Prison Crowding

August 7, 1987

Report Outline
Special Focus


▪ In New York City, prison inmates are jammed into tiny cells, while weary guards work heavy overtime schedules. During a period of several weeks earlier this year, a corrections officer and an inmate were indicted for stomping a prisoner to death, another inmate shot and wounded two inmates with a smuggled gun, and a state agency released a report charging guard brutality at jails on Rikers Island. The city has responded to overcrowding with a plan to build more corrections facilities, including a proposal to convert a barge into a floating prison.

▪ In the District of Columbia, inmates in a work-release program wait in line for us long as seven hours at the end of the day until there is room for them to re-enter a crowded jail for the night.

▪ In Texas, which is under court order to alleviate overcrowding, thousands of prisoners are released onto the streets each month before their sentences are over to make room for new prisoners. So far this year, the state has closed its prisons to new inmates more than a dozen times because the prison population exceeded legally mandated limits.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Apr. 12, 2019  Bail Reform
Oct. 19, 2018  For-Profit Prisons
Mar. 03, 2017  Women in Prison
Jan. 10, 2014  Sentencing Reform
Sep. 14, 2012  Solitary Confinement
Mar. 11, 2011  Downsizing Prisons
Dec. 04, 2009  Prisoner Reentry
Apr. 06, 2007  Prison Reform
Jan. 05, 2007  Prison Health Care
Sep. 17, 1999  Prison-Building Boom
Feb. 04, 1994  Prison Overcrowding
Oct. 20, 1989  Crime and Punishment: a Tenuous Link
Aug. 04, 1989  Can Prisons Rehabilitate Criminals?
Aug. 07, 1987  Prison Crowding
Nov. 25, 1983  Prison Overcrowding
Feb. 26, 1982  Religious Groups and Prison Reform
Jun. 18, 1976  Criminal Release System
Mar. 12, 1976  Reappraisal of Prison Policy
Oct. 20, 1971  Racial Tensions in Prisons
Oct. 13, 1965  Rehabilitation of Prisoners
Oct. 09, 1957  Prisons and Parole
May 02, 1952  Penal Reform
Jan. 30, 1937  The Future of Prison Industry
May 08, 1930  Prison Conditions and Penal Reform
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Sentencing and Corrections