Accommodating prison population growth


28-Sep-2017 04:14

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DES MOINES — A new state forecast projects Iowa’s prison population could grow by 39 percent over the next 10 years to an estimated inmate count of 11,317 that would significantly exceed the design capacity at existing state penal institutions.The 34-page report prepared by the state Department of Human Rights’ Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning projects that the male inmate population would exceed the prison system’s design capacity by 37 percent and the number of female inmates would top design capacity by 10 percent, if the overall numbers grow from last June’s 8,119 count to 11,317 by mid mid-2024.“This is a good indicator of what will happen in the future if we choose to do nothing now,” said Sarah Johnson, a division justice systems analyst and primary author of the report who is slated to discuss her findings with the state Board of Corrections on Friday.A further advantage of adopting this definition of ageing in the Australian context is that it allows for the inclusion of data concerning both female and Indigenous prisoners—two groups of offenders who are generally younger than the mainstream prison population (ABS 2010b).In 2010, inmates over the age of 50 comprised 11.2 percent of the Australian prison population (ABS 2010b).According to the CJJP report, increased prison admissions, probation revocations and direct court commitments are factors pushing prison growth.Also mandatory minimum stays of 70 percent for sentences of certain felonies, tougher sentencing for sex offenders, a rise in the admissions of inmates convicted of drug offenses and the housing of “lifers” convicted of Class A felonies are other factors which influence prison trends, the report found.“One continued opportunity for change lies in Iowa’s response to drug offenders,” the report noted.

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Lettie Prell, director of research for the Iowa Department of Corrections, said factors such as prison admissions and the length of mandatory minimum sentences being served are beyond the department’s ability to address because they are the purview of the Legislature and governor.“The prison population forecast shows what the prison population would look like if policies, practices continue into the future,” she said.

” Yasonna said during a hearing with the House of Representatives’ Commission III overseeing human rights, security and legal affairs.

The more prisoners inside jails, he said, the more difficult for the ministry to handle problems in the prisons, such as sanitation and food supply, as well as illegal levies by prison guards on visitors.

Older prisoner populations present a number of challenges for governments, correctional administrators, healthcare providers and community agencies.

This paper looks at the issue of defining the older prisoner and explores the rise in older inmate populations throughout Australia—both at the national level and across the states and territories.

“Absent policy reform, something would have to change.”However, state Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said the new projections follow past trends and there does not appear to be a need for new prison construction plans, given the successes the agency has had in managing the prison and community-based corrections system.“The forecast is a prediction so it’s really not reality,” he said.



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