Skip to main content
Publications

On the Chopping Block 2012: State Prison Closures

December 07, 2012
There is a growing trend among states to downsize or close their prisons, reducing prison capacity in 2012 by 14,100 beds, and 28,000 since 2011.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported that the overall state prison population declined for the third consecutive year in 2011.

State sentencing reforms and changes in parole revocation policies have been contributing factors in these reductions. As a result, state officials are now beginning to close correctional facilities after several decades of record prison expansion. Continued declines in state prison populations advance the narrative that the nation’s reliance on incarceration is largely a function of policy choices.

In 2012, at least six states have closed 20 prison institutions or are contemplating doing so, potentially reducing prison capacity by over 14,100 beds and resulting in an estimated $337 million in savings. During 2012, Florida led the nation in prison closings with its closure of 10 correctional facilities; the state’s estimated cost savings for prison closings totals over $65 million. This year’s prison closures build on closures observed in 2011 when at least 13 states reported prison closures and reduced prison capacity by an estimated 15,500 beds.

To read this report, download the PDF below.

 
Related Posts
news
State Advocacy News: From Protest to Policy
June 12, 2020

State Advocacy News: From Protest to Policy

Following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others the nation is demanding justice through direct actions and mass mobilizations. Strategic solutions include a range of recommendations that address racial disparities, reduced law enforcement interactions, and sentencing reforms.
news
State Advocacy News: Prisons, Protest and COVID-19
May 05, 2020

State Advocacy News: Prisons, Protest and COVID-19

Despite the pandemic, advocates are finding new ways to continue challenging mass incarceration through virtual events and social distance gatherings.