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Responding to Fiscal Challenges in State Correctional Systems: A National Study of Prison Closings and Alternative Strategies, 2007-2012

Version
v0
Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, aggregate data, event/transaction data, survey data
Creator
  • Davis, Lois M. (RAND Corporation)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2016-03-31
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Language
English
Free Keywords
budget cuts; corrections; fiscal policy; prison administration; prison conditions; prison construction
Description
  • Abstract

    These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed. This study addresses changes to state correctional systems and policies in response to correctional spending limits brought on by the worsening economic climate beginning in late 2007. These changes include institutional changes, such as closing prisons and reducing staffing, "back-end" strategies, such as reductions in sentence lengths and reduced parolee supervision, and "front-end" measures, such as funding trade-offs between other governmental and social services. A survey of the 50 state correctional administrators addressed fiscal stress, including size and characteristics of the prison population, prison crowding, prison expenditures, institutional safety, staff morale, public safety and other justice spending. Additionally, six states were selected for in depth case studies, which included interviews with facility personnel and site visits by research staff in order to thoroughly understand the challenges faced and the resulting decisions made. Additionally, each state's demographic, correctional spending, and overall financial information was collected from census and other publicly available reports. Information on the overall health and safety of the inmates was examined through an econometric comparison of funding levels and statistics as to prisoner mortality, crime and incarceration rates.
  • Abstract

    RAND Corporation and the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) developed a survey of state correctional administrators to understand the changes in correctional systems with respect to facility closings, openings, and changes in capacity. ASCA fielded the survey of all 50 state correctional administrators for the purpose of determining what changes had been made to state correctional facilities from fiscal year (FY) 2007-2008 through FY 2012-2013 in response to state budget shortfalls caused by the severe recession that began in 2007. To understand how states have addressed fiscal pressures and what the effects have been, the following research questions were addressed: (1) What have been the recent financial situation of states in corrections? (2) What types of initiatives/ policy changes have been instituted (e.g., prison closings, reduced programming)? (3) Why were these different strategies selected and what were the challenges in implementing them? (4) What has been the short term impact of these changes on the numbers of incarcerated offenders, institutional performance and other measures, public safety, and correctional expenditures?
  • Abstract

    The project used a mixed-methods approach including a survey of state correctional administrators, an analysis of expenditure and financial information, case studies of six states, and an econometric analysis as described below. Survey of Correctional Administrators-- An online survey was conducted of the 50 state correctional administrators about what institutional and/or organizational changes their department had undertaken during the past five fiscal years. The survey asked corrections officials about changes in correctional facilities, focusing on closures, new facilities, and altering existing facilities as a response to budget pressures.; Case Studies-- The states of Washington, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York were selected and agreed to participate based off of the size of state, degree of fiscal stress, change in prisoner population, facility closures, significant sentencing changes, Justice Reinvestment Initiatives information, and geographic location. The project team scheduled an initial one-hour conference call with each state's secretary of corrections and his senior staff to obtain an overview of the state's major fiscal challenges and strategies. Then a site visit was conducted and lasted between 3-4 days and included meetings with headquarters staff, as well as visits to 2-3 prison facilities.; Expenditure and Financial Information-- To gather financial information on each state's degree of fiscal stress, systematic web searches of publicly available data and reports were conducted. Data from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) State Expenditure Report series from 2007-2011 were used. Financial data were extracted on corrections expenditures, total state expenditures, and capital expenditures. In addition, similar information was gathered from the US Census on the State Finance Survey Data from 2007 to 2011. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data on prisoners at year-end were also gathered from 2007-2011.; Economic and benefit/cost analysis-- Economic analysis were conducted relating prison funding levels to correctional outcomes, including prisoner mortality rates, crime rates, and later incarceration rates. Data was drawn upon from a number of sources including survey-based expenditure measures, the Uniform Crime Reports, National Corrections Reporting Program and National Prisoner Statistics series, the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program, and the Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finance.;
  • Abstract

    This study contains four datasets. The first three datasets were created from a survey of state correctional administrators in order to understand the changes in correctional systems with respect to facility, closings, openings, and changes in capacity. The fourth dataset contains information about state expenditures, prison mortality rates, and statewide inmate demographic information. The new facilities dataset (nij_new_facilities.sas7bdat) includes data on new correctional facilities opened during FY 2007-2008 through FY 2012-2013. The 99 variables contain information about the date the facility opened, gender of housed inmates, security level, number of new beds opened, number of full time employees, number of full time correctional officers, and whether it replaced an aging or closed facility. The dataset contains 51 cases, one for each state and the District of Columbia, though the DC information was blanked by the depositor. The closed facilities dataset (nij_closed_facilities.sas7bdat) includes data on correctional facilities that closed during FY 2007-2008 through FY 2012-2013. The 400 variables (51 cases) contain information on the date the facility closed, the gender of inmates housed, security level, number of beds closed, number of full-time correctional officers displaced due to closing and whether there was a consolidation of offender population. Additionally, there were questions as to why the facility was closed, such as: whether the facility was an aging facility, the facility was using space to house inmates that was not designed for housing inmates, the closed facility was replaced by a new facility, the closed facility had high operating costs, the closed facility decided to contract with another non-DOC facility, and whether it was closed because there were fewer facilities needed for a given security level or because of a need to maintain facilities close to population centers. The changed facilities dataset (nij_changed_facililties.sas7bdat) includes data on correctional facilities whose capacity was increased during FY 2007-2008 through FY 2012-2013. The 481 variables (51 cases) contain information about the year in which bed capacity was added, the gender of inmates housed, the security level, the total number of beds the facility had before increased capacity and the number of added beds, whether additional space was added through construction and/or existing space was renovated, if beds were added to existing units, if beds were placed in areas not originally designed as housing units and/or bed capacity was added by other means. The prison mortality dataset (prison_mortality_prelim_for_nacjd.dta) includes information about the health of the inmates (represented through mortality rates) and financial expenditures from the state. Specifically, the 53 variables and 500 cases (one case per state, per year, from 2001 to 2010) contain information about the annual state expenditures on correctional operations and construction, court operations and construction, police operations and construction, and welfare programs. The data contain state totals of prison population demographics, such as race and gender of inmates, prisoner mortality rates, including in local jails, state unemployment rates, and age percentages of newly admitted and released inmates. Additionally, the syntax file (prison_mortality_for_nacjd.do) is used as part of this dataset.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: For the survey portion of the study (datasets 1-3) 46 of 50 states completed the survey. For the case study portion of the project, out of seven states selected, six states agreed to participate.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 2007 / 2013
    Time period: 2007--2013
  • 2013-10 / 2014-11
    Collection date: 2013-10--2014-11
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
The Department of Corrections in 50 states and D.C. Smallest Geographic Unit: State
Sampling
Representatives of the state Department of Correction (or equivalent) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia were surveyed. Six states were used as additional case studies, they included Washington, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York.
Collection Mode
  • record abstracts, face-to-face interview, telephone interview, web-based survey

    These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

    The qualitative data are not available as part of this data collection at this time.

Note
Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2011-IJ-CX-0011).
Availability
Delivery
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 36105 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Relations
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR36105.v1

Update Metadata: 2016-03-31 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2016-03-31

Davis, Lois M. (2016): Responding to Fiscal Challenges in State Correctional Systems: A National Study of Prison Closings and Alternative Strategies, 2007-2012. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36105