Prisoner advocates say it is not always easy to determine if a particular inmate will ever be released, but the latest research from the Franklin Institute for Correctional Policy (FIOCP) has given some hope that it is possible.
In a recent report titled The Prisoner’s Journey: The Future of the American Prison System, the organization noted that in 2010 there were nearly 50,000 inmates serving time for nonviolent offenses and only about 2,500 for drug offenses.
They noted that, for most inmates, there is no immediate benefit from incarceration.
Inmates tend to spend longer in prison than non-inmates, and they are more likely to be placed in segregation or solitary confinement.
The report also found that in a 2014 study, about 10 percent of all inmates were released from prison after serving less than one year in prison.
The vast majority of inmates in prison have already served time.
A recent survey conducted by the Frankly Prison Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce recidivism and help prisoners return to society, found that the vast majority (93 percent) of inmates are out of prison within two years of their release.
The number of people in prison has increased more than 10 times since 1990, when the prison population was roughly 12,000, according to the Franklyn Institute.
The Frankly Project’s new report, titled Prisoners: A Look Back at the Future of Our Correctional System, suggests that for many of these incarcerated people, the prison experience may be worse than it was when they first entered.
It also found evidence that the number of inmates released from jail in the U.S. is down significantly over the past decade, as more inmates are being incarcerated for crimes committed outside the state.
“Prisoners may not be out of the woods yet, but their situation is changing,” the report says.
For instance, in 2012, the number for all prisoners in the United States was nearly 15 million, down from an estimated 23 million in 1995.
The drop in incarceration may be due to changes in the criminal justice system and the growing economy, the report said.
For example, more than half of prisoners in federal prisons are on parole, which makes it easier for inmates to be released from the prisons they have served time in.
In addition, the federal Sentencing Commission recently reduced sentences for non-violent offenses, including drug possession and petty theft, as part of its efforts to reduce incarceration.
The study also found a drop in violent offenders, as the number sentenced to prison has decreased, as well.
The researchers suggest that these trends may have a negative effect on recidivist recidivists.
“As prisoners age, the risk of reoffending is also higher and recidives are more at risk for reoffend if they are released from incarceration,” the study says.
The latest report also noted that the federal government has made strides in reducing recidivity in the last decade, including efforts to release inmates on parole or supervised release after six months, which is more than a decade later than in previous decades.
However, the Franklins report suggests that while many of the trends observed in the report are positive, many of those changes will continue to have a long-term impact on the prison system.
“The prison system is a complex system with many layers of accountability, accountability for those who commit crimes and accountability for others who assist them,” the researchers write.
“While many people feel good about their status, it may be that many others feel guilty about their role in the system, and may even feel that they should be punished for the harm they have done.”
As the population of prisoners continues to increase, the inmates will continue the cycle of incarceration.
“We know that the average time served in prison is one year and is set to increase as more people enter and leave the system,” the Franklis report says, “and that we are on track to release nearly three times more people than the number who were incarcerated in the year 2000.”
For more information on the Franklys report and the Frankylin Institute for Prisoner Advocacy, please visit their website.
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