Correctional Facilities in the United States: An Increasing Concern

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In attempting to discern likely trends in the burgeoning area of correctional facilities, it is necessary to gauge current trends and measures of policy that are designed to account for them. Some of the most salient factors that become clear when one looks at the contemporary state of correctional facilities within the United States are that there are increasingly high numbers of people in prison (approximately 700 inmates for every 100,000 people which puts the total number of inmates in America well over 2 million) (The Sentencing Project, 2003, p. 1), it is costing greater and greater amounts of money to maintain the correctional facilities system, and recidivism rates are extremely high as well. Based on this information, it is quite likely that future trends in correctional facilities will include programs to more effectively deal with the high rate of incident of recidivism, alternate sentencing and measures to deal with inmates who are incarcerated due to drug related offenses, and increases in the number of correctional facilities, some of which will be attributed to privatization. Current statistics indicate that rates of recidivism predict that released inmates will return to prison for a violation of the terms of their release or for a new offense within three years of their exit from a correctional facility (The Sentencing Project, 2003, p. 2). These recidivism rates are fairly substantial, and will more than likely need to be addressed just to accommodate the
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