Response to Panel on Institutional Responses to Overcrowding


I have very little to say about the paper delivered by Mr. Solomon because I find myself in complete agreement with most of his suggestions. I will comment, however, that the most important suggestion related to reducing prison populations was for prison administrators to become much more active in the political process. Although this is the most important line of attack against overcrowding, there is a strong reluctance on the part of prison administrators to influence the political process in this direction. They are more comfortable asking for more money to expand.

The area that I want to talk about, which was not touched upon in the preceding paper and which is the most serious problem, is managing the crowded prison. Prison administrators are now faced with the reality of an exploding prison population and the aggravated problem of running a prison under totally new conditions. I am very pessimistic about how they will accomplish this.

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