Forecasting for Prisons and Jails
The criminal population of U.S. prisons has increased dramatically in recent years, leaving policymakers with difficult decisions in regard to the allocation of resources and how to plan for the long-term care of the criminal population. Although prison forecasts are conducted by every state, no consensus has emerged on how the population is best projected. This chapter seeks to provide guidance on this issue by examining the literature on prison forecasting. Using the success and failure of the models established in the literature as a guide, we provide a series of best practices for the forecasting of the prison population.
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