Chapter 3 Sentencing Trends and Incarceration Introduction (1 of 2) There are about 2 million incarcerated in prisons and jails Rate of growth slowing down Incarceration rate displays by per 100,000 Advantages: allows comparisons over time and between jurisdictions Introduction National average (2003) 482 per 100,000 Some states have higher than average Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas Go to (2 of 2) http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/correct.htm Federal system has almost doubled in past decade Prison Inmates Women and minorities have been differentially affected. Rates are different by race and sex White women: 38 per 100,000 Black women: 185 per 100,000 From 1995–2003 Male inmates increased 29% Female inmates increased by 48% Sentencing Reforms Sentencing structures Indeterminate Partially indeterminate Determinate presumptive The Supreme Court and the Sentencing Process Sentencing guidelines – federal & state U.S. v. Booker & U.S. v. Fan Fan Raises doubts about legality Chronic Offender Legislation Three strikes law – in California and elsewhere Found constitutional by Supreme Court and voters rejected changes to it Drug Offenders and Prison Overcrowding Majority of those sentenced are drug users who commit property crimes. Crimes and recidivist property offenders Drug crimes 31% of all state prison sentences 45% of all federal sentences Racial differences in sentencing Drug sentencing affects women Greater % of women sentenced for drug crimes Responding to Overcrowding 22 states and federal system operating over capacity Overcrowding as a cause of stress? Strategies to Fight Overcrowding Construction, increasing existing facilities, double bunking, increased use of local jails, community based correctional services Courts may require states to reduce capacity 2001 – prison expenditures was $29.5 billion Contracting with private providers Texas and California: Leaders in Incarceration Texas – 166,911 California – 164,487 25% of all U.S. prisoners in these 2 states Prisons cost each resident of the U.S. $104 per year Front End Strategies to Fight Overcrowding Increased use of probation; intermediate sanctions Drug courts Minnesota is a leader Problem of net-widening Back End Strategies to Fight Overcrowding Early release; parole Texas and California combined have about 1 million on parole and probation NCCD’s research shows early release does not endanger the public Future Directions Three strikes Do the deter crime? Research shows how expensive these laws are Research is mixed but most show no effect Other criticism is that use of threestrikes varies by county Social Costs of Prison Expansion “Opportunity costs” Money spent on prison is not spent on education, health care, etc. More African American men in prison than college? Conclusions Research doesn’t show connection between three strikes and greater reduction of crime. Public opinion polls show Americans may be softening in their desire for long prison sentences.