NewYorkTimesFilter: Study Shows Building Prisons Did Not Prevent Repeat Crimes
June 2, 2002 10:28 PM Subscribe
Study Shows Building Prisons Did Not Prevent Repeat Crimes
(New York Times link--you know the drill)
The rate at which inmates released from state prisons commit new crimes rose from 1983 to 1994, a time when the number of people behind bars doubled, according to a Justice Department study released yesterday.
The report found that 67 percent of inmates released from state prisons in 1994 committed at least one serious new crime within three years. That is 5 percent higher than among inmates released in 1983.
Criminologists generally agree that the prison-building binge of the last 25 years, in which the number of Americans incarcerated quadrupled to almost two million, has helped reduce the crime rate simply by keeping criminals off the streets. There has been more debate about whether longer sentences and the increase in the number of prisoners have also helped to deter people from committing crimes. The new report, some crime experts say, suggests that the answer is no. (More inside)
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