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Prison Construction, Part I

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Dated: January 1998 Pages: 6-13
R Roberts
Date Published
2 pages
A survey of U.S. and Canadian correctional agencies shows that construction projects and the total number of new beds completed in fiscal year 1996-97 did not increase as dramatically as reported in past surveys; still, the number of construction projects completed, currently under way, and planned for the future represent steady growth to meet the needs of the burgeoning prison population.
Of the 57 correctional systems that responded to a recent prison construction survey, only 27 reported completing building projects in fiscal year 1996-97, with most completing construction on inmate service facilities; 25 systems reported no new construction during the fiscal year. Forty-six States and the Federal Bureau of Prisons responded to the survey, as did nine Provinces and the Correctional Services of Canada. Overall, 73 percent of the construction projects were residential, 17 percent were support facilities, and 10 percent were a mix of both. Respondents reported construction that amounted to $479,253,507 in fiscal year 1996-97. In the same period, the Correctional Services of Canada and nine Provinces reported expenditures of $54,931,600. The starting dates for prison construction were listed as far back as 1994, with the majority of the work performed in 1995 and 1996. Corrections officials in Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Tennessee, and Massachusetts reported construction of private prisons that involved 2,116 new beds and six facilities. A table provides State-by-State information on construction completed in fiscal year 1996-97. Data include facility name, facility type, type of construction, number of beds, security class, construction dates, and total costs. Similar data are provided on private facilities. A graph shows the security level of new prison beds.


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