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Prison Overcrowding - Emergency Measures and Alternative Forms of Punishment

NCJ Number
Date Published
112 pages
This text discusses emergency solutions to prison overcrowding, specifically looking at solutions that might be used effectively in California.
The most promising approach to reducing prison populations -- early release -- is used is by several States, including Michigan and Florida. Other overcrowding release measures include administrative good time and such ongoing programs as reentry furlough and work furlough. Analysis of atternative sanctions examines four types: restitution/diversion centers, shock probation, intensive supervision, and home incarceration. Restitution/diversion centers, used in States such as Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma, are generally established as community-based residential facilities designed to divert 'marginal risk' offenders from State prison commitments and to relieve overcrowding. Shock probation, used by States including Maine, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, is a form of split sentencing which to gives first-time or less sophisticated offenders a brief taste of prison life for shock effect and then places them on probation. Intensive supervision, used by States such as New York, Texas, and Georgia, provides reduced intensive supervision, surveillance, and appropriate services to offenders who do not present unacceptable risks to the community and who would normally go to prison. Home incarceration, used by States including Utah, California, and New Mexico, provides for the incarceration of offenders within their own homes. All of these programs offer responsible and realistic solutions for helping to relieve prison overcrowding. Twenty-six references, seven charts, and three exhibits are included.