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12 J. Offender Counseling, Services & Rehab. 1 (1987-1988)

handle is hein.journals/wjor12 and id is 1 raw text is: 


         What Do Indicators Indicate?
             A Statistical Lagniappe

  The New Year, 1987, was barely ushered in when official
word from the Justice Department informed us that at the end of
1985-its latest report-three of every one hundred male adults
in the United States were incarcerated or under some other cor-
rectional supervision. Now that's a lot of adults! Close to three
million of them. Almost 1.7% of the total adult population of the
United States, or one out of every sixty-one adults. 750,000
adults in prison. What tales are told by these astronomical num-
bers? First, and consolingly, the number of adults in prison in
1985 is only about twice the number that were locked up in the
Depression Year 1930. With all the turmoil, domestic and inter-
national, that we have experienced in the last half century it is
comforting that the increase has kept pace with population
growth and that the percent of those incarcerated or under other
forms of correctional supervision is about the same today as it
was then. Comforting? That's the Draconian positive aspect of
the numbers. A look at the obverse is cause sufficient for a lin-
gering headache. Why haven't the numbers gone down? Is there
an inexorable linear, cause and effect relationship between popu-
lation growth and the sentencing of people to prison? If this is a

          Journal of Offender Counseling, Services & Rehabilitation,
                    Vol. 12(1), Fall/Winter 1987
           V 1987 by The Elaworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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