Reports on prison conditions have been compiled since the late 18th century, and many of them have triggered prison reform. Since 1980, the U.S. prison population has increased dramatically, reaching approximately 2.3 million by 2009—the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. During the same time, the average sentence length of inmates more than doubled. The rapid growth in prison population has been accompanied by numerous reports on prison conditions compiled and published by a diverse range of stakeholders.

Early Prison Reports

Written by John Howard in 1777, The State of the ...

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