National Trends and the Assessment of Prison Crowding
In the early 1980s, prison crowding was proclaimed “the most critical administrative problem facing the United States criminal justice system” (Blumstein 1983, 229). While debates emerged over the meaning of “crowding” as the decade unfolded (Sherman and Hawkins 1981; Gaes 1985), there are few today who would dispute that crowded prison conditions were the major driving force for the administration of criminal justice in the 1980s.
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