Jails - Number Of Jail Inmates, Reasons For The Growinginmate Population, Largest Jail Jurisdictions, Rated Capacity
federal corrections holding offenses
Corrections institutions are organized in tiers by level of government and, at each level (federal, state, and local), specific types of institutions provide corrections functions based on the relative severity of the offenses committed. The most restrictive form of corrections is incarceration in a prison. Both the federal and the state governments operate their own prison systems; within the federal government, the military maintains its own prisons. Prison inmates serve time for serious offenses and are incarcerated for a year or longer.
In contrast, most people sentenced to jail serve less than a year for misdemeanors and offenses against the public order. Jails are operated at the local level—by cities and counties. The federal government operates some jails as well, and within the federal government, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has its own detention facilities. In some states, jails and prisons are operated under a single state authority, but the distinction—prisons for long terms and for serious offenses, jails for lesser terms and for less serious offenses—is still maintained.
Probation is the most common form of corrections without incarceration and is one form of what is known as "community corrections." In addition to holding offenders for short terms of confinement, jails also serve other purposes, including:
- Receiving individuals pending arraignment and holding them awaiting trial, conviction, or sentencing
- Readmitting probation, parole, and bail-bond violators and absconders
- Temporarily detaining juveniles pending transfer to juvenile authorities
- Holding mentally ill persons pending their movement to appropriate health facilities
- Holding individuals for the military, for protective custody, for contempt, and for the courts as witnesses
- Releasing convicted inmates to the community upon completion of sentence
- Transfering inmates to federal, state, or other authorities
- Housing inmates for federal, state, or other authorities because of crowding of their facilities
- Operating community-based programs as alternatives to incarceration
- Holding inmates sentenced to short terms (generally under one year)
People in jail represent the smallest percentage of individuals in custody. According to Paige M. Harrison and Jennifer C. Karberg in Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2003 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 2004), on June 30, 2003, the nation's jails held or supervised 762,672 inmates, more than 90% of those (691,301 inmates) were behind bars and the rest (71,371 inmates) were supervised …
The FBI collects data on arrests and publishes the numbers in its Crime in the United States series. During the period 1990–2001, total estimated arrests first rose from 14.2 million in 1990 to 15.3 million in 1997, the peak year in this timeframe. Thereafter, arrests declined every year to reach 13.7 million in 2003. For the period as a whole, arrests decreased at the rate of 0.3% a year&#…
In Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2003, Harrison and Karberg reported that in 2003 the country's fifty largest jail jurisdictions held about one-third (31.2%) of all jail inmates, accounting for a total jail population of 215,729. Twenty states had jails that made the top fifty based on average daily population. Some states had more than one among the largest fifty jails: California (tw…
State or local rating officials define "rated capacity" as the maximum number of beds or inmates that may be housed in a jail. In 2003 U.S. jails added 22,572 beds to total jail capacity, bringing it to 736,471, according to Harrison and Karberg in Prison and Jail Inmates at Mid-year 2003. (See Table 3.4.) This was the smallest annual increase since 1995. Capacity utilization had dro…
At midyear 2003, according to Harrison and Karberg in Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2003, the jail incarceration rate for women was 119 per 100,000 female residents in the United States. At the same time, the rate for men was 1,331 per 100,000 adult male residents. In 1995 females represented 10.2% of jail inmates, and in 2003, 11.9%. (See Table 3.6.) Most local jail inmates in 2003 were mino…
The last comprehensive survey of statutory state authority permitting jails to charge fees for some kinds of services was conducted by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), U.S. Department of Justice, in 1997 and published as Fees Paid by Jail Inmates: Findings from the Nation's Largest Jails. Data from that study indicate that most states authorized some kind of fee for services to …
The BJS conducted its census of jails in 1999 and published the results in 2001. The Bureau usually reports on jails only as part of an annual survey of prisons and jails combined. The 1999 census provides a slightly dated but comprehensive look at jail staffing, facilities, and privately run jails. More recent data on some topics is also found in Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002 and Prison and Jail …
The National Institute of Justice defines a jail industry as one that uses inmate labor to create a product or provide a service that has value to a public or private client and for which the inmates receive compensation, whether it be pay, privileges, or other benefits. This definition describes a variety of activities. If a convict cuts the grass in front of the jail and thereby earns permission…
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