Measuring the Prison Contribution to Inmate Misconduct Over Time: A Multilevel Investigation of Prison Performance

Scott D. Camp, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Neal P. Langan, Federal Bureau of Prisons

Criminologists and correctional practitioners have been conviced for some time that prison operations have an impact upon inmate participation in misconduct. The problem is that the measures of "good" and "bad" prisons have been fairly simplistic, while at the same time very demanding of the data. Most often, the measure of the quality of prison operations has been the rate of misconduct (defined in various ways) observed for some period of time with the rates for different prisons serving as the point of comparison. The present study proposes to first generate monthly performance measures using inmate misconduct data and multilevel models for a period of 24-36 months. In the second step of the analysis, the trends in the monthly measures will be examined using graphs and statistical models to determine whether differences in prison performance are systematic over time. Data from All Bureau of Prisons (BOP) institutions will be used to generate the performance measures, but attention will focus upon three specific BOP prisons and one private prison.

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Updated 05/20/2006