Expert: More Cells Won’t End MT Jail Overcrowding


Traditional assumptions about crime prevention are being debunked, reports the Billing, Mont., Gazette. For example, said Mimi Carter, director of the Maryland-based nonprofit Center for Effective Public Policy, convicted criminals who spend long stretches in prison are more likely to commit new crimes after they are released. “The longer we incarcerate them, the worse they get,” she said.

Solving the problem of overcrowded prisons and jails will take a coordinated effort involving a wide spectrum of state, local and private interests, Carter told the ad hoc Detention Dilemma Group, a committee of the Montana Board of Crime Control. The group was formed last year to look for short- and long-term solutions to overcrowding at county jails and state prisons. The answer, she said, is not simply building more cells to hold offenders.


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