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PA Prison Expansion Fails to Cut Crime

A recent report prepared for the Pennsylvania State Commission on Sentencing found that a dramatic increase in the state's prison population has not reduced violent crime.

The report, Incarceration and Crime: Facing Fiscal Realities in Pennsylvania, by Penn State University Professor Darrell Steffensmeier, found that between 1980 and 1991 the prison incarceration rate rose 171 percent and the violent crime rate increased nearly 25 percent. During this period, the state Department of Corrections Budget rose 263 percent.

Steffesnmeir concluded: "Using incarceration as the primary sanction for the bulk of offenders does not appear to be justified given what we do know."

Corrections Today, April, 1993

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