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Public Correctional Policy on Fiscal Responsibility for Correctional Legislation


The percentage growth of the correctional population of the United States during the last decade far exceeds the increase in the number of crimes committed. This increased growth has resulted in crowded facilities and excessive workloads for staff of many correctional systems around the country. These conditions are due, in part, to the passage of legislation without requisite consideration of the fiscal realities of compliance with such legislation and the adverse effect that inadequate fiscal resources can have upon sound correctional practices. This concern must be shared with legislative and executive branch policy-makers at all levels.

Policy Statement:

Adequate levels of funding are necessary to ensure that public safety objectives are achieved and that prisons, jails and community corrections facilities are operated in a safe, secure and constitutional manner. Implementation of sound correctional practices requires that institutional and community supervision operations be adequately staffed. Correctional employees must be adequately trained to provide both adult and juvenile offenders with appropriate levels of supervision. Prisons, jails and community corrections programs must have adequate resources to insure that security, treatment and habilitation services are delivered cost-effectively in a controlled, disciplined correctional environment.

The American Correctional Association supports funding to ensure sound correctional practice. There should be adequate funding to ensure that:

  1. Appropriate remedies are available to accommodate the future growth in demand for prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, probation and parole services, intermediate sanctions and other correctional remedies;

  2. Appropriate human service programs are sufficiently coordinated with correctional programs;

  3. Offender programming is designed to reduce recidivism;

  4. There are sufficient correctional personnel and physical space necessary to operate efficient and effective correctional programs;

  5. There are sufficient community corrections resources to provide adequate supervision and services to offenders released to the community on probation and parole or other forms of community supervision; and

  6. There are sufficient resources to provide for on-going program evaluation and for research into new and relevant services.

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