Update on New Funding for Jail Construction Across U.S.

By Lindsey Coulter
Voters across the United States took to their polling places Nov. 8 to determine the outcome of races, initiatives and amendments large and small; a number of which focused on funding correctional and justice construction projects. Correctional News has compiled a brief round up of successful local-level efforts across the nation to fund both new projects and improvements to correctional and justice facilities.

Crawford County Detention Center Completed Under Budget

Crawford County, Ark., corrections officials cut the ribbon on the new Crawford County Detention Center in Van Buren on Nov. 4. The 300-bed facility was initially budgeted at more than $20.5 million, but was completed under budget for approximately $17.4 million, saving the county more than $3.1 million despite the addition of an impound yard and radio tower not originally built into the plans. All savings will likely be paid back to the project’s bonding company, allowing the county to pay off the facility’s debt more quickly.

Pierce County Jail on Track for Spring 2017 Opening

Construction on the new Pierce County Jail & Sheriff’s Department in Ellsworth is well underway after a groundbreaking ceremony took place in March. Scheduled for an opening next summer, the project is currently within budget and has yet to face any weather or other unnecessary delays, reported River Falls Journal.

ICE May House Undocumented Immigrants in Private Prisons

Private detention facilities in Ohio, New Mexico and Texas may soon be used to house undocumented immigrants, despite an announcement by the Washington-based U.S. Justice Department in August to phase out its use of private prisons. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is currently seeking to house approximately 5,000 additional undocumented individuals, as the movement of immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to increase in the coming weeks and months.

Prison Populations to Diverge Sharply in Coming Years

By Matthew Oster
Amidst increasingly clamorous discussions globally about the efficacy and value of the modern prison, statistics are showing more and more that countries worldwide are falling in two separate categories. One, which includes most of the developed economies of Europe and East Asia, is witnessing the waning of the traditional prison through historically low incarceration rates that are expected to decline further over the coming years.