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A Matter of Fact

The 1987 Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual had 325 pages. In 1988 there were 225 federal sentencing appeals. The 1996 Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual had ballooned to 1,137 pages. In 1995 there were 8,731 federal sentencing appeals.

There were 41 federal prisons constructed between 1900 and 1980.

States and the federal government built 213 new prisons (168 state and 45 federal) between 1990 and 1995. As of mid-year 1995, there were 1,500 state and federal prisons with a capacity of 976,000 beds -- up 41 percent in the five-year period.

Between 1990 and 1995, the combined state and federal prison population increased 45 percent, from 773,919 to 1,125,979.

In 1980, there were 24,363 federal prisoners; 33 percent (8,085) were minorities. In 1995 there were 100,432 federal prisoners, and 64.7 percent (65,000) were minorities.

Federal law enforcement expenditures in 1987 totaled $7.5 billion. Five years later, in 1992 they had risen to $17.4 billion.

The 1998 federal Dept. of Justice budget request seeks a 4.9 percent increase for a total of $19.3 billion, including increases of: 7.1 percent for the FBI, 7 percent for the DEA, 5.1 percent for federal prosecutors, and 13 percent for the INS

Between 1990 and 1995, the number of state and federal correctional employees grew 31 percent to 347,320. Guards account for 64 percent (222,284) of that total.

In 1980, the Federal Bureau of Prisons employed 7,000 guards. The number of BOP guards now stands at over 30,000.

According to BOP projections, the annual operating costs for federal prisons will double between 1996 and 2006 (from $2.4 billion to $4.8 billion). Combined annual operating and capital costs are projected to rise from $2.9 billion in 1996 to $5 billion in 2006.

Prison officials reported more than 14,000 assaults on prison employees in 1995 -- up 32 percent from 1990. However, the number of assaults per 1,000 employees remained unchanged at 15.

Almost 26,000 prisoners were assaulted (by other prisoners) during 1995 -- up 20 percent since 1990. However, the number of assaults per 1,000 prisoners dropped from 31 in 1990 to 27 in 1995.

As of February, 1997, at least seven states (CA, IL, IN, MO, PA, RI, and VA) have eliminated or severely curtailed access by the media to state prisons.

The Rand Corp. conducted a study on the effectiveness of different strategies for reducing U.S. cocaine consumption. Their results, released in May, 1997, concluded that drug treatment is 7 times more cost-effective than domestic enforcement, 10 times more effective than interdiction, and 23 times more effective than trying to stop other countries from producing drugs.

A report released by the U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that $103 billion has been spent by the U.S. in anti-drug efforts since 1988. A separate study by the Congressional Research Service estimates that anti-drug spending totalling $150.2 billion was included in the nine federal budgets between 1989 and 1996.

The United Nations International Drug Control Program issued a 300-page report in June 1997, detailing the worldwide drug business. The report estimates that drug trafficking has become a $400 billion-a-year business worldwide, equal to 8 percent of all trade -- more than automobile exports and about equal to the worldwide trade in textiles.

Texas prison chief Allan Polunsky told reporters in June 1997 that state prisons had reached 98 percent occupancy, even though Texas spent $1.5 billion to add 94,000 beds to the prison system in the 1990s (bringing total capacity to 144,000). Polunsky said the state prison population increases by 450 to 600 per month, and more new prisons will be needed by 1998.

As of July 1, 1997, twenty-five states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico hosted 118 private jails and prisons, holding a total of 77,584 prisoners in corporate custody. Texas is home to 38 of the 118 corporate lock-ups.

George C. Zoley, vice chairman and CEO of Wackenhut Corrections, the second largest private prison corporation in the U.S., received $415,406 in salary, bonus, and stock incentives for 1996. On May 16, 1997, Wackenhut Corrections stock closed at $18.38, a 14.8 percent gain in just one week.

Wackenhut Corrections employs 4,389 people worldwide and manages 15,800 prison beds.

Wackenhut Corrections "total return to shareholders" from December 1994 to December, 1996, was 137.04 percent. In that same period, the corporation's revenues increased 64 percent (from $84 million to $138 million), while income (profits) jumped a whopping 377 percent (from $2.2 million to $8.26 million).

According to an August 4, 1997, article in Newsweek, the value of Corrections Corporation of America stock, traded on the NYSE, has jumped "almost tenfold in the last three years."

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