Density, Inmate Assaults, and Direct Supervision Jails

Criminal Justice Policy Review 12/2007; 18(4):395-417. DOI: 10.1177/0887403407299863


Researchers have completed several studies on the effects of density on violence in prisons and jails, but little work has been done on density's impact on direct supervision jails. Direct supervision facilities, also known as new generation jails, were created by the Federal Bureau of Prisons with the goal of reducing violence, suicide and disorder. Given the crowded conditions in most jails across the country, it is important to determine the impact, if any, that density has on the operations of these jails. The current study involves an analysis of density on assaults in nearly 150 direct supervision jails. The results indicate that neither spatial nor social density are predictors of violence in these jails. Several direct supervision jail characteristics are also included in the analysis, but they are not associated with reported assaults. The racial composition of inmates, location of the jail, and number of inmates each officer is permitted to supervise predicted assaults.

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