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"Plata v. Brown and Realignment: Jails, Prisons, Courts, and Politics," forthcoming, 48 Harv. Civ. Rghts-Civ. Lib. L. Rev. 165 (2013).

Technical Appendix
Last edited date: March 4, 2013

A.    California Criminal Justice Populations, 2000-2012

See Article Figure 1 (here slightly updated)
(Click the graph below for full size image):

For data and sources, see attached Worksheet

(“Figure 1” and “Figure 1&2 Data”)

B.    California Criminal Justice Populations, October 2011 to October 2012.

The article (text accompanying fn. 176) references changes in jail and prison population with a starting point of Realignment’s effective date, October 2011.  Here are the details:

 

Table App-1:  Prison and Jail Average Daily Population

 

Oct. 2011

June 2012

Oct. 2012

Total Prisoners

160,774

136,187

133,362

In-state Prisoners

151,283

126,783

124,651

Prisoners in Cal. prisons*

148,527

125,834

123,717

Jail

72,285

78,263

[UNK]

  *Omits out-of-state, contract beds, hospitalizations

Sources:

Correction: The article states (text accompanying fn. 176):  “From October 1, 2011 to October 1, 2012, California’s prison population was down over 23,000; over the same period of time, jail population was up, but only by 6,000.”   October 2012 should have been June 2012.   (The last jail population figures available, even several months after the article went to press, are for June 2012). 

C.    Quarterly California Jail Data

Described and referenced in text accompanying note 179.  For data and sources, see attached Worksheet (“Quarterly Jail Data”)

D.      Prevalence of Jail and Prison Population Caps, Nationwide and in California

Article Table 1:  Prevalence of Jail and Prison Population Caps, Nationwide and in California

 

 

 

 

Year

(a)

Average daily prisoner population

(b)

% of population housed in facilities w/ population cap

(c)

Median age, if known, in years

 

 

National

California

National

California

National

California

Local Jails

1983

227,543

40,622

30%

25%

 

 

1988

336,017

63,359

43%

77%

 

 

1993

466,155

73,711

38%

74%

 

 

1999

607,980

77,851

25%

71%

6

7

2006

757,978*

80,625*

11%

32%

8

14

State Prisons

1984

390,334

37,264

27%

16%

 

 

1990

635,974

86,966

24%

7%

 

 

1995

909,546

123,991

17%

8%

 

 

2000

1,170,172

159,223

13%

9%

9

2

2005

1,427,781

177,500

2%

3%

11

0

* Estimate

The tabulated data are compiled from the Bureau of Justice Statistics periodic jail and prison censuses. 

1. Sources

I assembled the underlying dataset by aggregating survey the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) Censuses of jails and prisons.  Every five years or so beginning in 1970 for jails and 1979 for prisons, the BJS conducts a census of every jail and prison in the country.   Raw data for the censuses are available from the Inter-university Consortium on Political and Social Research, http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/.  BJS began collecting data on correctional court orders with the 1983 Jail Census, and the several relevant questions remained nearly unchanged in the subsequent jail and prison censuses. 

The relevant census questionnaires prior to 2005 are collected here. 

2005 Prison Census Questionnaires 

2006 Prison Census questionnaires 

 

Raw data citations are: 

Prisons:

  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Census of State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities, 2005 (ICPSR Study No. 24642, last updated Oct. 5, 2010), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24642.v2
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Census of State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities, 2000 (ICPSR Study No. 4021, last updated July 9, 2004), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04021.v1
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Census of State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities, 1995 (ICPSR Study No. 6953, Apr. 20, 1998), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06953.v1
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Census of State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities, 1990 (ICPSR Study No. 9908, last updated Dec. 21, 2001), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09908.v2
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Census of State Adult Correctional Facilities, 1984 (ICPSR Study No. 8444, last updated Apr. 22, 1997), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08444.v1

Jails:

The BJS itself publishes analyses of each census, including a basic descriptive table setting out court order data by facility by state.  The relevant citations for the published reports about the censuses are:

  •  James Stephan, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 222182, Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2005 (2008), available at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/csfcf05.pdf.
  • James Stephan & Georgette Walsh, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 230188, Census of Jail Facilities, 2006 (2011), available at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cjf06.pdf.
  • James J. Stephan & Jennifer C. Karberg, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 198272, Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2000 (2003), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/csfcf00.pdf
  • James J. Stephan, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 186633, Census of Jails, 1999 (2001), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/cj99.pdf
  • James J. Stephan, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 164266, Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1995 (1997), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/csfcf95.pdf
  • Craig A. Perkins, James J. Stephan & Allen J. Beck, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 151651, Census of Jails and Annual Survey of Jails:  Jails and Jail Inmates, 1993–94 (1995), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/jaji93.pdf
  • James Stephan, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 137003, Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1990 (1992)
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 127992, Census of Local Jails, 1988 (1991)
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 105585, 1984 Census of State Adult Correctional Facilities (1987)Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, NCJ 95536, The 1983 Jail Census (1984).

2. Analysis/Code

The code underlying Article Table 1 is posted here. 

The constructed dataset is here. 

The resulting log file is posted here. 

I mostly worked with the 2005 and 2006 data in excel, rather than stata.  They are here.   

E.    California Jail Population Caps.

See “County Population Caps,” in attached Worksheet. 

Correction:  The article states:  “From the 1990s to today, population cap orders from such cases have governed at least thirty-five counties, including all but two of California’s twenty largest counties.” Establishing a negative is difficult, but it is likely that four (not two) of California’s 20 largest counties have never seen a population cap:  Contra Contra Costa, Ventura, San Mateo, and Monteray.  Full data are in the “County Population Caps” page of the attached Worksheet.

F.     California Jail Releases.

Article Figure 2 and text accompanying note 236.
(Click the graph below for full size image):

See attached Worksheet (“Figure 2,” “Figure 1 & 2 Data,” and “Jail Releases 2011-2012”)

G.    Pretrial vs. Sentenced Prisoners in California’s Jails

See attached Worksheet (“Quarterly Jail Data”)

H.     Prisoner Releases from California Jails

Article Table 2, and text accompanying fn. 252; Article Table 3.

Table 2: Monthly Prisoner Releases from California Jails

Year

(a)

Booked/ month

Prisoner releases per month

(b)

Total

(c)

Pretrial prisoners

(d)
No court-ordered cap (% of pretrial)

(e)

 Sentenced prisoners

(f)

No court-ordered cap (% of sentenced)

2008

107,042

15,294

8,332

4%

6,962

12%

2009

101,153

14,465

8,199

4%

6,266

15%

2010

96,391

11,950

6,987

5%

4,963

  7%

2011

88,551

10,196

6,649

7%

3,547

14%

See attached Worksheet (“County Population Caps”).  Note:  Following the practice of the data source, total bookings include not only county jails but three additional populations assigned to:  the San Diego Work Furlough, Ventura Work Furlough, and the Santa Ana Police Department.  I do not know the reasons that these small populations are included but others that seem to be like them are not.  The impact on the recorded figures is, however, immaterial. 

Correction:  The article states “While thirty-eight of California’s fifty-eight counties report that limited capacity has forced them to release prisoners at some point in the past several years, only a small majority of these have a court order to point to.”  The correct figure is forty-one (not thirty-eight) of the fifty-eight counties. 

Table 3: Population Releases in 2012 (Partial Data: Some Jails only)

 

(a)

Est. % of Jail Population Reporting

(b)


Population related releases/month

(c)


% increase, compared to
the same jails in 2011

Total

Pretrial

Early

Total

Pretrial

Early

Jan.

72%

9,248

5,798

3,450

21%

5.2%

38.4%

Feb.

66%

5,645

2,759

2,886

38%

10.6%

43.4%

Mar.

60%

5,868

2,745

3,123

44%

17.8%

42.2%

Apr.

34%

3,264

2,063

1,201

25%

1.0%

53.0%

This table became out of date well before the article went to press, but unfortunately it was not able to be updated in print.  The updated information follows:

Table App-2: California Jail Population Releases in 2012

 

(a)

Est. % of Jail Pop. Reporting

(b)
Population related releases/month

(c)
% increase, compared to
the same jails in 2011

Total

  Pretrial

    Early

Total

Pretrial

Early

Jan.

100%

11,960

7,239

4,721

12%

4%

28%

Feb.

100%

11,428

6,813

4,615

23%

9%

53%

Mar.

100%

12,190

7,279

4,911

20%

10%

38%

Apr.

100%

12,431

7,006

5,425

22%

4%

57%

May

100%

14,203

7,756

6,447

42%

17%

90%

June

100%

13,942

7,856

6,086

45%

31%

70%

July

73%

8,844

4,660

4,184

40%

20%

72%

Aug.

67%

9,329

4,894

4,435

38%

16%

77%

Sept.

65%

7,348

3,411

3,937

56%

34%

82%

Oct.

16%

2,405

1,485

920

53%

29%

121%

            

 

 
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