How does the county’s jail incarceration rate today compare to its historical trend?
A jail’s incarceration rate now is substantially higher than it once was back then. After four decades of growth, it is sometimes easy to forget that jails were not always the size they are today. In fact, the average daily population of the Lake County Jail has increased by 73 percent since 1990 according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Comparing to their jail since back then, the county’s incarceration rate has increased to the modern day and the population rate is doubled the size than it was before. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prisons are above their highest capacity and are bringing in more inmates. According to California Governor Edmund G. Brown, “due to the record number of inmates currently housed in prison in California, all 33 CDCR prisons are now at or above maximum operational capacity, and 29 of the prisons are so overcrowded that the CDCR is required to house more than 15,000 inmates in conditions that pose substantial safety risks, namely, prison areas never designed or intended for inmate housing” (Brown).The jail population today is much higher than it was in the past, and incarceration rates are adding up with more and more prisoners.
What is the main reason for jail expansions?
Due to serious issues of overcrowding, jails are hitting their maximum capacity, leading to jail expansion, and money is also being an issue. The amount of inmates a jail can contain is reaching the final point which is why jails are being expanded. Sheriff Mike Hasler from the Green County of Wisconsin, tells the Green County Daily World that “the expansion is needed due to the change in sentencing guidelines - which resulted in Level 6 felonies spending their sentences at the county jail causing serious overcrowding issues.” Level 6 felonies is a range for criminals that have six months to two in a half years with an advisory sentence of 1 year. The jail being overfull is a big problem for them and expanding them will be a huge change for everyone involved in the expansion. In the article “Three options presented for expanding county jail”, the author states, “The problem then was the jail was at capacity, but had more local prisoners than federal or out-of-county prisoners and was losing money” (Olsen). The amount of prisoners are adding up in the county jail, and hit the capacity. Money is also being taken away, so jail expansion is very much needed.
What are alternatives ways to expand jails? What are some alternatives for other prisoners who don’t have that big of a crime?
Expanding jails have many alternatives, such as having preluding design plans to build a jail in a different place and housing nonviolent offenders in an alternative setting. Some prisoners have minor crimes that aren’t serious, so moving them in a more secure place would be available as another possibility. Not every person in jail is accused of violent, heinous crimes, according to Guy Zima, the Brown County supervisor on the Public Safety Committee. Her plan is less expensive with a barracks-style structure for nonviolent offenders. There are three options for jail expansion. According to Scott Fettig, a project manager from the American Jail Association, he states, “Expanding the jail horizontally, expanding the jail vertically or building a new jail facility somewhere else” (Fettig). Creating different preliminary designs for inmates are alternatives for expanding the jails and moving nonviolent offenders to a different place. Another important thing to know is whether or not incarceration rates are getting higher or lower.
Are incarceration rates increasing or decreasing?
Predominantly, state prison populations have been frequently falling over the years, so incarceration rates are decreasing. According to Christian Henrichson, the director of research for the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice, he states, “In 2013, 44 percent of the U.S jail population was in small counties where just 36 percent of Americans residents.” Since then, the percent of the jail population was already at a small percentage compared to now, where as incarceration rates are getting smaller. In the article “Mapping mass incarceration means looking at more than big cities”, the author concludes that “jail incarceration rates declined 10 percent in mid-sized and large counties over the last decade.” This shows that the incarceration rates have been declining over the past decade, and have been getting smaller every time.
What are resolutions for jail expansion?
The resolutions for jail expansion includes lower cost options with work release programs and proposing beds for prisoners. In the article “Jail expansion alternatives exist” by the Green Bay Press-Gazette Editorial Board, the author states that “work release and electronic monitoring programs are an alternative option for low cost options”. By having work release programs, the jail wouldn’t have to spend countless amounts of money because of the low cost and would be a resolution. Another proposition would be adding beds for inmates, According to Kevin Abourezsk, a higher education reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star and a freelance writer and editor, “The jail now has about 707 beds in all when beds used for the work-release program” (Abourezsk). Jails are built to hold a certain number of inmates, including one bed per prisoner. Work release options allow prisoners who can be monitored to leave confinement continuing their jobs at their contemporary place of employment and returning to the prison at the end of their shifts.
Henrichson, Christian. “Mapping mass incarceration means looking at more than big cities.” The Hill. 24 Jan. 2017. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/crime/314658-mapping-mass-incarceration-means-looking-at-more-than-big-cities?scrlybrkr=bbe4e502
Board, Green Bay Press-Gazette Editorial. "Jail expansion alternatives exist."Press Gazette Media. N.p., 24 Jan. 2017. http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/05/07/jail-expansion-alternatives-exist/84037516/
"Greene County To Expand County Jail." Local. N.p., 15 Dec. 2016.
Abourezk, Kevin. Lincoln Journal Star; Lincoln, Neb. 22 Feb 2002. http://search.proquest.com/news/docview/247988357/D22F6810805142C7PQ/18?accountid=42214
Olsen, Chris. “Three options presented for expanding county jail” Points of View Reference Center. Feb 19, 2016. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/src_ic/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=0a1de19c-f0a4-4acf-93ed-8faea1fea81f%40sessionmgr103&hid=115&bdata=#db=pwh&AN=2W6920427369
“Bannock County holds bond hearing for jail expansion.” YouTube, uploaded by East Idaho News, 22 October 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM5qbNxCGmA&spfreload=10&scrlybrkr=76caf558