least a reduction in existing crowding. However, overestimates are viewed with disdain by some state fiscal analysts, who may feel (rightly or wrongly) that the projections were manipulated by the prison agency to secure extra, unneeded funding.8 Public Safety, Public Spending
  18. 18. National Prison PopulationProjection Estimates o make an estimate of theT 4. The Western region will have the largest U.S. prison population, the researchers prison population increase (18 percent) for this report contacted each of the 50 while the Northeast will experience thestates and the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) smallest growth (7 percent).and requested their current official population 5. There is considerable variation among theprojections. Where available, projections by states. Montana, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho,gender were also requested. Vermont and Colorado all are poised to grow by more than 30 percent underThe BOP and 42 states provided at least a five- current criminal justice policies.year prison population forecast. These Conversely, Connecticut, Delaware, Newreporting jurisdictions accounted for 92 percent York and Maryland are expected to haveof the national prison population as of 2005. little if any growth.For the remaining eight states, researchers 6. Four states—Florida, California, Arizonamade estimates based on current population and Texas—and the federal prison systemtrends and extrapolated for five years.11 will account for more than 87,000 additional prisoners, or about 45 percent ofFigures 6 and 7 provide the national and the total prison population increase.regional estimates based on the data receivedfrom the states and the BOP and the In reviewing these trendsestimates for states with no official projection. and discussing them with By 2011, America’s prisonDetailed tables for each state are shown in the states, researchers population is projected tothe appendix. The national and state learned that a wide array of increase by 192,000 to overestimates reveal the following major trends: factors were influencing these estimates. For a 1.7 million inmates.1. The nation’s state and federal prison number of Southern and One in every 182 U.S. population will reach 1,722,477 by 2011— Western states, demographic residents will live in prison. an increase of approximately 192,000 over growth, particularly for the a five-year period. at-risk population, was a2. This rate of growth—about 38,400 more major concern. This was especially true in inmates per year—is markedly higher than Arizona, Nevada and Texas, all of which have the growth rate of the past three years. recently increased their prison population3. The prison incarceration rate will continue estimates because of increases in prison to grow, from 491 per 100,000 U.S. admissions for new court sentences or residents in 2005 to 511 per 100,000 in probation revocations. However, incarceration 2006, then to 550 per 100,000 in 2011. rates in all three states will grow, meaning that Public Safety Performance Project 9
  19. 19. inability to reduce FIGURE 6: recidivism rates—all Projected National Prison Population contributed to the and Incarceration Rate, 2006-2011 higher projections. US Prison Population Inmates per in millions 100,000 residents 1.80 560 A region-by-region 1.75 550 540 summary of the Incarceration Rate 544 538 estimates and factors 1.70 530 520 519 1,722,477 that underpin the 511 1,686,495 1.65 500 estimated growth 1,654,668 1.60 Prison Population 480 follows. But before 1,614,808 proceeding to these 1.55 1,568,822 460 regional variations, a 1.50 1,530,454 440 number of other 1.45 420 policy-related issues merit discussion. 1.40 400 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 These issues emerged during researchers’ Source: JFA Institute interviews with state correctional officials and planners who are directly involved in the states’ forecasts. FIGURE 7 Projected Change in Regional Growth of Women Prisoners Will Incarceration Rates, 2006-2011 Continue to Outpace Males The female prisoner population, while well 16% below the size of the male prisoner 14% population, has been growing at a faster rate 12% 10% for many years. The Bureau of Justice 8% Statistics (BJS), part of the U.S. Department 6% of Justice, notes in its most recent prison 4% population report that the female population 2% has grown by 57 percent since 1995, 0% Northeast Midwest South West compared to a 34-percent increase for males.12 For this forecast, 25 states, covering only Source: JFA Institute about one-third of the national prison the greater prison admissions or longer LOS, population, were able to provide their or both, are causing the prisons to grow faster projections by gender. In these 25 states, than the general population. In these and other females are expected to grow at a faster rate states, state officials reported that the (16 percent) than males (12 percent). cumulative effects of lengthy mandatory prison Researchers’ interviews with other state terms adopted in the 1980s and 1990s, reduced correctional officials suggest that higher parole grant rates, and high numbers of parole female growth rates are likely to continue in and probation violators—coupled with an the other states as well.10 Public Safety, Public Spending
  20. 20. Disaggregating in this manner is desirable Corrections Workforcebecause women have unique security and Recruitment and Retentionprogrammatic needs that may not be met if is a Growing Concernthe size of the female population is not As their prison populations increase, statesproperly estimated. For example, women are need to find qualified applicants fortypically housed in much lower-security-level correctional officer positions and other prisonfacilities than men and require a lower staff- jobs. Many of the state officials contacted forto-inmate ratio. The construction of female this report expressed concern that even iffacilities is increasingly designed to meet the they can secure the necessary funding tounique custody and service needs of women. build and operate an expanded prisonAlso, because the female prison population system, it will be increasingly difficult to findhas risen faster for the past decade, failure to qualified workers to fill these positions.perform separate forecasts by gender could These officials already face a high turnoverdistort growth estimates for women rate and a growing number of “babyprisoners. boomer” employees now nearing retirement. A number of Southern states (especiallyIn addition, females generally pose a Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) aresignificantly lower risk to public safety than hoping to increase salary levels to attract andmales. BJS studies of female recidivism rates retain qualified staff to work in prisons thathave consistently shown that women have a are often located in economically depressedlower recidivism rate than males and are far rural areas. Such increased salaries will carryless likely to commit a violent or sex crime an obvious fiscal burden for stateupon release.13 The disproportionate increases governments.in the female prison population, then, aresomewhat ironic. Methamphetamine-related Cases are on the RiseAge of Inmates (and the Many states are seeing significant growthCost of Their Medical Care) in prison admissions related tois Expected to Rise methamphetamine addiction. In Georgia, forBJS reports that the average age of prisoners example, meth-related admissions more thanbeing released to parole has increased from tripled, from 977 inmates in fiscal years 199931 to 34 between 1990 and 1999.14 There are and 2000 to 3,579 in fiscal years 2004 andno more recent national data, and states were 2005. With meth offenders currently servingnot able to provide prisoner age projections an average of 5.5 years in prison, officialsfor this report, but policy experts and state estimate that the cumulative cost of housingofficials are concerned that the aging trend these inmates alone will exceed $340will accelerate largely because of the longer million.15prison terms being served under varioussentencing and release laws and policies. This The rise of meth cases is not readily reflectedpresents a major fiscal concern for states, in the current forecast, but correctionalbecause as the prison population ages, the officials have become increasingly concernedmedical costs of the corrections system are that larger proportions of the probation andexpected to rise accordingly. parole populations are using the drug and thereby increasing the likelihood of probation Public Safety Performance Project 11
  21. 21. and parole revocations. To control the The current five-year state projections do not problem and its impact on prisons, many reflect the long-term effects of such laws. The correctional officials are calling for more laws typically are not retroactive, and because community-based treatment beds and wider many of these offenders already spend longer adoption of evidence-based practices for than five years behind bars, the impact of the treating meth abusers. longer sentences will not be felt on populations and budgets for some time Impact of Enhanced Sex beyond the next five years. Over the next Offender Sentences Will Be two decades, however, one can expect the Felt Beyond Five Years number of prisoners convicted of sex crimes Many states have recently passed sentencing to expand rapidly. laws for sex offenders that require a lengthier period of incarceration and/or a lengthier and more intense period of parole supervision. One example is California, which under the recently passed Proposition 83 requires sex offenders to be tracked electronically for life. This law will no doubt increase the number of parolees returned to prison for technical violations. In Kansas, a law enacted in 2006 will result in approximately 150 persons convicted of child sex crimes being sentenced to prison for terms approximately 16 years longer than under earlier sentencing practices.12 Public Safety, Public Spending
  22. 22. Regional and State TrendsNortheastern Region recidivism reduction initiatives. They fundedThe Northeast historically has the lowest two programs targeting violators, and requiredincarceration rates, which will continue to be the development of a comprehensive re-entrytrue well into the next decade. Led by New plan, with focus on the specific neighborhoodsYork, Massachusetts, New Jersey and to which most prisoners were returning.Connecticut, these states are estimating little ifany growth. Part of the explanation for this Within two years following the developmenttrend is demographic, as this region is and adoption of this strategy, Connecticutestimated to grow slowly. Crime rates also are went from having one of the fastest-growingrelatively low. The stability of incarceration prison populations in the nation torates results from more than demography and experiencing a decline steeper than almostcrime rates, however; states also have adopted any other state. Crime rates in Connecticutnew policies that have controlled prison also dropped during this period, faster thanpopulation growth. In both Massachusetts they were falling in the nation overall.and New Jersey, for example, parole grantrates have increased while state leaders have Another big story in theresisted calls to increase sentencing lengths. Northeast has been New Change in five-year projected York, where the prison state prison populations variesConnecticut may provide one of the most population has declinedstriking and successful examples of policy from a peak of 72,889 in radically, from no growth inintervention. Using data-driven analyses, 1999 to its current level of New York, Delaware andConnecticut policy makers identified that about 63,000. Virtually all Connecticut to 41 percentparole and probation violators were driving of this historic decline hasmuch of the prison growth. They passed resulted from dramatic growth in Montana.legislation in 2004 that set a goal of reducing reductions both in seriousparole and probation revocations by 20 crime and in the number of felony arrests,percent, and hired 96 new probation officers, much of which can be linked to the well-reducing caseloads from approximately 160 known reforms within the New York Citycases per officer in January 2004 to police department.16 Indeed, admissions toapproximately 100 cases per officer in June state prison from New York City fell from2005. 20,580 in 1993 to 8,490 in 2005. While the state has not issued a formal prisonAs part of a “justice reinvestment” strategy, population forecast, the most recent trendsConnecticut redirected $13 million of the show no reason to expect significant increasesexpected savings from those reforms into over the next five years. Public Safety Performance Project 13
  23. 23. extending parole terms, especially for sex offenders. Although the Department of Corrections has expanded the programmatic opportunities available to inmates, and linked participation to additional good-conduct credits, these efforts have not offset the impact of sentencing initiatives enacted in Illinois during the late 1990s. Ohio had been experiencing declining prison populations since 1999 as a result of a sentencing reform initiative. Now the state is experiencing increases because of higher- than-expected prison admissions. A surge in Midwestern Region admissions of white females from a number The prison population of the Midwest of rural counties has been especially continues to grow, primarily as a result of dramatic. Based on these developments, Ohio increases in prison admissions from both new estimates it will add over 17,000 inmates to its court admissions and parole violations. In prison population over the next 10 years, a some states the long-term effects of truth-in- 37-percent increase. The female population sentencing laws that were enacted more than will grow at an even faster rate of 47 percent. a decade ago are now affecting lengths of stay. In Illinois, for example, prison Kansas is another Midwestern state that has admissions have increased every year, with changed its direction. Between 2003 and 2006, the system thus setting new highs annually. the prison population remained fairly stable. Parole violation rates are at a record high, With the passage of new child sex offender and policy makers have enacted several laws legislation and increases in the number of offenders being imprisoned for violating probation, the state’s latest forecast shows that TABLE 2 the prison population will increase from Ohio 10-Year Prison Population Projections, approximately 9,000 to 11,231 by 2016. These 2007–2016 projections would be even higher were it not for recent legislative actions and correctional Date Male Female Total 2006 43,965 3,554 47,519 policy changes that will hold technical parole 2007 45,485 3,726 49,211 violators accountable with graduated sanctions 2008 47,563 3,985 51,548 prior to returning them to prison. 2009 49,354 4,249 53,603 2010 50,889 4,416 55,305 2011 52,625 4,598 57,223 Iowa provides an interesting example of a 2012 53,832 4,699 58,531 state in which the prison population is 2013 55,384 4,802 60,186 projected to grow, but at a slower rate than 2014 56,941 4,914 61,855 other Midwestern states. There have been 2015 58,184 5,088 63,272 2016 59,756 5,214 64,970 fewer new court commitments for the state in % Change 36% 47% 37% recent years, although that has been Note: 2006 figure is the actual population as of 10/2/06. somewhat offset by higher rates of probation14 Public Safety, Public Spending
  24. 24. and community FIGURE 8supervision (parole) Projected Year-End Resident Populationadmissions. To by Region, 2006-2011control its prison 320 mpopulation, Iowa alsorelaxed its truth-in- Total 290 msentencing laws,dropping its 120 mrequirement of time South 110 mserved from 85percent to 70 100 mpercent, and 80 mincreased the numberof paroles. As a 70 m Westresult of these Midwest 60 mchanges, Iowa’sgrowth rate is 50 m Northeastprojected to be lowfor the next five 40 m 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011years. The long-term Source: JFA Instituteestimates are higher,however, because of the long-term effects of which has one of the largest state prisonother decisions the state has made, such as populations, is estimated to grow by anabolishing or restricting parole for certain additional 13,656 prisoners over the next fivecrimes and increasing sentences for sex years. Florida, another large state, willoffenders. Iowa estimates its prison incarcerate more than 100,000 people bypopulation will rise from 8,737 in 2005 to 2011. At the same time, Maryland and11,240 in 2015. As in Ohio, the female Delaware have stable population trends.population is projected to grow faster than These states have been very active inthe male population. adopting a variety of reforms designed to controlSouthern Region prison population growth. By 2011, the imprisonmentThe Southern states traditionally have had rate of the South willthe highest rates of incarceration, and that Texas’s prison system will exceed that of thewill continue to be the case. Figure 8 shows continue to grow in partthe projected populations of the four regions, because of simple Northeast by 80 percent.with the South having the greatest projected demographics: the state isgrowth. Yet the forecast shows Southern expected to grow by more than 2.3 millionstates moving in different directions over the residents over the next five years, for a totalnext five years. population of over 25 million. However, its incarceration rate is projected to grow as well,Some Southern states, such as Texas, Florida, the result primarily of low parole grant ratesGeorgia, South Carolina and West Virginia, and a high number of probation revocations.are projecting significant increases. Texas, Texas policy makers have begun to evaluate Public Safety Performance Project 15

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