Conditions of confinement in American prisons and jails
Research on the consequences of incarceration for inmates and ex-inmates, their families, and their communities has proliferated in just the last 20 years. Yet little of this research has documented variation across facilities in conditions of confinement or how these variations in conditions of confinement shape the consequences of incarceration for inmates and ex-inmates, their families, and their communities. Also, the conditions of confinement that have to this point been considered represent a very incomplete portrait of the range of conditions of confinement inmates could face. In this review, we fill this gap in four ways. First, we provide a partial overview of possible variations in conditions of confinement. Second, we use data from multiple years of the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails and the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities to provide an assessment of how much conditions of confinement vary across American jails, state prisons, and federal prisons, with an emphasis on variation within as well as between facility types. Third, we briefly review research on conditions of confinement in the United States and, as appropriate, other developed democracies. Finally, we conclude by providing a road map for future research to further enliven this research area.
Wildeman, C; Fitzpatrick, MD; Goldman, AW
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