Alaska Correctional Requirements: A Forecast of Prison Population through the Year 2000


This report is part of the Fire Island Prison Feasibility Study, a project conducted jointly by the School of Justice and School of Engineering at University of Alaska, Anchorage under contract to the Alaska Department of Corrections. The project undertook to assess the feasibility of locating a correctional facility on a 4,240 acre tract of land on Fire Island, which lies in Upper Cook Inlet about three miles off Point Campbell within the Municipality of Anchorage. The project was divided into three major phases: (1) an assessment of future bed space needs of the Alaska Department of Corrections; (2) an evaluation of the physical site and cost estimates for prison construction and operation; and (3) a public opinion survey and open discussion.The growth of the Alaska prison inmate population over the past fifteen years has been substantial. According to available statistics there were 482 institutionalized adult prisoners under control of the Alaska Division of Corrections in January 1971; by January 1980 this population had increased to 770 inmates; and between 1980 and 1985, the number of Alaska inmates almost tripled, rising from 770 to 2,073. Accurate forecasts of the future size and makeup of the prison population are needed as a basis for long-range programs and capital planning. This report presents long and short-term forecasts of the Alaska incarcerated prisoner population and bedspace needs of the Alaska Department of Corrections through the year 2000. The forecasts were developed by taking into consideration historical facts and status quo assumptions. Attention is also given to the impact of the 1980 Alaska criminal code revision on unsentenced and sentenced populations. The forecast derived from this study provides evidence of the need for additional institutional capacity in Southcentral Alaska by 1990. Planning should proceed for a capacity of 1,000 beds to be available for use by 1990.Alaska Department of CorrectionsAcknowledgments / Summary of Study / I. Introduction / II. Long-Range Forecasts / III. Short-Range Forecasts / IV. Regional Forecasts / V. Conclusions / APPENDICES / A. Inmate Population Forecasting: Statistical Model / B. JUSSIM Forecasting Model / C. Bibliography of Inmate Population Forecastin

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