Overincarceration

A more Cost-Effective Way to Deal with the Elderly Prisoner Boom

A more Cost-Effective Way to Deal with the Elderly Prisoner Boom

By Will Bunting, ACLU Fiscal Policy Analyst at 5:43pm
Under the Second Chance Act of 2007, for two years the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) conducted a pilot program to determine the effectiveness of placing eligible elderly prisoners on home detention (which includes detention in a nursing home or other residential long-term care facility) until the end of their prison terms. In December 2011, the BOP reported to Congress on the results of the pilot (the Elderly and Family Reunification for Certain Non-Violent Offenders Pilot Program). According to the BOP, the pilot achieved no cost-savings and actually imposed an additional $540,631 of costs above what would have been spent to incarcerate these inmates in BOP facilities. Specifically, the BOP compared the daily marginal cost to house an inmate in a minimum-or-low-security facility (estimated at $20.08 and $24.32 per day, respectively) with the regional average per diem paid to the private companies contracted to monitor inmates on home detention, which range from $34.86 to $47.76 per day.
Crime bill "should've been better, could've been worse"

Crime bill "should've been better, could've been worse"

By Carol Rose, Executive Director, ACLU of Massachusetts at 4:16pm

The mandatory-sentencing bill that Gov. Patrick said today he will sign should have been better, but could have been worse. The ACLU of Massachusetts opposed this bill because it takes our justice system in the wrong direction, expanding unjust, wasteful mandatory sentencing and depriving judges of the ability to depart from required mandatory maximum sentences for so-called 'habitual offenders'.

Federal Prisons Busting at the Seams: Sentencing Commission Should Prioritize Growing Prison Population

Federal Prisons Busting at the Seams: Sentencing Commission Should Prioritize Growing Prison Population

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:54pm

The U.S. Sentencing Commission is in the process of determining the issues that it will prioritize 2013. The commission embarks on this process every year and invites the public to suggest what it thinks the commission should concentrate its efforts…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:28pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:26pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:02pm

Across the country, cash-strapped cities and counties are throwing poor defendants in jail for failing to pay legal debts that they can never hope to manage. On Monday, the New York Times told the story of Gina Ray, whose $179 speeding ticket…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 5:21pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

Why Do We Keep Building Needless Prisons?

Why Do We Keep Building Needless Prisons?

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 4:30pm

Why are the Feds spending $250 million in taxpayer dollars to build an unnecessary and counter-productive prison for women in rural Aliceville, Alabama? 

As the New York Times pointed out recently, most women in federal Bureau of Prisons…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 6:05pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:28pm

The Supreme Court ruled today that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA), which reduced the disparity in federal sentencing between crack and powder cocaine, applies to people whose offenses pre-date the law but who were sentenced after its passage.…

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