Skip to main content

Crime, cash, and limited options: Explaining the prison boom

The full text article is not available.

At present, only title information is available on ingentaconnect.com for this article. This is due to copyright restrictions.

Abstract:

Research Summary

An analysis of a state panel of prison populations from 1977 to 2005 shows that the best predictors of prison populations are crime, sentencing policy, prison crowding, and state spending. Prison populations grew at roughly the same rate and during the same periods as spending on education, welfare, health and hospitals, highways, parks, and natural resources. Current and lagged values of state spending on prison construction also accounted for a substantial amount of variation in subsequent prison populations. Public opinion, partisan politics, the electoral cycle, and social threats seem to have had little effect on the number of prisoners.

Policy Implications

The availability of publicly acceptable alternatives to incarceration may not be sufficient to reverse course. Federal funding of alternatives—but not prisons—would provide states with the financial incentive to reduce prison populations.

Keywords: correctional spending; prison population; sentencing policy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9133.2009.00546.x

Affiliations: Ph.D., is a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Publication date: 2009-02-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more