In contrast to the predictions of many, the prison buildup in the USA did not lead to dramatic increases in chaos behind bars. Instead, prison riots have become rarer, the homicide rate among inmates has declined dramatically and a smaller proportion of inmates are held in segregation and protective custody. Escapes are less common. What caused, then, the trend toward greater, rather than less, order? Neither demographics nor the development of supermax facilities are found to be responsible for much of the improvement. Rather, the data are consistent with the position that political and correctional leadership made prison institutions more effective. There may well be many negative social consequences of the prison buildup, but diminished prison order was not one.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Prison buildup
- Prison programs