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Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2000: Diversity among Correctional Employees and Inmates in Texas and California Alicia Deal CJ 685 12-09-04 1
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Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2000: Diversity among Correctional Employees and Inmates in Texas and California The California and Texas penal systems are among the nation's largest; California remains to contain the largest number of inmates, while Texas closely follows. Therefore, it can be argued that these two systems define the nation's prison system as it is their images that are conveyed to the public and the rest of the world. These states are among the most diverse in the nation. Yet does the correctional employee population and inmate population reflect this diversity? Since 1990 crime rates have slightly fallen, and at the same time, so have victimization rates also declined (Feeley & Simon, 1992; Schicor, 1997). Yet the number of residents sentenced to prisons has steadily increased (Austin & Fabelo, 2004; Irwin & Austin, 2001; Gillespie, 2004). The number of correctional facilities has also increased within these two decades (1980-2000). The total number of state prison facilities in the mid-70s totaled only 600 meanwhile in 2000 this number grew to 1,320 (Lawrence & Travis, 2004). Irwin and Austin (2001) referred to this trend of mass incarceration as an “imprisonment binge,” in which the majority of prisoners are “poor African-Americans with juvenile records and/or multiple crimes and have histories of drug use (Pollock, 2004:77).” Statistical evidence from numerous sources shows that African Americans and Hispanic-Americans are over-represented in the inmate population. For example, in 1990 the incarceration rate for African-American men was 2,234 per 100,000, yet in 2002, this number rose to 4,810 per 100,000 persons. During these same years, the incarceration rate for Hispanic men rose from 1,016 to 1,740 per 100,000. However, for Caucasian men this rate was 338 in 1990 and 649 in 2002 (Pollock ,2003). While most prisoners are men, there is a growing number of women being imprisoned, many of them minorities. Irwin and Austin (2001) noted that between the years of 1983 and 1998, the number of incoming women inmates increased 344%, while men only increased 207%. Still, women only comprise of 6.7% of all prisoners (Pollock, 2004).
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Due to the increase in prisoners and prison facilities, there is an ever increasing need for more correctional employees, especially correctional officers. In fact, data collected by the Bureau of Labor statistics (and reported by Brisco et al.) showed that correctional officers and jailers “continue to be among the fastest growing occupations (Brisco, et al., 2004: 128).” Furthermore, it is reported that the correctional workforce comprising of women and minorities will increase in the future as the country's population continues to grow and new opportunities present themselves within this line of work ( Brisco, et. al. 2004). By 2012, women is expected to account for 47.5%, of the nation's labor force, and the Asian labor force, is expected to grow by 47.6%. The Hispanic labor force will increase to account for 32.6% of the nation's labor force, while the African-American
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