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Corrections Safety

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages
This Fact Sheet reports data and assessments pertinent to the safety of residents and staff in U.S. correctional facilities.
Based on a review of relevant research, this report concludes that "America's prisons and jails are safe and getting safer." Over the last 20 years, the incarcerated population has increased 330 percent, while key indicators of safety and order (e.g., homicide and suicides, riots, staff homicides by inmates, and prison escapes) have all improved significantly. Inmate-on-inmate assaults are declining, and assaults and sexual assaults in prison and jail occur at rates comparable to these offenses in the community at large. In addition, the use of restrictive measures such as protective custody and administrative segregation, have decreased, and the percentage of inmates housed in maximum-security facilities declined 30 percent from 1980 through 2004. This report concludes that correctional leadership and innovative management are the main drivers of these safety gains in U.S. correctional facilities. 11 figures and 13 references