LaTosha Traylor and Beth Richie
This article focuses on the steadily increasing number of females being admitted in corrections. It emphasizes the need for gender-based programs inside and outside prisons, and observes that drug offenses seem to be the main reason for the increase of female inmates. Most of these women have experienced physical—and even sexual—abuse, which makes treatment even more challenging. This article identifies some new programs that can address the needs of female inmates, particularly mothers and their children.
Brandon K. Applegate
This article begins with an overview of the jail inmate population. Data reveal the current makeup and important shifts in inmate characteristics. Section II discusses the historical development of jails and pretrial release. Section III reviews the empirical evidence on contemporary pretrial release issues, including trends in pretrial release and detention, correlates of release decisions, and dimensions of supervision and misconduct among released defendants. Section IV turns to contemporary jail issues of direct supervision in new generation facilities, mental health, and adjustment to jail confinement. Section V concludes with a discussion of policy implications and fruitful directions for future research.
Lieutenant Gary F. Cornelius
This article views America's jails using a practitioner's perspective. It first describes how local jails were developed, how they are managed in an overcrowded environment, and how they are trying to provide inmates with programs and the community with public safety. It then discusses how jails have been affected and coped with the pressure-cooker effect experienced in overcrowded prisons. This article also includes sections on the development of the mega jail, the ever-evolving nature of the inmate population—and its implication for jail security—and the increasing importance of privatization.
This article summarizes research on the implementation, operation, and deterrent effects of mandatory sentencing laws. Section I examines research before 1970 while Section II examines the major empirical evaluations in the United States since then. Section III summarizes the small literature in other countries, primarily Australia, Canada, England and Wales, and South Africa. Although the mandatory penalties are much less harsh in those countries and the research is less extensive, the findings are indistinguishable from those in the United States. Section IV briefly examines research on deterrent effects. Section V tries to make sense of these findings and to outline their policy implications.
This article reflects on the realities of race, crime, and punishment in the United States. It focuses on the damage caused on African Americans by the “War on Drugs” that started during the mid-1980s. It observes that the massive imprisonment of black men in the United States started in 1973 and examines the imprisonment and crime rates from the late 1960s to the early twenty-first century. The next section takes a look at the racial patterns in drug use, drug sales, drug arrests, and in conviction and imprisonment for drug offenses. The article also includes some suggestions to handle the unequal treatment of African Americans, such as making certain changes in drug policy.
This article examines risk assessment, which is defined as the identification of “risk” and “protective” factors that make involvement in crimes more or less likely. It lists the available risk assessment methodologies, the empirical research on their legitimacy, and the ethical and legal issues related to their use. It considers the importance of risk assessment to sentencing, and then identifies the types and accuracy of risk assessment. This article also shows some uses of formal risk assessment in sentencing. Several concerns related to risk assessment are also addressed.
Kevin R. Reitz
This article discusses the traditional American “indeterminate” sentencing systems, which are still used in approximately half the states in America. It shows that the parole boards hold most of the authority with regards to the lengths of most prison terms. It then summarizes the current knowledge on these systems, and records some of the differences across systems. This article concludes that there is no basis with which to form policy judgments of “worse” or “practices”.
Francis T. Cullen and Paula Smith
This article explores the role of rehabilitation as a core purpose of American corrections. Section I argues that rehabilitation has been a fundamental sensibility of the correctional enterprise from its beginning stages. Despite the seeming hegemony of the punishment model for more than three decades, this abiding belief that the correctional system should not only punish but also “correct” remains strong. Section II traces the seeming collapse of the rehabilitation model in the 1970s. Section III presents what has become the dominant rehabilitation model, which is typically captured under the label of the principles of effective correctional intervention. Section IV concludes with a discussion of the future of rehabilitation as a core purpose of American corrections.